Dispensary Founder “There Is No Sustainability In Racing To The Bottom” – LILACH POWER

Introduction

The cannabis industry is booming, but it’s not without its unique set of challenges. As entrepreneurs race to establish market footholds, the need for innovative strategies and sustainable practices becomes crucial. We recently had the pleasure of listening to Lilach Mazor Power, founder and CEO of Mazor Collective, and Stef Swiergol, director of marketing, as they shared their insights on overcoming these challenges, fostering customer loyalty, and sustaining business growth. Here, we delve deeper into their experiences and expert advice.

Challenges in the Cannabis Industry

Lack of Resources and Expert Mentorship

Running a cannabis business isn’t a walk in the park. Like any emerging industry, cannabis businesses face a shortage of resources and expert mentorship—issues vividly discussed by both Lilach and Stef.

Resource Scarcity

Unlike more established industries, the cannabis sector often finds itself navigating uncharted waters with limited resources. This scarcity ranges from financial backing to the expertise required for commercial cannabis cultivation. Lilach pointed out, “Growing cannabis on a commercial level is a complex task, and the lack of resources makes it even more challenging.”

Cultivators and business owners have to be innovative and resourceful, frequently devising their own methods without a safety net of tried-and-tested practices. This can pose substantial risks but also paves the way for unique solutions tailored to this specifically demanding industry.

Mentorship Void

Equally problematic is the absence of seasoned mentors. Lilach shared, “I found it hard to get industry-specific mentorship. Instead, I leaned on general business and marketing networks for support.” This implies that entrepreneurs must often look outward to other industries for guidance, adapting general business principles to fit the specific needs of cannabis operations.

Compliance and Regulatory Hurdles

Stef Swiergol highlighted the regulatory complexities that plague the industry. Transitioning from corporate finance to cannabis, Stef encountered similar compliance and regulation challenges. She noted, “Compliance is king in this industry, and failing to adhere can result in hefty fines or, worse, the shuttering of one’s business.”

The rapidly shifting landscape of cannabis law means that staying compliant isn’t a one-time task; it’s a continuous process of updating and adapting to local, state, and federal regulations. Businesses must allocate substantial resources—both financial and human—to navigate these legal roadblocks effectively.

Sustainability and Financial Viability

The Perils of Price Wars

One of the most compelling points raised was the unsustainability of continuous price slashing in an attempt to outdo competition. Lilach emphasized that, “There is no sustainability in racing to the bottom.” Price wars might attract customers in the short term, but they inevitably dilute a brand’s perceived value and long-term viability.

Instead, businesses should focus on creating value through differentiation, quality, and customer experience. The cannabis industry’s future hinges on brands distinguishing themselves through unique value propositions rather than attempting to undercut each other on price alone.

Branding and Differentiation

Branding becomes even more critical in this hyper-competitive landscape. Lilach shared their experience, stating, “Differentiation in the cannabis industry doesn’t stop at the product level but extends to branding, customer interaction, and overall business ethos.”

Their dispensary focuses heavily on the trifecta of people, product, and process, ensuring a holistic customer experience that builds loyalty and advocacy. This approach elevates a brand beyond just a purveyor of products to a “partner in the community.”

Customer Retention: Strategies and Techniques

Building Loyalty

In the cannabis industry, customer retention isn’t just beneficial—it’s essential. Stef outlined several effective strategies they employ to build and maintain customer loyalty.

Automated Emails and Push Notifications

Automated emails and push notifications form the cornerstone of their customer communication strategy. Regular updates keep customers informed about new products, special offers, and industry news, ensuring that the brand stays top of mind. Personalization is key here—tailored messages that resonate with individual customer preferences can significantly boost engagement rates.

Loyalty Programs and Referrals

Stef also emphasized the importance of loyalty programs and encouraging referrals. A robust loyalty program rewards repeat business, creating an incentive for customers to remain loyal. Similarly, referral programs turn satisfied customers into brand advocates, helping to organically grow the customer base.

Philanthropy and Community Engagement

By actively participating in community philanthropy, the company positions itself as a partner in the community, enhancing its reputation and fostering goodwill. Stef mentioned, “Our involvement in community projects not only helps those around us but also secures our place within the community.”

High-Level Marketing Strategies

Marketing remains a powerful tool in attracting new customers. The company employs a multi-faceted strategy that includes 3rd party audience extension, email, SMS, billboards, and social media campaigns. Each of these channels serves a specific purpose, from capturing new leads to nurturing ongoing relationships.

