Cannabis Homogenization – 5 Reasons Why It’s Invaluable for Your Brand
To say marketing and branding is a challenge for cannabis businesses is a massive understatement. With political and social detractors committed to derailing industry progress, marketing tactics must adhere to shifting, and sometimes outlandish, requirements.
However, as we dive deeper into this budding industry, the venomous bite from Capitol Hill isn’t the biggest threat to cannabis branding. In fact, the true poison capable of paralyzing this newfound trade leeches from the very companies who strive for its success.
Cannabis homogenization, or the lack thereof, holds the future of cannabis. Think this is an overstatement? Think again.
For many cannabusinesses, the notion that homogenization is capable of halting an industry pegged to reach $17 billion in annual sales by 2021 is ridiculous. How can a simple post-processing procedure possibly unravel one of the fastest growing industries in recent memory?
The answer is almost too simple: consumer dissatisfaction.
In the early days of legalized cannabis, many businesses were solo in their endeavors. Beyond baseline regulations, marketing and production regulations remained in a strange legal grey area. But, as many insiders predicted, times are changing. As cannabis normalization continues, consumer expectations and government regulations simultaneously strengthen.
These Aren’t Your Stereotypical Stoners…
Cannabis consumers no longer fit the Hollywood vision of bloodshot eyed college kids looking for a killer weekend. Your customers are no more different from those reaching for a soda or migraine medicine at the local convenience store.
So, what does this mean for modern cannabusinesses? In essence, everything. However, let’s be more specific. The normalization of cannabis translates into an expectation of brand normalization. In terms of processing, nothing highlights this requirement greater than homogenization.
Uneven cannabinoid distribution is no longer an acceptable accident. Both consumer and government regulators demand purity, quality and unwavering potency. Unfortunately, as six entries in the 2017 Emerald Cup demonstrated, which tested zero cannabinoids, the absence of homogenization is a widespread problem.
A common question asked by newcomers in our industry is how does cannabis homogenization influence your brand? Let’s dive into the 5 reasons why homogenization is an invaluable asset to not only cultivating a solid/respected brand, but how it impacts your current and potential success.
1. Satisfies Expectations of Quality and Potency
As stated above, modern cannabis consumers come from every walk of life. From typical to atypical, your target demographic is no longer a subculture. Therefore, your products must meet the understood expectations of ingredient homogenization.
Failure to accomplish this will swiftly result in consumer blacklist. In many ways, your brand isn’t an exotic entity. The proliferation of legal cannabis places your products on the same level as any other consumable.
2. Cannabis and Social Media – Catalyzing Your Brand
Without a doubt, social media plays a significant role in cannabis normalization. In fact, social media platforms are responsible for not only spreading advocacy, but introducing potential consumers to your brand.
Due to the legal status of cannabis in many parts of the country, and world, marketing is a notorious challenge. Because of this, the majority of cannabusinesses rely on word-of-mouth, and grassroots, marketing.
If your product fails to achieve consistent cannabinoid uniformity, word of your unreliable products will spread faster than a wildfire in August. As you may already know, all it takes is a handful of negative reviews to experience a complete downgrade in the minds of your target demographic.
3. Demonstrates Commitment to the Cause
While some consumers have never, and will never, stand out as advocates, the average cannabis consumer is at some level an advocate for legalization. Because of this, few customers wish to deal with a brand who fails to meet their quality expectations.
As you release inconsistent products, you not only hurt the experience of a consumer, but also your brand. Ultimately, failure to homogenize your cannabis edibles, beverages and vape products speaks to the lack of commitment to the overarching cause of widespread normalization and legalization. This is something most of your consumers find distasteful.
4. Meeting Cannabinoid Demand for Edibles
It’s no surprise edible products are superstars in the industry. In fact, it’s among the most popular consumption methods. Therefore, if you fail to homogenize your cannabis edibles, you’re essentially foregoing one of the most profitable sectors.
Nothing drives this point harder than a study released by the Cannabis Consumer Coalition, which found nearly 30 percent of consumers preferred edibles with less than 10mg of THC. Of course, there’s a huge market for edibles featuring higher and lower concentrations.
What this ultimately demonstrates is consumer awareness. They demand accurate dosage levels. Failure to deliver consistent cannabinoid distribution and accurate ingredient labeling is essentially handing your competition customers.
5. Separates Your Brand from Black Market Brands
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, is the ability homogenization has to solidify the validity of your brand. For decades, consumers turned to black market resources for their product. As we enter the era of legalization, consumers demand and deserve consistent quality.
In the time of prohibition, receiving uneven cannabinoid distribution was almost a guarantee. Therefore, as they step into a retail establishment, they expect the quality to exceed that of previous “back alley” deals.
By foregoing cannabis homogenization, you’re undermining the years and countless hours of effort spent to legalize this beneficial plant. Above all else, distributing edibles is a privilege none of us should take lightly. We, as members of this growing industry, are responsible for the continued upward momentum of the cannabis industry. And, in many ways, the homogenization is the fuel capable of keeping the flame of legalization bright.