According to most CBD company founders, the momentum behind the “Green Rush” has little to do with money – it is more about how these founders realized their own lives or those of the people closest to them improved as a result of CBD.
That’s just one of the findings of the CBD Confidence Survey, which was created to elevate understanding of this rapidly expanding small-business sector. The CBD industry on average is experiencing 107 percent year-over-year growth in what the Brightfield Group projects to be a $24 billion industry by 2023.
The finding, which shows that six in 10 CBD company founders see the industry’s momentum as a personal mission, is critical, according to Larry Berg, the CEO of CBD Marketing Hub, which is collaborating with USA CBD Expo and CBD.io, and the Insyght Institute, the nonprofit arm of market research firm Target Insyght.
Together, they are producing a series of exclusive studies on CBD industry trends with a unique focus on small- to mid-sized CBD companies.
“In marketing, a storyline drives consumer belief and engagement,” says Berg, who is a proponent of making social impact a rallying call and an aligning factor among CBD businesses, large and small.
“The fact that the underlying motivation of so many businesses, including my own, is personal and not entirely profit driven, is under-represented in headlines,” says Berg. “It’s important that the public understand the back stories that make us who we are and contribute to our drive for continuous improvements.”
Companies like Hampton’s Choice CBD are reflective of the marketplace.
Billed as ‘Nurse, patient and dog owned,’ the company and its co-founders Chris Hampton, Christian and Leslie Schanie, are laser-focused on advancing knowledge and education around Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).
You can even follow Hampton’s dog and company spokesman, who devoured three bagels and a tub of cream cheese off Hampton’s desk during a recent interview.
“CBD doesn’t fix that,” deadpans Hampton.
“I learned a long time ago there is no miracle pill, rub salve, tincture, shot that is going to take away my RA, but there are things that I do that help me keep going,” says Hampton, a master grower with 15 years cultivation and processing experience.
Hampton, his company, tagline, and dog Boo are all very relatable, according to Berg, who says Hampton’s focus on one area (RA) of the increasingly crowded CBD marketplace is smart.
Hampton, who was diagnosed with RA more than 25 years ago following a promising college football career at the University of Louisville, says “being able to research, develop and share products that have worked for me with the support, insight and knowledge of my two business partners, who are medical professionals, has been a blessing.”
Winged Founder Jessica Mulligan discovered the therapeutic value of CBD in her battle against crippling anxiety, brought about by series of major life changes.
A natural researcher, Mulligan discovered that women are twice as likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, PTSD and insomnia as their male counterparts. That research, coupled with her personal experience with CBD, is now the story of Winged, a CBD brand formulated exclusively for women.
The Winged’s simple tagline, “CBD Formulated for Women” becomes more powerful with its reinforcement in its product messaging, packaging, advertising and social-media platforms, according to Berg, who notes that Mulligan’s ability to incorporate her own personal story in her product platforms adds to her brand’s authenticity and trust factor.
Their “kick-ass” marketing and social media engagement is icing on the cake, according to Berg, who says innovative companies liked Winged can quickly become next generation market leaders with the right targeting and promotion.
Top CBD companies like Florida-based Green Roads, which controls six percent of the market and reports sales in excess of $45 million, also has a compelling back story and mission statement. The company is “dedicated to helping each person find the healthiest version of themselves.”
Its co-founder, entrepreneur, real estate investor and former football player Arby Barroso, became a hemp entrepreneur after being introduced to it by a friend in Colorado.
Prior to discovering CBD, Barroso used opiates to treat a crushing football injury. Unfortunately, his medicinal use of prescription painkillers started him on a path that seemed impossible to leave.
Seeking solutions, the hemp expert and advocate approached his longtime friend and compounding pharmacist Laura Fuentes to help him create pure products.
The pair began the formulating process and eventually were able to produce a CBD oil that had virtually no THC, or what is scientifically described as non-detectable levels. The word spread among family, friends and associates and they began getting requests to share the CBD oils, which were generating overwhelmingly positive results.
The kitchen-table sized project morphed quickly and provided such market-worthy efficacy that Barroso and Fuentes began bottling and selling their custom-blended CBD oils under what is now known as Green Roads, the nation’s largest privately-held CBD company, sold in more than 10,000 retail stores and wellness centers.
Despite the company’s size, Green Roads consistently reminds its loyal customers of its humble origins of creating products for friends, family and associates and a personal mission that still drives the company today.
“Even after industry awards and accolades, Green Roads still takes the most pride in the countless stories we hear from people about how our CBD helps them live ‘Every Day Better,’” says Barroso.
The power of a personal connection with a brand is an invaluable asset to established brands like Green Roads, growing organizations liked Winged , as well as emerging CBD companies like Hampton’s Choice CBD alike, according to Ed Sarpolus, the founder and principal of Target Insyght, the organization behind a series of ground-breaking hospital surveys credited for shifting healthcare institutions’ product positioning from big behemoth corporations to a collection of caring individuals.
With so many new entrants in the CBD space, it’s imperative for companies to differentiate themselves, according to Berg, who opens every customer conversation with his own personal story.
“Sure, building CBD companies is our business, but it’s also a moral obligation that we take seriously,” says Berg, whose father’s life was transformed by CBD.
Editor’s Note: This feature is a part of an ongoing survey series and related Insiders Reports. The exclusive “Insiders series’ is available to survey respondents only. Interested CBD company owners are invited to take part in the newest ‘CBD Market Drivers’ survey. Click here to take the survey.
Topline insights of the CBD Market Drivers Survey will be revealed at the USA CBD Expo-Las Vegas taking place February 13 – 15 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Click here to register to become an exhibitor or attend the USA CBD Expo-Las Vegas or to learn more about other 2020 Expos in Atlanta, Connecticut, Chicago or Medellin.
CBD Marketing Hub Founder & CEO Larry Berg will be among expert panelists at the show. Interested participants can see his “Inside the hearts and minds of consumers that drive the CBD marketplace” presentation taking place on Friday, February 14 at 2:00 p.m