01/11/19

Creating a Successful CSR Campaign in Cannabis

A ‘how-to’ guide for cannabis companies trying to reach the conscious consumer.

Think promotional branding only has to do with the product? Think again. More and more companies are realizing that effective promotion runs beyond product; it has to engage principles. That’s where CSR comes into play.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) put simply is the act of companies turning concern into action. It’s the initiatives that companies take to better align their values with a greater good, reach the conscious consumer, and take action to produce positive effects. This eagerness to make an impact on the world could easily be diluted to pure profit (i.e. If you loosen the heartstrings, you loosen the purse strings, too), but it goes beyond that. The goal of CSR is convincing consumers to invest in your brand, not just buy-in.

And it’s becoming a bigger and bigger deal in cannabis, too.

CSR in Action

A good example of aligning the brand with the greater good would be Colorado-based dispensary chain and COHNNABIS client, The Clinic. Early into its campaign development, it was clear the company wanted to expand beyond the cannabis realm and make an impact in the communities outside their front door.

But how does a dispensary connect with non-cannabis users?

The Clinic’s Partnership with National MS Society

At the root of its brand, product, and culture, The Clinic was about endorsing health and happiness. This had the versatility to expand beyond cannabis and surely did when they partnered with the National MS Society on a local, regional, and national level. This became a perfect example of “cause marketing” or the process of companies joining forces with nonprofit organizations.

By focusing their campaigns on those philanthropic relationships, The Clinic was able to reach a broader audience of consumers and grow a community that felt good investing in a brand that took positive action.

With an effective platform in nonprofit established, The Clinic sought to expand their mission for good. From offering a percentage of sales to local organizations to donating employee’s time as volunteers, their dedication to ongoing service was visible in the community.

All of these contributions, both locally and nationally, became cornerstones of the brand and helped grow a loyal, connective base.

The Clinic aligned itself as a socially driven enterprise focused on making the world a happier, healthier place. This genuine and transparent business model worked to keep the company socially accountable and in turn more successful because of it. COHNNABIS is incredibly proud to have worked on this mission for good and encourage all businesses to consider how CSR fits into their business structure.

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