If you are currently a CBD company or thinking of starting one, we are excited to introduce a two-part series on how to stand out from the crowd. We asked two experts to weigh in: Barbara Kramer, Founder of The Plant Lore Agency and Madison Fiore from Hawke Media. Both are powerhouse industry leaders in the cannabis space, and they have helped countless brands enter the market. Here they share a little intel or what we like to call "the secret sauce" on how to be a successful brand in today's market. A "green" market where CBD alone has the potential to reach $20 billion by 2024 across pharmaceuticals, dispensaries, and general market retail according to BDS Analytics.
To be a successful brand in today's market, you need 3x strong pillars:
- Great product
- A retail partner
You also need a great marketing strategy and here, Madison provides his top Svn (7) ways to stand out in a sea of CBD:
- Create a great product - this is often overlooked but word of mouth marketing is still the most authentic so if your product isn’t great, you have no chance.
- Build your brand for your audience, not the other way around - Many creative agencies create a beautiful brand then try to figure out who will like it. As a leader at a performance marketing agency, we see this way too often which is why we created a performance branding service which focuses on the demographic, why they buy, what they’re drawn to, and how they make decisions then reverse engineer the brand from there. Keep in mind, creating a brand for a specific demographic won’t exclude other audiences. In reality, people are drawn to authenticity, so they’ll likely admire your legitimacy.
- Focus on the right KPIs - One of my favorite clients uses the most incredible (and quite frankly unique) adjectives when he talks about his brand. Words like authentic, trust, sustainable, honorable, and more. Which is why he’s created one of the most well know wellness brands in the world and on his way to creating the second. KPIs like conversion rate, average order value, customer acquisition cost, are usually the focal point of point of our conversation (and they should not be overlooked. But the KPI that brands really need to nurture are those that increase your community size - social following and email subscribers. Those KPIs really do a better job of addressing your community.
- Partner with complimentary brands - one of my favorite marketing quotes is “your brand is no longer what you say it is, your brand is what you customers say it is” Word of mouth marketing is still the biggest factor in a brands success and what better way to tell your audience that they can trust you than partnering with a brand they already trust. Whether it be a giveaway, a bundle, sharing influencers, etc. This works! Our client Papa & Barkley partnered as the exclusive brand at their gym.
- Take care of your customer and OWN your mistakes - shotty customer service and shady communication can really hurt your brand so make sure to communicate timely and effectively both before, during, and through the purchase cycle. If there are ever any big issues with the brand, own it and find unique ways to make up for it!
- Leverage the best tools to make the user journey AMAZING - the perfect stack does not exist? Or does it. At Hawke Media, we are so lucky to have built out a partner inventory of over 300 tools. At the same time, we are underneath the hood of over 100 brands on a daily basis so we get to see first-hand what tools work best and which stack you should be working with. Do your diligence and make sure your prospective customers enjoy their way from prospect to loyal customer.
- Have fun - not everything you do has to be scheduled, scripted, or attached to an ROI. Try out of the box ideas, sometimes they will have a lasting impact on what your brand becomes.
About Madison Fiore:
Madison Fiore is a Performance Marketing and Business Strategist at his core. Over the last 10 years, he has worked with and professionally consulted over 200 brands. Primarily focused on the cannabis industry, he has worked with more than 30 of the most prestigious brands in the space and spoke at cannabis events nationwide.
About Hawke Media:
Hawke was founded on the idea that every modern business needs a CMO-level expert to lead digital marketing efforts. We customize data-driven, performance-focused solutions to help launch, scale, and invigorate businesses of all sizes, industries, and revenue models. We’re shifting the agency paradigm by putting client success ahead of our own. Our comprehensive à la carte menu of services and month-to-month contracts mean you get only what you need, when you need it.