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Building Better Brands


Why Marijuana Needs Marketing 101

Article Highlights


  • With selling points as both an alternative medical remedy and recreational getaway, Cannabis is confronted with the unique challenge of reaching two very different target audiences within one, succinct brand identity.

  • Backed by it’s black market origins, cannabis professionals have long relied on word-of-mouth as their sole form of marketing, which leads emerging cannabis brands to stagnation in an increasingly digital-first, omni-channel world.

  • Cannabis industry professionals view themselves as part of one big category - they’re not. A key for success is creating differentiation and specialization within a wide variety of distinct product lines and categories.

Catalyst Insights

While the industry is young and filled with uncertainty going forward, there are a variety of opportunities for the savvy cannabis professional to utilize the expertise of modern marketers to build their brand and ensure lasting success.

The first of these points is to invest in your brand. Today’s cluttered world makes it essential for companies to build a distinct and memorable brand identity. Brands reflect the quality, characteristics, and beliefs that modern customers look for, regardless of the industry. Especially in the cannabis industry’s early stages, differentiating with a strong and dynamic brand is a huge value for any cannabis company.

Despite the sense of community and comradery in the cannabis world, companies should never settle for general. The lumping of the industry into one product category eliminates the potential market opportunities for innovative companies to own a specific category. Better yet, the uncertainty of the industry can be made into an opportunity as companies can create their own category to create a lasting advantage over their competitors, similar to Uber’s success in becoming synonymous with the ride-sharing category.

One of the most evident impacts of marijuana’s legalization is the decline of the classic stoner stigma. A huge variety of people from different backgrounds, professions, social circles, and interest groups are gravitating towards cannabis, making understanding complex customer identities a pressing challenge. From medical patients to relaxation-seeking professionals the diverse cannabis audience makes the in-depth research capabilities of marketers a powerful tool towards building a strong brand and driving more sales.

The Conclusion

Cannabis represents a wealth of opportunity and exploration as professionals race to set standards for the industry’s uncertain future. As these innovative companies continue to learn and grow, it is essential that they leverage the tested knowledge of marketing professionals to secure their role in this booming market. From impactful brand development, product differentiation, and detailed customer research the expertise of experiences marketers can serve as the competitive edge cannabis brands need.