Communicating Clearly During COVID

Keep calm +
communicate on

The top questions we’ve been getting from cannabis and CBD brands since the outbreak of the COVID pandemic have been focused around communications.

How should we be reacting as a brand?
In what way should we respond?
What should we be saying?

Our core advice is look outward as much as you look inward. Just as if you were adapting to a new customer group or developing a new marketing strategy, now is the time to refer back to your branding foundation tools to understand what’s happening in the lives of your core customer base and where your resources, skills or abilities can be useful. Genuinely useful.

Rally around the core foundation of your brand, like your Customer Persona, Customer Avatar, Unique Selling Point Canvas, and Brand Voice to find creative solutions to answers like:

What are customers looking to you for? What’s your brand’s core role in their life?
How important is this role? Is it a priority right now?
How can that role change to be useful, directly or indirectly?

Even without these tools, you can improve your brand’s response by meeting expectations of your customers. Here’s a list of our top priorities for ways you can improve your external —and internal!—communications, along with tools to help you get it done.

Rally Around One Update Point

Don’t assume customers will click around to find your updates. If you make them dig, you’re likely to lose them or piss them off. To keep customers in the know when all hands are on deck at the dispensary:

  • Pick one platform for regular updates (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or your website)
  • Tell customers to go to that chosen platform on your other accounts
  • Make sure your website directs people to where your regular updates are located
Tell Customers What’s Up

Listen, it’s hard to understand and retain information when you’re vibrating with anxiety and urgency. Being extra communicative during this time will help customers stay on top of your situation, while they’re focusing on their own.

  • Be short and clear in your messaging. People should be able to understand what you’re saying in a skim.
  • Keep most important info fresh on your feed. Don’t be afraid to be a little repetitive right now.
Be a Little Bossy

Customers want to understand, now more than ever, what they need to do and what’s going to happen during their purchase process. They want to be safe. You want to be safe. So be the leader who makes that happen.

  • Tell them how to shop. Not just where to go, but share how the process works, what the rules are and how to talk to a human if they need
  • Give clear instructions on what delivery or curbside pick-up options are currently available, what actions they need to take (or not take)
  • Set expectations on what will happen after their purchase, like wait times, delays and fees
  • Anticipate common questions or sticky points where you can with FAQs or information blasts on your social to save headaches for both customers and staff alike
Over-communicate Cleanliness Efforts

Safety is vital right now, and customers want to be assured that all possible measures are being taken to provide sanitation across the entire supply chain. The more transparent you can be, the better. Even if it seems like standard to you, details can help ease customers unfamiliar with ‘how the sausage is made’ backstage.

  • Share the practices and efforts you’re taking to ensure your facility is key clean and sanitized during COVID-19
  • Pass along the clean practices of your product suppliers to show all cannabis products are being pristinely created, harvested and processed
Keep Your Team on Track

As business-as-usual shifts from hour to hour, streamline your internal communications so all of your team can rally in one place for updates —instead of email threads or confusing group text. Some project management tools you can try with your team: