EXCLUSIVE: Strategies And Insights For Sustainable Success From 4 Cannabis Industry Leaders

What makes a cannabis brand survive, grow and eventually become a favorite among consumers?

In what is said to be the year of brands, Benzinga’s Cannabis Capital Conference had top executives Kate Miller (Miss Grass), Gary Santo of TILT Holdings TLLTF, Brett Novey (Pharmacann) and Craig Snyder of Greenlane GNLN who spoke with moderator Laurie Parfitt of LKP Impact Consulting. They discussed key topics for long-term success.

On Creating Brand Loyalty

The CEO of Miss Grass says the brand, founded five years ago, has since “amassed one of the largest communities of mainly female cannabis consumers.”

Miller believes that, as the industry matures and starts looking more like CPG with a growing number of brands, customers will remain loyal to a brand that resonates with them. 

“It's really important that brands start defining exactly who they are, their values and needs, their targeted consumer, what they represent, and not only to use as a Northstar internally, but externally” and, as customer segmentation happens, it’ll become increasingly important to “really define and hone in on who that consumer segment is,” Miller added.

Testing First, Investing Second

Pharmacann’s CEO Brett Novey said the initial “high THC flower right up for all customers and patients” is slowly giving way to customer segmentation and a better understanding of clients’ choices and needs. 

The best thing, he says, is to identify a customer segment and its targeting value and product proposition, and then test it. “You can't invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in what's unproven, so you try it out on a small scale, then you start ramping it up to see success.” 

A sales KPI? Time in store. And that brings the necessary relationship between the sales team and the budtender and working for the brand’s message to make it to the consumer. 

Working Everywhere With A Single Brand Architecture 

Santos, CEO of TILT Holdings says authenticity and knowing who you are and your brand architecture are what ultimately determine your success. 

Nobody can be the first in all segments and all markets. “First question is: What's your hook? What makes you unique in that space?” and then find a balance between sizing up and remaining sustainable and true, Santos said.

Brand re-segmentation in states? Yes. What keeps the brand authentic, Santos noted, does not have that depth of portfolio. “Keep to your point with the architecture. And then consistency, segment whatever you want but you better make sure that product is the same everywhere you produce it.”

Keeping Diversity Within Segmentation

Craig Snyder, CEO of Greenlane Holdings says that strategy success must consider country specifics in order to take advantage of something internationally that you can't domestically as well as the ability to “see different products moving at different speeds in other markets.” 

On segmentation, he says differences such as those between experienced users spending $300 to $500 for a vaporizer and people who are new to the product calls for products and brands to reach across entire segments, also remembering that “tastes and trends are constantly changing.”

Photo: Benzinga edit with photo by Yeti studio and ImageFlow on Shutterstock.

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