Cannabis is a tricky market. Not a lot of past history can be studied and built upon in this expanding (legal) market. Whether a medical-only dispensary or recreational dispensary, they are faced with fierce competition from both local and state-wide competitors.
In serving a variety of cannabis consumers from novice pain management users to experienced pleasure users, dispensaries are focused on delivering top-notch knowledge and customer service to their potential consumers. They are concerned with making sure their dispensary and brand help cannabis users can relax and enjoy the sought after benefits with cannabis products.
In their marketing research, it might be easy to pinpoint the direct competitors… such as the other dispensary down the street. However, many dispensaries overlook their indirect competitors, who in reality might actually be taking more customers away compared to direct competitors.
This circles back to marketing. Cannabis dispensaries need to go on the offensive, and not tout that they just sell “cannabis here.” Instead, they need to create and implement a holistic marketing strategy that positions cannabis not as a drug, but as a:
- Lifestyle Choice
- Wellness Option
- Safe Social Activity
Competitors to Lookout For…
Cannabis dispensaries need to pay attention to the alcohol industry, the tobacco industry, and the pharmaceutical industry. Yes, these competitors are broad — it’s not like you can put one name or face to these competitors like a direct competitor. However, these three industries are pulling away consumers from the cannabis industry who are looking for things like:
- Anxiety relief
- Pain management
- Stress reduction
- Social entertainment
- Creative inspiration
What dispensaries MUST do, is better market themselves and their product as a safer, healthier, and more effective alternative to things like alcohol, tobacco, and pharmaceutical drugs. These three industries account for billions of consumer spending each year, while also creating a multitude of dependency and health risks. It’s time to start focusing not on neighboring dispensaries, but the outside giants that have long ruled the consumer market for health and entertainment solutions.