Today’s pet owners are willing to go to extraordinary lengths — and spend staggering amounts of money — for their animals. This presents a significant opportunity for those who can market CBD pet products in the right way.
Pet owners are still learning the ropes when it comes to CBD-infused animal products — “ways to use CBD on my pet” is one of the most common search queries within the industry.
So how can CBD brands take that curiosity and transform it into a loyal customer base who loves their products almost as much as they love their pets? It all starts with well-executed advertising and marketing.
With that in mind, let’s look at four tips for your next CBD pet product campaign.
Emphasize the Cost Benefits
People are incredibly passionate about their animals. Yet millions of those pet lovers can’t afford to pay for their own medical insurance, let alone foot the bill for frequent vet trips. Even the most tenderhearted dog or cat lover might be forced to skip regular vet visits if their budget simply won’t stretch.
Given that CBD pet products are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased without any need for a veterinary prescription, they present an intriguing option for consumers without sufficient spending power. And that’s a broad category — currently 76% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck; 50% of Americans earn fewer than $30k annually and 38% earn fewer than $20k annually.
By creating marketing messages that emphasizing the reasonable cost of most CBD products, consumers will be more inclined to use them as a supplement to regular animal care under a vet’s supervision.
Segment Your Pet CBD Audience
Audience segmentation is critical for virtually all brands, and it can be practiced in a way within the CBD space that allows you to target specific breed owners. For example, bulldogs and Dalmatians are genetically pre-disposed to suffer from the painful condition of hip dysplasia.
CBD products have been demonstrated to help with hip and joint issues — the kind of serious issues that often plague purebred puppies. CBD products can also be targeted toward owners of breeds that tend toward anxiety, and of course older dogs and cats who suffer from a range of common maladies.
By segmenting your audience in this fashion, you can deliver more relevant messages and generate a higher ROI.
Emphasize Quality Control
Pet owners have become as concerned about what they put into their animals’ bodies as they are about what they put into their own. This is doubly so for newer products such as CBD, without an extensive track record to examine.
In order to reassure consumers about the naturalness and quality of your CBD pet products, it’s important to stress that your brand uses top quality raw materials and (ideally) operates on a farm to shelf basis.
Offer a Real World Window Into Common CBD Uses for Pets
A pit bull might be the most fearsome looking family protector on his block, but one stray thunderstorm can have him quivering in the corner. It’s a funny image, but it also speaks to something every pet owner understands: Even the most loyal, brave and protective animals still need human love, care and attention.
Pet products for CBD curious buyers can help provide that nurturing care. A marketing campaign that shows real world examples of CBD pet products alleviating thunderstorm stress is a compelling way to illustrate how CBD can help improve an animal’s mental state. That same campaign could also show older dogs and cats benefiting from the pain-relief and inflammation effects offered through CBD ingestion.
The idea is simple: Provide an authentic, unmediated look at how CBD pet products are helping real animals live better lives. There’s also one more advantage to taking a documentary approach: Pets don’t exhibit the placebo effect or show off for camera lenses, so they make fairly credible case studies — even though they don’t have much to say.
Working With the Right CBD Pet Product Marketing Agency
At Bigeye, we’ve established ourselves as one of North America’s leading creative agencies for CBD brands. Few of our competitors have the domain expertise needed to create credible, compelling and strategically executed CBD pet products campaigns.
If you need help with CBD pet marketing, we urge you to reach out to Bigeye today.
Cannabidiol use is booming, and brands that can reach the “CBD curious” audience are in the best position to profit. Let’s take a closer look at how your CBD branding can appeal to new consumers.
As seen with many markets that were once of questionable legality, CBD brands must convert skeptical or ill-informed consumers in order to flourish. While many of these consumers are “CBD curious,” they often need a push to fully commit. That push comes in the form of highly persuasive CBD branding and advertising that still plays by today’s CBD marketing rules.
Let’s review some of the most crucial things to know when designing a CBD marketing campaign designed to hit all the right notes with new audiences.
Task Number One: Develop Proper Branding and Product Design
Because CBD is an emerging product in a once-illegal market, there is still a lot of misinformation circulating among the public. Some consumers mistakenly believe CBD is intoxicating; others believe it has no established medical value, and some can’t distinguish it from cannabis.
Smart CBD branding and CBD packaging can help minimize such confusion. Brands, in many cases, will want to avoid any branding or package elements that tie in too closely with the cliched “420” culture elements so often seen with cannabis branding. Instead, it’s often a better idea to opt for a more refined aesthetic. Use neutral and elevated packaging designs and position your brand not as something to be enjoyed, but rather something that helps you feel better.
Task Number Two: Position Your CBD Product as a Tool for Self-Care and Optimization
Do you know what’s even more popular than CBD products right now? The concepts of self-care and optimization. Consumers are feverishly trying to optimize their sleep, diets and workouts and using products to help relax and take better care of their bodies. It’s a multi-billion dollar business.
Fortunately, these concepts dovetail perfectly with CBD products. Smart marketers should emphasize the ways by which their CBD products can help new consumers. These include:
Optimize their sleep by reducing insomnia
Optimize performance and facilitate self-care through the reduction of anxiety
Improve their appearance by using CBD-enriched skin care products
These are merely three examples of the myriad ways CBD branding and marketing can highlight and surface the optimization and self-care properties of products within the space.
Task Three: Reassure New Consumers With Regard to Legality
Remember how we discussed the misinformation floating in the air with regard to CBD products? Many consumers still believe that CBD is illegal, and that belief persists because of a confusing patchwork of statewide regulations governing the sale of CBD products.
Most consumers won’t give a new product a chance unless they are convinced that it’s legal. While state regulations regarding commercial use may vary, CBD has been legal to manufacture on a federal level since 2018. Your marketing should help clear up any lingering confusion for new consumers.
Task Four: Convince New Consumers it isn’t an Empty Trend
When something attains the cultural status of “gluten-free” or “zero carb,” pushback is inevitable. Consumers who aren’t participating in the newest trends will often dismiss them as being driven by a herd mentality — or they will have doubts about the underlying value of the products that are generating such immense consumer interest.
CBD marketers should anticipate this and answer these doubts with the most compelling thing in their arsenal: Proven research that establishes the value of CBD in a clinical setting. While the average person may not feel many benefits from eliminating gluten, CBD products have a near-universal range of benefits and applications. By focusing on the data that attests to the efficacy of the product — and mixing in real-world anecdotal examples — CBD branding and marketing pros can overcome the natural skepticism that accompanies new products and intensely popular products.
Why Work With Bigeye?
At Bigeye, we have more expertise and experience with the CBD industry than any agency that is remotely close to our size. We’ve been at the forefront of this emerging trend, and we can use our experience to help you create CBD branding and marketing that connects with new consumers.
In Clear Focus this week: the US market for cannabidiol. Michael Law of contract manufacturer Eagle Labs shares his observations about the opportunities and potential pitfalls for anyone introducing new CBD products to this booming market. With a background in traditional CPG sales and marketing, Michael offers practical guidance for CBD brands and retailers to maximize results.
In Clear Focus listeners can exclusively take advantage of a special discount code to receive 50% off a purchase from Eagle Labs’ newline of CBD products: go to IMPIRICA.co and enter the code BIGEYE at the checkout.
Adrian Tennant: You’re listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS, a unique perspective on the business of advertising produced weekly by Bigeye. Hello. I’m your host, Adrian Tennant, VP of insights at Bigeye, an audience-focused, creative-driven, full-service advertising agency. Bigeye is based in Orlando, Florida, but serves clients across the United States and beyond. We provide audience research, strategy, branding, creative, media, and analytics services. Thank you for choosing to spend time with us today. A couple of weeks ago we talked about the legal considerations surrounding CBD product marketing. On this week’s show, we’re focusing on CBD product manufacturing. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a chemical compound from the cannabis plant. It’s used in products like oils and edibles to impart a feeling of relaxation and calm. Unlike THC, its cousin, CBD is not psychoactive. Today, CBD is available in tinctures and pills intended to relieve conditions such as anxiety and arthritis pain, and you’ll see it as an ingredient in a growing range of consumer categories from food and beverages to beauty products and apparel. As a CBD marketing agency, Bigeye enjoys working with the entrepreneurial innovators in this space. And today it’s my pleasure to welcome a guest with a unique perspective on the rapidly growing market for CBD products. Michael Law is the Chief Commercial Officer of Eagle Labs, based in Saint Petersburg, here in Florida. Eagle Labs manufactures high-quality, rigorously-tested nutritional supplements and skincare products. The company provides formulation and manufacturing services for private label lines. Under Michael’s direction, Eagle Labs has quickly become a leader in the CBD category, not only manufacturing products on behalf of its clients, but also developing its own CBD product range. The company also offers packaging, design, consulting, and fulfillment services. And Eagle Labs is a Food and Drug Administration-registered facility. Welcome to IN CLEAR FOCUS, Michael.
Michael Law: Thank you Adrian. It’s great to be here.
Adrian Tennant: I gave a summary overview of CBD at the top of the show, but could you give us a bit more of a detailed explanation of what CBD is and how it’s produced?
Michael Law: Yes, absolutely. And to be clear, there’s a lot of confusion around what CBD is and isn’t. I’ll give you a layman’s explanation of what CBD is. CBD is really a naturally occurring compound as I think you said at the beginning of the podcast. It’s found in industrial hemp plants. It’s important to differentiate between the industrial hemp plant and marijuana. These plants are cousins, but industrial hemp is really what the Farm Bill, the federal Farm Bill approved for cultivation, transport, research, and sale. CBD can support a sense of peace and wellness in humans and animals, as it interacts with the body’s natural endocannabinoid system. It’s not intoxicating and that’s one of the biggest myths about CBD, so you can add it to your everyday routine without experiencing a high. A lot of consumers are also concerned about safety and we’ll talk more about what Eagle Labs is doing to ensure the safety of our products. But there has been a report from the World Health Organization that stated that in humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential. So they haven’t found any evidence of public health issues or problems associated with the use of pure CBD. So I mean, at the outset, I think it’s important to know that CBD has a very strong safety profile and that it is very distinct from marijuana in that it will not make you high. And it is federally legal.
Adrian Tennant: Right, by some estimates, the US market for CBD will be worth anything between 16 and 22 billion dollars annually within just a couple of years. Why is the market for CBD products growing so rapidly?
