Consumers want CBD brands they can trust as well as affordable and accessible products. With one in seven Americans (14%) personally using hemp-derived CBD products, companies that want to build strong CBD brands and win market share need to get a better understanding of who those customers are and what they want.
Who Are Today’s CBD Consumers?
The first step to building a powerful CBD brand and increasing sales is to gain a comprehensive understanding of both current consumers and prospective consumers. Let’s take a closer look at current CBD consumers in this article based on research that High Yield Insights reported in its CBD Consumer Experience study.
Using a two-step cluster analysis, the researchers identified five specific types of CBD consumers. Some of the characteristics of each of the five buyer personas include:
- Senior Susan: 14% of users, primarily white, not college educated and lower income with no children at home. All are age 55 or older.
- Entrepreneur Ed: 12% of users, primarily age 21-34 and single with a modest income. All are African American.
- Millennial Marc: 26% of users, primarily age 21-34, white and with a modest income. All are single.
- Goop-y Gwyn: 31% of users, primarily age 21-34, white and married with children at home. 94% are female.
- Dosing Dad: 18% of users, primarily age 35-44, employed full time, white and married with children at home. 91% are male.
These buyer personas provide a great place for CBD brands to start because they show that CBD consumers are quite diverse. However, every brand should conduct its own buyer persona research and develop its own unique buyer personas because there can be significant differences between different companies’ customers.
Developing CBD Consumer Buyer Personas
The key to developing CBD consumer buyer personas is to focus their research on 13 specific areas:
- Pain points
- Information sources
- Attitudes and concerns
You can learn more about all 13 areas to create buyer personas here. You’ll need to invest time and gather as much information as you can in order to fill out each of the 13 areas to the extent possible.
Once you’ve completed your research, you need to analyze the information and identify similarities between consumers. What motivations or challenges do they have in common? Do groups of people share the same likes, dislikes, or concerns?
Each group of people with similar characteristics could be categorized as a unique buyer persona – just like High Yield Insights’ researchers did with the CBD buyer personas developed from their research.
Leveraging CBD Buyer Personas for Business Growth
With your buyer personas identified, you can develop marketing messages, promotions, and products that are most likely to appeal to each group of consumers.
For example, according to the High Yield Insights study, consumers with different buyer personas are using CBD products in place of different products:
- Senior Susan: Most often replacing over the counter pain relievers and creams for muscle and joint relief.
- Entrepreneur Ed: Most often replacing prescribed pain relievers and prescribed anti-anxiety medications.
- Millennial Marc: Most often replacing prescribed pain relievers and prescribed sleep aids.
- Goop-y Gwyn: Most often replacing prescribed pain relievers and creams for muscle and joint pain relief.
- Dosing Dad: Most often replacing prescribed sleep aids and over the counter pain relievers.
Think about how that buyer persona information can be leveraged to increase sales. Imagine a marketing campaign that promotes using a CBD company’s products to help with sleep. Targeting the Dosing Dad and Millennial Marc buyer personas with this messaging would be far more effective and deliver a higher return on investment (ROI) than using the same message for all consumers or for other buyer personas.
This is just one example of how buyer persona research can lead to business growth by making marketing and sales efforts far more effective and boosting ROI, but with some creative, strategic thinking, the possibilities are numerous and the results can be significant.
Key Takeaways for CBD Brands
Buyer personas are a powerful tool in every marketing toolbox, but they have to be developed thoughtfully to be useful. They also need to be updated frequently as the marketplace and consumer preferences change – something that is happening on what seems like a daily basis in the hemp-derived CBD market.
With that said, do your research, develop your buyer personas, and start leveraging them to improve your marketing and sales results. Today’s CBD brands need every advantage they can get in the oversaturated marketplace, and using buyer personas to better communicate with customers and develop the types of products they truly want and need could play an important role in helping brands survive and thrive in this industry.
Susan Gunelius, Lead Analyst for Cannabiz Media and author of Marijuana Licensing Reference Guide: 2017 Edition, is also President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company offering, copywriting, content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and strategic branding services. She spent the first half of her 25-year career directing marketing programs for AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more as well as small businesses around the world. She has been working with clients in the cannabis industry since 2015. Susan has written 11 marketing-related books, including the highly popular Content Marketing for Dummies, 30-Minute Social Media Marketing, Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps, The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing, and she is a popular marketing and branding keynote speaker. She is also a Certified Career Coach and Founder and Editor in Chief of Women on Business, an award-winning blog for business women. Susan holds a B.S. in marketing and an M.B.A in management and strategy.