Back to One: Celebrating 20 Years of Boveda, Part 2

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Knutsen: What is essentially important is being the first brand to introduce a product. The first brand to win that mindshare of the customer is usually the leading brand. When you do that and continually do the right thing without fumbling the football, it is difficult—if not impossible—to overtake that No. 1 position. It’s an uphill battle. Rarely is there room for a third brand to legitimately compete in any given product category.

You typically only have one brand that dominates and a distant second brand that’s a “me-too” type of company that just tries to ride those coat tails of that leading brand. We focus on what Boveda can do that’s unique [and] different than anybody else. We will do everything we can to be first in that market and first in the mind to build that market and then work our tails off to continue to maintain that leadership.

Boveda 2-way humidity control

After 20 years of building this organization and company, what motivates you today? What fuels the company and keeps you all so excited and optimistic?
Knutsen: Early on a lot of people said, “What are you still doing in that business? Why are you still trying to make it work?” That happened a lot, not with immediate family but extended family. It also was asked by friends and people who knew us. Early on, we recognized we had an opportunity here, even if it was taking longer than we thought. The feeling now is that we’re very, very happy with where things are at right now with Boveda.
As we sit back and we think about it, it’s like, “Wow, we’re doing it. Wait, we’ve done it!” The thing is that we’re not stopping here. The vision that we set for ourselves and for Boveda as a whole is very grandiose, but we believe in what we have here and what we can still achieve.

We spend a big percentage of our time working—too much time for it not to be deeply meaningful. I would say that Tim, myself, Bob and everyone else here finds a deep meaning in the work that they do here. That’s really what it’s all about. Life is really about those types of things and not serving the almighty dollar. It’s about doing the right thing, and it’s about accomplishing something during your day that brings true value to the life of your fellow man.

We’re still looking forward and not back. We’ve still got a long way to go to get to where we want to go. It’s unbelievably exciting knowing that the ideas and patents in our innovation department right now can change the face of our whole company more than what the initial patents have created for us so far.

You can read part 1 of this feature story here.

This story first appeared in the November/December 2017 issue of Tobacco Business magazine. Members of the tobacco industry are eligible for a complimentary subscription to our magazine. Click here for details.

Story by Antoine Reid. Photos by Colin Michael Simmons