First Impressions Count

It’s no surprise to what degree cannabis businesses are having to struggle in order to survive in today's economy. Especially for those who have not invested in a professional and appealing company identity. The esthetics of a serious company can sometimes make or break it’s success – after, all first impressions count!

Every month millions of people search online for businesses like yours. A digital society driven by instant access to information by device recognition. Think about it, if you use a device such as a cell or tablet then chances are so do your customers.

A business that continues to ignore it's online presence and not move forward with today’s technologies are sadly falling behind. Only to giving their competitors control of the market. 

In the past few years the functionality and sophistication of websites have evolved in leaps and bounds. Leaving those websites of the past to die and become obsolete.

It's Not Too Late To Change

Potential customer will either find your business online because you were ready to be found, or they'll find your competitors. 

choice

Did You Know:

  • 89% of customers use search to make a buying decision.

  • 51% smartphone users discovered a new company during a search

    (Google, 2015)

  • 71% of B2B researchers start research with generic search

    (Google, 2015)

  • 4X as many customers would perfer video

    about a product than read about it.(Animoto, 2015)

  • 50% viewers look for videos related to a product or service

    Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users. And 53% feel more favorable towards companies whose sites provide instructional videos. (Google & Aberdeen, 2015)

  • Current blogs increaded traffic 3x

    B2B companies that blogged 11+ times per month had almost 3X more traffic than those blogging 0-1 times per month. (HubSpot, 2015)

  • 86% of consumers would like to receive promotional emails

    from companies they do business with at least monthly (Statista, 2015) 

  • 92% of marketers say that social media is important to their business. 

    and that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their businesses. (Social Media Examiner, 2015)

  • 74% of people use Facebook for professional purposes.

    (HubSpot, 2017)

  • 25% of adult internet users use LinkedIn. 

    LinkedIn is the only major social media platform for which usage rates are higher among 30-49yr olds than 18-29yr olds. (Pew Research Center, 2015)

  • 31% of adult internet users use Pinterest

    and 71% of those users are women. (Search Engine Land, 2015)

  • 28% of adult internet users use Instagram.

    (Pew Research Center, 2015)

  • 23% of adult internet users use Twitter

    (Pew Research Center, 2015)

how-to-market-cannabis-with-mary-janez-brand

If your site can’t be viewed easily on mobile devices, you may be losing customers. 

Did you also know that more than 60% of users would not recommend a business with a badly designed mobile site because they felt the company just didn't care about their business?

IF, you have a mobile-friendly website, that's great!
These days, it’s all about ease-of-use and functionality. Make sure your website’s mobile design is super user-friendly. Keep in mind that if a site is clunky, ugly or worse yet, creates a bad user-experience, then you are in a sinking boat.

Consider yourself warned, what you do next is up to you.

You only get ONE CHANCE to make a good first impression!

Did you know one of the most powerful elements of a business is it's brand.

And the most important element of a brand is the visual identity - How the world sees your company, products and services

The result of a professional presence is good design, a solid strategy, strong visual identity and a real online business website which is the key for your brand to gaining visibility in the market place.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are approximately 23 million small businesses in the United States.

If you don't have a strategy for outdoing your competition, you could find yourself treading water for years to come.

BE SURE YOU STAND OUT IN A CROWD

The marketing image that a cannabis businesses projects could determine its future profits and growth. Those who lack a professional presence have an increased chance of losing potential customers to their competition.

That is why Mary Janez Brand works to help your brand to be seen by your customers. Helping small business owners are our specialty and we work hard to insure your business is visible in the market.

BUILD A BETTER BRAND

Even if you don't have a website, done nothing to build a brand (good or bad), you have a brand. And depending on how satisfied your customers are may also reflect your current brand. Thanks to social media and review sites such as Yelp, if you don't have a website but you have an unhappy customer and someone searches for your business, they will find the review and maybe your address listed on a generic business listing. Both images together could possibly send that potential customer to your competitor.

