Marijuana executives need to think bigger if they want to dominate the global cannabis market. And it all starts with branding…
I’m not a Starbucks person. I want my coffee to be simple, cheap, and very high octane. For me, the ideal cup of coffee comes from a gas station and has been sitting on the burner for a few hours.
But here’s the thing – I like Starbucks. Not because of the coffee. I like it because Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) is an incredible branding machine.
When customers walk into a store, they know they will be greeted warmly, and the barista will add that nice personal touch when they write your name on the cup.
And, most importantly, Starbucks customers know what they order is going to taste exactly the same, whether the store is in a run-down strip mall or in the lobby of the most expensive hotel.
The Seattle coffee giant has earned customers’ trust through branding. When you think of coffee, you think of Starbucks.
It’s also why the company is now worth $82 billion.
For cannabis companies to become known throughout the world, it’s critical for them to follow a similar branding model. They need to offer quality and consistency through their products and services.
Smart cannabis executives know this, and that’s why I’ve seen more and more articles about companies trying to become the “Starbucks of Cannabis.”
The Cannabist: “Canadian Company Seeks to Be the Starbucks of American Marijuana”
Fast Company: “It’s Happening: Will MedMen Become the Starbucks of Weed?”
Garage: “The Starbucks of Cannabis Is Coming, and They Want You Hooked on Luxury Weed”
All three stories talk about different companies.
I’m here to tell you we aren’t there – not quite yet. There just hasn’t been enough time for cannabis companies to build brands that are associated with quality, consistency, and have global or even regional recognition.
For cannabis users, it’s the Wild West right now. The amount of choices are overwhelming, and legal recreational cannabis hasn’t been around long enough for consumers to have a go-to brand.
But there’s a bigger picture here I want to talk to you about today. There won’t just be the “Starbucks of Cannabis.”
Branding Is the Key to Cannabis Profits
Mark my words – companies will battle it out to become the “Coca-Cola” of CBD-infused drinks, the “Apple” of must-own cannabis products, and the “Uber” of marijuana delivery services.
A cannabis beverage company needs to build trust in its brand by having all of its products taste the same. If a customer bought a Sprite in California, they would expect a Sprite they bought in Colorado to taste the same.
Beverage companies also need uniform and attention-grabbing packaging, and they always need to have enough product to fill shelves.
If the Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) didn’t have enough two liters when they first started out, people would just buy Pepsi.
For the “Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) of marijuana products,” a household name in vaporizers will emerge. Vapes will not only serve a primary function – like an iPhone does for texting and calling – but they will also have elegant designs and be seen as a status symbol (like an iPhone).
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In the cannabis delivery space, individual dispensaries will roll out their own services with their own drivers.
But that’s costly.
A cannabis delivery service needs to make sure they follow all state laws, have enough vehicles to always fill demand, and pay an exorbitant amount of money to secure their vehicles and drivers. It will make more financial sense for most dispensaries to rent out their deliveries to an Uber-style service that specializes in cannabis deliveries.
The cannabis market moves quickly, and the right branding will allow firms to go from a small player to a global powerhouse.
Our team has the expertise and connections to identify these trends before anyone else. Our Cannabis Investor’s Report members know that we’ve already identified strong candidates to be the Sysco (NYSE: SYY) of cannabis, the Uber of cannabis, the Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) of cannabis, and even the Staples of cannabis. We’ve even got a few candidates for that coveted Starbucks of cannabis title, too, though it’s still too early to know for sure just how well they will succeed.
Even if they “only” turn out to be the Peet’s Coffee of cannabis and not a Starbucks, they’ll make enormous profits for investors.
And before any cannabis player becomes a global household name, we will make sure you are the first to know.
Thank you for being a founding member of the National Institute for Cannabis Investors,
Executive Director, National Institute for Cannabis Investors
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24 responses to “Why I Want the “Starbucks of Cannabis””
January 30 2019