THE IMPORTANCE OF STANDING OUT
As the sun rises on a new day, another CBD brand appears. It’s selling the same white label CBD products as all the others, made from oils that are rich in CBD and low in THC. The only difference is that the product has been packaged in a slightly different container, and there’s a new name and logo printed on top. The CBD market has quickly become the area of the cannabis industry that’s suffering most from a lack of differentiation. So, what’s a CBD brand to do? Well, one recommendation would be to partner up with a CBD formulator.
WHAT IS A CBD FORMULATOR AND WHAT DO THEY DO?
One of the best ways of understanding the role and purpose of a CBD formulator is to think of them as a creative scientist. Imagine the level of work undertaken by a perfumer, blending botanicals with oils and other organic materials, and 1altering each composition until finally arriving at the exact scent he or she wants to send to market. Chanel smells different to Hugo Boss. Giorgio Armani’s Diamonds is in no way similar to Marc Jacob’s Daisy. The product differentiation in the perfume market exists because of the creative science that goes into the formulation of each and every product.
Working with a custom formulator gives any CBD brand the chance to differentiate itself from the long list of CBD brands that buy, and then sell, the same white label products. It’s a chance to create a product that is a true reflection of your brand identity, your business objectives, and perhaps even your cannabis philosophy. White label products seem like a good idea, because white label suppliers offer quality assurance, product consistency, and compliant cannabinoid levels, etc. But they also mean the death of unique products and the eradication of unique consumer experiences.
A CBD formulator can help your brand craft a product that is truly unique, 100% aligned with brand values, and one that you are passionate about. When your product is unique, it can help narrate the particular story behind your brand and give the consumer a solid reason to buy, instead of just randomly choosing products from the shelf. Sera Passalaqua, Founder of Sera Botanica and a recent addition to the Cannaverse team, is a CBD formulator who knows only too well just how run-of-the-mill the CBD industry has become.
“When working in the lab, I saw products that we were running quality assurance on that just lacked purpose. They lacked meaning. They were literally a copycat of other products already on the market,” Sera explains. “Brands who have been involved in the actual process of creating their product from scratch, view things differently. They have a completely different attitude toward logo design and packaging, to website content and more, because there’s a greater investment in the entire project. Their product becomes their baby. It’s unique to them”.
WHAT MAKES AN EFFECTIVE CBD FORMULATOR?
Having worked as a formulator for a number of years, Sera knows that each and every formulator has a different way of working and approaches the development of new products in a very individual way. At the same time, she makes it clear that any formulator working in the cannabis space must have a strong working knowledge of cannabinoids, of how they respond when mixed with other components, and of what levels are needed in order to make products that can truly achieve what they claim.
A lot of trial and error has gone into the journey that Sera has experienced as a CBD formulator and she brings that experience to the process when crafting new products. “I have testimonials of things I have lived through with clients. I know how to help people take their product development to another level,” she assures.
HOW IMPORTANT IS QUALITY ASSURANCE?
The short answer is, very. One of the main reasons why so many CBD brands have opted to work with white label suppliers relates specifically to quality assurance and to the promise of a compliant product that can breeze through third-party testing without any issues. The consumer demands quality assurance, the regulatory authorities demand it, and so it can be somewhat daunting for someone new to the game to create a product from scratch.
Sera’s approach to this is to make sure the client is 100% involved in the quality assurance process. “It helps them to realize that running tests, necessary for quality assurance, is not beyond their capabilities. It strengthens the intimacy that they have with their product, because they themselves have tested for things like potency, and so they’ve learned everything that goes into that part of the process,” she explains. Brands that participate in quality assurance testing, with the help and support of their CBD formulator, tend to have more confidence in the quality and content of their products and are much more confident when closing in on a sale, because they 100% believe in what their products can do.
CBD FORMULATOR AND BRAND MANAGER COMBINED
The interesting thing about Sera is that she’s not only a CBD formulator, she’s also the Founder of Sera Botanica, a carefully-crafted, highly-potent line of botanical products, infused with varying levels of CBD.
When talking to us about her brand, Sera explains that “it’s the new and improved version of what I’ve been working on since I first began working as a formulator. I have increased the potency of my products, so that they have enough active ingredients in each container to allow consumers to benefit from the effects without having to take multiple doses.”
Sera uses a unique combination of botanicals, that have already been widely accepted as being useful and effective in the wellness industry, and she combines those botanicals with her own unique oils. “I’ve achieved a level of complexity in each product that I was unable to reach with my past work,” she explains. Indeed, the focus for Sera has been to increase the strength of the healing quality of her products through botanicals and oils alone. “The cannabinoids used in the Sera Botanica product line are really just an added bonus,” she confirms.
A CBD FORMULATOR PARTNERSHIP WITH CANNAVERSE: TAKING THE NEXT STEP...
At Cannaverse, we know how important it is for CBD brands to find that all important product differentiation. Branding is important, solid distribution channels are essential, a budget is fundamental, but there also has to be something special about your product; something that makes it inherently different to all other CBD products on the market. In order to find that special something, CBD brands really need to work with a formulator. It’s for this reason that we’re teaming up with Sera and we’re excited about the possibilities that this partnership will open up for our clients.
“Cannaverse is an agency that offers its clients a range of services, designed to ensure success. Product differentiation is what’s needed to diversify the industry and, as far as I know, it’s not something offered as a standard service by other creative agencies in the cannabis marketing space,” Sera explains. “Cannaverse is all about client differentiation. I want to support that.”
If you’d like more information on the CBD formulator services that we’re providing with Sera, just get in touch. It’s time to make a CBD product like no other.
One of the things that makes it difficult for any cannabis or CBD business to function is the lack of banking support. A solid merchant account is something that all businesses need, whatever the industry, but in the cannabis space finding one is a real challenge. Even though the 2018 Farm Bill made it legal to cultivate hemp on a federal level, and even though most states have legalized the cultivation and sales of cannabis and cannabis products to varying degrees, cannabis and CBD businesses are still having a hard time with banks and credit card companies. It makes the running of a legal, professional business difficult, if not impossible, which is why merchant account service providers, like InclusivePay, have come to the rescue.
As the sun rises on a new day, another CBD brand appears. It's selling the same white label CBD products as all the others, made from oils that are rich in CBD and low in THC. The only difference is that the product has been packaged in a slightly different container, and there's a new name and logo printed on top. The CBD market has quickly become the area of the cannabis industry that's suffering most from a lack of differentiation. So, what’s a CBD brand to do? Well, one recommendation would be to partner up with a CBD formulator.
The passing of the 2018 Farm Bill gave CBD exactly what it needed to soar. As a result, the CBD industry in 2019 has already experienced exponential growth. Data suggests the trend will continue in the years to come, with the CEO of ArcView Group, Tony Dayton, predicting that CBD product sales will climb to $20 billion by 2024. For CBD brands and businesses, both established and emerging, this can only mean one thing… heightened competition and less opportunity to control market share.