Strategies for Canna-Brands to Reach the End Consumer

Posted on March 30th, 2023 to Branding

You’ve created a cannabis product you know the end customer can appreciate. Maybe it’s a superior collection of branded flower with optimal genetics. Perhaps it is a potent, flavorful concentrate, a unique type of edible, or an impressive line of live resin vapes.

After product planning and development, the first step for most brands is to build a good relationship with retail buyers and inventory managers. As important as these relationships are—after all, these connections secure shelf space in dispensaries—another relationship is even more important: your brand’s relationship with the end customer.


Why Reaching End Consumers As a Canna-Brand Is So Important

Cannabis products are increasingly treated as consumer packaged goods (CPGs). As a CPG in cannabis, you face certain challenges. People don’t stay loyal to CPG brands as they once did. In an industry growing as fast as cannabis, building a relationship with your end customer is the key to achieving staying power.

A great product is no longer enough to attract and retain customer. In fact, most new cannabis products won’t last beyond a few years. Here are some interesting stats to shed a light on these challenges:

  • Cannabis is one of the fastest-growing CPG markets in the country
  • In 2020 in California, dispensaries added new products to shelves at an average rate of 19 new products daily
  • In the next few years, thousands of new cannabis brands and products are likely to emerge

Imagine this scenario:

John has cereal for breakfast everyday, so he visits the cereal aisle every day. Yet, every day, 19 new cereal brands show up. Day after day, the aisle gets more packed with different brands. John loves cereal, but he’s getting overwhelmed with so many choices.

No one would dream of this many new cereal brands showing up on a daily basis, but this is actually the norm with cannabis products. Sounds depressing, right? Rest assured, all hope is not lost.

The key is making sure your new brand is something that catches the end customer’s eye. This can only happen if you have already established a relationship with that end customer that goes beyond basic CPG sales strategies for securing shelf space at the dispensary.

Find Out How CannaPlanners Can Help

How to Reach End Customers with CPG Marketing Strategies That Work

1. Get super familiar with your target customer

The risk of failure with any new CPG brand is high. Roughly 80 percent of newly launched consumer products are destined to fail.

Lack of insight into target audiences plays a huge role here. Therefore, every penny you sink into analyzing, evaluating, and assessing who will be buying your brand will be a worthy investment. Not only should you know who your target customer is in the early stages of product development, but you should also know what they typically buy.

A long time ago, a little word of mouth and shelf placement could be enough to get a new canna-brand noticed. Today, it’s important that the product that hits the shelf or menu is something the customer already recognizes.

2. Perfect your canna-brand identity

Whether in-store or online, your brand identity in cannabis means everything. You have to create an impactful, powerful brand in every regard. This means:

  • Developing a unique logo that portrays your mission or vision
  • Determining how you will stand out among competitors
  • Building an exemplary website that establishes your brand in the digital landscape and directs customers to where they can buy your products

3. Build an exceptional digital marketing plan

The modern commerce landscape exists far beyond the bricks-and-sticks store. Sure, gaining dispensary shelf space is important, but today’s customers will be looking for information on cannabis products before they ever walk into a dispensary. Many will be purchasing cannabis online for later pick-up once they’ve learned about a brand they like. In fact, most customers now prefer to shop online for cannabis over visiting a dispensary, according to Happy Cabbage Analytics.

With this in mind, your digital marketing plan must be on point by:

  • Using SEO strategies to ensure your brand shows up organically in search results
  • Adding your brand’s products to directory sites like Leafly and Weedmaps
  • Building a brand presence on social media
  • Making sure customers know where to find your products
  • Creating an email marketing campaign to maintain a direct line of communication with customers

4. Speak to consumers in a voice they listen to

Advertising cannabis products can be precarious with a lot of roadblocks, but in some ways, this puts cannabis brands at an advantage when it comes to marketing CPG products. You already have to think outside the box due to advertising restrictions.

Customers are tired of the old tried-and-true marketing tactics. They want authenticity from a brand, and they pay more attention to what real people have to say than what you have to say.

Make use of influencers on social media that can talk about your brand where you can’t. Focus on gaining and highlighting product reviews, building a social media following, and finding channels to communicate directly with consumers.

5. Position yourself as a responsible, ethical brand

Cannabis may be booming, but it’s also new. Hundreds of thousands of people will try cannabis for the first time in the coming years. Simply being part of the emerging market with a new CPG can mean you have to work a little harder to gain the trust of prospective clients.

For example, if you’re building your brand of cannabis flower—by far the largest segment in the market—it will be important that customers see you as a responsible cultivator that’s kind to the environment.

Customers are particular about what CPG brands they give their money to. As many as 75 percent claim that it is very important that the brands they buy from are eco-friendly.

Need help bridging the gap between your brand and end customers?

No doubt, growing a canna-brand today can involve tremendous effort across a multitude of channels. That’s what we provide at CannaPlanners. Need help establishing your brand and creating a secure connection with customers?

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