Thanks to the explosive growth that it’s been undergoing these past few years, more people than ever before are paying attention to the cannabis sector. What too many potential investors and budding entrepreneurs fail to understand, though, is that cannabis is a product like any other, and you need more than production and distribution mechanisms to earn a profit in this industry. It’s becoming increasingly clear that branding and other advertising tactics are an essential element of what generates success in the cannabis sector.
Here’s why branding and savvy marketing campaigns will reman a pivotal element of the cannabis industry going forward, and how the sector can benefit from a renewed focus on identity-based brands.
It’s simple business
One of the most elementary lessons of the business world is that you need to differentiate yourself from other offerings if you find yourself in the midst of a burgeoning and highly-competitive marketplace. It should be of little surprise, then, that cannabis companies need excellent branding in order to convince consumers to purchase their products. After all, there are so many cannabis providers springing up left and right that it can be hard to keep track of them all. The number of celebrities alone who have forayed into the cannabis sector and launched their own identity-based enterprises is almost incalculable.
Whether you’re a small down dispensary or a major supplier for an entire region, you’ll need to convince suppliers and consumers alike that what you’re offering isn’t just another leaf. Companies will constantly be vying to produce the strongest and most popular marijuana products, but the history of the cannabis black market also elucidates that claiming one’s product are the best in the world isn’t new or failproof when it comes to winning over unconvinced shoppers. In order to really move high volumes of product, companies will need easily-identifiable brands that resonant with key consumer groups.
Many of the cannabis enterprises whch have taken off almost immediately have done so because they’re leveraging a pre-existing brand identity that’s already popular with CBD users, new cannabis enthusiasts, and long-time stoners who loudly and proudly declare their love for Mary Jane. Popular celebrities like Snoop Dogg and the Trailer Park Boys have taken pre-existing media empires, for example, and cultivated them into cannabis powerhouses capable of shipping not only leafy greens but also bongs, trays, rolling papers, tinctures, and other assorted paraphernalia.
When shoppers walk into a dispensary, or even a simple head shop, just like places offering creative cabinets and faux finishes, they’re drawn to recognizable faces, icons, colors, and names just in the same way that children in the cereal aisle of the super market rush to find their favorite morning confection. Popular celebrities would be fools not to leverage their pre-existing brand identities, and forthcoming cannabis companies would similarly be foolish not to attempt to strike deals with these well-known individuals and other influencers as soon as possible.
Why recognition matters
Recognition matters for one simple reason; there are literally too many cannabis companies and products to count. Whether you’re interested in classic, leafy marijuana or a powerful tincture or an edible brownie, you can find a myriad of options to meet your needs almost immediately. It’s thus of little surprise that buying guides for CBD products and other cannabis delights are becoming increasingly popular these days; consumers need tips when it comes to choosing a cannabis provider, so bountiful are their options.
Having an easily-identifiable brand which can be quickly recognized is no easy feat. That’s why cannabis companies are bending over backwards to provide the public with iconic swag and merchandise that will ensure prospective customers remember the brand name of the company dishing out such goodies. Merch and events have become an important backbone in the budding cannabis industry, and as it goes more mainstream, we can expect to see even more of this. Many people who wouldn’t be comfortable wearing cannabis-affiliated clothing, for instance, may soon come to see it as just as acceptable as baseball hats with beer logos or other alcohol-based merchandise which is already popular.
Handing out free stuff in such a boisterous industry may get old after a while, however, which is why quality control will be essential. Many people who are looking to spend their money on cannabis products aren’t stoners seeking to get high or have a great time, but are rather patients in desperate need of good medical treatments, for instance. These individuals will be less concerned with free merchandise and more concerned with the quality and consistency of the medication they receive, which is why some brands will focus on becoming known-providers of top-notch medical quality cannabis.
Expect old names to resurface
The cannabis industry may be flush with new market entrants, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t discount the idea of pre-existing brands foraying into this alluring sector. Brand name companies are already involving themselves with marijuana, especially if it somehow relates to what they’ve been doing for years. Companies like Scotts Miracle-Gro can obviously cash in on the cannabis craze by hawking products to cannabis growers that will permit them to maximize their yields, for example. Others which are currently hesitant to foray into the cannabis sector will doubtlessly do so when it becomes more popular and the idea of generating controversy becomes laughable thanks to marijuana’s ever-growing mainstream nature.
We can thus expect to see a strange confluence of already-giant brand names and nascent brands trying to establish their foothold in the cannabis industry in the forthcoming years. Some will vie bitterly against one another, yet other companies and notable brands may find it more profitable to work together to sell as many products and services as possible. Celebrities who become brand sponsors or who create their own companies may find it particularly lucrative to pair up with their famous peers in an effort to spread the word to as many fans as possible. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that cannabis will sell itself. Other products like alcohol and tobacco demonstrate that brand loyalty and recognizability are of the upmost importance. As the cannabis sector matures, expect to see more brands come into their own.