Michael Law: The reason that it’s growing so rapidly is that consumers are using the product and they’re experiencing the effects that they’re seeking. So the repeat purchase levels are very high. There’s a lot of online communication that’s happening where people are sharing their stories with each other. We get a lot of testimonials, even video testimonials from people that have tried our products are just indicating that the product has exceeded their expectations in terms of the benefits that they’re seeking either for themselves or for their pets. We believe that the category is probably in the one to two billion dollar range right now. Most of the category is not what we would call measured by agencies like AC Nielsen or IRI – syndicated data providers – because so much of the volume is done in eCommerce or in unmeasured channels like natural [food] stores, where there often isn’t syndicated data or reporting. The category’s much bigger than most people believe it is today because so much of it is unmeasured. Retailers have really not fully gotten into CBD in the way that they will as soon as it is regulated.
Adrian Tennant: Michael, that’s really interesting. Just taking the pain-relieving CBD products as an example, do you see them as additive or will they eventually cannibalize sales of traditional pharmaceuticals?
Michael Law: Yeah, that’s a really good question. I mean, anecdotally, as somebody who’s relatively new to this category… My background is with traditional consumer packaged goods companies like Johnson and Johnson. I’ve sold or marketed products in virtually every aisle in a drug store. But speaking to people anecdotally – I mean, I talk to every person I sit beside on a flight, every person I have an Uber ride with or meet at a meeting if they’re not in the industry – and ask them if they’ve heard of CBD and if they have what their experience has been. In the anecdotal stories from people who have reduced the use of OTC products or drug products in favor of more natural solutions like CBD is just overwhelming. Again, one of the things that is really exciting to me about this category is the growth potential. The safety profile, as I said, from the World Health Organization and their research is very strong. We need the FDA to come out with a regulatory perspective on their recommendations for dosing and indicated use. I do believe personally that you will see some cannibalization from traditional OTC medications from pharmaceutical products as consumers try products like CBD.
Adrian Tennant: And I think we should just clarify for listeners that are not familiar with the jargon, OTC stands for “over-the-counter,” correct?
Michael Law: Yes. Over-the-counter. It’s basically means that it’s available for self-service, like in a pharmacy section.
Adrian Tennant: Now, I know that Eagle Labs is very quality-focused. So it seems like a good time to segue to that. Can you tell us a little bit about how Eagle Lab’s services and the business fits into this broader CBD landscape?
Michael Law: Absolutely. Yeah. So Eagle Labs had been making skincare and nutritional products for private label clients, large national retail clients, for about 10 years. The company was owned by a chemist with 40 years of experience formulating and Eagle Labs was purchased by an entrepreneurial pair of brothers that wanted to get into the CBD category, but in a way that would ensure that their finished goods would be nothing but the highest quality. So they’ve purchased a very good quality manufacturer with the chemist, as I said, with a lot of experience and then they set about ensuring that their manufacturing processes were going to be ahead of any potential regulations. Our batch records, for example, are over 20 pages long for both the cosmetic products that we manufacturer, anything that might be a nutritional supplement with a CBD. There’s extreme rigor. We qualify any new raw material vendor with three separate batch tests. We get certificates of analysis to ensure that the potency of the raw material for CBD is accurate, and that the safety is also assured that there’s no heavy metals, there’s no bacteria, there’s no pesticides, and so on. So very rigorous on testing anything that comes into our facility. Any new raw materials that come in are quarantined until they’re tested, then they’re moved into the area where they can be used for manufacturing. As we’re manufacturing – actually filling the tincture bottles, for example – we’re testing from the top of the mixer, the middle and the bottom to ensure that we’ve got a consistent level of CBD across the entire batch. And then when we get to the finished goods stage, we send out our samples from our finished goods to third-party labs for final testing. And we get what’s called a certificate of analysis or a C-of-A that shows the potency. So if it’s a 500 milligram bottle, we want to make sure that it’s got 500 milligrams in it and, that it doesn’t have any pesticides, any heavy metals or bacteria in it. So, I would say a very, very strong focus on quality as you mentioned. And in fact, we believe that it’s in our best interest and our customer’s best interest to actually be ahead of what we think the FDA will decide in terms of manufacturing regulations. So we’re moving towards OTC qualification, which would essentially mean we could make a drug in our facility and we would have the processes for making drugs. I think when the FDA does regulate, , there will be a lot of smaller manufacturers that either haven’t or aren’t willing to make those kinds of investments in quality that will disappear.
Adrian Tennant: So what does a typical Eagle Labs client look like? Are they primarily startups or more established brands?
Michael Law: Yeah, so great question. The foundation of Eagle Labs was really working with eCommerce clients that were good at eCommerce but didn’t have the capabilities to do manufacturing and fulfillment. We also own a fulfillment company – it’s called Full Stack Fulfillment with fulfillment centers in Florida, Utah and the UK. So we can really be a turnkey provider for anybody that wants to create a brand as we can obviously manufacture for them in a high-quality environment, put out a great finished goods product, we can fulfill it through our fulfillment centers. So we’re meeting with large companies that are already in the CBD business that may be looking for either alternate sources of supply or unique sources of supply in product forms that we can make that they aren’t currently available from their current contract manufacturers. And we’re also having a lot of discussions with retailers regarding creating their own private brands in most health and beauty care and OTC categories. The store brands have about 25 to 30 percent of the market share and believe there’s no reason that a store brands won’t achieve that level of market share if not higher within this category as well. So we’ve been talking to a lot of retailers about about that opportunity and I think a lot of retailers are still kind of sitting on the sidelines. It won’t be long before they’ll be ready to push go on strategies where they’ll have their own brand name in the store on CBD products.
