How did you guys decide upon your company name and what does it mean to you?
We actually originally were going to call the brand ‘First Class Vapor’, with one of our flavors named Propaganda. After one of the founders suggested we called the brand Propaganda, it sat with us for a while… We started back in early 2014, at that point Vaping wasn’t widely accepted. There was a lot of misinformation going around with some highly biased opinions. After we looked up the actual direct definition of ‘Propaganda’, we knew we found the right name to represent us. The definition of propaganda is “information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.” We’ve always been one of the companies not scared to go against the grain and we knew that this kind of statement was exactly what we wanted.
Tell us about your logo.. From where it started to where it’s at now. How does the eye represent the propaganda brand?
When we officially decided our name was going to be Propaganda, we knew we had to play to it, and the branding that came with it. Thus began our original designs and logos: Uncle Sam for Subliminal, the black widow for Widow Maker, and the famous eye for Illuminati. Illuminati quickly became our flagship flavor and the eye became how we were recognized. That original branding did a lot for us and helped us reach some really big goals, but, we decided it was time to rebrand. We found that we wanted more brand recognition across all of our flavors. We made a simple, clean logo, and kept the eye. That logo is the same one we use today and what you will find all over our main line.
What is your personal favorite flavor you have made so far, and what is a flavor you have been craving to create?
My personal favorite flavor we’ve created would have to be Blue Slushee from the Hype Collection, it’s all I really vape anymore… and there are so many great flavors out there that i’d love to put my own personal spin on. But leading that list would definitely be an Aloe Vera Menthol. I found some at a trade show and it was fantastic, I even bought a bottle for myself!
Propaganda has gotten behind several charity & donation drives. Can you explain the importance of helping out these organizations to you personally and your brand?
When Propaganda first started, we wanted to solve a couple problems. We wanted to create some fantastic flavors that we could vape all day, and we wanted to see some unity not just in the vape community, but we wanted to bridge the gap between the vape industry and the rest of the world. We’ve seen vaping seriously change people’s lives for the better, and we don’t want that to go anywhere. A lot of the causes and organizations we support work to assure the longevity of vaping in the world, but that’s not all we do. We work with a couple local groups outside of the vape industry altogether, including our local Fire Department.
You guys love video blogging challenges around the office, what was the best/most memorable challenge and what was the best/worst outcome?
We are a pretty close team over here and we like to have a lot of fun. I’d have to say the most memorable challenge we’ve done is the 300 nugget challenge. One of our marketing guys, Ethan, gave it a try. The goal was to eat 300 chicken nuggets from McDonald’s in one sitting. I think he only made it to 50, but it was still a lot of fun! And if you ask Ethan, he’d probably say the nugget challenge had the worst outcome. I even let him come in late the next day, just to recover!
Being a young, productive, and determined team, you all seem to be very close friends, did you know most of your team before the starting Propaganda?
Right now we have an employee size of about 30, and I take a lot of pride in saying I have a personal relationship, outside of work, with probably 20 of those 30. I’m really grateful I get to have that close of a relationship with the team. Too often, upper management gets so disconnected from the core of the company, but I do my best to be as centered as possible. Some of these people were my friends before working with us, but most become apart of the group after the fact. Makes work a lot more enjoyable.
With that being said who/what do you think brought upon the biggest contribution to your success?
It’s really hard to pinpoint where and what exactly made it possible for us to get where we are today. And believe me, we’ve tried. I think a lot of things played a factor. Some of that was right place right time, but most was persistence. When we were starting off, we studied the market day and night. We wanted to know every brand, every flavor, and why those flavors were doing well. That understanding of the market really did make it easier to know what the next move was. We had ideals and we had a vision. We held onto those ideals very closely, and we still do. But when we were in a position of, ‘what do we do now?’, we turn to those ideals to serve as a compass in a way. We always put why do we do it in front of what do we do. Having that in mind has definitely been one of the biggest contributors to our success.
When creating new flavors what is the most important part of deciding what flavors people are going to like? Where do you draw the hype and inspiration for new flavors to develop?
We have a really dedicated R&D Department that’s always looking for what’s new, and where we can be different. We of course take into consideration what flavors the consumers want, but try to focus more so on giving them something they don’t know they want yet. Employee recommendations have influenced flavors, different foods, desserts and candies that I’ll try also have influenced some flavors. There’s no clear formula for how we get inspired to make certain flavors, they all kind of just transpire. And if they end up fantastic, we roll with it!
How long would it typically take for a flavor to go from idea to full production? Can you give us any incite on your mixing & development process?
Again there’s no real consistency on this end of the R&D process, it’s case by case. Some flavors will take us hundreds of revisions to hammer it down correctly, while other flavors take no time at all. Blue Slushee, one our best flavors (and my personal favorite), was made with just a couple renditions!
Lastly is there anything new or exciting in the future of Propaganda that you care on sharing or keeping us on are toes about?
We’re always up to something! We know the people want ‘new and exciting’, and we try our best to always deliver. Keeping the consumer happy is a big priority of ours so we’re always going to take that into consideration. With that being said, I can’t say too much, but expect to see some really cool stuff coming with our main line! All I can say!
A huge thank you to Nick and his wonderful team at Propaganda for sharing their insight! Be sure to give them a follow @propagandaeliquid
Propaganda is also available wholesale at Midwest Goods!