We’re coming right out of the gate on this one and assuming you’ve taken the time to brand yourself. Because, well, you can’t very well scale your cannabis brand if you don’t have a brand in the first place. That’s as basic as it gets.
So, working from the assumption that you’ve taken this crucial step, we’ll take a gander at what you need to do next.
And we’ll start by taking a gander at the tech industry.
Scaling Your Cannabis Brand – Tech Style
Nope. We’re not going to go all tech-heavy on you.
While technology does play a role in scaling your biz, we’re more interested in what cues successful cannabis businesses are taking from the tech industry.
Nineteenth century writer and philosopher George Santayana once said, ”Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” With that in mind, remember the dot.com bubble?
Then you probably remember the dot.com crash that happened shortly thereafter when that bubble burst.
Very similar to those early tech startups, cannabis brands are up against the same demands to scale at lightning fast speeds while selling what is still a relatively unfamiliar product.
Here are the tried-and-true scaling techniques they’ve learned:
1. Know the Sweet Spot You Want to Fill
This isn’t meant to sound pornographic. (And if it does, some of that’s on you.)
But you have to figure out your niche. In other words, which demand is not being met by consumers in your area? And how can you meet it?
Find out what people want. It could be something specific like a line of high quality chocolate edibles. Or maybe it’s something more broad like offering a price point that will appeal to an underserved customer base.
But how do you know what’s already out there and what isn’t? Pore over all relevant social media platforms. Get your paws on as many cannabis publications as you can. And by all means, go to every industry event possible.
Doing this is bound to give you some ideas on where there are holes in the market. It’s also going to help you tremendously with Rule #2.
2. Do What It Takes to Acquire Initial Customers
Industry events like conferences, trade shows and other meet-ups provide fertile ground for you to make a name for yourself. They’re an easy way to not only grow your list of potential customers, but you’ll also make connections with others in the industry with whom you could partner eventually.
Social media serves in the same way. So plug yourself into all of the platforms folks in the cannabis industry are using. Comment and contribute. Mindfully.
Meanwhile, as you’re poking around in numerous publications, start building relationships with the editors of said publications. Offer to provide them with exclusive proprietary content that would be of use to your potential niche market customers. If you play it right, multiple publications will pick up this content – which could provide brand exposure for many months even after it’s published.
And of course (and here’s the tech part), stay on top of what the cannabis industry is using as their standard tool for managing sales. Engaging with the same platforms your prospects utilize on a daily basis will go a long way toward reducing friction between your operations while creating a more seamless working relationship.
3. Build a Strong Team
When you get right down to it, having a successful cannabis business depends largely on your team. And picking the right mix requires a strategy.
You may be tempted to bring on your friend Vinny because “he knows the biz, bro.” And that might be a good idea – depending on just exactly what it is about the biz that Vinny knows.
There is a tendency to believe that having a staff loaded with industry experts is the best strategy. This belief is misguided. Sure, you need some experts. But you also need sales-savvy folks who know how to close initial deals. This is especially important at the beginning.
Plus, it’s going to be critical that the members you’re bringing onto your team understand the challenges of working a startup. There needs to be a willingness to solve problems and the flexibility to work with processes that will change and evolve as the company scales.
And regardless of the area of expertise, your ideal candidate should be a motivated self-starter with a knack for innovation and the ability to create his or her own efficient work flow. So if Vinny fits the bill, make him part of the team already, will ya?
Ready to Launch?
Scaling your cannabis brand depends on finding your niche, getting customers and pulling together a motivated team that’s willing to weather the storms. Because there will probably be at least a few.
If you’re looking to get the word out about your up-and-coming cannabis business, contact us to help you with your public relations strategy. We’ll go the extra mile to ensure you have a name the industry recognizes.