Welcome to BIPOCann’s PR corner. This is the third of a monthly blog post where the topic of canna-business intersects with public relations. What a pairing! My hope is that you will learn something valuable that can be helpful as you grow your canna-business. —Lori Shepherd

Last week, I participated in a BIPOCann workshop focused on helping business owners like you glean some points about storytelling and branding at your businesses. I thought it would be nice to recap some of what I shared and the other panelists, in this blog post. 

Let’s face it the cannabis industry is a competitive landscape and crafting a compelling brand identity is essential for your emerging company to stand out from the others. When it comes to cannabis businesses, a sector gaining significant traction nationally, the power of storytelling becomes even more crucial.

If you talk to five publicists and you’ll hear five entirely different approaches to running a publicity campaign, except for two words you’ll likely hear from each one: storytelling and branding. Storytelling and branding are vital from a marketing and public relations perspective because they’re both crucial to helping you differentiate your cannabis business and highlighting its unique qualities.

Check out these four thoughts to think about using storytelling and branding for your company’s benefit:

1. Establishing an Emotional Connection

Most of us empathize with others when we see ourselves in their shoes. Especially if they’ve faced a challenge and later overcome it through great difficulty to reach a goal. Stream any random Netflix or Hulu movie, and you’d agree that most of us love an engaging story. Be it the movie’s gullible main character or a conniving confidante; there’s usually something that evokes an emotion in us as the viewer.

For business owners and company founders, the same can be true for your businesses. If it is your goal to reach your customers with a positive lasting impression about your brand, you can use clever storytelling to help you. Your target audience and how you communicate with them will determine how you do this.

For example, suppose your target audience is customers in their early to mid-30s who are recreational cannabis consumers. In that case, reaching out with Instagram reels highlighting a lifestyle appealing to them might be an ideal storytelling strategy.

However, suppose your customers are budtenders working at dispensaries in a particular region. In that case, your storytelling strategy might include writing and disseminating a branded newsletter with engaging stories that budtenders care about reading.

Regardless of who your audience is,  you can evoke empathy, trust, and loyalty by sharing authentic narratives, videos, and other content that fosters long-term relationships beyond transactional exchanges through storytelling. Your company can communicate its values, mission, and passion through storytelling, making your brand relatable and memorable.


2. Creating Differentiation

The cannabis industry is rapidly expanding, leading to increased competition. Emerging businesses must differentiate themselves effectively to stand out in a saturated market. Storytelling provides a perfect opportunity for you to showcase the distinctive qualities of your business.

By telling stories highlighting your business origins, cultivation methods, product development, or commitment to sustainability, companies can set themselves apart from competitors. This Differentiation helps build a loyal customer base that values the brand’s story and is more likely to choose it over generic alternatives.

3. Building Trust and Credibility

Cannabis businesses face numerous challenges, including regulatory hurdles and lingering stigmas associated with the industry. Storytelling plays a vital role in overcoming these obstacles by building trust and credibility. By transparently sharing your journey as a founder, your business can stand out for its ability to share details that another founder may not.

Whatever is uniquely essential to operating your business can be utilized in telling authentic stories that humanize the brand, dispel misconceptions, and position your company as a trusted authority. One way to achieve this is by creating a monthly newsletter distributed to your target audience. This might educate your customers about your unique commitment to quality, safety, compliance, or community. Through storytelling in this way, your emerging business can break down barriers, increase customer confidence, and foster positive perceptions.

4. Engaging and Educating Consumers

Storytelling is a powerful tool for engaging and educating consumers about the benefits and uses of cannabis products. Your emerging business can use storytelling to educate your target audience about the science behind cannabis, its therapeutic applications, and its potential to enhance wellness.

By telling stories that provide valuable information in an accessible and relatable manner, businesses can empower consumers to make informed decisions. This educational approach helps de-stigmatize cannabis and positions the company as a knowledgeable and supportive resource. You can integrate industry data, stats, and other quantitative information to help strengthen your messages.


Helping Your Brand Stand Out 

Cannabis is booming, and your emerging cannabis business will need to be effective at storytelling and branding to be successful against the competition. By harnessing the power of storytelling, cannabis entrepreneurs like you will establish emotional connections, create differentiation, build trust and credibility, and engage and educate your target audience.

In the fast-growing cannabis industry, a compelling brand story can be the key to unlocking growth, loyalty, and success. It really doesn’t matter the type of cannabis business you’re operating, storytelling will allow you to highlight your business’s unique qualities and set it apart from the rest.


25SecondsPR is a communications and public relations company that specializes in helping small businesses and nonprofits shape and develop their public facing profile and brand through creative storytelling. Learn more about us at www.25secondspr.com.

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