Photo Credit: MARC SCHWARZ
As the demographics of cannabis users are changing, the marketing needs to as well.
That was the message delivered by the panelists at a Princeton Tech Meet Up, “Tech and Startups in NJ Cannabis Ecosystem” at the Princeton Public Library on Oct. 29.
“The biggest issue with cannabis marketing we see is the use of the Rastafarian look, the stoner look,” said Greg Ricciardi, CEO of creative branding agencies 20Nine & Chronic. “The majority of consumers don’t feel that way, so they can’t relate to the product.”
It’s a battle of old school vs. new school consumers.
For Nichelle Pace, president and principal of Brand Enchanting Media, it’s about changing the topic from explaining why cannabis should be legal to how it fits into people’s lifestyles.
Over 65 is the largest growing consumer demographic – particularly for medical marijuana, Leo Bridgewater, the national director of veterans outreach for Minorities 4 Medical Marijuana, emphasized.
“They’re looking for the benefits, for what can help them,” Pace said. “Do you have something for my nausea? Do you have something for my arthritis?”
For Tara Sargente, owner and founder of Blazin’ Bakery, brand promotion and recognition are key going forward.
“Brands are what will endure,” she said. “You want to get someone to love your product … to have a relationship with it.”
The panel was moderated by Eric Meth, founder and CEO of Good Harvest Co., a data-focused audience platform, for brands to effectively target and reach cannabis consumers through their shopping and buying behaviors.