As the legal landscape shifts and becomes more permissive of cannabis products across the U.S., people are jumping on the trend to start their own business. And why not? There is plenty of demand and seemingly endless opportunity. However, beyond the simple science and economics of building a cannabis business comes everything else — the nuts and bolts of actually running a business.
If you’re new to the cannabis scene, or even have been in it for years, there are ways to enhance your approach and make your business the go-to for your target audience. Below, we offer expert tips for driving customers to your business through emotion-driven engagement.
Customer loyalty is the idea that your customers will not only purchase from your brand, but return to your brand over and over again. You are where they get their products, but also their information, data, and emotional connection as well. Emotional engagement is key to driving customer loyalty. Studies have shown that when asked to think of a specific product, over 85% of consumers first mention products from brands they are emotionally engaged with. Studies have also shown that 82% of consumers continually buy from brands they have an emotional = engagement with, and 70% of them are willing to spend up to two times more with brands they feel they connect with.
To connect with current and future customers, lay the groundwork to form an emotional connection with them. Define your target market and find out what they find valuable, and how your brand might align with those values.
For example, if your product is CBD-infused beverages, and your target market is comprised of health-conscious people 25-45, your marketing and brand values should reflect an emphasis on health and wellness. These values will inform everything, from the images in ads that you create, to the policies you employ in the workplace.
For example, at StickerYou our motto is Make What Matter Stick, and the inherent value in this motto extends beyond our product of custom stickers and custom labels. It signals to our customers that we care about things that matter, that make a difference in people’s lives.
Customers who use our products to express what is important to them identify with this sentiment. We have shared values, and an emotional connection.
Harness emotions for customer loyalty and engagement by proving your shared values with the customer. Figure out what your customers stand for and then reflect your willingness to stand with them. This demonstrates to your customers that you’re more than just a business — and your values will resonate with current and future customers.
Communication Is Key
In today’s hyper-connected world, one way to encourage positive emotional engagement with customers is to be accessible to them through social media and email.
Customers today expect to have quick, easy access to companies for any queries they might have, but also for the validation of having their comments heard and responded to within a reasonable amount of
Ensure that you have prompt communication set up on all channels, including social media and email. Being responsive and polite can go a long way to help provide your customer with a top-notch experience, or smooth over anything that may have gone wrong
Give your customers plenty of opportunity to offer feedback, and then take any feedback seriously, whether it’s positive or negative. For individual customers, keep tabs on your history with them so that you can reference your last interaction when they return. Use social media like Facebook and Instagram not only to promote your product, but also to listen to your consumers and actively engage with them.
Once you’ve come up with your branding, values, and messaging, practice staying consistent across platforms. If you have a brick-and-mortar location, make sure that your customers feel valued there as well as online.
Your online store should also have a strong, clean presence that carries your branding and makes customers feel just as engaged as if they were there with you in person. Be responsive to technical difficulties, and quickly and publicly own up to errors and glitches as they happen.
When establishing and growing your cannabis business, emotional engagement drives customer loyalty. This is never more true than in the cannabis business, which is already intensely personal. Make sure that your branding is consistent, you communicate promptly with customers without invading their privacy, and that you offer a clean, reliable experience on all of your sales channels. By focusing on giving your customers a positive emotional experience, you will retain your current customers and win new ones away from competitors for lifelong loyalty.
Author Bio: Andrew Witkin, Founder & President
As the founder of StickerYou, Andrew believes in the enormous power of customization. With over a decade of StickerYou success, he is one of Canada’s leading experts in e-commerce, customization, startups, marketing and the tech economy.
He is a graduate of Dalhousie University and holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business, York University. Witkin has previously served as VP North American Licensing for Nelvana/Corus Entertainment and Director of Marketing for MegaBrands/Mattel.