It’s no secret that cannabis marketing faces many challenges in terms of customer acquisition. Between publishing on social media and running paid campaigns, everything's a bit tricky.
However, there’s one long-term play you can start building today at your dispensary: your store brand.
If your dispensary has a strong brand, it’s way harder to delete off the internet, and it can even work as a channel for getting new consumers in the store.
Read more for tactics on how your dispensary can start building a brand today.
A Quick 101 for Building a Dispensary Brand
Now, take a step and imagine all the operators that have the same idea. Practically every dispensary will be about cannabis in some way. Most dispensaries start their brand with one focus: cannabis.
If you limit your brand to just cannabis, you'll have a steep hill to climb when promoting your message. That's why thinking about what your store represents beyond cannabis is vital.
Any retailer or delivery service can build a brand around something that has that wider audience net. Net. Look at Cookies. They’re one of the few companies that have a culture around their brand.
Cookies made their brand about music which also has deep roots in cannabis. If you go anywhere, even in Europe, and see somebody with a Cookie shirt, you know they might know something about cannabis.
At the very least, it sparks curiosity. It's something outside the industry for cannabis consumers to build brand affinity.
The Brand Strategy Breakdown
Now that we've introduced brand-building let's get tactical. Here's what you need to know before building your store's brand.
Brands are more than just fancy logos and colors. Consumers engage and identify with them. Start with these questions about your dispensary:
Who are your customers?
Start thinking about your buyers. Who’s coming to shop with you? You might start to notice trends in demographics or behavior.
What do they care about and why?
Your customers care about cannabis. That’s why they’re shopping with you. What else matters to them? Think hard about this question.
It could be music, health and wellness, or another community-based lifestyle. You won't have to run with all of your ideas. Just start jotting them down.
What does my dispensary care about and why?
Now ask the same question for yourself. Find easy commonalities between you and your customers.
How does my dispensary reflect its brand today?
Does your store create an experience like what you believe in? Brand is part of everything from price to your store atmosphere. It's not essential to answer yes to every question here.
How to Start Your Dispensary Brand
Once you have the answers to these questions, create a document and start figuring out how to implement your brand.
Here are a few ideas:
- Updating social media channels
- Redesigning your website
- Improving your store experience
- Starting community events
- Sponsoring events
- Updating your logo
- Investing in swag
- Running branded giveaways
- Launching a content marketing program
Examples of Branding for Dispensaries
We’ve established a few different places to start implementing your cannabis brand.
Let’s look at a few examples out in the world today.
Brand marketing for dispensaries isn't just a digital effort. Every day, consumers will walk into your store and see branding everywhere – from the decorations you pick to the service your staff provides. It's all about your brand.
Your website is excellent for consumers to understand your store's brand. Look at how different cannabis dispensaries in California communicate their brand online. As you can see, there are many ways to build your brand.
Remember, the goal of building your dispensary's brand on social is to align it with lifestyles outside of cannabis too. Check out these ideas run by dispensaries today.
The Artist Tree opens its doors as a venue for Fresno's ArtHop.
Culture Cannabis creates an audience around art and pop culture.
SAVA lets people know what they believe.
Brand & Social Media Marketing
First, take the step into understanding what store you're trying to sell to customers and what you're trying to create. Then execute on social media.
Organic social media isn’t the most measurable channel, which is why it's easy to fall into the trap of posting offers because there's an urgency to see a conversion.
The trick to building a brand on social media is that it's a long-term game. You must have a vision for what kind of community you want to create.
After building your profiles, you'll have far more people engaging with you than just a few likes here and there on your posts.
Another goal to remember is to keep social media about the brand and story you're trying to tell, not just your products. That way, you can collect more contact information from people that have built brand affinity with your business.
Once you have that information, you can market products in closed communications channels like SMS.
Here’s an example for Tik Tok:
You open a link where people can win free tickets to an event or gift card related to your brand.
If you're trying to position your store more towards health and wellness, you could offer a free week of yoga passes or a $100 gift card to a store.
Run an organic or paid promotion on Tik Tok to collect contact information. Once you've collected enough contacts, send out a campaign about a product.
You might be surprised to see a few orders convert!
Brand, Opt-in & Customer Marketing
The most important part of marketing your dispensary's brand is what you do once you have contact information.
This section is critical because you should've done the work to build a brand online presence compliant with standard social media channels and that consumers have built affinity.
Now that you have contact information, you have more flexibility to send targeted campaigns about your products.
Plus, the best part is that when consumers build brand affinity, they want to read your e-mails and texts!
You could send an offer to some of the new contacts for a first-time discount and see who comes into your store.
Another idea is to start sending educational content about cannabis to help new consumers to the market make informed decisions.
There are many possibilities when you've built a brand that people trust.