Brand Fitness: Actionable Brand Protection PR™ Strategies for CBD Companies
In the spirit of the New Year and leaving a difficult 2020 behind, CBD companies everywhere should be energized to kick off 2021 with success! Like some of us lay off the junk food in January to focus on healthier options, brands should be doing the same thing and get their business in shape for what promises to be a great year ahead! In today’s Move the Stairs Friday Chat, our team of strategists discussed how brands should be executing their goals for 2021 by using SMART objectives and creative tactics!
Click here to download our PR Event Plan to help get you started!
CBD PR Plan Recap
Our team gave you a literal definition of building a PR plan in mid-December. Think of this as your CBD company’s workout template. How many different exercises should you do? How many different sets should you do? How many different repetitions within those sets should you do? You can find that write up and Vlog here. The crux of this is to make sure your objectives are SMART!
Specific: Your objectives should be detailed
Measurable: Your objectives should be measured with metrics
Attainable: Your objectives should be challenging but within reach through your work
Realistic: Your objectives should be able to be accomplished
Timely: Your objectives should be deadline-oriented
According to SMA Marketing, with SMART goals, “you strengthen your opportunity to achieve your end results.” At M&C, we couldn’t agree more. These goals address every aspect of success for your brand.
Strategies to lawfully grow your CBD business
Okay, it’s time to stretch before you drive into your brand workout. Let’s say your goal for 2021 is for your CBD business to grow without drawing the ire of the FDA or FTC. This is similar to a personal goal of building muscle tone or losing weight, right? At face value, this may seem difficult! Building muscle is hard! Losing weight can be even harder! How do you market your product and build a loyal customer base? By using SMART objectives, you can put your brand on a successful program this year.
Specific: Define “growth.” Think of this as how much muscle mass you want to gain or weight you want to lose. For your business, is this a percentage sales increase? Are those sales in-store or online? Maybe, it’s both! Does growth relate to new customers? Getting into a big box retailer?
Measurable: How will you measure your growth? Think of this as how you’ll measure your muscle mass gained or weight loss. What’s your baseline? Weekly? Monthly? Are you measuring against your bathroom scale? Your BMI? For your business, it’s no different! Determine what baseline you’ll measure against to track your success! Quarter over quarter? Year over year? If you’re looking to add new customers, are you comparing email harvesting from last year to this year? For retail sales outside of your storefront, how will you measure your success? By units shipped? By the number of outside retailers where your product is sold?
Attainable: Is your growth goal within reach? Thinking about a fitness plan, it’s not reasonable to gain 20 lbs in muscle mass in a week! Nor is it likely that you will lose 20 lbs in a week! It’s important to make sure the goals you set for your CBD business are attainable! Like a fitness plan, start easier and gradually build your way up! Don’t set unattainable goals for your brand!
Realistic: So far, 2021 isn’t too different from 2020. That will change as more people are inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine. Forecasts even call for young and healthy individuals to have a chance to get the vaccine by late spring to early summer. In theory, this could mean a return to pre-COVID normalcy by the end of this year. This will lead to another drastic change in society and potentially impact your 2021 goals! For right now, we advise clients to play it by ear (quarter), but be ready to make changes so your goals remain realistic!
Timely: When you set up a time to meet with a personal trainer or attend fitness classes, do you use an alarm reminder? This should be no different for your brand’s goals! The best thing you can do is hold yourself accountable by placing dates on your PR Plan and calendar! Much like achieving fitness goals, without setting deadlines for your objectives, there is no incentive to keep you on track! Consistent messaging is key in building your audience and their brand loyalty.
Get Creative to Succeed
Tactics are what you’ll use to bridge the gap to your objectives and ultimate year-end goals. In the gym, think of this as your workout equipment! Will you use free weights, like dumbbells or kettlebells? How about barbells? Maybe, you’ll use workout machines!
When thinking about your business, CBD education is a great tactic! “Is CBD safe?” is one of the top asked questions in a Google search of “CBD.” While this may seem intimidating to a business owner, the public is learning! Last year, one of the top related questions was, “Does CBD get you high?”
While trends are looking up when it comes to general public knowledge of CBD, there’s still a lot for the public to learn! This is where a CBD company can earn trust and loyalty with new and existing customers. Educating them will also help build brand protection. How?
Social media: Millennials and Gen Z care deeply about transparency when it comes to where they spend their money. Using social media is a free way to educate your audience about CBD and fill in the gaps where public knowledge lacks. You can give your target audience a look at what’s happening behind the scenes too! Who are your employees? Who is in the C-suite? What does the process look like? How are your employees engaging with your brand? Do you have best practices established for them? Employees can be great brand ambassadors if everyone is on the same page.
Be creative: There’s a very good chance your CBD business has a plethora of topic areas to choose from. Use these! Write blogs, shoot videos, create a podcast! Establish yourself as an authority, a thought leader and trusted advisor, for your target audience and media searching for a source.
Avoid false or misleading claims, even by consumers! The FTC just levied big fines against CBD companies AND individuals involved with those companies for doing the exact opposite. Perform a website and social media audit to remove anything that sounds like your product is proven to medically treat conditions. Even if you have the best product on the market, if a consumer does a Google search on your brand and sees a fine attached to it for misleading customers, your credibility is damaged.
You’ll find a full recap of today’s Move the Stairs Friday Chat below. Be sure to check out next week’s blog as well as we continue our January fitness theme and walk you through the weightlifting portion of your CBD PR Plan. We will go in-depth on some of the tactics we discussed today and teach you how to launch a campaign!