- The CBD Market is getting more competitive every single day.
- How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors?
- The common misconception is that branding is just a name, logo, and a tagline, but it’s so much more!
- Brands need to think about developing a connection with their customers.
A great deal of marketing is psychology. Why do people do the things they do, and how do we best manipulate their base responses and triggers?
Hacking a single brain gets a little overwhelming, but how to tap into the minds of hundreds, thousands, and even millions of individuals? Each one has a rich history and past, they have preferences and needs, opinions and differences–surely we can’t meet all their needs.
Or can we?
The Symbolic Convergence Theory (SCT–or more scientifically the “Convergence theory on social change”) refers to a model of communication that represents the fantasies/ideologies that transform from individual to cohesive group. More easily put, the SCT explains groupthink and how we communicate wholescale with each other.
Developed by Ernest Bormann it explained how people share common fantasies and visions–he explained that when these individuals share their hopes, fantasies, ideologies, and thoughts, are merged into a cohesive group.
Individuals cooperatively create and sustain a shared consciousness including shared meaning through interaction, symbols, communication, or economic standards.
Why Does It Matter?
We need to share–we as humans are innately story tellers, and as such, we need fellow presenters, audience members, and ultimately somewhere to get our stories from.
Some of these stories revolve around numbers and facts–others are fantastical, whimsical, and nonsense. Regardless of where any of us fall on this scale, we need “communities of agreement” as Bormann called it. We need to know that the people around us agree with what we believe, love what we love, and are fueled by what gives us light–otherwise friction is often to arise (historically… this is the cause of all wars).
When we find these people, we all share into one big pot of understanding, and meanings start to aggregate and “converge.” See? And rather than build friction between factions, we relieve stress and build trust, ”no one in my community of agreement would disagree with me.” Disagreement hurts, and hurt betrays trust, and mistrust weakens love, and we’re back to friction.
It’s a fairly neanderthalic representation to say, “We trust those like us.” The unconscious “Like Me” bias is so deeply rooted in us, it affects who we talk with, why we associate with others, and ultimately–yes–why and who we do business with, if at all.
The SCT literally controls our purchasing power.
Building a Story Brand
We’re at a crossroads of society. Education is at an all time high in history, and information is free for any and all that seek it.
Many don’t buy based on advertising, society, or even need anymore. Many may buy, simply because the power of SCT aligns with their morals, ethics, and standards.
So in turn, building a brand is now dependent on deep connections and a platform that stands for something. What are you doing, and why are you doing it–and oftentimes–will you stand by it?
How do you shortchange those exercises needed for those deep connections of trust? We have to get emotional.
1. Build Trust On An Emotional Brand
Nike – “Just Do It”
Wheaties – “Breakfast of Champions”
Dunkin’ Donuts – “America Runs on Dunkin’”
Maybelline – “Maybe She’s Born With It. Maybe It’s Maybelline”
State Farm – “Like A Good Neighbor”
You get it.
The best brands are built on simple slogans that connect with us on a level deeper than just the superficial. Each one of those slogans calls to some form of greater convergence of trust, equality, or credibility.
Breakfast of Champions? “Does that mean if I eat Wheaties, I too will then be a champion?” Yes. It absolutely does.
Maybe she’s born with it, but if it’s Maybelline, I too could be that gorgeous. Yes, you absolutely can be.
Understanding the needs of your audience and the shared convergence needs of the greater whole let’s you strike quicker and more easily at the heart of the idea. This kind of “emotional connection marketing” then gives the brand the ability to then evoke a sense, idea, emotion, or (if you’re lucky enough) even another need–and the cycle repeats.
Brands and Emotions
Patagonia stands for the environment. When you buy for them, you join the legion of others that care for the environment, and you’ve done your share for sustainability.
Disney stands for magic and creativity. When you buy from them, you’ve connected with your inner child and you’ve brought happiness into the world.
Apple stands for progress and the misfit. When you buy from them, you’re finally proving everyone who never believed in you wrong.
Most of these emotional need bases come from the roots of the company itself. Walt’s mother was often sick and he drew to make her happy. Steve Jobs was a misfit and told he would never succeed. Yvon Chouinard (Patagonia) was a rock climber and environmentalist that wasn’t happy with the products on the market.
Trace your roots, and stand by what you believe–people will pay for the beliefs that represent their convergence.
2. Embody Those Roots
“But I’m in CBD. How does this translate to supplements?”
Mental health awareness is at an all time high. And it’s a huge reason why CBD as an industry is booming. It’s a natural, safe, healthy alternative to fighting big pharma and healthcare. It’s environmentally friendly and conscious, and best of all, it actually works–so people care.
Knowing that, people also catch on. Ever since it was legalized in all 50 states for commerce, the CBD industry has gotten a little cut-throat. If one company doesn’t have the standards, morals, ideas, flavors, or even colors customers like, they’ll happily pass on to the competitors.
While you can’t make everyone happy–you can stick to your roots and stand by your beliefs. You can’t waste your time chasing the fish that got away–you can only establish trust and give a reason for those to buy, buy again, buy new stuff, and share your story to the ones who stay.
Embody your beliefs in the pictures you take, the words you write, the products you design, and boxes you ship. People pay attention to every little nuance, and you can either blow away their expectations and grow, or meet their minimums and barely skate by.
At the end of the day, buyers are savvy. Compliment their intelligence and stand by your beliefs.
CBD Marketing Strategies
Understand what your products are, and who your “convergence” theme is. Emotional marketing for CBD should be no different than any other emotional branding strategy.
Athletes? Maybe CBD Salves and Balms shown in sweaty intense photoshoots. Address tension, aches, and relief. Maybe get athletic sponsors or sports teams to endorse your product and its efficacy.
Students? Focus on tinctures and gummies. Something fun and easy that works quickly to help them calm down and focus. Cite studies and new tests–stay educated and on the scene. Do the work for them so they can peruse quickly, stick their trust, and buy (watch those high price points though).
Want to stand behind being environmentally friendly? Invest in recycled packaging, Use brand ideas that focus around natural elements. Use only organic and natural additions to your products to make them “environmentally proprietary.”
Just remove yourself from the company for a moment and think, “how would someone who’s never heard of this, interact with it?” Don’t be afraid of the ones that will naturally leave or be disinterested, focus on how you want to snag and keep the attention of that person that this story really speaks to.
3. Share Your Story
In a similar vein of standing for what you believe in–share who you are, why you believe in what you do, and what you hope to achieve. Building a personal brand only fortifies the strength of your product, cause, and even benefits of your product. It’s not a platitude to say that people root for people–especially those that fall in our convergence.
The easiest way for people to connect with a brand is through the person. Person to person is much more comfortable than person to corporate brand/belief. The human aspect of any company is what converts people from “interested” to “sold.”
Tom’s Shoes is a great example. The company isn’t the quality of the shoes, but the story of the creator. What problems were you trying to solve? What made you want to solve that problem? Why did you feel that way? How are they contributing to the solution by purchasing?
It seems excessive, but it’s the difference between a company that barely makes it, to a company that makes it big. The difference between a brand, and a product. It builds your brand, emotional connection, and loyalty.
What To Focus On
- Focus on developing a strong brand. Convergent connection (emotional marketing) can help you get customers to be brand advocates
- Great branding spreads like wildfire. You should create marketing strategies that get your existing customers to become brand advocates for your business.
- Use the cycle of marketing emotions to your advantage:
- Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, was famously quoted for saying, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Think you’ve got what it takes to build a brand? Shop our products and find out.