The history of Scandinavian Tobacco Group Lane Ltd. (STG Lane) is decorated with successful, well-known heritage brands, while the company itself is anything but traditional. STG Lane is a progressive, forward-thinking tobacco company that focuses most of its attention in three categories: roll your own tobacco, traditional pipe tobacco and filtered cigars. STG Lane faces a rather formidable challenge in selling and marketing these products: each of these are traditional tobacco categories that are in a state of decline. Regardless, each category remains an important part of STG’s overall business plan.
Using data to fuel their marketing, strategy and relationships with retailers and other business partners, STG Lane remains competitive and important to today’s tobacco business landscape.
Kelly Michols, president of STG Lane, and others at his company acknowledge that there are some categories of tobacco products in decline. “There are parts of these segments that we’re seeing some growth in—particularly the premium segments—and some building excitement that we hope bodes well for the future,” says Michols. “The mainstream segments are still vital to the overall tobacco business but they’re not the hottest segments in terms of growth right now.”
To support these lower-growth categories, the company tries to take a more modern approach to how they market items. STG Lane has gathered consumer and market data research over the years that has enabled it to develop effective strategies for retailers and its customers. The company is constantly trying to understand and think aggressively about the market from more of a category management standpoint rather than what’s going to be best for STG Lane, an approach that’s helped STG Lane move products and remain viable as a business. Besides strategic thinking and planning, STG Lane relies heavily on its parent company, Scandinavian Tobacco Group, and all of its resources and data.
A DIVERSE PRODUCT PORTFOLIO
Besides data, STG Lane’s diverse product lineup also keeps the company thriving in a tough marketplace. While there are declining categories of tobacco products, the company has brands within each with long histories that are still very popular with its customers.