As we continue through 2018, many marketers find themselves venturing into an emerging cannabis industry all across the country looking for the answer to one burning question: How can I make an impact?”. In a field that is always developing and changing and starting completely anew in different states, there are no best practices or established marketing rules that you can use to guide you. How can you market your cannabis brand for success? Here are 6 of the best ways to expand your appeal and position in this ever-changing industry.
1. Know the Rules
Every state is different when it comes to the laws regarding cannabis marketing. In some places, state law is different than city or county laws. Check out your state’s NORML page. You can brush up on all of the laws in your state and educate yourself on the,. If you don’t stick to the rules you could end up facing steep fines, losing your business licenses or worse. Make sure to check back often! Study up, and make sure you’re always being a compliant marketer.
2. Don’t be a Stereotype
The stoner stereotype is DEAD and it’s time people realize that! Lets all just agree to stop using those god-awful pot leaves, smiley faces and rasta flags altogether. Cannabis brands need to try hard to widen their appeal to a larger range of customers, not just your standard run of the mill stoner. For example, those intimidating hippie posters and pot flags will always be a turn off for an 80-year-old medical patient.
Look at Leafs by Snoop, Snoop Dogg’s personal line of cannabis and cannabis products. Leafs is presented in classy and clean looking packaging that looks like it could be sold in a gift basket with fancy cheeses and wines or sold in a store that sells fancy soaps and other specialty health products.
Your brand needs its own unique aesthetic that people can trust. Make sure your products look like they belong in a swanky upscale shop and not behind the counter at a seedy gas station.
3. Educate your Consumers
The modern consumer is more educated than ever before. In fact, before modern consumers make purchases, they like to do a lot of online research BEFORE they buy anything! In the cannabis industry, consumers are also concerned with health. They eat organic food, the quit smoking cigarettes, and they try to lead an active lifestyle. Bring all of this to your cannabis brand. Cannabis FITS as a health fad and as a lifestyle for these consumers. Cannabis can be marketed as an integral part of any health routine. Make sure the brand and all of its employees are up to date on cannabis science and health benefits at all times!
4. Use better words
We’re trying to kill the stoner stereotype but we can’t without using a more refined lexicon for cannabis. Why do you think we never use the words pot, weed, or even marijuana when referring to the cannabis industry? Use words that push your products into a more refined an intelligent space. Stop calling it nugs or buds when you could be calling it flower. Say doses instead of hits. Ditch the crummy slang and speak to a higher conversation.
5. Be a part of the community
Cannabis is a movement, not just a product. There are a lot of subjects surrounding the movement, like medical applications, legal issues, and enjoyment value, but keep in mind that there is still a very large and growing culture around cannabis and that YOUR brand needs to be the driving force in this culture!
To do that, you need to join cannabis conversations and get involved. Write a blog or start a newsfeed for sharing industry news. Support relevant cannabis causes in your area. Attend events and expos! Find a way to make your company synonymous with the cannabis community. Here’s one of our marketing guides on the subject.
As the cannabis industry emerges and continues to develop, marketers are finding that there is really no beaten path for marketers to follow. It’s an industry bursting with opportunities to change and grow. Consumers in the cannabis industry are also more likely to be more open-minded creative people. You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. You can still go your own way. Take risks, make mistakes, and experiment! Think forward, think new, and think different if you want to succeed.