Despite marijuana being legal in over 20 countries worldwide, not everyone is onboard with this cultural shift. Many people still perceive marijuana as a harmful drug and believe medical and recreational cannabis shouldn’t be legalized.
As the owner or operator in the Canadian cannabis industry, the best way to reverse this outdated perception is through education and by representing your cannabis brand in a professional way.
Marijuana Stigma: The ‘Stoner’ Stereotype
Marijuana offers many positive side effects. This is particularly true for those who experience chronic pain as a consequence of a serious medical condition. But, recreational marijuana users are still perceived as ‘stoners’ and are not at liberty to to use this same argument.
It is important to strategically position your cannabis company in a way that will remove the stigma of marijuana. Appropriate branding should be implemented to divert from the old-age view of a “1960’s hippie stoner”.
Historically, people who smoked weed were commonly regarded as disorganized, lazy, and insensitive. Few positive things could be said about marijuana in the past aside from the ability to offer users a psychedelic experience.
Fortunately, discrimination against marijuana users has decreased significantly in light of new studies that prove there are medical benefits of cannabis use. The cannabis industry is explosive now in part because cannabis brands focus more on informing consumers about the health benefits of cannabis.
But, cannabis legalization still requires effective legislation in support of responsible and accountable use. But the reality is, several more areas are expected to legalize marijuana use in the coming months and years. To support these new laws, people who support and oppose medical marijuana will demand revenue to be generated only from legitimate cannabis dispensaries.
How To Craft an Effective Marijuana Marketing Strategy
As an aspiring cannabis producer or distributor, the following branding components are key to address:
- Product or service
- Public perception
Cannabis marketing requires careful thought. Products must be presented in a classy fashion in order to eradicate the feeling of a dark-alley-black-market transaction. Users who believe in the design and presentation of your brand will ultimately feel more comfortable using your product.
Although medical and recreational marijuana legalization is scheduled for Fall of 2018, companies should avoid encouraging cannabis use beyond their existing consumers. Rather, they should focus on how marijuana can help with pain management and stress relief.
Three Reasons to Keep Your Cannabis Branding Classy
As a cannabis business owner, you are tasked not only with increasing marijuana sales, but also educating the publish about the benefits of cannabis use. Professional cannabis branding can bolster your company in many ways:
1. Educate the general public
Changing public perception of cannabis involves education. Your website and marketing collateral presents the ideal opportunity to do so. Hang posters and moderate a cannabis blog to educate store visitors about your product.
2. Advocate responsible marijuana use
Corporate cannabis branding eliminates the stigma of marijuana use, as long as you address the responsible use of the substance. A professional approach to your marijuana business also speaks volumes about the kind of buyer you want to attract.
3. Identify your target market
Colorful and overly vibrant branding can perpetuate an outdated perception about cannabis, and should be avoided if possible. Elegant signage, store layout, and product packaging will attract the right client to your store. Not to mention, they won’t be fearful or shameful of being labelled as a “stoner” or addict.
How To Make Cannabis Branding More Positive
Successful cannabis branding is possible to achieve without actually encouraging more people to use marijuana. There are many subtle, yet effective strategies that can be used to uplift your brand:
Redesign your store
The external appearance and interior design of your cannabis company should be a major focus to increase appeal. Create a clean and modern ambiance so prospective buyers can feel like they’re entering a high-end retail store. Instead of displaying rows upon rows of cannabis products on shelves, a popular approach is to serve customers a menu from which they can choose what to buy.
Build a website for your cannabis business
Maintaining a website provides a reliable channel of revenue for businesses of all kinds because most people search for products and information online. The layout of your cannabis website should deliver more than a simple price list.
Cannabis SEO is imperative to rank high on a Google search for marijuana products. Cannabis shop owners should emphasize the following:
- Accurate information: Your website should not have a “pitchy”, salesy tone. Choose strong marketing phrases that will leave consumers with a positive afterthought of your company
- SEO strategies: Your website should follow industry SEO standards such as strategic keyword usage, fast page load times, use of headings and ALT attributes, etc.
More About Dispensary SEO
Structure your cannabis dispensary website so it will be easy for search bots to discover. Publish unique content that will serve to drive readers to the site who have the potential to be converted to customers.
Optimize your website content with these SEO principles in mind:
- Keyword-rich descriptions about your dispensary
- Images with ALT attributes containing your target keyword
- Use Google My Business to add store details
- Verify store locations for visibility in Google Maps
About The Author
As marijuana dispensaries compete for the largest market share, companies need to establish professional cannabis branding and marketing. The Eminent SEO team consists of highly skilled professionals with a clear understanding of the challenges and opportunities inherent in the cannabis business. With their expertise, Eminent SEO can position your cannabis brand at the top of the list.