3rd Party Audience Extension

3rd Party Audience Extension allows businesses to reach potential customers through partnerships and collaborations. By leveraging the audiences of other, non-competing brands, cannabis businesses can effectively broaden their reach.

Billboards and Traditional Media

Despite the dominance of digital channels, traditional media like billboards still hold value, offering high visibility in strategic locations. Stef noted, “Our billboard campaigns have been instrumental in building our brand’s local presence.”

Hiring and Team Culture

Hiring for Core Values and Culture Fit

The adage “hire slow, fire fast” is particularly relevant in the cannabis industry. Lilach stressed the importance of cultural fit and core values in building a resilient team. “We look for individuals who share our values of humility, innovation, and integrity,” she said.

Core Values

Their core values also include speaking up with data and evidence, emphasizing a fact-based approach to decision-making. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals. It’s about creating a harmonious yet dynamic workplace where innovation thrives.

Maintaining a Smaller Team

Lilach prefers maintaining a smaller team to preserve team spirit and cohesion. She believes that a lean team can be highly effective if everyone contributes meaningfully. This approach not only ensures operational efficiency, but also makes it easier to manage cultural alignment.

Irrational Optimism and Belief in Miracles

Interestingly, Lilach shared that irrational optimism plays a crucial role in their success. She stated, “You have to believe in miracles and possess an irrational optimism to make things work in this industry.” This mindset allows them to tackle challenges head-on, turning obstacles into opportunities.

Future of the Cannabis Industry

Growth Potential and Financial Sustainability

Both Lilach and Stef are bullish about the future of the cannabis industry. They see immense growth potential, particularly in areas that impact well-being, such as relaxation, sleep, and PTSD management.

Federal Legalization

The looming prospect of federal legalization could serve as a major catalyst for growth, unlocking new markets and investment opportunities. “We’re optimistic about federal legalization and ready to capitalize on that shift,” Stef remarked.

Creating Complementary Brands

The company plans to focus on creating complementary brands that align with their existing business, particularly targeting women going through perimenopause and menopause. They aspire to be known for their women-owned, debt-free, and profitable business model, setting a benchmark in the industry.

FAQs

1. What are the biggest challenges in the cannabis industry?

The cannabis industry faces numerous challenges, including a lack of resources, expert mentorship, and complex regulatory compliance. Businesses must be innovative and adapt general business principles to meet sector-specific needs.

2. How important is branding in the cannabis industry?

Branding is crucial for differentiation in the cannabis industry. Companies must focus on creating value through quality products, exceptional customer interaction, and community engagement to build a strong brand.

3. What strategies can be used for customer retention in the cannabis sector?

Effective customer retention strategies include automated emails and push notifications, loyalty programs, referral incentives, and community philanthropy. These initiatives help build long-term customer loyalty.

4. How can cannabis businesses effectively market their products?

A multi-faceted marketing strategy that includes 3rd party audience extension, email, SMS, billboards, and social media campaigns can help cannabis businesses attract and retain customers.

5. Why is hiring for core values important in the cannabis industry?

Hiring for cultural fit and core values ensures team cohesion and operational efficiency. It fosters a work environment where innovation thrives and everyone works towards the same goals.

Conclusion

The cannabis industry’s path is fraught with challenges but paved with opportunities. Through strategic branding, customer retention, and effective marketing, businesses can carve out a sustainable niche. Companies led by individuals like Lilach Mazor Power and Stef Swiergol are setting the standard, demonstrating that with resilience, innovation, and a bit of irrational optimism, success is not just possible—it’s achievable. The future is bright, and the sky’s the limit for those willing to adapt and evolve in this burgeoning industry.

Where to find Lilach Power and Stef Swiergol

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lilach-mazor-power/  https://www.linkedin.com/in/stefanieswiergol/ 

Article By

Brandon Quan

About The Author: A digital marketer with over 7 years of experience, Brandon Quan is wildly known as the top marketing expert within the Cannabis Industry.

More Cannabis Marketing Resources:

“My First Cannabis Event Got Raided By The MED” – Jasmin J., Marketing Assoc. at Simply Pure

“My First Cannabis Event Got Raided By The MED” – Jasmin J., Marketing Assoc. at Simply Pure

Just wrapped up an insightful session with Jasmin Johnson, Marketing Associate at Simply Pure, Denver. We delved into the unique challenges of cannabis marketing on social media, from navigating account takedowns to using creative strategies to promote products. Jasmin shared the importance of in-person marketing, compliance with regulations, and their community-driven approach.

We hope you enjoy this episode.

read more
Skip to content