Top 4 Takeaways from the American Spa CBD Summit

5WPR News
cbd 22.08.19

Alise Edgcomb, Vice President

5WPR attended the American Spa CBD Summit in Denver this month, which brought together leading doctors, researchers, spa professionals, product manufacturers and wellness experts to educate on and further the evolution of this ever-booming category.

Alise Edgcomb, Vice President, met with dozens of brands and experts on site to assess the state of the industry, particularly as it relates to beauty, wellness and personal care. 

“The overwhelming consensus is that consumers across many demographics are curious and open, but are craving education and consistency,” said Edgcomb. “The cannabis market is similar to where clean beauty was five years ago – The hype has piqued interest, but consumers and media alike are eager for quality, effective offerings. They’re asking hard questions related to specific ingredient usage, benefits, sourcing and performance points of difference.”

It’s clear that now more than ever, a transparent communication program expanding on these core tenets is vital to scaling successfully and earning consumer trust.

What Brands and Marketers Need to Know

Define brand positioning and points of difference

The #1 question asked of brands on site was, “How are you different? From a conventional skin care product, and from a competing CBD skin care product?” The answer determines success with stakeholders across the board, from media to retail and spa accounts to end users.

Align with and elevate thought leaders

Experts who can explain the CBD category in laymen’s terms and interpret the 18,000+ peer reviewed CBD studies available into real takeaways will dictate the next wave of media coverage as writers seek to separate hype from real results.

Offer education for media, consumers and all stakeholders

The most successful brands on site were those who shared owned content, such as a downloadable lesson on Hemp 101, a roadmap to choose the right CBD product for you, and a checklist of questions to ask before bringing a brand to retail. Establishing yourself as a true resource builds trust, which ultimately leads to sales for you versus a competitor. 

Increase product trial and word of mouth buzz

CBD is unique in that it appeals to the baby boomer generation (i.e. pain relief, anti-inflammation), millennial and Gen Z (i.e. assistance with stress, sleep and anxiety) and niche populations (i.e. those struggling with epilepsy or other medical issues). Speakers shared how even the most conservative, luxury audiences have become arbiters for CBD, influencing those around them based on their positive experiences. The key is to meet your audiences where they are and through smart sampling and person-to-person activations, allow them to experience the results behind your product.

Overall, it’s clear consumers, media and professionals are eager for more innovation and education in this category. Case and point: The American Spa CBD Summit was double its expected size, and is already confirmed for 2020. Many end users don’t yet have a basic understanding of the endocannabinoid system, how the hemp and marijuana plants differ, or the difference between full spectrum, broad spectrum and isolate CBD – Let alone how to understand what is most effective for their needs. There is also white space for brands to define the gold standard on dosing for CBD content in topicals. 

Winning brands will have a sharp story, fine-tuned features and benefits and a continuous well of thought leadership, education and innovation as the CBD movement goes mainstream.

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