10 Questions cannabis brands must answer

Published Apr 19, 2022 01:00 p.m. ET
iStock / VictoriaBee

It’s hard to stand out in a world of competitive cannabis brands that are all working hard to succeed, but those that want to get an edge on the competition can do so by answering these ten questions.

1. Who is your consumer?

This is one of the most important questions all cannabis brands must answer because it is impossible to appeal to consumers when you have no idea who they are or what might be important to them.

2. How do your employees represent and advocate for your brand?

Do your employees, budtenders, salespeople, and management team members go out of their way to represent your brand, and do they advocate for the experience your brand has to offer? If the answer to either of those questions is no, then it’s time to make changes that will encourage them to do this on their own.

3. Where should you invest to attract the most consumers?

Investing is a tricky element to businesses that can make or break a cannabis brand, and we’re not just talking about investing money. Time can also be an integral tool in attracting new customers, and if you’ve got dedicated employees, it can often be free. Should you get more involved in the community through fundraising or support? Every move you make can bring in a wave of new customers as long as you make the right ones.

4. How do you become a leader in your category?

There are many different cannabis categories, and each one will benefit from a slightly different plan, so it’s important to recognize what your consumers want. Top cannabis brands don’t use the tactics of others to garner support. They get creative and stand out among the crowd by getting to know the needs of those who shop their category.

5. Does your brand create habits and teach behaviours?

If it wasn’t for a massive marketing campaign, people from all over the western world likely wouldn’t consider eggs and bacon an ideal breakfast, and this is the perfect example of how a brand or industry can highly influence the actions of consumers by teaching habits and behaviours. Cannabis brands that can answer this question will have customers for life.

6. Which cannabis stores love you and why?

Over time it will become apparent why some stores choose your brand over all the rest, and that is something that should be pinpointed to avoid making any changes that could risk that relationship. Alternatively, figuring out why some stores avoid your brand will give you an idea of some of the things that could be worked on to improve a cannabis brand image in the eyes of those who aren’t yet loyal customers.

7. How are you engaging with future customers?

Right now, the recreational scene is on fire, and that’s great news for cannabis brands, but what will happen when those consumers get older? Will they stay customers, or will you need to engage with them now while they’re young to teach them the value of other products that might be more appealing to a mature crowd? Chances are pretty good that it’s the latter, and now is the time to come up with a plan that will get this job done.

8. What sets your brand apart from all the rest?

Weed brands only have so many tools at their disposal to stand out, but there are some super appealing qualities that can be leveraged to improve consumers' perception of a particular line of products. What is your brand doing to improve this situation?

9. Which problems need solving?

All cannabis brands face problems somewhere along the way, be it with employees, management, brand ambassadors, breeders, salespeople or coordinators, but all issues can be solved with clear communication and a plan. Figuring out where these troubling areas lie is a challenge that, once solved, opens doors to better opportunities for the future.

10. How can you help consumers feel good about their purchases?

The best cannabis brands will always be those that can successfully part a consumer from their money without leaving them feeling remorse for their decision, so what is your brand doing to ensure this happens?

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