Adrian Tennant: Right. So it sounds like you’ve helped a lot of brands, or are in the process of helping a lot of brands develop their products. But Eagle Labs has also launched its own CBD line, which I believe you call IMPIRICA. Why did you decide to do that?
Michael Law: We felt that there was an opportunity in the marketplace, as I mentioned a little bit earlier and a lot of consumers are sitting on the sidelines because they don’t trust the brands that they’re seeing today. But there’s a huge percentage that are very interested. Our research has shown that the reason they’re not trying it yet is they’re concerned about the safety of the product and whether or not they’re going to get a what’s on the label in the bottle and that it’s actually going to be safe and not have things like the heavy metals, or the pesticides, or the bacteria. So our brand positioning is all built around that consumer insight. Our brand positioning is the number one most-tested CBD brand. So as you said at the outset, this is going to be a massive category, upwards of 15 to 20 billion dollars. We feel there’s an opportunity for a brand that is focused on driving consumer trust. And so that, that’s the essence of our positioning.
Adrian Tennant: It’s obviously great to hear that consumer insights are powering your brand development process. Thinking about your own experience of CBD product marketing, what has been the biggest learning from launching the IMPIRICA line?
Michael Law: I think that, um, with IMPIRICA there’s an opportunity for many brands in CBD. I would say within the soft drink category, if you ask somebody to name a soft drink, they’d probably say a Pepsi or Coke. If you ask somebody to name a CBD brand or let’s say a wine brand, if you walk into a wine store, you’re going to see a massive assortment of different wines. I think that’s probably the path that the CBD category will take. There will be a lot of small brands, there’ll be a few large brands that will emerge, but there will be a lot of small brands that have either unique positioning, unique benefits, or unique consumer followings. One of the things that has been really interesting about this category, because I’ve worked in a lot of categories where a brand loyalty wasn’t that high and promotion was used as a tactic to drive consumers switching. And what we’ve seen is that consumers that try and brand the repeat purchase if they’re satisfied and many are satisfied, most are satisfied in this category. The repeat purchase levels are very high. So for our eCommerce customers that have their own brands, we don’t see many returns at all. And we see very high repeat purchase levels.
Adrian Tennant: Now you mentioned that you’re working with several retailers on private label. What advice do you generally have for clients who are considering entering the CBD market with a new product?
Michael Law: So let’s talk about retailers first. If you’re a retailer and you want to be in the CBD business, I would say be in the CBD business. Have a significant amount of assortment. My advice is that you should have all CBD products in one central location. If you move them into their various subcategories, I think it’s going to be hard for the consumer to know that you’re in the category. My recommendation would be to have all of the CBD products in one location. You can have secondary locations, for example, in the , pain relief aisle for the appropriate products. But I would still have a home location that is, has got everything together. That way you’re concentrating, um, the opportunity for education. I think that you should have in store signage and pamphlets and other forms of consumer education that are, are going to address the most frequently asked questions that consumers might have either on a new brand or on the category itself. I think having it all in one location allows the opportunity to have an in store educator nearby. There are some great best practices from smaller natural food stores and health food stores where there’s an in-aisle educator that comes right to you immediately when you enter the aisle. They come right to you and ask if they can answer any questions for you on the category that also retailers are going to be very concerned about shrink. Shrink is a term for loss – product that leaves the store without being paid for. Retailers, if they have an in-aisle educator, they’re going to have eyes on the product and they can ensure that they keep shrink to a minimum. Some of the larger retailers that are now entering the category have gotten very limited assortment and they’re putting everything in a lockup case similar to what you may see in some retailers for expensive razor blades where you actually have to get somebody from the store to come and unlock the case for you to access the products.
I think that retailers like that will sell some product, but they’re not optimizing the opportunity. I think the profit potential in this category is massive and I think it would be worthwhile investing in in-store educators in high volume stores so that you can have a broad assortment and have somebody that can drive consumer education and that’ll help drive conversion. Because once you get that consumer, once they make their first purchase at a given retail location, that product then becomes the destination where they go or that that retailer becomes the destination where they go for that product.
Adrian Tennant: Right. And you mentioned that Eagle Labs manufactures skincare products. Are there any special CBD cosmetic marketing considerations?
Michael Law: Absolutely. There are a lot of opportunities. Because the category hasn’t been regulated yet, it’s difficult to make claims. I think consumers are doing their own research. Consumers are looking at CBD as a potential product that’s got anti-inflammatory benefits. So there are a wide range of skincare benefits. Hemp seed oil, which is not CBD but it’s from the same plants just from pressing the seeds has got a lot of skincare benefits as a moisturizer. There’s a couple of key paths within CBD: one is the more medical side where you’re looking to help consumers with a health and wellness issue. And then there’s the cosmetic side as you said, where there may be a lot of skincare benefits that they can come from having CBD as an ingredient.
Adrian Tennant: So what excites you most about working with CBD products?
