Too often, dispensaries miss the mark on who they are marketing to
In the age of legalization, the faces of cannabis are beginning to change as we see new kinds of users emerge with different interests and different needs.
Too often, dispensaries miss the mark on who they are marketing to. By choosing imagery, marketing strategies, or even a specific approach to customer service, you could be attracting one type of clientele, while accidentally isolating another.
Here are 5 overlooked cannabis-using groups that your marijuana retail dispensary can be catering to:
The over 65 crowd were the ones blazing trails in the 60s and 70s for cannabis use, but now cannabis is coming full circle as seniors are turning to cannabis for overall health and well-being. Since cannabis is known to help reduce reliance on prescription drugs, seniors are trading in pills for pot for a variety of reasons including arthritis pain, expanded creativity, mood elevation, and as a social outlet.
Farmacy, located in British Columbia Canada, reports that half their clientele are 55 and over. Farmacy has a speakeasy décor and plays classic rock music on the daily, and also provides cannabis education programs specifically for seniors.
Moms would likely be the last group you’d expect your marijuana retail operation to cater to specifically but think again. There are a lot of mothers who choose the bud over the bottle when looking for relaxation and stress relief.
In fact, Cheryl Shuman, known as “The Martha Stewart of Marijuana” has started a group called Marijuana Moms, that allows mothers to join together in community for their enjoyment of marijuana.
Marijuana Retail Report checked in with a few cannabis using mothers who revealed that smoking flower is their most preferred method of ingestion, while edibles and vaporizers allow them to microdose their cannabis or use it discreetly.
There is a growing movement that is combining cannabis with physical activity, recognizing that cannabis, particularly, THC can enhance performance both physically and mentally. You may have heard of some social clubs already beginning to offer high yoga or fitness activities that combine toking with facilitated exercise.
Athletes are also becoming proponents of microdosing as well and may go into a marijuana retail location looking for tools to help with microdosing, such as carefully labeled edibles, or vaporizers that signify when you’ve ingested just one dose of cannabis oil.
Women’s health and cannabis have a very strong connection, and manufacturers of cannabis products are catching on to this niche market.
From relieving menstrual pain to helping take the edge off during PMS, to exercise-enhancing strains, to merely being used as an effective dietary supplement, cannabis has become a go-to choice for women’s health promotion instead of reaching for the pill bottle.
On example of a company that is catering specifically to women is Whoopi & Maya (of the famous Whoopi Goldberg), where the products are designed and aptly named for the effect it hopes to provide the woman user.
When places like New York changed their criminalization policies, they saw a trend emerging of more visible cannabis use, but not by those you’d expect. The visible cannabis users emerged as the city’s finest in professionalism, including executives, non-profit administrators, and producers and weren’t afraid to show their faces.
Professionals who use marijuana want to show critics that being a stoned worker doesn’t mean you’re sitting at home on your couch working in your underwear, but rather that cannabis can be a positive tool for increasing productivity.
If your cannabis dispensary is interested in reaching out to the professional user, think about products that professionals can use discreetly, on-the-go, and with relatively low maintenance.
How to Engage Different Niches
Now you understand that there are a lot of different niches that your marijuana retail organization could be engaging, what are some ways that you can begin to engage them? Here are a few ideas:
- Hold special event nights with guest speakers that are appealing to specific niche audiences
- Use sections of your retail space to highlight different products that promote different lifestyles (i.e. a “cannabis and running” section)
- Use focus groups in larger marketing strategies to understand the ways niche audiences like to receive information
- Don’t assume that just because you haven’t met them yet, a niche clientele doesn’t exist
- Stay away from marketing materials that can isolate certain audiences (i.e. the over 65 crowd aren’t likely to gravitate to marketing material featuring buds and bikinis)
- Ask your customer how you can specifically serve their niche needs through an anonymous feedback survey
- Know your strains so that you can be aware of the different effects different strains could have for the diverse needs of your clientele
Most of all, keep learning and taking cues from your clients. In the end, they’ll be the ones who determine your success as a cannabis dispensary, so be sure to tap into the wealth of knowledge they possess when looking for ways to engage new customers.