Cannabis is filled with celebrity brands, like any other product-driven environment. Whether the brands are simply endorsed by the celebrity or in Seth Rogen’s case, created by them entirely, there’s no doubt celebrities have a pull on the consumer marketplace. Household names like Snoop Dog, Jay-Z, and even Martha Stewart are getting involved with the cannabis business. But, what exactly does that look like?
Consumers trust celebrities
According to Social Media Week, a well-placed celebrity endorsement can raise the value of stocks and increase sales by roughly 4%. This is a pretty significant increase in sales from just one person jumping on board. The Nike Air Jordan campaign in 1984 was one of the most successful celebrity endorsements of all time. Even in 2009, a whole 25 years later, Jordan's Nike shoe dominated 75% of basketball shoe sales and 10.8% of overall shoe sales in the United States! One shoe had 10% of the competitive marketplace.
The reason is trust. Even though we don’t know these celebrities personally, we trust them. We trust their opinion. Who wouldn’t trust Michael Jordan’s recommendation for the best basketball shoe? Now that social media is such a huge part of our daily lives, this rings even truer. Social media enables us to see a glimpse of the celebrity’s inner life. So when they share a product with us, at the very least, it piques our curiosity.
Younger generations value celebrity opinion
Generation Z and Millenials resonate more strongly with celebrity endorsements than other generations, which might not be shocking. One could argue social media and instant media have a lot to do with this. The modern entertainment-fueled world places a lot of importance on celebrity’s opinions. According to a LinkedIn article, the average consumer in the U.S. saw 500 ads a day. Now, the average American consumer sees upwards of 5,000 ads per day.
Needless to say, Generation Z and Millenials are seeing far more ads than the generations before them, which may help explain the attraction to celebrity-endorsed products. Seeing a famous celebrity creates an instant form of trust and separates that ad from the rest of them. Seeing your favorite celebrity, and for some people, any relevant celebrity is enough to make you pause and maybe do a little further research about the product or company.
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How the right celebrity can amplify your cannabis brand
So, how does this translate to cannabis? Will celebrity weed sell more? In short, yes. It’s possible the right celebrity can drive more sales through the door. Consumers want to see someone they trust representing their cannabis brand, and maybe even more so because 3.6 million Americans (not to mention the rest of the world) are licensed medical marijuana patients. That means cannabis is medicine to millions of people in the United States, so they want something that works.
Authenticity is the key to bringing celebrities to your cannabis brand. Your consumers will sense ingenuity if you pick any celebrity to promote the brand just because they’re famous. At the very least, they should be a cannabis consumer. The celebrity working with your brand should have a genuine passion for the unique products you bring to the space, and be more than excited to help spread your company’s mission. When it becomes just another paycheck to whomever you’re working with, that’s when things go south. In other words, research and vet the celebrities you want to work with and make sure you’re a good match for each other.
Working with influencers to promote your cannabis brand
Keep in mind, the word “celebrity” has changed dramatically, especially over the last decade with the rise of smartphones and alternative forms of advertisement. Nowadays, celebrity doesn’t just mean a Hollywood star on the red carpet. Thanks to social media, almost anyone with a smartphone can become a modern-day “celebrity.” Influencers are all the rage right now, and many influencers can be the perfect people to position your product. If you go this route, it’s important to find an influencer with a target audience similar to yours. So influencers who promote cannabis consumption or a mindful lifestyle might be people you consider reaching out to.
Bob Marley’s influence on the cannabis community
Needless to say, the right cannabis consumer can elevate your brand to unimaginable heights. Take Marley Naturals, for example. This brand launched in 2016 and it’s Bob Marley’s cannabis brand. Bob Marley died in 1981, yet in 2016, his cannabis brand is one people trust decades after his death. Bob Marley had no say in this brand or what it looks like, but because he was enthusiastic about cannabis: consumers will trust it.
How Flourish can help
Adding a celebrity endorsement or brand to your company’s portfolio? Keep track of its performance with Flourish Software. We offer seed-to-sale software solutions to the cannabis space and integrate with companies like LeafLink and QuickBooks so you can accurately monitor your every move.