The tastes of the market will continue to evolve and become more refined.
But what does 'REFINEMENT" mean? And how can you position your cannabis brand to take advantage of what is going to happen anyway?
In our extensive publication entitled, The 8 Crucial Elements You MUST HAVE to Make Your Brand Shine Brighter Than the Rest, we present 8 essential elements that you need to have integrated into your brand as a dispensary owner or producer. In this article, we are going to go more in depth into the #6 Essential Element: Refinement.
What is "Refinement"?
By “refinement” we mean the undeniable trend of people becoming more refined in their tastes as they continue to consume and enjoy products such as cannabis.
Now, Let’s Accentuate This Point
To accentuate this point, let’s go back to when we were young and less experienced (we’re referring more to those of us in the Baby Boomer and X generations, but many Millennials will be able to identify with the following as well). At this point in our development, we by-and-large associated marijuana with getting high and acting silly. We had passively witnessed how most of society and popular culture viewed marijuana – as a drug that made one giggly – and we thusly viewed it through that same lens as we experienced it for the first few (to many) times. We’d see our friends associate it in the same way, and we’d align our attitudes and behaviors to theirs, as young people invariably do to fit in to their peer groups.
In addition, there was (and still is) the reality that marijuana was illegal. As young'uns, when we do something against the rules, there is very much a cathartic experience, meaning that we got to rebel against “the man”, our parents or ridiculous rules in general and thus feel empowered and free. We want to wear this freedom on our sleeve as a badge of honor.
But after we experience marijuana the first many times, we start to understand that it is no big deal. The cathartic effect wears off, and we’re left with the realities of marijuana and its varying effects.
This is when the door to refinement opens, and we look to expand our associations with the plant, its variety, ways in which we can enjoy it, the different strains, varying effects etc. In other words, we become increasingly more refined in our tastes. In essence we become connoisseurs to the point where we want to explore these tastes to the maximum extent we can.
A Different Generation, a Different Time
Let’s move to the present day. Pew Research tells us that 61% of Americans now favor legalization. This has been a long-fought battle, critical mass was reached just a few years ago and the trend towards normalization will quicken. While we’re not to the promised land yet where outwardly enjoying marijuana is as normalized as beer, wine or spirits (or cigarettes, addictive pharmaceuticals etc.), the associations with marijuana have changed.
In states where recreational usage is legal, the stigma behind marijuana is evaporating. This is because we get to see the market in action, where all the hysterical conjecture of the consequences of legalization are exposed as nothing burgers. Popular culture is embracing marijuana as a normal part of society to be celebrated (very similarly to what happened with gay marriage).
In addition, the thrill of doing something illegal is now gone for people trying it for the first time.
In other words, there is a quickly maturing attitude towards marijuana.
Now for the Branding Angle
Because the associations of the market are quickly changing around cannabis, this will very much affect the needs and desires of the market. We have no idea how needs, wants and desires will be affected, we just know that they will be. We also know that the path to more refined tastes has picked up speed. Just check out these brands as examples that have taken refinement to new levels (Dosist, Kiva, Beboe, Défoncé and Wetoast).
If you’re an entrepreneur in the cannabis industry, we cannot stress enough the importance of the above. This industry is highly dynamic, with changes happening quickly. What goes this year, may not go next year.
This opens up massive new avenues for innovation and value creation, which are essential factors for you to take advantage of. You not only have to align your brand with the trend of refinement, you have to be associated as the embodiment of refinement itself.
This is why “Refinement” is our #5 Essential Element for how you can create and leverage a powerful brand in the cannabis industry.
The trend towards refinement and more nuanced tastes in the cannabis market is happening, and it’s happening right now. Now is the time to embrace this fact into your business model, which includes your brand strategy.
If you can effectively intertwine Essential Element #5 with Crucial Elements #1 (Legitimacy), #2 (Differentiation), #3 (Buyer Personas), and #8 (Digital Media), you’ll command a powerful and deeply rooted position in a quickly changing environment.
You'll command an even greater brand positioning if you follow our Crucial Elements #4 (Experiential), #5 (Be the Expert) and #7 (Content). Our insights into these additional elements are only available in our publication,The 8 Crucial Elements You MUST HAVE to Make Your Brand Shine Brighter Than the Rest, You can download this free article by clicking in the above image.
In the end, if you can seamlessly combine these 8 Crucial Elements into your brand strategy, you'll enjoy a market position that is head and shoulders above the rest, as well extremely hard to copy. From this position, you'll better enable your cannabis venture to explore vast new oceans of value creation, as well as better ensure growth potential, enjoy higher profit margins and generally establish your brand as a market leader. These are some of the most advantagous positions to have in a highly competitive industry, and critical to your long-term success.