A paranoid dream of quitting smoking: 931 days to find a good cigarette

Six years ago, Sun Haiming’s grandmother died of lung cancer due to smoking. Sun Haiming began to research and think about products that reduce the harm of cigarettes. He himself did not expect that a few years later, he would give up his career in Beijing and resolutely go south to Shenzhen to join this emerging industry.

For Sun Haiming, everything is unknown, but the thing that makes him feel most rewarding is not to make money through electronic cigarettes, but to make products that satisfy him, so that smokers can smoke more healthily and with dignity. And share wealth with agent partners.

An activist desire
In the spring of 2014, Sun Haiming was on pins and needles on a plane from Beijing to Linyi. A few hours ago, his mother called to tell him that his grandmother’s lung cancer condition had worsened. After getting off the plane, Sun Haiming saw her grandma for the last time. The next morning, grandma smoked the last cigarette of her life in the hospital bed and passed away.

The death of grandma made Sun Haiming, who was also a smoker, fear and hate. He hates that traditional cigarettes have taken away his grandmother’s life, and he is worried about his health. But he is very clear that the body has become dependent on nicotine and it is difficult to quit smoking.

Sun Haiming began to look for various electronic cigarette products that could replace cigarettes. But the result was disappointing. Although there are many kinds of e-cigarettes with different flavors on the market, the feeling in the mouth is just wrong.

In the following three years, Sun Haiming visited more than 100 e-cigarette experience stores in 16 cities across the country and experienced more than 500 different types of e-cigarette products.

The turning point occurred in December 2017, when a student came back from the United States and asked Sun Haiming to meet in Beijing. On the dining table, Fa Xiao took out an electronic cigarette of the American brand Juul. Sun Haiming, who is already disappointed with e-cigarettes, still habitually wants to take a sip.

When the first puff of smoke entered his lungs, Sun Haiming knew clearly that this was what he had felt for a long time. “I will never forget that bite, it is better to smoke than a cigarette.” This bite completely ignited the flame in Sun Haiming’s heart.

Recalling this, Sun Haiming tried to explain to reporters the feeling of “easy to smoke”: full and mellow smoke, comfortable resistance and throat hitting that smokers like, and most importantly, the throat is soft and addictive.

Several cartridges were quickly smoked by Sun Haiming. He found that this e-cigarette was not only “easy to smoke”, it would not cough and spit after smoking, and the mouth became very fresh. In the past few days of smoking Juul e-cigarette, he has not touched a traditional cigarette. He started looking, where can I buy such a product? Why have you never experienced such a product before? Couldn’t China produce such a product?

Sun Haiming is an activist. On the one hand, he began to try out e-cigarette experience stores in major business districts in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shandong, and on the other hand, he began to learn about this e-cigarette brand and the entire e-cigarette industry online.

He found that China’s e-cigarette production accounted for 90% of the world’s total, and almost all patents are in the hands of Chinese e-cigarette factories. Juul’s e-cigarette was produced in China and exported to the United States, and was brought back from the United States. At that time, Juul’s valuation had exceeded $30 billion.

According to Frost & Sullivan’s report, the global e-cigarette market has rapidly increased from USD 12.4 billion in 2014 to USD 36.7 billion in 2019 at a compound annual growth rate of 24.2%. The penetration rate of e-cigarettes in China is only 1%, but the growth rate is rapid and the development potential is huge. Assuming that the penetration rate will reach 10% in the next 3-5 years, the corresponding market size can reach the level of 100 billion. At the same time, the 2020 World Health Organization’s electronic cigarette theme report shows that compared with traditional cigarettes, qualified electronic cigarette products can reduce harm by more than 95%. The National Health Service of the United Kingdom and the Department of Public Health of the United Kingdom have made it clear: encouraging smokers to switch from traditional tobacco to e-cigarettes.

Sun Haiming couldn’t sit still anymore.

A week later, Sun Haiming flew from Beijing to Shenzhen. He packed a special Didi car in Shenzhen, took the e-cigarette that he had smoked, and started to visit the e-cigarette manufacturing companies concentrated in Shenzhen.

In fact, e-cigarettes appeared in China as early as 2003. The explosion of this industry was mainly due to the revolutionary technological progress in 2017-atomization technology has matured, making the taste of smoke closer to traditional cigarettes, and nicotine salt With the revolutionary emergence of technology, it is possible to obtain a stronger anti-addiction effect while reducing physical harm.

