Your brand. It’s an invaluable and, sometimes, underutilized asset. Consumers need to identify with it in order to engage.
A tight brand image can be the deciding factor between a consumer’s propensity to make a one-time purchase versus a long-term commitment.
Consumer loyalty is key in every industry, but in the CBD space, it is decidedly elusive. According to the Brightfield Group, a leading consumer insights and market intelligence firm for the CBD and cannabis industries, the nation’s top brand has a five percent consumer loyalty ranking, leaving ample room for market growth.
Experts at Forrester Research recognize brand loyalty equates to profitability. It costs five times as much to acquire new customers than it does to keep a current one, according to their research. In more competitive industries like CBD, that acquisition cost can be even higher.
Keeping a customer demands knowledge from who they are and where they live to their activities and interests.
When you get it right, like Bluebird Botanicals, a certified B Corporation that recognizes the high value its consumer and customer base places on sustainability, you develop a “stickier” relationship with your base, which is less likely to do business with a competitor that does not value sustainability.
That’s why Bluebird Botanicals not only prominently features its B Corp certification in its messaging, consumer marketing efforts and platforms, but ‘lives it’ through its employees, influencers, and branding.
Although sustainability is definitely among our market’s drivers, there is no shortage of consumer interests, issues, and values, which stand among the contributing factors that fuel our industry’s growth.
Among them is one core value that unites our industry: Product quality.
The value for product quality and transparency is a constant across many industries, and most particularly the CBD industry.
That’s why a growing number of CBD brands like Charlotte’s Web, Medterra, American Shaman, and 66 others, aligned behind the U.S. Hemp Authority and its related third-party testing and seal, recognized as one of the top 10 medical breakthroughs of 2019 by Prevention Magazine. Such alignment is critical, particularly given shifts in the marketplace.
Survival will be largely dependent on CBD brands’ ability to beef up their consumer marketing strategies beginning with their lane
The idea that a CBD brand can be “everything to everyone,” does not play in a competitive environment where consumers expect brands to deliver content, messaging, and offers that are customized and relevant to them.
Brand messaging should distinguish your brand and distance it from competitors. Essentially, it needs to clearly communicate how your brand stands apart from the competition.
Focus is more critical today than ever. CBD brands need to develop and hone customer personas and incorporate them into digital marketing in order to win.
The Brightfield Group believes in the power of personas and has developed a number of them for its CBD clients, many of whom are among the top tier CBD brands in market today. Based on fictional characters, they characterize the demographics, attitudes, values, and behaviors of key consumer groups.
A brand image is not as defined by a brand today, as much as it defined by what consumers think it is. That’s an important distinction. After all, when a brand “gets” its customers’ needs, it can better fulfill them.
Not every customer is the same.
When brands understand that, they can anticipate objections and barriers to purchase and address them.
The Brightfield Group’s Stressed Out Millennials (SOM) persona provides a tight framework for its clients to focus in on. According to Brightfield, SOMs are comprised of single, young and more ethnically and sexually diverse middle-class consumers, who are more apt to prefer edible and vape products, than tinctures.
The distinction helps direct a brand’s communications efforts from the type of imagery they select for product campaigns to the product promotion they launch. It also helps brand leaders focus their budget on the most meaningful platforms likely to appeal to their persona.
That translates to less budget waste and higher conversions.
If your brand is a certified B Corp, be one. Proudly proclaim your sustainability commitment from your packaging methods to your promotions, signaling “when you are with us, you are with the environment.”
Prima, a newly certified B Corp, understands the value that such certification brings. For founder Jessica Assaf, it’s a moral imperative.
The progressive owner believes that CBD brands and other organizations have a responsibility to use their platform, products, and people to ignite what she deemed “a movement of more socially and environmentally responsible businesses,” in a Benzinga interview.
If the “Mommy Market” ” is your lane own it.
The Chief Household Officer makes more than 80 percent of health care decisions in the U.S., according to the U.S.Department of Labor.
If price is what differentiates your brand from the competition, make sure you clearly define that distinction in every customer communication. Empathetic messaging like “we’ve cut our prices, without cutting corners,” plays really well with today’s cash-strapped consumer audience.
For condition-specific marketing, hone in on your core consumer audience.
Is it veterans with PTSD? According to the U.S. Dept. of Veteran Affairs, 11 to 15 percent of veterans experience PSTD, which means that your market audience may sit between 1.9 million to 2.7 million consumers according to the National Council of State Legislators.
Anxiety-ridden moms stressed out by COVID-19 requirements? There were more than 96,000 online searches for “Anxiety and CBD” in the last 30 days alone, according to our proprietary search trend monitor. Is that an audience worth winning?
Arthritic adults experiencing everyday pain? The U.S. may have as many as 91 million arthritic adults, according to a study published by the Arthritis Foundation. With an estimated use of five times or more weekly among arthritic adults, is this audience worth brand investment?
It takes seven to 10 points of contact to engage new consumers, according to industry experts who warn that its unrealistic to expect a single engagement to woo the loyalty of a consumer. We recommend that brands employ an “always-on” strategy, placing a variety of paid CBD ads and unpaid media promotions to engage their audience and develop natural points of contact.
Connection and continuity are key. It’s important that brands continue conversations across multiple channels. If stress is the focus of a paid campaign, stress-related social media posts should complement the theme across multiple channels that appeal to the brand’s persona.
Above all else, brands need to personalize their communication with customers.
With more than 71 percent of consumers reporting that they feel frustrated when a shopping experience is impersonal, shouldn’t we listen?
Editor’s Note: If you are interested in learning more about CBD marketing, or how to create customer personas and align your brand strategy, contact CBD Marketing Hub at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 734.634.9275.