With the launch of Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes set to occur within the next 100 days, the Company has retained White Rock-based investor relations and digital media firm Flinnwest to oversee investor relations for Taat, make updates to the Company’s online presence, and execute social media campaigns to create visibility for both Taat as a company and Beyond Tobacco™ as a product. Taat intends to leverage Flinnwest’s expertise and technology stack to drive investor interest and promote strong conversion rates using an in-house investor relations team. Further, Flinnwest is to make revisions to the Company’s website, corporate presentation, and social media channels, including placing age and location restrictions on social media channels in line with tobacco industry standards. By retaining Flinnwest, who performs similar services for other Canadian public companies, the Company expects it will be able to allocate a greater share of its internal resources to preparing for the Q4 2020 planned launch of Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes.
TAAT LIFESTYLE & WELLNESS LTD. (OTC: TOBAF) (CSE: TAAT) is pleased to announce that it has engaged Flinnwest Solutions Inc. (“Flinnwest”), an investor relations agency and digital media powerhouse based in White Rock, British Columbia, to provide investor relations services, in addition to carrying out tasks and campaigns relating to Taat’s online presence. As the Company’s base of shareholders and pipeline of prospective investors steadily expands, Taat has recognized the need for a full-service investor relations agency to build upon this momentum to cultivate additional interest, and correspondingly ensure all leads and inquiries are handled attentively. Flinnwest will also make key appearance and compliance revisions to Taat’s social media profiles, which will also be operated under Flinnwest’s administration, consisting of ongoing responsibilities to include content creation and campaign planning. Further, Flinnwest is to update the Company’s investor materials (e.g., corporate presentation, fact sheet) and main website to ensure Taat’s messaging is optimally conveyed in the context of the tobacco industry. Taat’s personnel will directly collaborate with Flinnwest’s operational team in the interest of achieving optimal results with investors and customers, as well as the media and prospective business partners.
The Company intends to launch Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes in Q4 2020 as a tobacco-free and nicotine-free alternative to tobacco cigarettes, with a user experience meticulously engineered to closely emulate that of a legacy combustible tobacco product. Many of the world’s 1.3 billion tobacco users1 currently aspire to leave nicotine behind, which is evidenced in part by CDC data from 2018 indicating that 55.1% of adult smokers had attempted to quit in the past year, though only 7.5% successfully quit smoking in that timeframe2. Common replacements for tobacco cigarettes such as gums, lozenges, and vaping tend to have relatively high rates of abandonment in favour of returning to smoking cigarettes, despite such replacements containing nicotine. Accordingly, the Company believes that aside from nicotine itself, tobacco cigarette smokers desire the “ritual” of a combustible cigarette and its associated sensations (e.g., taste and scent, crackling sound, etc.). Having developed innovative approaches to closely mimicking these attributes, feedback from early retail market testing subjects for the Beyond Tobacco™ cigarette product has reflected a general consensus that there were not any significant experiential differences from a traditional tobacco cigarette. To date, the Company has obtained commercial-scale production for Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes under favourable pricing terms, with a patent application underway for a proprietary refinement process, and multiple potential sales channels in order. Under executive leadership with “Big Tobacco” pedigree, the Company plans to leverage Flinnwest’s proven investor relations and marketing methodologies to generate and bolster interest in both Taat itself and Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes as a product.
Flinnwest was founded in 2015 by software engineer Grady Flinn, who primarily worked on projects in the investing sector over the course of his career, enabling him to identify operational gaps and shortcomings in investor relations departments. Flinn created Flinnwest to be a “one-stop shop” around a set of core competencies in investor relations and digital media in which all functions are performed in-house to prevent the latency and disorganization that is commonly caused by the involvement of third-party providers. Its 26-person team boasts experience in video production, marketing, social media, web development, analytics, and customer relationship management (“CRM”) systems. With other publicly traded clients in the medical imaging and precious metals sectors, Flinnwest is familiar with investor relations workflows and standards for firms traded on Canadian exchanges.
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/59b103bb-59b2-4661-88f5-5c418af445c3
As part of its engagement with the Company, Flinnwest’s scope of work includes but is not limited to the following:
- Initialize CRM system for use with Taat’s current and prospective shareholders/investors, with whom Flinnwest’s investor relations team will interact by telephone and/or email, handling inbound inquiries and making outbound inquiries as appropriate.
