2018 will be remembered as the year cannabis legalization turned the corner.
Canada became the first industrialized country to allow recreational cannabis sales. In the U.S., Michigan and Vermont legalized recreational marijuana, and Oklahoma became the 30th state to legalize medical marijuana. That same year, Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that a cannabis ban would be unconstitutional, removing a significant barrier to legalization.
While all of that “progress” is significant, one of the more familiar insights from industry experts is: marijuana legalization is critical, but the trick is getting people to stop buying from the black market, including first-time buyers. Even more challenging: how do you get customers to believe in your brand and buy your products?
It’s a real effort not to answer with a long, slow exhale…
Currently six states have legalized the sale of marijuana: Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and most recently California. While there are different market forces in each state, in the end, the same marketing principles still apply.
Here are a few worth remembering when pushing your brand and products, including via social media, to consumers needing more than a little convincing:
Explain what makes you unique:
Resist speaking generally about your business, including being of “high quality.” (You better be!) Instead, make sure customers understand what makes you unique.
Talk about benefits, not features:
Don’t get bogged down describing a bunch of product features. Customers are more interested in and inspired by the benefits: what does your product “mean” to them?
Make sure those benefits are real:
Whether consciously or unconsciously, customers only remember benefits that resonate with them in their daily lives, so make sure your stated benefits are real...or else.
Be compelling but use regular words:
This one is tricky: you want to speak the right “tribal language” customers understand but not at the cost of making a real connection. Whatever you do, avoid jargon.
Keep it short, sweet, and on point:
You already know this: more often than not, less is more. Whether you’re showing or telling, limit benefits to a few “core” examples. Anything more goes up in smoke.
Assure them they can trust you:
Last but definitely not least, in this emerging industry, your customers need to know they can trust you. So go above and beyond to make them feel safe, secure, and satisfied.