But at that time, most e-cigarette factories in Shenzhen had not yet realized such revolutionary changes. R&D and production are still based on traditional smoke products.

Sun Haiming once again traveled to almost all e-cigarette factories in Shenzhen, had in-depth conversations with 109 e-cigarette R&D engineers, and finally reached a strategic cooperation with an established e-cigarette factory with strong technical precipitation and an annual output value of more than 1 billion yuan.

The two parties hit it off and established Bolan Technology. With strong research and development capabilities, using the most cutting-edge technology, the goal is to create a high-quality, light-luxury, harm-reducing atomized electronic cigarette that can surpass Juul in hand and taste. .

The hard work behind 18 sets of molds
It took just a few months from getting in touch with Juul’s products to deciding to start a business in Shenzhen. The passion for entrepreneurship ignited him. After returning to Beijing, he sold the company shares in Beijing and immediately flew to Shenzhen.

To make a mid-to-high-end light luxury e-cigarette, there was no reference product on the market at that time. Sun Haiming and his team believe that to be a light luxury brand, consumers must be refreshed from the logo, packaging, and product appearance. Their ultimate goal is to develop a substitute cigarette product that consumers want to try when they see it, and they don’t want to let go after a bite.

To this end, the Bolan team found ECCO, an internationally renowned design company, to be responsible for the product design. In order to have a light and luxurious texture and feel, the team is looking for suppliers across the country who can make zirconium gemstones into cigarette rod panels. For this panel alone, the Bolan team searched for 2 months.

Sun Haiming did not expect that making tobacco rods was only the beginning of research and development.

He told reporters that the smoke bomb is the most technologically content part, which tests the R&D and production capabilities the most. A pod is divided into multiple parts and parts such as oil tank, condensing tank, air duct, atomizing core, heating wire, silicone sleeve, etc. A little change in each part will have a great impact on taste and quality.

Sun Haiming pointed to a few small holes with a diameter of less than 1 mm as an example: “This is the air inlet. How large, how many, and where the air inlets are opened will affect the taste of it.”

What’s more troublesome is that every time a part is changed, the overall cartridge structure must be re-adjusted. In order to debug the best taste, the R&D team opened 18 sets of molds, modified more than 100 large and small, and tested more than 800 sets of products, but they did not meet the requirements of Sun Haiming and the Bolan team.

In the past year, Bolan has no revenue or publicity, and has devoted all its energy to polishing products. Sun Haiming wanted to give up a few times, but thinking about his original intention of making electronic cigarettes and the unforgettable experience a year ago, he still encouraged the R&D team not to get discouraged. If the products cannot be made to the extreme, the brand will not have long-term vitality. After several years of business, this is Sun Haiming’s deep business cognition.

After a full year, the product made by the 18th mold finally has a taste that satisfies everyone. When the product was about to be launched on the market, the online ban policy was officially released in November 2019, which actually made Sun Haiming secretly happy, because the purpose of the online ban policy is to protect minors, and the market has been better specification. In addition, he has a sales background, and the offline market is his strength.

Through marketing and agent recruitment, Sun Haiming discovered that as long as consumers can see and touch the product, they will definitely try. As long as he takes a sip, he will be as confident in the product as he was at that time. At present, all agents of Bolan are transformed from users who have experienced the product. It is exactly what Sun Haiming said: To achieve the ultimate product, the brand will naturally have strong vitality.

At the same time, Platinum Lan was also well received in mature foreign markets once it was launched. Even in the most demanding Japanese market, Bolan has passed all high-standard inspections and successfully entered more than 60,000 offline terminal physical stores such as 7-11, Lawson, Family, and Tsutaya Bookstore.

In May of this year, Hongmen, who is very influential in the world, came to the door after he came into contact with Bolan electronic cigarettes. The two parties quickly reached a strategic cooperation to comprehensively promote the Bolan zirconium gem harm reduction atomized cigarettes in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. , Europe, America, Southeast Asia and other markets.

Sun Haiming, who is well versed in the way of doing business, understands that good products are only the foundation, and the marketing model must win with one move!

Having experienced the painful experience of over 500 different types of e-cigarette products that could not satisfy him, Sun Haiming decided to let smokers use it for 3 days for free at the beginning of the launch of the Bolan product. The worries of smokers. This sales model has also won the unanimous reputation of agents and consumers.

Sun Haiming and his team ran all the way with a pure heart. He hoped that the tragedy that happened to him because of cigarettes would not happen again. Because the world can be better.