In the simplest form, here is a simplified description of what a visual brand is.
Brand + Identity + Logo Your Image
Brand - is perceived an emotional image as a whole.
Identity - is the visual aspects that form part of the overall brand.
Logo - [custom symbol, mark, icon] identifies a service, product or business in the simplest form.

build-brand-cannabis-circle

There are tons of books, blogs and publications written on how, why and what is a brand. Many believe that branding only consists of a few elements such as a logo, a few fonts and colors and maybe a slogan. While those elements are very important they are only a part of the brand identity package. 

If you're serious about improving your small business’s’s image, you should consider hiring a qualified designer to help build your brand. They can design and form the foundation of your brand, and suggest  guidelines that will help you grow and maintain a strong brand.

To build a better brand let's first take a quick look at what a brand is. If marketing is doing, then branding is being. Often the two are so integrated strategically and tactically that it’s hard to say one comes before, or is more important than, the other.

A small business that understands branding and marketing and the relationship between the two will find that attracting and retaining customers is not really that hard. The struggle in marketing often comes from the belief that branding is just for products or big companies. This leads to the disconnect between who your company is being and what your company is doing. Every business has a brand, and it can make or break you. 

DON'T BE A WILLY-NILLY

dont-be-a-willy

Start on the right foot

DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND DON'T DESIGN YOUR OWN MARKETING MATERIALS OR WEBSITE.

Invest in your company and hire a real designer that understands your business, this is just plain smart business planning.

There are two distinct marketing approaches used in the cannabis industry, Professional and Willy-Nilly. Of course each of those approaches also has different levels of styles within them, the good, bad and the ugly. 

Professional

Approach

The Professional approach often displays a variety of cohesive branded materials, visually tasteful and creative designs, unified in appearance and providing useful information along with a clear call to action. The Professional Approach is typically well organized from the start and uses a structured marketing plan. This is to that ensure all materials are exposed to the intended target within a consistent time line. This consistency will help build trust and create customer loyalty.

Willy-Nilly

Approach

The Willy-Nilly approach will often display a variety of inconsistently designed materials that are lacking any sort of brand unity. These materials are typically created in-house under the art direction of business management. Often times, unknowingly, more emphasis may be placed on the message rather than good design which causes damage to the brand they are working to create. 

The Willy-Nilly approach to creating materials can result in an inconsistent and unprofessional looking brand, unorganized and confusing content, bad graphics and low quality printing which will send the wrong message to your intended target.

Can you image if a car company didn’t use a professional approach?

WORK SMARTER, NOT HARDER

We already know the cannabis industry is crowded with competition.

And that the main component you need to stand out in the crowd and set you apart from another business offering the same products and services is a strong company brand and professional online presence. The easiest thing to do is just hire me. But you should know your options and what to do and look for in hiring a good designer. Remember just because someone claiming to be a designer has a computer with graphics software does not make someone a designer. 

Marketing to a recreational user is very different than marketing to a senior patient. 

A creative won’t need to fully understand all the steps of the Cannabis products, service or processing technique, but they should already be aware of the differences in what appeals to the various target markets. There are already too many websites that look great but are designed to appeal more to a hard-core user when the intended target was the newbies and seniors. Talk about missing your mark! That’s why hiring an experienced creative designer is such a vital ingredient to your business's success. A creative is much more qualified to develop a unique, credible and personal brand for your company then anyone on your staff.

You may be tempted to go with a less experienced designer to save a few bucks but in the end it may actually end up costing you more time, money and stress. In some cases the lack of experience may lead to having work redone or pulling a print job from a press run due to unforeseen errors, which can be costly.

You may be tempted to go with a less experienced designer to save a few bucks...

But in the end, it may actually end up costing you more time, money and stress. In some cases the lack of experience may lead to having work redone or pulling a print job from a press run due to unforeseen errors, which can be costly. 

An experienced designer will be able to develop a unique, memorable and effective creative brand for your business in a reasonable amount of time for a fair price and will save you many headaches. 

But before you hire a designer you need to chill, be ready to let go! Like anything else, you hire a designer for their expertise and their insight. It may be difficult for you but you will need to loosen your grip, let go of how things were done in the past and/or how you think your brand should look. Trust your designer, after all your brand is being created for your intended target market, NOT YOU. 

Note: Don’t bully a artist into doing what you think looks good, after all you're not a designer.

©2018 Mary Janez Brand | cannabis design focused subdivision of Ck2design