The CBD Confidence Survey series supported by CBD Marketing Hub, USA CBD Expo, CBD.io and the Insyght Institute, the nonprofit division of leading market research firm Target Insyght asked respondents “What primarily inspired your company’s founder to get involved in the CBD industry?”
Fifty-six (56) percent of respondents reported that a personal, family member, friend or close personal acquaintance’s health issue was the catalyst for their involvement in the CBD Industry.
That’s a compelling figure according to CBD Marketing Hub Founder & CEO Larry Berg, who recommends that the nearly 60 percent of CBD-based businesses who have a compelling back story elevate it in their company branding, marketing and media strategies in order to gain customer loyalty and build market share.
Customers who are brand loyal share their experience with family, friends and social connections. In a recent study of over 100,000 consumers, Motista identified that customers who are emotionally connected with a brand have a lifetime value that’s 306 percent higher than the average customer.
Among Berg’s recommendations are these four tips:
Create a Brand Story
Every company has a back story. Tell yours through branded advertising and promotions which reflect authenticity like Kill Cliff, whose website message ‘Fueling the American Dream: Natural performance drinks founded by a Navy Seal’ encapsulates its back story, brand positioning and target audience in a single sentence.
The company carries its messaging through product promotions that feature military values of ‘strength and endurance,’ exclusive campaigns like ‘KC 360°’ created to showcase ‘American badassary at its finest,’ and social media posts like its ‘Jam in the Van post which features real life customers enjoying its products at San Diego’s Waterfront Music Festival.’
Its sponsorships of CrossFit and other endurance events match its consumer and company persona.
Kill Cliff Founder Todd Ehrlich and COO John Timar are prolific public speakers, who accept as many media and public speaking engagements as they can fit into their schedule and frequently comment on articles and posts related to the U.S. military and most particularly, Navy Seals. This has helped them build their personal and company brand.
-Audit social media channels to identify and engage with influencers. Young brands should start by building relationships with micro influencers.
-Target advertising and event marketing investments with companies that deliver your aspirational consumer audience.
-Pick a lane and stay in it. In a crowded and competitive marketplace, it’s best to tighten focus. Resist the urge to market to ‘everyone.’ Identify a lane that resonates with your brand and “own it” in all paid & non paid media
Establish a Tribe to Help Accentuate your Brand Story
Companies like Apple have created a cult-like following by building products around their customers’ needs. Successful CBD brands are doing this with brand ambassadors who maximize their personal relationships through word-of-mouth feedback and sales making customers feel like they are a part of their brand.
-Offer opportunities for customers to engage, from providing feedback on existing products to identifying gaps your brand is uniquely positioned to fill.
-Build awareness through branded items like t-shirts, hats and decals
-Reflect your customer in brand imagery that is reflective of them
Differentiate Your Brand and Reinforce your Brand Story
As the marketplace becomes more crowded with look-alike products, it is important to stand out. Make your customer’s experience a novel one by showcasing the painstaking efforts your brand employs to reflect core values like Bluebird Botanicals’ commitment to environmental stewardship. The company’s pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by the year 2030 is reflected by its status as a Certified B Corp.
-Stay aware of general market trends and the intersect with your brand
-Promote investments in external (non-CBD) media platforms to broaden brand awareness
-Extend connections to influencers who share common connections outside of your brand, like an environmentally conscious consumer who is not currently a customer (but could be)
– Be loud & proud – tell your story in all non-paid and paid media
Be Consistent and Persistent in Telling your Story
Strategize and layout your ‘always on’ marketing strategy to keep your brand present, consistent, and top-of-mind through paid and non-paid media. In the competitive and ever-evolving space of CBD, if customers lose sight of your brand, it won’t matter if they have a good experience — they won’t remember you.
-Expand your environment. Find the balance between marketing in CBD-focused space and those externally oriented (consumer) platforms, which offer the opportunity to position your product in a less competitive landscape like consumer health, fitness and general market platforms.
-Establish, maintain and grow your marketing budget. Your competitors are. You should too.
-Maintain balance. Make sure your communications plan includes a healthy mix of social media, event marketing, advertising, earned media (non-paid PR) and sponsored content (paid PR). In a crowded environment, it may take 7 to 10 points of contact to convert a consumer prospect or casual customer to a loyal customer.