Michael Law: That’s a really easy one. I think the growth potential. So if I’ve got a two-pronged answer, I would say the growth potential and the reported health claims from consumers and the potential for a regulated category that is going to uncover significant consumer health benefits from CBD at the right levels and the right level of quality. So the first is just I’ve worked in a lot of categories that were static, they didn’t have any growth and that’s when you see traditional consumer packaged goods categories that are struggling for growth, you see a disproportionate focus on promotion and that’s when you get the massive amount of coupons and free-standing inserts in the Sunday papers and all kinds of discounts and shelf tags. This category doesn’t really need that. There’s so much growth potential and I’ve never worked in a category that has the potential to grow five to ten times in the next three, four years. Let’s say that there’s a lot of research that says it will be 20 billion [dollars] – if it’s half of that, that’s still a massive amount of growth. And then on the other side, as I mentioned, the health benefits, the reported health benefits that consumers are conveying anecdotally and through the repeat purchases are just phenomenal and so I’m excited for the research to catch up with where consumers already perceive the benefits and I think that will really unlock the next level of growth in this category.
Adrian Tennant: That’s great. Thank you, Michael. For more information about Eagle Labs, how can our listeners find you?
Michael Law: I can be reached by email at Michael.Law@EagleLabsInc.com. You can see our brand website at IMPIRICA.co and for any of your listeners that are interested, I’m happy to offer a special discount of 50% off your first purchase if you use the code BIGEYE at the checkout.
Adrian Tennant: That’s great. I know our listeners are going to be really excited about that. Thank you very much, Michael.
Michael Law: Real pleasure. Thank you.
Adrian Tennant: Three things that stood out to me during the conversation with Michael… Firstly, he believes that retailers would do better to have all products containing CBD in one aisle location rather than having them scattered throughout the store. In the various subcategories we heard from Michael that consumer satisfaction with CBD is high and the brand loyalty is correspondingly higher in this category compared with OTC products. And finally, I think Michael underlined the importance of working with CBD marketing experts who know how to get products stocked by retailers and avoid a promotion or sales discounting strategy. Thank you to our guest, Michael Law of Eagle Labs contract manufacturing in SaintPetersburg, Florida. You’ve been listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS, a unique perspective on the business of advertising, produced by Bigeye. If you have questions or comments about the content of today’s show, please email us at email@example.com, and if you have ideas for topics that you’d like us to cover, please let us know. You’ll also find a transcript of today’s show on our website at Bigeyeagency.com under “Insights.” For IN CLEAR FOCUS, I’ve been your host, Adrian Tennant. Thank you for listening. And until next week, goodbye.
If you want to move CBD-infused pet products, you need to get inside the heads of pet owners. Here are a few ideas for you to consider when creating your next CBD pet product marketing push.
The days of a Milkbone and a pat on the head are long gone for today’s pets, who are now being treated like pampered and beloved family members. This transition is underscored within the cannabidiol industry, with CBD-infused pet treats booming in popularity. It’s estimated that CBD pet products will become a $1.16 billion market by 2022.
So how do you create CBD pet product marketing that gets the ears of pet parents to perk up? Let’s take a closer look at a few our of our favorite tricks.
Focus on Downstream Effects When Targeting CBD Pet Owners
Great advertising and marketing activates an emotional response — and people get highly emotional about their pets. So, when marketing to pet owners, it’s a smart idea to focus on the impact your CBD product can have on the underlying issues that many pets struggle with.
One example: Dogs who exhibit amazing bravery when protecting the family from strangers are often end up cowering in the corner as soon as a thunderstorm strikes. The sound of storms can be overwhelming — and dogs simply don’t understand what’s happening.
By creating marketing content that underlines how CBD can be effective in the treatment of storm-related anxiety, you provide a powerful use case — and an emotionally resonant experience — for pet owners to chew on.
Stress the Anecdotal
Research may not be the plural of anecdote, but for those engaged in CBD pet product marketing, that’s all we really have. While there is considerable scientific literature on the impact of CBD on the human body, research on CBD in dogs, cats and other animals is scant.
Given this paucity of scientific data, CBD pet product marketing is better focused on anecdotal experiences. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; anecdotes can be quite powerful, given the shared experiences of pet owners. A marketing video with four or five pet owners who have administered CBD pet products to their animals is one strategy you can employ to help audiences connect with your campaign.
Stress the Safety and Naturalness of Your CBD Product
Pet owners today are nothing like the pet owners of a generation or two ago, many of whom wouldn’t dream of checking the ingredient list in their pet’s can of Alpo. Today, you can set pet owners scanning pet food ingredients with the same intensity they’d show when signing mortgage documents. In other words, healthy, clean and natural ingredients are very important to today’s pet owners.
This, of course, extends to CBD consumables as well. Pet owners will want to be reassured that the CBD-based dog treats won’t feature elevated levels of THC or anything that might cause their beloved pet to have an adverse reaction. This means that CBD pet product marketers should make an effort to emphasize the natural and safe status of their products. Before pet owners will trust you to help their animals feel better, they need to be convinced that the product will do no harm.
Emphasize the Quality
It’s a widely accepted fact that quality can be somewhat variable in the cannabidiol industry. Pet owners, once again, are demanding the best for their animals. If they are willing to spend $80 on a bag of grain-free dog food that has boar meat as the first ingredient, they are also going to be willing to pay more for the highest quality CBD pet products they can find.
This means that marketers should position their products as premium if possible, and take pains to reassure consumers that quality is standardized and not subject to the industry’s checkered record of variance.
