Success Case Study: British American Tobacco’s Glo - Emerging tobacco innovation escalates competition in Japan


"Success Case Study: British American Tobacco’s Glo", is part of GlobalData’s Successes and Failures research. It examines the details of and reasons behind the success of British American Tobacco’s tobacco heating system. It delivers the critical "what?", "why?", and "so what?" analysis to teach you crucial lessons that increase your chances of launching successful products.

Philip Morris’s IQOS was the pioneering tobacco heating system in Japan, and British American Tobacco’s Glo is a latecomer. Generally, the first mover in a market has an advantage in consumer uptake. However, Glo has quickly gained Japanese smokers’ interest, as it overcomes the weakness of its rival IQOS. It has inspired an escalation in the competition among tobacco innovation in the country.


  • British American Tobacco reports that Glo is "extremely" successful in Japan and that more than two million Glo devices have been sold between its launch in December 2016 and mid-January 2018.
  • Glo’s simple design and long battery life appeal to time-scarce Japanese smokers over the competing first-mover IQOS device from Philip Morris.
  • Tobacco innovation must meet smokers’ needs arounds issues such as flavor, quality, and price to encourage them to switch from traditional tobacco products to new smoking concepts.

Reasons To Buy

  • Reduce the risk of failure by learning from brands/products that have under-performed: failed innovation can severely impact profit and reputation.
  • Understand the relevant consumer trends and attitudes that drive and support innovation success so you can tap into what is really impacting the industry.
  • Gain a broader appreciation of the fast-moving consumer goods industry by gaining insights from both within and outside of your sector.
  • Access valuable strategic take-outs to help direct future decision-making and inform new product development.