Is Branding the Most Important Thing?
The title of this article may have thrown you off a bit. We do not blame you, because, for many companies, the word “branding” is basically synonymous with “advertising.” Do not worry, we are not telling you to stop any advertising efforts you are currently ensconced in. What this article is about is alternative marketing methods that can be more effective for cannabis companies than mere branding.
When we say “branding,” we mean the efforts you make to carefully craft your company’s design, such as tweaking the logo to become as eye-catching as possible, along with the necessary work of making sure as many people as possible are aware of your company.
Of course, there is more to branding than just that. A big part of branding is communicating to people what your brand is about. Are you a cannabis company primarily trying to appeal to young, frequent smokers, by selling a “cool” or “hip” image, or are you trying to look more sophisticated and mature.
In short, branding is about figuring out how you want to appear to the public, and then putting in time, money, and effort to making sure that your brand enters the public consciousness.
But, as this article demonstrates, research on (legal) cannabis consumption has indicated that very few people actually remember brand details such as the look of a logo and the colors on the packaging. Instead, they best remember details like whether your product worked well or not, and how much it cost. Oh, and where they got it from, so if you run a dispensary, then that is a sigh of relief.
You can go on and read the rest of that article for a takedown on why branding is less important for cannabis companies than businesses in other industries. What the article you are currently reading is about is showing that there are alternatives to expensive and time-consuming branding campaigns that can better ensure that the right people, i.e, potential customers willing to pay for your products, learn about your company. We will detail these solutions below, all of which are offered by Findability Sciences.
Persona modeling is a marketing tool that is powered by artificial intelligence, which is the field of computer science dedicated to making computers think on their own. In other words, an AI tool can read data on its own and offer solutions, oftentimes in the form of a prediction, such as what your customer base’s favorite color is.
Persona modeling is interested in figuring out what your customers like and dislike, what their tastes in everything from movies to politics consists of, and other such insights.
An AI tool will look at your own internal data, such as who purchases what, and combine that with external data, like thousands of your customers’ public social media posts, and derive insights from that data.
Also powered by AI, chatbots such as those offered by Findability will make it easy to interact with your customer base at a rate that is not humanly possible.
Whether it is for customer outreach over email or social media messaging, or fielding questions on your own website, a chatbot can hold multiple conversations at once with lightning-fast responses, with 24/7 availability. Not every cannabis enjoyer keeps to the same schedule, so it is nice to know that a chatbot can answer their questions they send on Instagram, email, etc., be it 3 PM or 3 AM.
Chatbots are also trained on conversational data related to questions and answers unique to their company, so if a customer is hoping for a certain kind of high, the chatbot will know to link to a specific product page, or multiple, for the customer.
Like we mentioned earlier, it is not a smart idea to completely abandon branding altogether. What persona modeling and conversational computing offers is the opportunity to know your customer base better, and therefore adjust your branding efforts to more directly communicate to their interests and needs.
TouchUp is an AI tool, also offered by Findability Sciences, that can take an ad you are thinking of running—it can be picture, text, or a combination—and analyze it by offering what is called “sentiment analysis,” showing which emotions are inspired by which elements of the ad.
Additionally, in the case of visual ads, you can see which elements of the ads attract your customers’ eyes, and in what order, meaning that you can see what people are most likely to look at first, then second, then so on. If your logo, or product name, is too low on the list, then you’ll know where to adjust it—or use one of TouchUp’s suggested edits.
If you are interested in any of these marketing solutions, or want to learn about others, then get in touch with Findability Sciences.