How BIGEYE Helps CBD Pet Marketers
At Bigeye, we have the domain expertise to help you create a CBD pet marketing campaign that truly resonates with pet owners. Contact us today for more information about how we can help.
If you’ve never had a client question the legality or the psychoactivity of CBD products, consider yourself fortunate. Here’s why CBD education should be the first step with clients.
When you work in an industry, you often acquire the “curse of knowledge.” This means that because you spend all day knee-deep in the ins and out of your business, you often begin to assume that people know much more about your industry than they actually do. The CBD business is not immune to this, and it’s something that often adversely affects CBD marketing.
Here’s the truth: Most consumers know much less about CBD products that you may imagine. By at least one recent estimate, 35% of men and 49% of women interviewed said they had less than “some” familiarity with CBD. Another 15% reported never having heard of CBD.
Those numbers should give pause to anyone involved with CBD marketing. Why? Because those numbers mean about 50 million Americans have yet to even hear about CBD products, while another 125 million or so are relatively clueless about CBD. Many confuse it with cannabis, think it is illegal or are unaware of its benefits and applications.
Smart marketers aren’t going to simply sit back and wait for these consumers to type “CBD legal” or “CBD law” into their search engines. Instead, they will take an active role in addressing client education.
Why Client Education is Crucial
An absence of knowledge isn’t the only reason why education is critical — the other key factor is the nature of the product. The cannabis industry has taken an extremely aggressive approach in terms of providing potential customers with education about their products. Today’s cannabis dispensaries hire qualified “budtenders” who gently walk new consumers through the various strains of their products and the effects they have on the human body. Consumers can also scan bar codes from packages into kiosks to get self-serve educational information.
While CBD and cannabis are distinct products retailed in different contexts, education should also play a key role within this category. Though CBD is not psychoactive, many consumers do not know this. Many others don’t believe it entirely, until they’ve experienced it themselves. The association with cannabis remains at the front of their mind.
By taking an equally aggressive approach to product education via marketing and branding, it’s possible to put the minds of the “CBD curious” at ease and convince them to try products in this space for the first time. It’s also important, however, to proceed with all due caution, given the state of CBD marketing rules.
What to Know About CBD Marketing and Educational Awareness
When using CBD product marketing or branding to educate consumers, it’s essential to do this in a manner that comports with all relevant laws and regulations. One key example: Brands cannot advertise their products in a way that makes illegal health claims. The FDA has cracked down on dozens of CBD brands that have made unsupported health claims when marketing their products.
It’s more than possible to educate and market while remaining on the right side of federal regulators, as there is a plethora of valid scientific data available that attests to the clinical performance of CBD. Brands should reference this data and carefully outline educational information that is supported by the scientific literature, rather than making hyperbolic health claims that have no basis in medically established fact.
A well-designed and smartly executed educational component that stays on the right side of existing rules can be a powerful marketing tool, as it will resolve many of the lingering doubts CBD curious consumers may have. Once these consumers understand that CBD is non-intoxicating, federally legal in 50 states and comes with a variety of medically validated benefits, any hesitance to try CBD products may quickly dry up.
Why Bigeye is the Preferred CBD Marketing Agency
At Bigeye, we were developing compelling cannabidiol marketing campaigns before most other agencies had even heard the letters “CBD.” If you’d like to work with true domain experts, we encourage you to reach out to Bigeye today.
In Clear Focus this week: the legal status of cannabidiol and cannabis production. As CBD-infused products appear within a growing number of categories, we’re joined by legal expert Joe Englander of Fowler White Burnett P.A. in Miami, Florida. Joe provides practical advice for CBD brands to ensure compliance with current state and federal laws.
Adrian Tennant: You’re listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS, a unique perspective on the business of advertising produced weekly by Bigeye. Hello, I’m your host, Adrian Tennant, VP of insights at Bigeye. An audience-focused, creative-driven, full-service advertising agency, Bigeye is based in Orlando, Florida, but serves clients across the United States and beyond. We provide audience research, strategy, branding, creative, media, and analytics services. Thank you for joining us today. On this week’s show, we’re focusing on CBD product marketing. That is products containing cannabidiol. A chemical compound from the cannabis plant, CBD is a naturally occurring substance that’s used in products like oils and edibles to impart a feeling of relaxation and calm. Unlike its cousin, THC, CBD is not psychoactive, so you won’t get high. CBD has rapidly become a phenomenon. You’ll find it in tinctures and pills intended to relieve conditions such as anxiety and arthritis pain, but CBD is also highlighted as an ingredient in a growing range of consumer categories. Today, CBD is used in beauty products such as facials and lotions, in food and beverages, sports supplements, pillows, and even apparel. One New York-based fashion brand infuses CBD oil into the fibers of their sportswear fabrics. And use is not limited to humans. There are CBD products especially for pets. In a national research study, Bigeye recently undertook, we found that 17% of owners already administer CBD to their pets and 42% of pet owners who don’t currently use CBD said they’re open to it to use in the future. Yet, in spite of this booming market, there is a lot of confusion about the legality of CBD and its relationship to cannabis. As an agency actively involved in CBD product marketing, Bigeye understands the potential issues of working with brands in this space and the importance of keeping abreast of what product claims can and can’t be made. As a CBD marketing agency bringing these issues into CLEAR FOCUS, it’s my pleasure to welcome to this week’s show one of our go-to experts. Joe Englander is a shareholder in the intellectual property practice group at Fowler White Burnett, attorneys at law. Joe leads the firm’s cannabis law team working with industry clients in the field of hemp, medical marijuana, and affiliated businesses. Fowler White Burnett has offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, which is where Joe is joining us from today. Welcome, Joe.
