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How to Build a Cannabis Brand that Consumers Trust



Brand trust is one of the most important factors in consumers’ purchase decisions, particularly for high risk purchases. Consumers will buy brands they trust. They’ll talk about brands they trust and recommend them to other people. Bottom-line, building a cannabis brand that consumers trust should be a top priority for every cannabis business and cannabis-related business.

People know that a brand they trust will meet their expectations and deliver on its promises every time they purchase or use it. However, the most trustworthy brands go a step further. Consumers must not only trust that the brand will deliver on its promise in every interaction but also that it will deliver on its promise in every interaction that other people have with it. These most trusted brands are the ones that people are the most loyal to, talk about, and advocate.

Traits that Make Top Brands Trustworthy

Brand trust is more important than ever today. A study by Edelman found that 81% of consumers feel they must be able to trust a brand to do what’s right. In fact, trust was one of the top buying considerations that consumers identified in the study along with quality, convenience and value, and ingredients. Additionally, three out of four consumers (75%) value trust over trendiness, and two out of three (66%) would purchase a familiar, trusted brand over a newer or more innovative brand.

What makes a brand trustworthy? Research conducted by Trustpilot and IBM Watson Personality Insights about brand personality and reputation determined there are five key personality traits that the top 50 most reputable brands in the United States share. These reputable brands rank high in the following important traits:

  • Openness: 91.9%
  • Emotional Range: 87.9%
  • Conscientiousness: 70.0%
  • Extraversion: 55.8%
  • Agreeableness: 11.6%

Based on the data, these are five traits that businesses operating in and with the cannabis industry should focus on in order to build their reputations and brand trust among consumers.

3 Steps to Build Cannabis Brand Trust

Your cannabis or ancillary business can start building brand trust immediately. Investing in content marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing are three cost-effective ways to do it. The first three steps are developing the right perceptions of your brand, creating proof that you’ll deliver on your brand promise, and demonstrating that you’ll consistently meet consumers’ expectations for your brand.

1. Brand Perception

How do consumers perceive your cannabis brand? It’s up to you to create appropriate messages to develop consumer perceptions of your brand that accurately reflect its intended promise.

For example, think of the Nike brand, which ranked as the second most reputable brand in the Trustpilot research study. Nike’s loyal customers trust the brand to deliver on its promise in every interaction – providing great athletic apparel and products. Trust directly affects their decision to choose the Nike brand again and again. It also motivates them to talk about the brand and recommend it to other people.

Consumers perceive Nike to be a trustworthy brand because it meets their expectations in every interaction and keeps its promise to them. For your cannabis brand to be trusted, you need to do the same thing by taking the time to create and nurture consumer perceptions.

2. Brand Proof

Any brand can say it’s trustworthy, but how many can prove it? The next step to building brand trust is to create the proof consumers need so they’re confident your brand won’t let them down if they buy it.

This is an area where your business blog, social media activities, and customer reviews are essential to your success. Engage with consumers. Educate and entertain them. Focus on humanizing your brand and delighting your customers, and brand proof will accumulate quickly.

3. Brand Consistency

Consistency is one of the three key factors of brand building. If a brand fails to meet consumers’ expectations or if consumers are confused by a brand because its messages or experiences are inconsistent, they’ll turn away from that brand and search for another that does meet their expectations in every interaction. Confusion is the number one brand killer.

Therefore, you need to ensure your brand messaging, products, services, content, and experiences always provide consistent reflections of your brand promise. Focus on building a consistent brand image in everything you do and consumers’ trust in your brand will grow.

Key Takeaways to Build a Cannabis Brand that Consumers Trust

Building trust is a critical part of creating valuable emotional connections between consumers and your brand. Brand loyalty and brand advocacy are dependent on brand trust, so consider how you can make your brand more trustworthy.

Next, focus on consistently building appropriate brand perception and proof and making sure that proof is easy for consumers to access. Invest in brand trust today and your cannabis or ancillary business will win in the marketplace in the future.

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