Women are a top business opportunity for brands in virtually every single industry and cannabis is no different.
According to Marketing to Women, women remain the primary decision-maker when it comes to buying goods in 85 percent of American households, influencing at least 80 percent of all household spending in America. When it comes to cannabis, most researchers would agree that women smoke less than men. But in a multibillion dollar industry, ignoring a large portion of your audience may mean missing out on an even larger chunk of revenue.
If women are so important to sales, why are so many brands terrible at catering their products and selling to women? Are there any cannabis brands cultivating their female audience in a genuine way?
Historically, brands across a spectrum of industries take a disingenuous approach when it comes to designing and marketing to women. There is an old marketing mantra, “shrink it and pink it”, that sums up the entire strategy many brands use to speak to their female audience. According to this, if you make it smaller and pink women are guaranteed to buy it. It’s taken quite some time, but companies are thinking more intentionally about their female audience and beginning to push forward more meaningful female-driven marketing.
Cannabis brands would be wise to do the same.
In a sea full of black and green branding and bulky vape pens, the majority of cannabis brands are still lacking in their approach to women. But there are a select few who are truly doing it right.
If you are going to market cannabis to women, you might as well start at the very beginning: growing. HiFi Farms, based in Oregon, is subtly focusing on the female participation and perspective of cannabis cultivation. HiFi is not a female-only cannabis company, nor do they make female-only cannabis products. They are a company of farmers, master cultivators and seriously focused cannabis consumers – that happen to be led by a woman.
But just as cannabis flowers are female, so too is the leadership of HiFi Farms…and this female leadership has influence throughout the brand. Sara Batterby, CEO, pushes forward an innovative approach to marketing that reaches men and women alike, but takes special care to highlight the importance of the female.
While their branding is marked by elegant, unisex design that speaks to people of all color, creed, and gender, they still know how to embrace their females. Just look at their “feminized” t-shirts that have taken Oregon by storm.
Some brands, like Foria and Whoopi & Maya, are creating cannabis-based products just for women. Foria’s “Relief” product line includes cannabis-infused suppositories for women undergoing the painful throes of their menstrual cycle. Whoopi & Maya, the cannabis brand created by Whoopi Goldberg, offers cannabis lavender bath soak; cannabis infused body balm; and relaxing cannabis tincture that is also perfect for that time of the month.
To note: neither of these companies have pink in their color schemes and all products are full-size.
Women far and wide love accessories. It only makes sense for cannabis brands to create products that fit a stoner girl’s lifestyle. AnnaBis, a company that takes on the mission of helping “women feel stylish, free and secure with their cannabis”, is known for its virtually smell-proof handbags and accessories.
Pax, a leading vape pen company, is also excellent at designing and marketing products towards women, but in a much more indirect way than AnnaBis. Just as a woman carefully chooses a watch or a new handbag, women want a vape pen that fits their style. In a world where vape pens are boring and bulky, Pax products are sleek, chic and customizable. These vaporizers are perfect for a woman on the go.