As hemp and cannabis become mainstream and more states legalize recreational and medicinal marijuana, the market inches closer and closer to a commodity market. Now is the time to make sure your company is set up to flourish in this evolving and growing industry rather than dying on the vine in the face of increasing competition.
The foundation for a brand that can stand the test of time is a strong value proposition. Every brand needs a clear and concise value proposition and key messages that are relevant and meaningful to all of your target audiences. The key messages for a retailer should be different than those directed toward the farms or brands. The value prop and messaging should be solution-centric based on common issues these groups face. The strongest value propositions address both emotional and rational drivers. For instance, a prospect might choose your company because you can promise on-time delivery which is great for their overall business, but perhaps you use 100% recyclable packaging and that resonates with them on an emotional level. In other words, consumers — both in B2B and B2C — will make choices/decisions on things other than price alone.
A critical part of the process of developing your value prop and key messages is to identify the ways in which you stand out or can assist your customers in ways they cannot. This is critical in order to develop a value proposition that helps communicate your point of differentiation.
Every value prop should pass the BUM test:
– Believable: Can your company really deliver on what you’re saying?
– Unique: Is this statement truly ownable?
– Meaningful: Will your target audience care?
An easy way to start this is to use a simple template: We help (target audience) doing (X) do (Y) because (benefit or reason to believe).
You might be thinking about how you can come up with a unique value proposition when other greenhouse or outdoor growers are running similar operations. Take a fresh look at your entire enterprise. What technology are you using? Has your team made any modifications to your processes? Do you have a special procedure for the soil, breeding or even your customers? There might be a very compelling and unique point of differentiation that you’ve overlooked because it seems like such a simple part of your day-to-day operations.
Once you have a clearly defined value proposition and key messages for each audience it makes it is easier to communicate these messages in all your marketing. It will help you define social media pillars or themes and can help you identify topics for blog posts and email newsletters as well. Every piece of content you create should somehow tie back and address your value prop or a key message. This not only ensures that you have consistent messaging across all channels but reinforces your messages with your target audience and truly gives them a sense of who you are as a brand. The most successful brands can be easily described by their customers and as a result they have the most passionate and loyal supporters.
But, as with everything, you should always be ready to update or evolve based on your customers’ needs and your own company offerings.
Kari Brua is a partner at WYD, a marketing accelerator for trailblazers in the cannabis industry looking for rapid growth and branding. She has nearly 20 years of B2B and B2C marketing experience planning and implementing award-winning programs that build brand awareness, generate leads and drive loyalty. She can be reached at email@example.com.