The new legalized cannabis industry is now one of the most regulated in the world. This matters to customers, so what are brands doing to communicate that safety comes first?
In 2018, a Business of Cannabis study was conducted with 35 C-suite executives of licensed producers in Canada. When asked what they perceived to be the greatest risk to the overall industry’s success, 50% of them cited the black-market options for customers: this was the #1 answer.
97% of the C-suite study respondents said they believed the industry is taking sufficient steps to ensure responsible and safe cannabis usage. In contrast, a 2017 Business of Cannabis / Nanos research poll revealed that only 17% of consumers believed this. There’s a huge gap between the industry and public perception of product safety and regulation.
Consumers need to be educated about the rigorous industry protocols and standards for products from legally licensed producers, and black-market products that are not regulated. Consider also new customers who purchase cannabis now only because it’s legal: they’re in the market for a safe, clean product that delivers a consistent experience. Communicating safety protocol is an opportunity.
Can your brand’s quality and safety protocols be a point of difference?
4 things to consider:
Safety is better than size
Many brands and licensed producers are filling site space with messages about their size, growing acreage and number of plants. Size might matter to investors, but not to customers. Make safety standards a higher communication priority.
Keep it simple
For cannabis customers, safety isn’t boring. However, if a brand buries all their best practices in a bunch of ‘big word’ paragraphs, it may sound like good science, but might not be understood. Tell your safety story in simple language; think about using supporting images, lists, and infographics.
Lead where it matters
Are your brand’s safety and quality checklists longer than the competition? Is there a part of your process that makes a safer product, promotes better standardization or ensures fewer errors? How can this advantage be part of your brand story?
Put a face on it
The cannabis industry has no pantheon of stars: there are no flashy spokespeople or even certified cannabis experts who can endorse any product. Safety protocols can be part of a consumer conversation. If your safety standards play a starring role in your brand, why not make your safety ambassador a star?