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10 Tips for Starting a CBD Brand

Crafting a successful CBD brand that stands out becomes more complicated every year. Use these tips to develop a hemp brand that will stand the test of time.
10 Tips for Starting a CBD Brand
Image credit: GVB Biopharma

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The CBD industry is getting crowded, and big changes are afoot. By the end of 2021, it’s almost certain that the FDA will provide CBD with a major regulatory facelift, and in the meantime, jostling for space within an oversaturated industry takes an expert’s touch. Partnering with a well established hemp manufacturer like GVB Biopharma is one way to instantly gain industry expertise, but a quality partner alone won’t guarantee success.

Use these 10 tips to build a CBD brand that will stand out and survive the remarkable transformations that are about to revolutionize the domestic hemp industry.

1. Prepare for FDA regulation.

The FDA has taken its time to examine the science surrounding CBD, and this federal agency is now ready to finalize new CBD regulations as soon as possible. Since Epidiolex has been approved as a prescription drug, however, the FDA is currently held back by the FD&C Act, which stipulates that the same substance can’t be sold as a prescription medication and a dietary supplement at the same time.

Receiving pressure from Congress and the White House, the FDA is sending this pressure right back at Congress, demanding changes to the FD&C Act that would streamline the CBD approval process. Once this ultimately minor hurdle is overcome, the FDA is expected to begin approving CBD products as dietary supplements, so it would be wise to only produce hemp products that will be met with FDA approval.

2. Work with an established wholesaler.

Producing FDA-worthy products is a lot harder when you’re on your own. In the past, it sometimes made sense for small CBD brands to produce their own hemp extract, but not anymore. Once the FDA moves on CBD, it will be much easier to acquire approval for bulk ingredients and white label products that were produced by an FDA-approved manufacturer. 

Instead of being forced to prove the purity of your products from start to finish, you’ll be able to direct the FDA to existing information on the ingredients you use. Working with an established, respected wholesaler like GVB Biopharma will allow you to enter the new FDA-regulated CBD market easily and smoothly.

3. Embrace rare cannabinoids.

“Rare cannabinoids like CBG, CBN, and CBC are rapidly gaining popularity. Implementing these new cannabinoids into your product line is crucial to stay competitive in the marketplace," says Sebastian Ravitz, CMO of GVB Biopharma.

While it’s unlikely that the FDA will move on these cannabinoids anytime soon, that’s no reason to avoid the rare cannabinoid market, which is generating significant consumer interest with low competition. While similar to CBD in that they are non-intoxicating, CBG, CBN, and CBC all have unique properties, and embracing rare cannabinoids while complying with the FDA’s upcoming CBD regulations will diversify your portfolio while fully legitimizing your brand.

4. Focus on fast-growing categories.

According to a recent report, CBD vape products continue to experience impressive growth over the long term while CBD edibles have experienced the most growth (33 percent) during the Covid-19 pandemic specifically. Therefore, building a brand that includes CBD edibles can deliver impressive profits in the short term while including vape products in your lineup will translate into reliable, long-term profit potential.

5. Remember that differentiation is key.

However you decide to source your CBD and whichever products you choose, remember to make your brand memorable and enticing. As an increasing number of entrepreneurs recognize that the long-awaited mainstreaming of the CBD industry is finally on the horizon, hemp skepticism is decreasing, and the industry’s barrier to entry is lowering. To succeed as a new CBD brand, therefore, you’ll need to choose a diversified niche instead of developing a brand designed to universally appeal to all consumers.

6. Foster trust and transparency.

CBD is no longer a fringe substance, and hundreds of hemp brands are competing for the same customers. As a result, transparency is more important than ever before, and consumers won’t buy from CBD brands they don’t trust. Provide detailed, up-to-date lab reports for each of the products you offer, use sustainable and organic ingredients whenever possible, refrain from including anything artificial in your products, and build a brand identity that accurately depicts the unique benefits that your products offer.

7. Capitalize on trending ingredient synergies.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, consumers are on the hunt for CBD products with immune benefits. As a result, hemp products that also contain reishi mushrooms, elderberry extract, or other natural substances that have received extensive attention for their potential immune-boosting properties can perform especially well in the current climate. Additionally, interest in the general benefits of natural substances like kava and maca is increasing irrespective of the pandemic, making CBD products that include these substances effective long-term investments.

8. Invest heavily into DTC.

Nearly 45 percent of hemp consumers have begun exclusively purchasing CBD online as of June 2020. The lockdowns imposed in response to Covid-19 have temporarily or permanently closed countless brick-and-mortar businesses that previously sold CBD, and consumers feel more comfortable making purchases online due to the perceived threat of contracting Covid-19 in public spaces. Focusing extensively on direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales channels and relegating B2B to the back burner will result in short-term success while also aligning with the overall trend toward online purchases that has been steadily accelerating for the last two decades.

9. Use content for SEO and brand identity.

SEO is a commonly overlooked, yet critical, component of the DTC sales funnel. Especially since CBD companies are largely prohibited from purchasing pay-per-click (PPC) ads, generating organic traffic via SEO is essential within the CBD industry. Search engines have gotten better at rewarding high-quality, useful content, so developing blog articles, product descriptions, and other forms of content that provide genuine value to consumers will help your CBD e-commerce site rise in the rankings. Effective content also helps you develop your distinctive brand voice, which builds brand identity and fosters consumer trust.

10. Seek expert advice.

The CBD industry is verging on a period of unprecedented transformation, making the current moment a time of great opportunity that rewards delicate positioning. Premium CBD white labelers and bulk ingredient manufacturers, such as GVB Biopharma, can provide you with expert consultation and guidance as they simultaneously supply you with the reliable, high-quality CBD you need to approach the industry with confidence. If you learn as much as you can before approaching the market, you’ll avoid unpleasant surprises and enjoy a smooth ascent to hemp industry success.

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