Game on: The race for CBD market share
DIAMOND CBD MARCH 29, 2019 1:02 PM
Presented by Diamond CBD
America is going coo-coo for CBD oil and the race is on for CBD brands aspiring to establish top-of-mind awareness and industry dominance. Both cannabis giants and the smaller underdogs are clamoring to get as far ahead of the pack as early in the “Green Rush” as possible.
Derived from hemp, marijuana’s non-intoxicating cousin, CBD provides medicinal benefits without the high that comes from THC. Hemp CBD is one of the fastest-growing markets in a generation with sales projected to reach into the billions. The Hemp Business Journal has predicted that the market for CBD will grow from $390 million in 2018 to approximately $1.3 billion by 2022.
One of the most notable characteristics of the CBD market is that CBD-infused products constitute one of the widest arrays of products of any herbal supplement. CBD can now be found in tinctures and CBD oils, candies, vape pens, baked goods, capsules and tablets, beverages, skin care and pain creams, cosmetics, bath bombs, patches, sprays, sex lubes, tampons, and suppositories.
Although these products are already being sold online and in boutiques nationwide, the only thing keeping CBD from showing up in every Walmart and 7 Eleven in the country is the FDA’s insistence that it is unlawful to add CBD to food products. If and when the FDA does grant CBD GRAS status, CBD sales are likely to leave marijuana sales in the dust and never look back.
One retailer, in particular, is not waiting for the rest of the pack to line up. Apparently, lawyers for CVS feel the risk of federal interference is low enough to go ahead and start selling non-edible CBD products in 800 stores across the country.
The big dogs in the CBD race
The biggest entrants in the race for CBD market share — Canadian cannabis operations with more than a billion market cap such as Canopy Growth, Aurora Cannabis, Cronos Group, Tilray, Aphria, and Hexo Corp — have eyes on the exploding U.S. market.
Rule Number One in consumer branding is that it’s far easier to acquire a brand with top-of-mind awareness than to build one from scratch. For example, Canadian licensed producer Tilray Inc., having spent $419 million CAD ($319 million USD) to acquire hemp company Manitoba Harvest, now has a head start with one of the bigger dogs in the race. Manitoba Harvest is the world’s largest hemp-foods manufacturer. Its products are sold at more than 16,000 retail stores throughout North America. It’s no stretch to add hemp extracts to their product offerings.
The underdogs In the CBD Race
Along with the industry giants, there are quite a few smaller operations vying for market share. Many of them are expected to do quite well, potentially becoming targets for acquisition by larger companies.
Once such entrant, Florida-based PotNetwork Holdings (POTN), owners of Diamond CBD and a host of other CBD brands saw the CBD explosion coming and got a good head start on the race for market share.
Among the top 10 CBD sellers in the nation, Pot Network’s wholly owned subsidiary Diamond CBD has been prolific in its branding efforts with one of the largest arrays of CBD and hemp brands in the game. These include the Diamond CBD house brand, Diamond Hemp, Liquid Gold brand, Chill brand edibles and oils, Meds Biotech — a brand aimed at healthcare providers — MediPets pet CBD oils, and celebrity endorsed brands such as Tommy Chong’s Chong’s Choice oils and edibles, and Lawrence Taylor’s LT Painmaster topicals and oils..just to name a few.
Diamond CBD has been experimenting with delivery vehicles for quite some time now. As one might imagine the company has gained a lot of intelligence related to consumer preferences and product efficacy. The company firmly believes that innovation is what will separate the winners from the losers as the CBD market evolves.
Continual new product development is key
One example of the company’s experimentation paying off is their line of CBD-infused honey products. Honey has proved to be quite popular with customers provoking Diamond CBD to create the hybrid honey-infused CBD Honey Tincture under their Liquid Gold brand. The addition of honey to the recipe satiates consumers’ sweet tooth while providing an effective method of delivery.
Another ingredient that has proven popular with Diamond customers is CBD-infused MCT oil. MCT, or medium-chain triglycerides, are easy to digest and easily metabolized, therefore packing quickly accessible energy. Furthermore, MCTs are not stored as fat in the human body, they do not oxidize into dangerous free-radicals, and they have been shown to improve gut health. In recent years, MCTs have become quite popular with athletes and active adults. Diamond CBD believes that these highly popular advantages, in combination with the long list of purported health benefits provided by hemp CBD, will make for another winning formula.
The main focus of Diamond CBD when it comes to branding is to stay on the cutting edge of digital marketing via social media, email marketing, and content marketing, as well as digital display advertising.
Another important plank in Diamond CBD’s marketing mix is events — both consumer/cultural and industry events where Diamond CBD works the floor to expand its product distribution.
One of Diamond CBD’s favorite places to reach out and touch its audience is the High Times Cannabis Cup. Diamond CBD will be hawking its wares at the Central Valley event on April 20 in Sacramento, California.
The centerpiece of Diamond’s strategy for creating a buzz around their booth while expanding their social media presence is a contest to attend the event. Diamond CBD will send one lucky winner to Sacramento, including travel, lodging, and admittance.
In order to win the grand prize, entrants can collect points by following Diamond CBD on social media — 3 points, for example, for signing up for their email list, 2 points for following them on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter; 2 points for retweeting posts about the contest; and so on. It’s just one example of the creative branding-meets-lead-gen strategies being used by Diamond CBD.
Although Diamond CBD operates its own massive CBD web store, thanks to its internal distribution efforts, their products are also sold by hundreds of online retailers, as well as brick and mortar retailers across the country.
Given the massive elbows that Diamond CBD has grown in the past few years, the company seems poised to take a pole position — at least among the underdogs — in the race for CBD market share.