Joe Englander: Hi. Thank you very much, Adrian. I’m very happy to be here.
Adrian Tennant: What are some of the most common misconceptions you think consumers have about CBD?
Joe Englander: Well, I think that most consumers and perhaps some lawmakers that it’s possible to get high on CBD, which it simply isn’t, as you mentioned that the introduction. And I think that the regulations show that. Because when you grow the hemp, the product that might be left on a field has to be destroyed. And there, there has to be fencing and, and barriers from the public, like you would think would be necessary for, for example, a medical marijuana facility. But the product is – I sometimes say that hemp is as safe as tangerines!
Adrian Tennant: Does the same kind of misconception hold true among retailers?
Joe Englander: I don’t think so. I think the retailers are very well educated about the products that they’re selling. They want to give good products. They don’t want their clients or their customers to be surprised. So they usually are very well educated and I think the consumers who come in looking for CBD know exactly that’s what they’re looking for and they don’t expect THC and they would be probably very upset to have it.
Adrian Tennant: So Joe, what are the legal rules or regulations around CBD here in Florida?
Joe Englander: There are two sets of regulations. There’s the federal set and there’s the Florida state set. The federal set: it comes from the US Farm Bill of 2018. And new regulations, which were just promulgated last week by the USDA. These regulations from the USDA are interim regulations. So they were effective. Right now, under the Florida guide, there’s a statute, the Florida Hemp Act and Regulations, which have not yet been promulgated: not quite yet made final by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. And it’s through the framework that you have to go through this pair of regulations and statutes that a person is able to get the license that they need to grow and sell CBD and hemp products here in Florida.
Adrian Tennant: How fast is the market for CBD and CBD-infused products growing?
Joe Englander: It’s growing very rapidly. It’s hard to see how fast it’s actually growing in Florida because it hasn’t actually started yet. Right now the only hemp that’s growing in Florida is with the university pilot program. But the interest and the businesses which are showing up to Florida showcases and seminars – it grows more each year.
Adrian Tennant: Could you tell us a little bit more about that pilot program?
Joe Englander: Well, under Florida state law, the University of Florida and other agricultural colleges are allowed to begin growing hemp to see what types of seeds are viable here in Florida. The thing about hemp is it can only have a certain low percentage of THC so they’re confirming that the seeds which they are testing are in fact hemp seeds and not a marijuana seed.
Adrian Tennant: Right now, what should manufacturers include on CBD product labels to be compliance with legal rules?
Joe Englander: That’s an interesting point there. You’ll find that in the regulations with both the Florida regulations and the interim regulations that you have to say that there is CBD on them and the amount of CBD it has, but you can’t make any medical claims with regard to the CBD at this point. But you have to show what the percentage is and what dosages, like what the recommended… whether you’re supposed to take one edible or two out of a package of 50 edibles.
Adrian Tennant: So Joe, what legal services or areas of law do you focus on for your clients?
Joe Englander: Well, the first thing I do is I try to get the permits and licensing for either growing or selling or manufacturing CBD or hemp products and help work that through the system here in Florida. I help work through the laws and regulations for new businesses or businesses which already exist that want to expand into this area. The Department of Agriculture is going to inspect and verify the product and they’re going to test different products to make sure that the dosage listed is going to be – I’m sorry, the amount ingested – it’s going to be what it says on the label. So if there’s any issues with that, they’re going to issue a stop-sale order or an administrative action. And at that point, I think it’s helpful for my clients when we can negotiate that type of thing. I’ve been doing that for different interviews with the Department of Agriculture for years now.
Adrian Tennant: You mentioned USDA testing. Is that testing conducted here in Florida or do samples have to be sent out of state?
Joe Englander: Well, right now the Florida testing facilities are being certified by the USDA. So until the Florida system is approved by the USDA, we don’t have a test-certified testing facility at this point yet. Once that comes in, we will have a lab here in Florida and, and all over.
Adrian Tennant: How would you characterize your typical clients?
Joe Englander: Some of my clients are growers of hemp, some of my clients are retailers of hemp products. They are online as well as in brick-and-mortar stores. There are pet clients that I have that sell both the tinctures – which are drops of the oil, which what you put under a person or a pet’s tongue – and there are chews which you give to a dog or another animal. So that’s part of the pet supply clients that I have. I have retail people that would sell the gummies and the oils as well as the creams.
Adrian Tennant: What does the legal process look like for trademarking or official lab approval of a CBD-based product?
Joe Englander: The US patent trademark office just set out guidelines for patent and trademark examiners to review trademarks related to CBD. Now that it’s passed through the Farm Bill of 2018. And with those guidelines, there should be no problem with hemp-related trademarks. As for medical marijuana or marijuana-related trademarks, those will still not be approved because unless and until marijuana has taken off as a schedule one drug.
Adrian Tennant: It is a little confusing, the interplay between state regulations and at the federal level. Do you see a path forward for greater clarity here?
Joe Englander: Well, I don’t think that there’s going to be clarity unless and until there’s legalization of marijuana. And then they would probably be similar to the types of regulations that go on with cigarettes or perhaps liquor. As far as Florida goes, there should be no limitation, no general limitation as far as CBD trademarks and protections of naming and branding as long as the restrictions regarding age are taken care of.