- Gather data points relating to all leads for prospective investors (e.g., campaign or website of origin, amount of time spent reading an article, email opening frequency) to be used as a basis for making business decisions.
- Create educational materials about Taat and the tobacco industry, disseminating such materials to prospective investors directly by email, and through drip email campaigns.
- Make technical and cosmetic revisions to Taat’s corporate website and presentation, as well as all social media channels. This includes making channels restricted to registered users based on confirmed age and location criteria, in line with tobacco industry standards for social media accounts.
- Plan, create, and schedule original content for social media channels based on the latest developments from the Company, or in the tobacco industry.
Under the terms of the agreement with Flinnwest as a service provider to the Company, Flinnwest will be paid approximately CAD $15,000 as a setup fee and approximately CAD $7,000 per month thereafter in cash for its services on a month-to-month basis. Flinnwest, including its principals, does not own any of the Company’s securities.
“Working with Taat is exciting for us because their value proposition and near-term timeline align remarkably with our capabilities,” said Flinnwest Founder and Chief Executive Officer Grady Flinn. “It’s easy to get liftoff at first by carrying out IR and social media in-house… but when it becomes time to soar, not only do you want technology and expertise like ours to help maximize the outcomes from your initiatives, companies will often be extremely busy with their actual business activities during these growth spurts. In these cases, it makes far more sense to let us do the heavy lifting with qualifying leads and keeping content on social channels fresh, than it does for a company to spread themselves too thin by trying to do it all themselves. Part of why I believe we can create amazing results for Taat is because their product, mission, and vision is very straightforward and particularly compelling as the market for ‘reduced guilt’ products continues to grow. In the past few years there have been very impressive success stories of non-alcoholic beers gaining market share, seltzers replacing sugary sodas, and plant-based burgers replacing meat-based burgers. Tobacco cigarettes are yet to be challenged by a combustible tobacco-free and nicotine-free product like Beyond Tobacco™, and that novelty can be very attention-grabbing with the right promotion. With so many smokers who wish they could move on from tobacco and nicotine, I cannot wait to be the captain of Taat’s investor relations efforts and social media channels to curate an engaged base of shareholders, and build a robust online presence with some real visibility.”
Taat Chief Executive Officer Setti Coscarella commented, “The Company has surpassed several key milestones since I became CEO last month. Aside from bringing on a former Philip Morris International executive who is an expert in tobacco product commercialization, we have also completed our first patent filing and brought on a commercial-scale cigarette manufacturer who can produce up to 2,000 sticks of Beyond Tobacco™ per minute. Because we are laying the groundwork to launch Beyond Tobacco™ next quarter, we must have definitive and concrete plans to carry out business functions such as investor relations and management of our online presence, because these are especially important functions in both growing and sustaining interest in our company and our product. Flinnwest’s track record in the Canadian capital markets is something that they have achieved from a hands-on and teamwork-driven approach to doing business with the assistance of cutting-edge technology. They cover all of the bases when it comes to soliciting leads through a multitude of channels, making diligent initial and follow-up contacts with investors, and orchestrating a well-formulated flow of content on social media that they produce in-house. Being fewer than 100 days away from the planned launch date of Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes, we are far past the research and development phase. Flinnwest’s ability to get to work with minimal guidance or involvement from us is very well-suited to where we are on our fast-paced roadmap to our planned launch, and I look forward to having Mr. Flinn and his team on our side as we work towards turning Taat’s vision into reality.”
On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Company,
TAAT LIFESTYLE & WELLNESS LTD.
Setti Coscarella, CEO
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About Taat Lifestyle & Wellness Ltd.
Having developed Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes, which contain no tobacco or nicotine, Taat’s objective is to introduce an innovative, experience-driven alternative to tobacco cigarettes for tobacco smokers who aspire to leave nicotine behind. Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes, which are to be offered in “Original” and “Menthol” varieties, are designed to closely emulate every aspect of smoking a traditional cigarette. From the cigarette-style packaging and stick format, to the proprietary flavouring blend which imparts the flavour and scent of tobacco, to the draw sensation, and to the amount of smoke exhaled, Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes have been meticulously engineered to enable smokers to continue enjoying the ritual of smoking, while discontinuing nicotine intake. Taat plans to launch Beyond Tobacco™ cigarettes in Q4 2020 and is seeking to position itself in the USD $814 billion (2018)1 global tobacco industry to capitalize on the growing worldwide demand for alternatives to traditional cigarettes.