Cannabis Brand Strategy: Highlight Your Leaders
Successful brands stand for something greater and bigger than their products and advertisements. They are memorable because they provide consumers with a brand strategy and message that is meaningful and hits home. This all starts with strong company leadership.
Time and time again, we are finding that the best cannabis brands are guided by leaders who have conviction and purpose. The vision of leaders permeates every aspect of a brand; without it, cannabis products will just get lost in the sea of competitors.
This is not just about slick company executives or corporate shareholder boards. What we’re talking about is leaders who have a clear mission and viewpoint for their company, which in turn provides cohesiveness to branding and marketing efforts.
Here’s why strong leadership is essential in the cannabis industry and ways you can celebrate your company’s leadership efforts.
Cannabis Brand Strategy: Leaders Embody Your Company’s Ideals
When it comes to presenting a company’s mission and ideals, it’s often good to do so in connection with an actual person, not just bare concepts and ideas. For instance, Allstate Insurance is represented by Dennis Haysbert, whose serious voice and calm demeanor embody Allstate’s more serious stance on auto insurance. In comparison, a company like Progressive has Flo, who embodies the company’s more quirky, alternative approach to insurance.
What’s going on here? Well, it turns out that personification is a powerful brand strategy for presenting your company’s aims and goals in ways that people can remember and identify with.
We’re not saying to turn your company’s leaders into a caricature or mascot. But we are emphasizing that it’s human nature to personify ideals and associate. It helps to select a person from your company who can be the “face” and “voice” of your company, to create more brand loyalty and trust in your customers.
Brand Strategy Tip: Your choice for the voice of your company depends largely on your target buyer persona, i.e., your ideal buyer profile. Who is your target buyer? Identify them and choose a representative for your company who best fits in with that buyer.
Companies are Born from the Vision of Leaders
It’s also important to highlight your company leaders because they are often the very ones who founded the company. Many cannabis companies are intensely personal in the way that they were started and formed. In our experience, we’ve seen people who have had great success using cannabis products for themselves and their families, and who want to share their experiences with the world by creating a company.
Countless clients of ours are companies who started in exactly this way. It adds depth and substance to your company’s mission statement and values if you can trace your company’s origins back to people.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be the CEO or president or a prominent figure; but in many cases, an entire company started with one person’s vision or goal. Find that person, get their story, and bring their origin story to the forefront of your branding and marketing campaigns. Customers love learning about how companies started, especially if it began with one or two people.
Note: This is especially important for CBD brands, where the focus is often on health and recovery. Many CBD brands are started by people who have had actual personal experience getting better using CBD. This is the type of story and leaders you’re looking for.
If you’re interested in learning how to discover your company’s own origin story, our proprietary APEX Branding Workshop does exactly this.
Brand Strategy Steps: Put the Spotlight on Your Leaders
Now that you’ve identified possible team members who can represent your company, you need ways to put the limelight on them and have them do their thing. In terms of a branding and marketing campaign, there are several steps you can take to promote your company through its leadership:
- Blogging: You can create a blog post that highlights the leadership or the leaders in your company. This is an awesome way to provide your audience with valuable stories and information apart from your “About Us” page on your website. Once published, these blogs can be promoted through social media channels.
- Video Interviews: In-person video interviews are excellent at capturing signals that can’t be captured in writing. These include a person’s tone of voice, body language, and facial expressions, all of which can communicate an entire range of emotions and feelings that words just cannot. Video interviews can help customers feel the vibe of your company directly. And they’re fun to do too!
- Endorsements: If your team and its leaders are in a position to do so, see if you can have them involved in endorsement opportunities. This is especially useful for companies whose leaders are already celebrated figures in their communities, or who have contributed something positive to the industry.
Make Your Brand Itself a Leader
We hear words all the time like “thought leadership” and “industry leaders.” Although these are buzzwords that get thrown around all the time, they do highlight a truth: companies themselves can be leaders in their particular field.
Has your company invented a new way of consuming cannabis? Is your team filled with rockstar chemists or scientists? Is your custom packaging light years ahead of the crowd? Did you recently win an award? These strengths and victories should be highlighted and celebrated!
The cannabis industry needs all the help it can get to continue removing all the negative stigmas that decades of prohibition have created. Celebrating the progress and victories pushes the industry forward from the inside, creating momentum for others to follow in the wake.
Salute to All the Leaders
We want to take a moment to recognize all the hard work, dedication, and passion that cannabis business leaders pour into their companies and communities. It is no small feat to continue bringing quality products and services to the industry.
We’d love to help you continue to win victories in whatever you’re involved in. Contact us today if you need help with marketing and branding, or if you’d like to schedule an APEX Branding Workshop session with us.