e-Cigarette company White Cloud issued a press release touting a partnership with the University of South Florida's business school. The schools faculty will look for trends in the market as they relate to e-cigarettes and consumer behavior. White Cloud will provide the university, well the press release didn't say, so I'm going with money here.
As part of the agreement, marketing faculty at USF’s College of Business will conduct a study of the perceptions, barriers and transitional comments for smokers moving to the potentially less harmful alternative of electronic cigarettes.
The purpose of this research study is to gain insight into a new segment of consumers who are adopting “vaping” behaviors instead of smoking. The research conducted by USF's College of Business will encompass both qualitative and quantitative consumer studies via focus groups, interviews and surveys of adult smokers.
The project team from USF includes Professor Paul Solomon, Ms. Carol Osborne, Instructor, and Dr. Anand Kumar, Associate Professor and Chair of the Marketing Department. The faculty team's research interests cover areas such as brand strategies, marketing communications' effectiveness and consumer reactions to new technology products and services.
This is sort of an interesting move. While most are interested in research on the potential benefits and risks of e-cigarettes, this one takes a different track. Considering there are accusations flying around about targeting youth, maybe more insight into who's really using these things and why isn't such a bad idea.