Fizzle or Sizzle: How Your Lack of Differentiation Impacts Cannabis Marketing Performance with Brett Puffenbarger

Cannabis Industry Challenges Aren’t The Problem, Your Unique Prop Is

Low sales, stagnant growth, and competition gaining market share? It sounds like your cannabis brand needs a better unique proposition.

If you’ve tried hiring cannabis influencers to boost your reputation, experimented with loyalty programs and in-person events, put money into ad campaigns, or even completely rebranded your business and still haven’t seen any major wins… Your brand may be missing the mark with your unique differentiator.

This week we are joined by the one and only Brett Puffenbarger, Cannabis PR and Marketing Advisor, Consultant, and Strategist, to lay cannabis marketing on the line and discuss how a truly unique differentiator can amplify your brand’s core DNA and add value in the eyes of consumers.

During this webinar, learn how to: 

  • Inspire customers, increase brand loyalty and learn how to create experiences that connect people to your culture.
  • Distill your brand message so budtenders and consumers can easily recall it. 
  • Tips for sidestepping mistakes cannabis companies make when implementing a differentiation strategy. 

Ensure your target audience can pick your brand out from the crowded cannabis shelves and gain the market share you need to succeed and join this week’s webinar. 

If your cannabis consumers left wondering why they should care about your brand, don’t miss this webinar.

Webinar Highlights

Defining Unique Differentiator for Cannabis Brands

00:03:32 – 00:05:40: MediaJel and Brett Puffenbarger, Cannabis PR Consultant, Marketing Advisor, and Strategist, discuss the concept of a unique differentiator. Brett describes differentiators as the qualities that set a business apart from competitors and make it stand out in a crowd.

The conversation parallels classic branding examples like Coke versus Pepsi, highlighting that distinct elements such as price point, packaging, target audience, or customer service style can serve as unique differentiators, even between commodities.

To demonstrate, Brett shares his unique differentiator in the PR and cannabis industry. He reflects on the dichotomy within the cannabis sector, where businesses view themselves as either legacy or corporate, big or small. Brett positions himself in the middle, drawing influences from both sides. He sees himself as more aligned with smaller operations in his day-to-day life but acknowledges that his resume might resemble that of corporate professionals. His unique differentiator is successfully navigating and merging these two perspectives, positioning himself ahead of the trend curve.

How Does A Unique Selling Point Cement Customer Loyalty, Brand Recognition And Drive Sales?

00:05:49 – 00:07:51: MediaJel and Brett Puffenbarger focus on the impact of a unique selling point (USP) on customer loyalty, brand recognition, and sales. Brett underscores that a USP serves several functions, including fostering customer attachment and loyalty. A notable example cited is the concept of being “Veterans Focus,” where the unique differentiator is the company’s mission: veterans growing weed for other veterans. In this case, the brand identity helps customers connect emotionally, creating a sense of community and shared values.

Brett delves into the power of novelty in unique differentiators. When showcasing distinctive qualities, consumers notice the difference, and the novelty factor can be a potent force. An example of distinct branding is FUBU (For Us By Us). FUBU’s brand is designed by a group to meet the needs of that same group, emphasizing the importance of aligning with the target audience.

Brett expands the discussion to mainstream examples, “Death Water,” a water brand marketed like a heavy metal band, and “Fred Water,” branded as a black belt in hydration. Both cases demonstrate how a unique presentation can make a product stand out and resonate with consumers.

How Does Product Differentiation Affect Competition in the Cannabis Industry

00:12:58 – 00:15:39: MediaJel and Brett Puffenbarger discuss how product differentiation impacts competition, particularly in terms of pricing and quality. For instance, lowering prices but maintaining the same quality will attract customers who desire cost-effectiveness without compromising quality.

Brett highlights the role of marketing strategies in differentiation. He presents the concepts of effects-based marketing, strain-based marketing, and indica/sativa/hybrid marketing, emphasizing that each approach triggers a different consumer mindset. These approaches cater to customer preference and contribute to product differentiation by targeting niche markets.

Creating alignment between product quality and price range is crucial in branding. Brett illustrates this point with an example of a video featuring Payless Shoes creating a fake store called “Pallessi” and charging influencers $600 for $50 shoes. This experiment underscores the impact of branding on perceived value and the ability to command higher prices for essentially the same product.

Brett concludes by emphasizing the power of a unique differentiator, brand positioning, or understanding a specific target market. It reinforces that successful product differentiation goes beyond features and pricing, involving a comprehensive understanding of consumer preferences and effective alignment between branding and marketing strategies.

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