Jeff Bezos once said that “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” You can’t control what people say, but you can influence it in multiple ways. In the flooded cannabis industry, a negative brand reputation can sink you. For Caliva, we became the #1 trusted brand in cannabis by focusing on every opportunity to wow customers. From the obvious to the downright essential, each component plays an important factor in your brand’s reputation. Don’t skip a step.

ABC – Always Be Compliant

The best way to develop trust is to have a compliant brand. It may not be the sexiest tip, but it is the most valuable. Without a compliant brand, you run the risk of fines, shutdowns or potentially harming customers. At Caliva, we avoid the catastrophic outcomes with a three-prong approach to compliance.

Caliva staff host a webinar on compliance for retailers, distributors and manufacturers.

Compliance is a company-wide effort. From the owner to a single-day contractor, each person on the staff is responsible for operating within the regulations. One slip up is all it takes. Avoiding these errors requires proactive participation from all to catch any potential infractions. Frequent training helps keep the staff up to date with all the latest developments. Regular training is particularly important in new markets like here in California. It is essential that the team be caught up as regulations are subject to change with little lead time.

By remaining compliant, Caliva guarantees customers and officials alike that it is a reliable brand.

Good, Consistent Cannabis

Caliva is a vertically integrated brand that touches nearly every part of the supply chain. Many of its top products, including Dogwalkers and artisan rosin, come from its own carefully selected strains.

To become part of the Caliva menu, a strain has to prove that it is consistent. It has to pass a thorough inspection that tests its quality, production and performance. Director of Agricultural Science Ryan Brantley looks for cultivars that possess excellent terpene profiles with a loud smell and high potency. Product Dev. Supervisor Nelson Ricardo has similar criteria when he leads Caliva’s artisan rosin cultivation. Quality is always a top priority in his mind. “I figured if a product starts out good, customers are going to follow it because they like it.”

Caliva’s artisan rosin is filled with tasty terpenes and pressed to perfection.

Whichever the product, its final test always comes down to the customers. Their response ultimately dictates whether or not an item scales up from being a small-run on the sales floor. Just like the product itself, consistent sales help Purchasing Specialist Omar Ortiz and the rest of the team understand what customers want to purchase.

A Dynamic Sales Experience

Online or off, every customer deserves an easy, informed transaction.

Each point of service, from getting their ID checked to the transaction itself, are opportunities to win or lose a customer. So, when customers come into Caliva’s San Jose location, every person receives the same friendly, empathetic and informed experience from the entire staff. That includes interacting with knowledgeable budtenders who meet the needs of patients and recreational users alike. Just like compliance awareness, Caliva uses frequent training to make sure every person on the team can meet the needs of the customers.

Online customers should expect a similar experience. That includes a buying experience that is low on wait times and high on ease of use. After the purchase, delivery service needs to meet the quoted wait time. Additionally, customers picking up their orders should receive most of both experiences in their process.

Caliva offers a consistent, easy ordering experience for both online and in-store customers.

By giving customers consistent, well-informed sales experiences, they can expect superior service from every person on the Caliva team.

Quality Product Branding

If a customer can’t recognize the brand that they trust, then the job is not complete. Your brand needs to stand out against the crowded sales shelves. They need to know that’s your brand immediately.

The Caliva design team does this with consideration to where the product will be. In some cases, products like Toasties and Dogwalkers are sold at partner dispensaries. Senior Designer Andy Trejo and his team crafted a look for these products that boldly lets the customer know what the product is without Caliva’s name prominently on the package. Going one step further, the team studied similar industries and learned quite a bit from the cosmetics industry. There, they recognized approaches to colors that helped Caliva set itself apart from competitors. “The bright colors are what we decided to use to stand out,” Trejo explained. “We noticed that on shelves across dispensaries that products with the biggest colors and simple packaging stood out. Sometimes, toning it down and stripping it out is beneficial.”

Caliva's distinct, bright packaging helps it stand out in a field of competitors.

Caliva’s distinct, bright packaging helps the brand stand out in a field of competitors.

Branding covers marketing as well. That includes mastering the right tech for sales and marketing. That includes social media and SEO. Both are essential sources of brand recognition expansion. Having someone who understands the do’s and dont’s ensures that your accounts stay active and resourceful sources of information for customers.

By presenting a cohesive brand in-person and online, Caliva presents itself as an easy-to-recognize name in the crowded cannabis space.

Becoming a trusted name in cannabis requires a comprehensive approach. From product to service to marketing, every step in the process represents a proving point for a brand. Across the board, the Caliva team strives to never miss a chance to prove itself. From the stellar in-house strains to the always learning and eager sales team, the company takes pride in providing an experience that compels customers to come back for more.

By Andrew Ward

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