While companies cannot make medical claims about cannabidiol (CBD), they certainly can help educate consumers about their products. And taking the effort to do so can generate dividends when attempting to build a brand, according to experts.
CBD companies in major markets such as the EU and US cannot make health claims about what CBD may or may not be able to do due to regulations. Enforcement action even on user reviews and endorsements has led many to throw their proverbial hands in the air and strip anything beyond the bare basic product information off their sites.
But this is the wrong approach to take, according to Jackie and Larry Berg, co-founders of CBD Marketing Hub.
There is in fact still plenty of information a company can pass on to a consumer. And with the majority of consumers completely mystified by CBD, this can go a long way toward establishing trust in a brand.
Research conducted by CBD Marketing Hub found that 40% of consumers’ first visits to websites is to educate themselves. Only having information related to product sales available means missing out on a critical point of differentiation, according to Jackie.
There is significant scope for providing information on CBD that does not stray anywhere near medical or health claims. One example of a company doing just this is Hemplucid, which has launched its Hemplucid University as an educational tool for inexperienced consumers.
Their website provides short videos covering topics such as the endocannabinoid system, differences between hemp and cannabis, methods of absorption, and whether a person can take too much CBD.
Similarly, the CBD company Purility has developed a dosage calculator–an important tool that again does not stray anywhere near health claims but provides an invaluable instrument to potential customers no matter their level of experience with CBD.
“Customers are spending more time in the educational process and looking at different providers to determine things like efficacy, resources as well as getting a feel for that product line,” says Jackie Berg. “You provide that level of resources because customers are looking and only then when they feel comfortable do they buy.”
Strong companies will be at the forefront of education and communication. “They will create that storyline–a full quality, transparency approach,” Larry Berg adds.
Transparency and education can also be highlighted by including information on third-party certification and quality standards. There remains some controversy over whether quality marks have much impact in the industry but the Bergs are fans.
Companies such as Bluebird Botanicals call out their quality standards, batch level certification, third-party testing, and US Hemp Authority certification, says Jackie. This helps reassure not only consumers but also other businesses.
As CBD becomes more prevalent in the general market, retailers are going through a vetting process to ensure they fully understand everything about a product because it’s their brand that risking its reputation as well, she adds. Third-party certification and quality marks can help with that.
“More certification and education is better for consumers,” says Larry. “It needs to be simplified and made clear what exactly it means. But fundamentally, the more clarity it adds to a brand’s story, the better.”
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