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  • Writer's pictureBen Balliro

Premium Product v. Premium Profit

Updated: Jun 8

The topic in question is this; should you buy a cigar brand because it’s endorsed by a celebrity? We the “non-celebrity” public like to think that if a particular brand of cigar (or any other product for that matter) is endorsed by a celebrity it must be pretty good, because celebrities can afford anything they want. I believe there are a few drawbacks to this theory and would caution anyone to buy something, especially premium cigars, based solely on celebrity endorsements.

  1. Quality is Subjective:

When a celebrity endorses something, stereotypically it is because there is a profit in it for them or they would not do it. In my opinion, this could mean that as long as the product sells they may, or may not, care about the actual quality of the product. For example, you may have seen published articles on the new business venture partnership between rapper celebrity Nas and Escobar cigars. In the article Nas says that he felt it was a “natural fit for him” to partner with Escobar cigars because it shares his alias he uses as an homage to that most famous Escobarian; Pablo. He says he’s always enjoyed cigars and was immediately drawn to the brand because of his love of the leaf. In an article in Rolling Stone Magazine Nas said,

…”he immediately got to work after being appointed as the new co-owner of Escobar in August. The rapper helped to redesign everything from the logo and wrapping, to the all-black packaging, which the brand says helps to ‘modernize’ the old school cigar world.”

2. Emotional Taste Perception:

Emotional taste perception is when you’re emotions hoodwink you into believing something tastes better than it really is. Nas is a talented musician and a savvy business man and perhaps there really is some truth to his endorsement. In my experience buying a cigar just because of the name is not good enough, the quality has to be there to back it up. Don’t let the hype fool you, let the brand speak for itself. Instead of thinking of Nas endorsing Escobar, think of Escobar endorsing Nas. The cigar company, not the Pablo fellow.

3. Pricing

Pricing of a product can be inflated due to a celebrity endorsement, but that again doesn’t mean it’s not justified. However just because it is endorsed doesn’t mean it has be expensive either. It’s a balance and it’s up to you and me, the consumers, to validate the price of a cigar based on the quality that suits your needs and budget. Some say Cubans cost more because they taste better, and others claim Cubans are overpriced and you can get comparable New World smokes that are cheaper and just as good. My advice is let the cigar speak for itself. In this case Escobar cigars, which as an example of it’s price for a box of 25 Maduro Robustos will set you back $250 plus tax. Making them $12.50 a piece is on the higher side pf purchase, and this is even before Nas got involved.

Until you try one yourself, you cannot know if they are worth the money. If you have smoked them before and have an opinion drop us a line or a message, we’d love to hear your side. Thanks for reading.

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