The cannabis industry is unlike any other in the world. Red tape and regulations make the industry more challenging at every point of the business. That is particularly true when it comes to cannabis marketing.
In California’s massive marijuana market, thousands of businesses jockey for customers’ attention and dollars. Meanwhile, these entities aren’t provided the tools to operate like other establishments. So, how do companies stand out? It’s a multi-prong approach that can take you down many different avenues.
Always Think About Your Brand
As a vertically integrated brand, Caliva sells several of its branded products in-store and at partner dispensaries. Each product stood out for its individual traits and required branding that conveyed this. Caliva’s design team crafted noteworthy designs for each product, using bright colors as a way of standing out. Now, whether online or in-store, it’s clear that you are purchasing a House Doobie, Super Session, vape product or any other Caliva-made item thanks to its packaging.
Remember that branding also represents a company’s back of house operations. A dynamic-looking brand is nothing if it isn’t allowed to operate. It is crucial that your brand is always compliant with local and state authorities. There are ideas you can pursue to bring your compliance efforts into a forward-facing branding effort. The Caliva team produced compliance webinars to serve as a community education tool that exposes viewers to the brand at the same time.
Community outreach efforts aren’t singularly focused on customers. Business partnerships are as crucial to getting your brand’s name out. Partnerships bring new viewers to your brand. Just a few partnership projects include:
- Selling your products at a partner’s dispensary
- Co-producing digital content
- Hosting an on-site event together
Be sure to extend beyond cannabis when possible. If you can, work with other local favorites. When California legalized adult use sales, Caliva partnered with popular local food truck vendors and massage therapists to enhance the customer experience. If you’d like to partner with Caliva, we’d love to hear from you!
Marketing a Cannabis Brand Online
Marketing your cannabis brand online covers traditional marketing tactics with a twist. Due to cannabis’s Schedule 1 status, the top online paid advertising streams bar paid cannabis ads. That means backbones of other industries’ marketing campaigns, including Facebook/Instagram, Google AdWords and several other platforms, are technically off the table for brands.
We say technically because some brands find workarounds with their wording to evade being flagged. Though, these ads run the risk of being shut down at any moment. Another option many companies pursue is listing their company on popular online sites and databases. If you have the budget, a growing number of paid advertising options for the cannabis industry have opened in recent years.
Online branding includes the online customer experience as well. Your website has to load fast and make customers feel safe when they make a purchase. Beyond functionality, your pages should be SEO optimized to feature your brand’s name, location and other key descriptors.
To get customers to your site, you’ll need to engage them on social media. Much like paid ad campaigns, you need to tread lightly with cannabis pages. It’s common to see Instagram accounts tout being deleted at so many thousands of followers. The Caliva marketing team follows a helpful list that keeps its brands from getting removed. The team creatively produces content that is often exclusive to Facebook, Instagram and other platforms and piques the interest of targeted audiences.
Despite the limits set in place, a creative and compliant cannabis marketing team can get your brand seen and selling like any other industry.
Cannabis Marketing: The In-Store Experience
In-store marketing is the way to drive word of mouth marketing for your brand. Aside from the initial security check, the in-store cannabis dispensary experience is just like any other retail destination. Success takes an informed staff, a well-presented store and an efficiently moving sales experience.
Partnerships also play a crucial part in cannabis marketing and getting your brand out there. Rapidly growing partnership options like white-labeling and co-branding have been mainstays in other industries. Businesses like Trader Joe’s made a name for themselves mainly off this measure. While we don’t know if cannabis will follow suit to the food industry’s level, it already has proven viable for Caliva and numerous other companies in marijuana.
As we mentioned above, on-site events are great for partnerships as well. Having these events offer regulars a fresh element to the dispensary. Meanwhile, the event attracts customers from both brands, expands brand recognition and leads to conversions. Caliva’s event calendar has food and product days for customers to enjoy. That includes Taco Tuesday every week where customers get free tacos from El Taco Loco with any purchase over $45. Other events include Vendor Days with stellar partners like dosist, Absolute Xtracts and Select CBD, just to name a few.
Put All Three Into Action
By tapping into all three avenues for cannabis marketing, your business will take the proactive steps it needs to get its name out in the crowded industry. Each serves as major pipelines your brand needs to be recognized and grow.
Implementing these ideas aren’t enough to stand out. The Caliva way embraces a higher standard. From service to website functionality to products, holding your brand to a higher standard motivates everyone to strive to be their best. In turn, your customers and audience are sure to take notice. Now, that’s some solid brand management.