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5 Proven Strategies For Winning Trust With Cannabis Consumers

Today's consumers are more savvy and more discerning. Here's how to make them more loyal.

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Cannabis has come a long way from street corners and plastic baggies.

OlyaSolodenko | Getty Images

The once demonized flower has officially become an over-the-counter wellness product, and more people than ever are looking for offerings that help them have a positive experience. They want to know which retailers and brands to trust.

Today’s consumers demand a significantly higher standard, just as local and state regulators do. Here is a five-point strategy to ensure your brand inspires optimal trustworthiness.

1. Be Authentic

Pandering to old-fashioned tropes and stereotypes of the cannabis subculture will not fly with the modern consumers of today. Whatever you decide shape your brand into, come by it honestly. It’s okay for cannabis to be used both for fun, for wellness and for relief. Some consumers prefer a higher dosage of THC, some want a flavorful light buzz, and some want to ensure they are productive with CBD only.

Stay true to your roots when creating your brand, marketing plan, and employee training methods. The cannabis world offers something for everyone out there to enjoy, so focus on being authentic for your fans.

2. Be Consistent

Each individual shares their own highly-personal relationship with cannabis. Many consumers are looking for the same product or the same family of strains every time they shop.

It’s up to you to ensure some level of consistency, in terms of both customer experience and the inventory you carry.

You can meet customers’ expectations and stay ahead of your competitors by being as consistent as possible. One way to do this is to develop solid working relationships with your top vendors and eliminate inventory gaps. Another way is to train all staff on core company values and processes so that the customer knows what to expect.

Related: 5 Ways to Create a Better Cannabis Customer Experience

3. Inform and Educate

Cannabis is a considered purchase for consumers. It's not unusual for a new cannabis consumer to take more than 15 minutes asking questions at the counter before they buy anything. Consumers are also looking to be informed online. For this reason, it's essentia that you ave a secure website and go the extra mile to enable online chat with consumers.

Because more than 50 percent of your consumers will find your site on their phone, make sure it's optimized for mobile. Publish quality original and syndicated content on your site showing why you, as a retailer, merchandise the products you have. Lastly, ensure that your budtenders are knowledgeable and accurate about the products you sell.

4. Ensure Quality 

Cannabis is best enjoyed at top quality. It’s what your customers will be looking for, especially as their preferences become more sophisticated.

Whether they are looking for a product with great value for a lower price or the stuff on the very top shelf, people will remember your store for your dedication to quality. You never know who might be a connoisseur. Make sure your stock is up to par with changing tastes.

5. Service with a Smile

As a cannabis retailer, your business will interact face to face with people from all walks of life. In addition, an increasing percentage of legal cannabis buyers are new or first-time consumers, who will need a little extra guidance or product recommendations from your staff.

Friendly service is a must in educating these new consumers and making them feel comfortable with cannabis as a wellness product. Plus, a friendly and knowledgeable budtender will keep your most discerning connoisseurs coming back for more product recommendations.

By training each member of your team to remember these five basic principles, you will create a culture of trust. Customers will be able to sense that right away when they enter your space. Empower them to make better buying decisions by being their rock in a sea of cannabis confusion.

Related: She Was a Caterer. Now She's a Budtender.