In our last blog, we explained the importance of Generational Marketing in the cannabis industry. Sure, many people consume cannabis, but when an edible company, for example, tries to target "everyone," they're actually targeting no one. The message is so broad, that it's not properly perceived. For cannabis companies to have lasting success in this increasingly crowded market, they must better understand their audience. In this second part of this series, we'll focus on one generation that makes up a huge segment in the industry — Millennials.
When you think of a Millennial, you might imagine a 21-year-old college student that takes a lot of selfies and uses far too many emojis. While that persona certainly falls under the category, Millennials are actually as old as 36. Although the twenty-something stoner culture is still alive and kickin', when targeting towards the Millennial group, you must also consider professionals and parents that belong in the age range.
So, what do they have in common and how should that affect your cannabusiness?
1) They EXPECT choices
Millennials grew up in a world of choices. They expect to have control in their purchases — what they want, how they want it and when. Years ago, cannabis was likely consumed in a homemade brownie. Today, there are infused nuts, granola, BBQ sauce, ice cream, you name it! As states continue to implement medical marijuana programs, it's inevitable the top edible companies will find themselves competing for shelf space. While Millennials do have brand loyalty, they also enjoy trying new products, especially when the products are well-designed and branded. Just think – how many times have you picked up a food item in your grocery store simply because the packaging caught your eye?
So many cannabis companies already offer infused drinks, foods and sweet treats. How will your brownies be different than the others in a dispensary? Will your ingredients come from local farmers? Are they Paleo or gluten-free? With so many choices, your products must stand apart — on the inside AND the outside.
2) They value convenience
Millennials are constantly on the go. Beginning with childhood, this age demographic is used to having several hobbies and partaking in multiple activities throughout their day. College students are clearly active, balancing academic and social lives. As 53% of Millennial households already have children, its likely your potential customer is struggling with a stressful work day, picking up children from school or day care and rushing home to prepare dinner. When designing your products or services, you must empathize with your Millennial customer. How does your business make his or her life easier when they're crunched for time and energy? Can they order your product online or directly from their phone? Is your edible demarcated with proper doses, your customers doesn't need to bust out a calculator?
3) They love brands who care
According to MillennialMarketing, 37% of Millennials say they are willing to purchase a product or service to support a cause they believe in, even it means paying a bit more. Legalizing cannabis use for recreational and medical use is clearly a cause of its own. However, there are other segments that can easily fit into cannabis brands. The "buy one give one" model that brands such as Warby Parker and TOMS are known for doesn't quite fit for cannabis use. But, there are many other causes and issues that Millennials care about. By going above and beyond with environmentally-friendly packaging or using whole ingredients instead of chemicals, your brand is already a step in the right direction to marketing Millennials.
Millennial marketing isn't easy, but it's a huge demographic in the cannabis industry. What's cool for a Millennial one day will be old news the next. There are hundreds of ways to reach Millennials with smart brand strategy, but you must remember to be authentic. If your brand is not true to itself and its own values, it will come off looking like an uncool dad trying to speak slang to his teenagers. Don't be that dad and don't be that brand.