As entrepreneurs in a crowded space such as CBD, we need to distinguish ourselves as a reputable brand. The reality is that in order to be successful we must be able to stand out from the crowd. So the main question here is, if you want to stand out as an online CBD brand, how do you do it?
Would you just sit there and hold up a bold sign that says "I Sell CBD!", or do something else?
All jokes aside, when it comes to building up your CBD company, you have to think very carefully about what type of brand you want to build.
So, how do you stand out?
If you're looking for a simple guide on positioning yourself appropriately in the CBD industry, you've come to the right place. Today, we're going to cover four simple ways to get an edge when starting a CBD company and start your brand.
Build Trust With Your Customers
The first thing that you should know is that trust is the most important factor in any business relationship. In fact, according to research by the University of Michigan, trust is the number one reason why customers choose to buy from a particular company.
Transparency is Key
So, how do you build trust with your customers? Well, you start by being honest and transparent. When you're dealing with a new customer, they want to know that you're going to treat them fairly. They also want to know that you'll deliver on your promises.
And, if you're selling CBD products, then you should provide Certificates of Analysis for your products. As you may know, the hemp industry is a somewhat crowded place. Following the 2018 Farm Bill, a lot of entrepreneurs were excited at the opportunity that came with the ability to sell hemp products, CBD included. Unfortunately, this appealed also to some bad actors who would sell poorly manufactured products, like vape carts, with contaminants and other ingredients that are dangerous to consume.
Of course, this lead to push back by consumers who were wondering what was really in their hemp products. Long story short; it is more important than ever to include accurate test results with your products to ease any doubt your customers may have about product safety and quality.
The Customer is Always Right
CBD is a space that not many people know about. There are a variety of applications and product types, so it can be overwhelming for new customers at first. If a customer reaches out for assistance, you should always be courteous and willing to assist them.
On the flip side, you need to be open to constructive criticism and making improvements. If your customers aren't happy with your services, or some other aspect related to your selling process, then you should fix the problem immediately. Don't wait until things get bad before you act, because that's a sign the damage has already been done and it's too late to fix your reputation.
Speaking of reputation, what kind of reviews does your company have? Are they all positive? Do they contain any negative feedback? As a new store it's unlikely you have many, if any, reviews. If you do good service, consider offering a reward for feedback. This allows you to gauge customer satisfaction, and allows you to show off your ratings for new customers.
Once you're established, participate in events and competitions. If you decide to manufacture your own product and you realize it's top quality, enter it into competitions like the Hemp Cup! If you receive any awards, show them off to potential customers. It shows that you're serious about your work and that you're committed to excellence.
Finally, you should always keep your word. You shouldn't promise anything that you don't intend to deliver.
In short, if you want to build trust with your clients, then you should always be honest, fair, and reputable. That's why, when you're starting a CBD company, you should always put your best foot forward. You never know who might be watching.
Create a Unique Experience for Each Customer
A key thing to consider as a brand, is the perception of your business through the customer journey. You have to consider the experience that each customer will have, and different ways to make it unique and appealing.
When it comes to creating a unique experience for each customer, it's important to understand that every person is different. For example, some customers may prefer to buy cheap CBD products on a frequent basis, while others would rather get more expensive top-shelf products occasionally. These two customers are very prevalent, and one thing that can make it easy to distinguish the two from each-other, is the average order value and/or order timing.
So, how do you cater to both types of customers?
Well, you can start by offering free shipping for orders over $50, and then offer discounts for larger purchases. You can use custom email marketing campaigns to promote these offers, and you can even set up a custom landing page that includes all the information about the discount, such as products and order values. In other words, you can create an entire customer experience around the idea of offering discounts. And when it comes to your product and pricing, you can always adjust it so that it’s more in line with what your audience is willing to pay.
Another option is to offer a loyalty program where customers earn points for every purchase they make. These points can be redeemed for discounts on future purchases, which is a great way to increase customer retention.
You could also give away free samples to those who visit your website. I know, I know, at a glance, this can sound counter-intuitive, but let's look at it in a different way for a second.
Try to think of it as a way to generate some initial sales.
If your product is truly unique, and it’s difficult for your audience to find anywhere else, then it’s worth giving away free samples. When you do this, you want to make sure that your audience understands the value of your product. If it's a newer cannabinoid, you'll want to communicate the availability of this. If it's a luxury type of edible, you will want to ensure you communicate the care that goes into packaging, and the quality of the ingredients.
You get it. It's not a freebie, it's a sample.
First Time Purchase Promotions
And lastly, one of the easiest ways to create a unique customer experience, is to offer special promotions for new customers. A simple discount for an email sign up great way to introduce your brand's personality to the customer, entice them to make a purchase, and get them interested in future content.
These are just a few ideas, but you should definitely experiment with different methods to see what works best for you.
Make Your Website Stand Out From The Crowd
Moving forward, we're going to get technical for a moment. You may have heard the saying, "Content is king." Well, it's true.
In the CBD business, content is still king, as it plays a huge part in your presence on Google. Due to various limitations set on CBD and Hemp Stores, you are likely to run into issues when it comes to advertising on platforms like Google, Facebook, and even TikTok.
Due to this, SEO is a key factor in running a CBD business, but before you focus on that, it's also important to know that your website needs to look good and is functional, without hindering the user's experience.
Your website should be designed to attract visitors who are interested in learning more about your business. In other words, it should be visually appealing and easy to navigate. You should have a plethora of resources for new customers and returning. This can range from structuring the site so that strains and product types are easy to find, to even just making past product test results easily accessible.
In the hemp industry, a well-designed website that is clean and informative will help you establish trust with potential customers. That means they'll feel comfortable buying from you, and they'll be more likely to return to your site again and again.
It's also worth noting that a poorly designed website could actually hurt your business. Visitors who land on your site because of a poor design might leave before they find what they came for. This is also a factor that can negatively affect your SEO, as Google take page experience and bounce rate into account.
Although website design and conversion optimization are complex topics, here are two simple things we can tell you to take into account when getting started (or making improvements) as a CBD store.
Use a unique domain name
A domain name is the address of your website. It helps users find you easily.
You should always choose a domain name that is both memorable and relevant to your business. It should be short and descriptive so that it's easier to remember. Although it's currently debatable what effect this has anymore, it should include your target keywords.
Google doesn't take this into consideration as much as it used to, but is helpful for increasing CTR (Click-Through-Rate) once you are showing in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
Include a clear call to action
When someone visits your website, they expect to see a clear call to action (CTA).
That means you should have at least one button or link that leads visitors to another part of your site. This can be something as simple as an email sign up (remember the promotions we talked about earlier?), or a new product you're promoting in the hero section of the website, also known as the area where a carousel or slideshow is at the top of the page.
Stay Motivated and Don't Give Up
CBD is a tough industry to be successful in, but extremely exciting. It's full of opportunities, and at the rate new cannabinoids are becoming popularized, now is a great time to be involved. Not only do you get to witness history, but you get to be right in the front seat. So if you decide to get involved and take your CBD brand to the next level, always keep in mind that you need to distinguish yourself as a brand if you want to stick around.
New competition is popping up every day and now more than ever is the time to separate yourself so that people want to buy from you.