November of 2016 brought huge changes to a few states across America, making the cannabis industry legal in what is now 28 states. While many people are beginning to understand the positive effects of cannabis on many chronic medical conditions, the stigma still remains on marijuana, making it hard to market. Here a few methods for making your brand stand out in the growing cannabis industry so you can be a pioneer.
1. Pick An Audience
While cannabis products aren’t just for medicinal purposes in some states, it is important to choose who you will be marketing to. Recreational users and medical users have a completely different profile when it comes to what they want and why they want it. For example, a recreational user will be more in tune with price changes and more likely to experiment with new strains while a cannabis patient is more reliant on the dispensary personnel and tends to value consistency. Trying to market to both groups successfully would be nearly impossible without developing multiple products.
2. Learn the Law
While social media seems like a key platform for gathering new customers of any type, cannabis marketers are plagued by laws that prevent them from advertising on Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms. Even geofenced advertisements can be taken down for violating federal laws, so media platforms specifically for the cannabis industry such as MassRoots are the safer route. Complications such as these are everywhere, so it’s important to research the law before conducting any ad campaigns in any medium.
3. Make It Classy
A stigma brought on by years of the war on drugs, concerned suburban parents, and growing stereotypes has made cannabis synonymous with “stoner”. Avoiding this branding is in your favor, and you should focus on a sophisticated and clean branding that will help alleviate some of the negative reputation. If your product appears more at home on display at a liquor store than at the local organic produce chain, you’re missing a key ingredient to getting it off the shelves.
4. Differentiate Your Product
Breaking into the cannabis industry is about making a name well known, which won’t happen if it’s identical to another brand. Consider alternative marketing techniques and unique merchandise that will create a brand name that stands for something higher quality than the competitors. For example, become part of the community with a cannabis related blog, or offer accessories that obviously have more class than a competing brand’s.
How you portray your brand is what will make or break you at the end of the day. Regardless of what path you choose, make sure to remember that you’re a pioneer on the edge of an industry that’s barely put down roots. Experiment, and create your name.