A company's brand is one of its most important assets. It is the reputation that is carried throughout the market; it is what people say about the company every day. Measuring and tracking the health of a brand is crucial to long-term success, especially in CBD and cannabis. Brand health has a direct impact on consumer awareness and the bottom line. It impacts the effectiveness of sales, the ability to raise capital, attracting new talent, and growing the entire organization.
What is brand health?
Brand health is a measurement of how well your brand identity - positioning, value proposition, external communications, etc. - supports the business. It can be measured in a number of ways including level of awareness, purchasing consideration, advocacy, as well as social media engagement from your core consumers and the overall market. All companies should track their brand health on an ongoing basis in order to ensure their identity aligns with business goals and to get ahead of any issues as a result of inconsistent brand efforts. Building a strong brand is not an overnight project, it is an investment that grows over time and must be worked on consistently.
Why is brand health important for CBD?
CBD brands have been growing rapidly and aligning their brand with core consumers in the market in a way that looks very similar to the hyper-targeted positioning that has existed in traditional CPG companies for decades. Additionally, The FDA has been ramping up conversations on legal pathways for CBD in the United States. The creation of the CBD-based drug Epidiolex has pushed the FDA and USDA to take a pharmaceutical approach to CBD, lengthening the final decision to late 2020 or early 2021. This means that these CBD brands have around 18 months to build a strong brand before more CPG companies enter the industry after an FDA decision and begin acquiring and partnering with the top brands.
On the consumer side, product preference is often binary - it either works for them or it does not. After that, their purchasing decisions are heavily based on the brand that aligns most with them. In order for brands to have a consistent presence in the lives of their consumers, they must ensure their brand impact throughout the entire purchasing funnel align with current and prospective consumers.