CBD Brands: How to Create a Digital Strategy to Appeal to Retailers

Hi CBD Brands. We see you! You are part of a revolution, you’re bringing an entirely new and exciting product to a world that may (or may not) be totally ready for and open to it. The challenge; a lot of your market doesn’t totally “get it” yet. We work side by side with so many CBD companies that tell us one of their biggest challenges is getting into the retail space. 

We’re here to help. Check these boxes to make sure your brand and products are appealing to not just your online customers but to retailers as well. After all, retail is the pinnacle of sales placement! You are faced with far less competition (you’re just face to face with the products next to yours) and you can reach a much more targeted, even…perfect, customer. They’ve sought out a specific store to find and engage with new brands (maybe even yours!). The fact that they’re even in the store tells you they’re interested in your product and may be open to sampling or buying your brand.

Being eye level and on those shelves is where consumers are going to see you (and possibly) trust you the most. We are here to get you there. Read on to find out the crucial steps in overcoming the #retailchallenges and getting your CBD brand on those shelves!

First: The Issues

Getting your CBD product into retail isn’t easy, and we know it!

  • Retailers are the most resistant to CBD because of stigmas around the weed industry.  It may be a department store, coffee shop, specialty location, or a department store, they all worry that carrying CBD products will turn off customers who equate CBD with something they might view as negative. 
  • When your product, especially a new-to-market CBD brand, is in a retail space you lose control over the messaging and the education of your consumer. 
  • Retailers are not always informed! Depending on where you’re trying to place your product (i.e. a Colorado cafe vs. one in Nebraska) consumers still might wonder “no really, what in the heck is CBD?!” And the truth is, the store clerk or owner may not be fully able to educate and persuade customers to try it or buy it. 
  • There is a ton of good, bad, and random information floating around that could negate the value of your product and how awesome it is! So the challenge becomes this: how do you manage those “stereotypes” without quite literally stationing a brand rep up next to every placement of your product?
  • Because many retailers don’t yet know what to look for when choosing whether or not to carry CBD on their shelves, they are going to make snap decisions based on a few things: your packaging, their personal experience and knowledge of CBD, your social accounts, and often last (unfortunately), the product itself.

Second: The solutions

The good news is that people are catching on, fast. You have the opportunity to contribute to an ethos of posivite CBD experiences! Here’s where to start

First, take a good look at your packaging.


So many retailers are going to select brands based on looks above everything else. Will this new product look good on their shelves? Does it work with their other products and aesthetic? Will it reflect well on their cafe, salon, shop, bakery, etc? Retailers are very averse to anything that screams weed or even “hemp” for that matter – consider color, logo, quality of materials (glass vs. plastic) and most importantly what types of retailers are a good match for you and what products they currently stock. Aim for the stars and make sure your packaging looks as good if not better than anything else on their shelves! Take a look at @Highborn.nyc and their oil roller, branding and logo. They would fit perfectly in a beauty store, yoga studio, salon, gift shop…you name it! 

Next, audit all of your social accounts.

    • Make sure your social accounts are on point! Retailers are going to be opposed to anything that screams ‘weed.’ Things like blatant pictures of the marijuana plant, too much green, psychedelic vibes, smoke etc. CBD today is a whole new world. It’s modern, it’s approachable, it’s for everyone. It should look right at home next to a gourmet chocolate or high end hand cream.
    • Do you need a brand or social overhaul? It’s worth the time and effort if it’s going to appeal to a wider audience and get your brand on shelves. Think about what you are communicating with just one glance at your Instagram or social accounts. Not sure where to start? We can help with that!
    • Anyone looking to purchase your product is going to look at your social media. The same goes for retailers who you are approaching to carry your products. Ultimately what assets you deliver to retailers to help sell your products (for in-store, for social etc…) will need to reflect well on them, so the more beautiful/high quality your presence is when they’re vetting you, the better. 
    • Great tip: Plenty of retailers are open to beeing contacted initially  via DM. Don’t be afraid to make your first impression over social!

And finally, educate and create.

    • Make it a priority to create beautiful content that you can use in social and that retailers can use in store.
    • Ultimately, it’s important to remember that customer and retailers may not fully know or understand what your product is made of, or does. CBD, while not new, is still *kinda* new to the mainstream, so education is really important. How do you educate? We love infographics! Think about how you can use information and infographics to tell your product story and benefits. This will help not only retailers but actual customers see your value.
    • Tell them a story: what is CBD, what is your story, what sets your CBD products apart? Create a one page ‘sales pitch,’ incorporate educational bits and pieces in your newsletter, website (like @kiksanu did below) post infographics on your social pages.


We love CBD brands. We work side by side with you and see a crazy successful future for you all. We also love the time we are in right now; the perfect time to re-asses and re-brand so you can change the lives of more customers. Bring your story to life! Just don’t let packaging, your social or your message bring you down. Go on and get yourself on those shelves!


Post by Evie

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