When you want to do an internet search, you probably go directly to Google. And when you think of a phone, an iPhone probably comes to mind. The same goes for Nike for sports shoes, and McDonald’s for fast food.
What each of these companies has done is create a brand so strong, people directly associate a staple element in their lives to it. Can the same be done for cannabis? After all, isn’t weed just weed?
If you own a cannabis business, then you know known cannabis brands exist, and you will be set for life if your business becomes an established brand.
So how exactly can you build a brand for your cannabis business? And how do you create a strong cannabis brand that dominates the market?
Our experts have a few recommendations that will ensure you succeed in this endeavor.
How to Create a Strong Cannabis Brand
1. Know the Laws
Unfortunately, there are still a lot of laws and regulations on cannabis businesses. These affect how your cannabis business operates and how you can market it. In many states, you can’t just make a billboard like the local dentist or bakery can. Cannabis businesses can’t even buy ads on most search engines.
Knowing the laws in your area lowers your chances of spending money on branding efforts that never come to fruition because they’re illegal. And when you do implement the strategies that are legal, knowing the laws reduces the chances of your budding business getting sued for making health or safety claims that aren’t proven.
2. Know Your Audience
Before you roll out your brand, you need to consider the type of person you want the brand to speak to. Failure to do this right means your brand will be all over the place.
Spend some time brainstorming things like:
You might want your business to attract everyone over the age of 21, but this will result in your brand strategy being all over the place. The difference between the youngest and oldest age in your target demographic should be less than 15 years.
If your cannabis business model is B2B, then think about the other businesses in terms of age too. For example, are you targeting new startups, medium-sized businesses, or multi-state and multinational conglomerates?
The income of your target audience will determine how your products or services are priced. The success of your keyword research here will depend and also inform the age of your clients.
For example, if you offer high-end cannabis products or services, then your brand should target people who have enough money to spend on luxury products. These can be people in their mid-30s all the way to those in their 50s.
Remember, the same kind of thinking applies if you operate a B2B model.
III. Health & Philosophy
What does your target audience think about? What is their outlook on life?
If you run a dispensary, then your clients are probably individuals interested in who want to be assured that your products will help relieve their health problems.
If you offer various THC-heavy strains, then your clients are likely driven, creative individuals who like excitement.
3. Differentiate Your Products
You need to set your products apart from your competitors’, otherwise your business will be lumped in with all the other generic brands in the market.
The first step to differentiation is deciding on a suitable name. A good brand name is one that’s catchy and can be easily associated with its products/services. Once you fix on a name, turn it into a professional but memorable logo to make your products easier to identify.
Packaging is another way to differentiate what your business offers. For cannabis products, this involves actual packaging, including the material, color, and design of the packages your products are carried in.
If you offer marijuana services, then your packaging refers to how you offer these services. For example, if you have a site listing good marijuana dispensaries in your area, you need to make sure that it’s easy to navigate and offers the updated information about each dispensary. Once the site is trusted by cannabis customers, then cannabis businesses may even offer to pay to be listed on it.
4. Market Your Brand
You need to spread the word about your brand through all the relevant channels.
Relevant channels are those that directly reach your target demographic. It’s unlikely that middle-aged people can be reached via Tiktok videos, and targeting younger people via Facebook will be ineffective.
Your brand cannot afford to skimp on marketing. Employ the services of marketing experts who will ensure your messaging is relevant, current, and relatable. If you’re not an expert, then your marketing efforts are likely to fall flat, and so will your brand.
5. ‘Bring It’ All the Time
You cannot afford to make mistakes once your products/services hit the market and get good reviews.
People expect the same high quality of products and/or services each time they interact with your brand.
Create levels of quality and ensure each product/service exceeds it. Employ people who are committed to continuously improving your brand from the bottom up. Remain creative and innovative so that you are not pushed out by the competition.
Failure to do this will result in your brand name bringing a sour taste to people’s mouths.
Branding is as essential to a cannabis business just as it is to other businesses, and sometimes even more so. Regardless of your business model, your products/ services, or demographic, creating a strong cannabis brand should be one of the first things you do for your business.
Remember, do not be reluctant to spend money when creating your brand. Getting expert help from the very start will save and make you more money in the long-run. And once your brand is established, maintain and improve the quality you offer.
At some point, you won’t have to do as much marketing for your brand. Once the brand is well-known, your customers will do the marketing for you.