Adrian Tennant: If we were introducing a CBD-based product, we would not actually be allowed… previously we’d not been allowed to trademark that name or logo. Is that correct?
Joe Englander: That is absolutely correct. There were trademark applications just held by the trademark office and they just said it was suspended and they would simply reject it. Um, but once these guidelines came out after the Farm Bill, these trademark applications are sailing through.
Adrian Tennant: And is also true of marijuana-based products?
Joe Englander: I think it’s the opposite for marijuana-based products. If something is specifically for marijuana-related to the sale or production or, or, or smoking of marijuana, then the trademark office will reject those, um, those applications for dealing with illegal products.
Adrian Tennant: Right.
Joe Englander: The trademark office has no distinction between marijuana or heroin.
Adrian Tennant: Joe, are there any special considerations for CBD cosmetic marketing?
Joe Englander: I would think of CBD cosmetics and cosmetics if you were using CBD oil to be similar to using let’s say almond oil. And the reason I say that is it, it’s just another oil. You wouldn’t be allowed to say that there are any medical changes that occur through the use of the cosmetic because that would make it more like a drug than a cosmetic. But at the same time, if there are any restrictions regarding the use of CBD maybe within a state – then if you’re going to sell it in the state, you need to let them know, you know. For example, under the same guidelines as if there were an allergen for almonds, they would probably say something that, you know, they would probably indicate that it’s not to be ingested.
Adrian Tennant: So Joe, how do your clients typically find you?
Joe Englander: My clients come in in various ways. Podcasts like this one certainly help and it’s a matter of getting the word out. I go to seminars and I moderate panels around the country. Of course, I have our own website, and LinkedIn, and through word-of-mouth.
Adrian Tennant: Joe, you’ve helped a lot of entrepreneurs develop CBD products. What advice do you have for anyone considering entering the CBD market with a new product?
Joe Englander: Well, my advice to any entrepreneur would be to be able to differentiate your product, and show whatever way that your product is better. If it’s better based upon effectiveness, then it could be something that you might want to patent. If you’ve got a design or branding that’s particularly effective, then you would want to protect the trademarks and the trade dress. If you’ve made the formulas that are so successful to you, you’d want to make sure that whoever’s working on or helping develop those formulas doesn’t compete against you. You’d want to have agreements to make sure that whatever they’ve developed belongs to you or your company. But this is advice I give to any entrepreneur for that matter.
Adrian Tennant: Okay. So staying with that audience of entrepreneurs with potential CBD-based products, what are some of the most common perils or pitfalls?
Joe Englander: Right now, there seems to be an issue with getting product to the manufacturers or from the farm to the producers. So I think the short answer is we want to have a consistent supply.
Adrian Tennant: Can you tell us a little about how you came to be advising clients on the laws surrounding CBD and cannabis?
Joe Englander: I worked for the Florida Department of Agriculture for five years. Some of these agricultural regulations I enforced myself. So I have a familiarity both with the bringing about of the regulations and as the enforcement of the regulations and working with a department to help solve problems.
Adrian Tennant: What most excites you about working with CBD marketing products or brands?
Joe Englander: Oh, it’s cutting edge. As someone who’s working in the law, they’re gonna work on the law. Why not be right where people were, where the rubber is hitting the road right now? The people are excited about it. The people are using it, are believing in it. The people who, the people who are in the business of it, you can tell that they’re there. It’s a passion project for all of the people involved. I know we’re working with it, the people who are buying it and the people who were selling it at these conferences, if you could just tell it that everyone there is there because they want to be there.
Adrian Tennant: Joe, finally, what does having a CLEAR FOCUS mean to you?
Joe Englander: I would say when you are looking at your business or you’re looking at your career and you’re looking at what you want to be doing and you’re looking forward and you have an idea and you visualize the good results that you want and then you plan accordingly and you follow the plan and you follow the plan and be prepared to adjust. Right. But as long as you take the time to look in advance to where you want to be. That to me that that is a clear focus for anybody.
Adrian Tennant: For more information about your services, Joe, how can our listeners find you?
Joe Englander: I’m at the law firm, Fowler White Burnett. Our website is fowler-white.com. My bio is right there on the page. I’m also on LinkedIn if that’s easier for anybody who wants to reach out to me. I’m happy to answer any questions from anybody who’s listening in on the podcast. And this is a passion project for me as well, so I’m happy to help.
Adrian Tennant: Great. It’s been a real pleasure and very enlightening, I think. Thank you very much, Joe.
Joe Englander: Thank you, Adrian. It was a real pleasure to be here.
Adrian Tennant: So to recap: we learned about new regulations here in Florida and the introduction of a certification system to reassure consumers that the CBD in the products they’re purchasing comes from state-approved growers. And Joe offered up some great advice for entrepreneurs: follow the steps, and choose your partners wisely to ensure regular supply of product. Thank you to our guest, Joe Englander of the intellectual property practice group at Fowler White Burnett. You’ve been listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS, a unique perspective on the business of advertising produced by Bigeye. If you have questions or comments about the content of today’s show, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll also find a transcript of today’s show on our website at bigeyeagency.com. I’ve been your host, Adrian Tennant. Thank you for listening. Until next week, goodbye.