People have been taking CBD products for years. However, the industry exploded after the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law, making industrial hemp products officially legal. By 2017, the CBD industry was already worth $367 million. Moreover, the CBD market has experienced massive growth since then. Experts estimate that by 2022 the industry will be worth $22 billion.

If you’re looking to get into the CBD industry—or if you’re already there—you’re in good company. And you have some fierce competition. If you want your CBD business to thrive, you can’t just be another option in the sea of brands. You’ve got to set yourself apart in the CBD market in ways that consumers value.

What Consumers Expect from Companies in the CBD Market

Naturally, consumers in the CBD market expect high-quality products. Low-quality CBD products tend to develop a bad reputation quickly and don’t last long on the market. In addition to quality, consumers want to know the CBD has been extracted sustainably and ethically.

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According to the 2014 Cone Communications Food Issues Trend Tracker, 77% of Americans prioritize sustainability when it comes to food. The study also found that the following facets of sustainability influence purchase decisions:

  • Local production (74%)
  • Sustainable packaging (69%)
  • Animal welfare (69%)
  • Protection and renewal of natural resources (65%)

While CBD isn’t technically food, it is something people consume on a regular basis and the same standards apply. People want to know the CBD products they’re buying have been ethically and sustainably sourced and aren’t harming people or the planet.

The Time to Innovate Is Now

CBD is a relatively new commercial item because of formerly gray areas of legality. Now that the Farm Bill makes CBD legal when it’s sourced from industrial hemp, hundreds of businesses are jumping into the market and launching lines of CBD products. Prior to the Farm Bill, consumers who relied on CBD didn’t have much of a choice. Today, choices are abundant.

If you’re going to launch your business in the CBD market, the time to innovate is now. You’ll have the advantage if you establish a sustainable, reputable brand before the market becomes saturated.

Tips for Creating a Reputable CBD Brand on the Market

The time-tested rules of marketing apply to every industry, and that includes the CBD market. To create a reputable brand, you need a good product and a great marketing team. However, you also need several industry-specific elements.

1. Third-Party Lab Testing

Lab testing in the CBD market creates transparency with your customers. Not everyone will take the time to read through your data, but many will. There are customers who won’t purchase a CBD product without reading a detailed third-party certificate of analysis.

When your brand is new on the CBD market, you don’t have a reputation to fall back on in lieu of data. Even when you do establish that reputation, you should continue with lab testing. This is because it irrefutably proves the quality of your products.

If you don’t know how to gather and present lab data, find out what the top companies in the CBD market are doing and copy them. One example of a company that gets this right is Hemp Bombs. They test every batch made and publish every certificate of analysis on their website. Customers can search for their product’s batch number and pull up the appropriate certificate of analysis. This leaves no room for doubt that each product contains what is claimed.

2. Sustainability in the CBD Market

Hemp is actually already a sustainable crop that requires little water compared to most commercial farm crops. When it comes to CBD products, Earth911.com published a list of what various companies on the market are doing to maintain sustainability. For example, CBD-infused coffee products use compostable coffee pods, while balm products use wooden lids on glass jars (instead of plastic). Check out the list for some brilliant sustainability ideas.

3. Product Labeling

The best packaging and graphics will always win more sales. This is an unavoidable aspect of marketing in every industry. If you’re going to thrive in the CBD market, you need labels that stand out and are memorable. People should recognize your brand from a distance, so avoid complex designs.

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4. Product Variety

Companies that produce one version of a product might do well if they have a niche market for one particular concentration, but it’s not likely. When it comes to products on the CBD market, people want variety in terms of concentration, delivery method, and flavor.

Obviously, higher concentrations will be more expensive, but many consumers prefer higher concentrations—especially for oils—so the bottles last longer. Another thing consumers in the CBD market prefer is flavor. Not many people like the taste of plain CBD oil, even when added to water. If you can create a variety of flavors that taste good, you’ll get more sales.

No Industry Experience? Hire a Professional Consultant

If you’re new to the CBD market, hire a professional consultant. There are plenty of legalities you need to be aware of. There are myths and misconceptions that make it hard to know what’s true. When you’ve got a great product, a fantastic marketing team, and you follow the strict set of industry rules, you can create a profitable CBD business that outpaces your competitors in the market.