How CEOs Can Differentiate Their Products in a Crowded Marketplace

Marketers sell breakthroughs when they’re really not. It’s an attempt to differentiate while the underlying product remains similar to the competition.

In the case of marijuana, it’s been smoked and used as a household product for thousands of years. Thus, it’s no surprise that topical cream-based cannabidiol (CBD) holds promise in a growing but crowded industry. 

Cannabidiol is a plant extract that has been shown to alleviate anxiety, movement disorders, and pain. Unfortunately, hemp derivatives such as CBD have been excluded from traditional therapies in favor of pharmaceutical drugs that have harmful side effects. 

Changing Attitudes

Marijuana may have been taboo for decades, but scientific research shows medicinal uses that our ancestors have known for centuries. 

Policies are also changing. A majority of U.S. states have legalized marijuana for medical and recreational uses, and 62% of Americans favor legalization. Legal cannabis spending will reach $20 billion next year.

There are lucrative opportunities to serve an aging U.S. demographic, as well as younger generations who don’t see anything wrong with “Mary Jane.”

Moreover, state governments need cash. Last year, Washington state collected the most in cannabis taxes ($319 million), according to a March 2019 report by Leafly (California and Colorado came in second and third, respectively).

CBD Cream

Viridian Pharmaceuticals doesn’t compete directly with growers or firms that produce edibles. While there are CBD oils and lotions in the marketplace, Notion delivers the therapeutic benefits of cannabidiol through the skin. The topical cream, therefore, differentiates itself by being easy to use and by positioning itself as a product based on clinical data.

Many are also turned off by first- or second-hand smoke while still seeking access to marijuana’s medicinal benefits.

“We’re focused on the science of CBD and want to demonstrate that cannabidiol can be applied on the skin and provide therapeutic benefits,” says Layne Beal, CEO of Viridian Pharmaceuticals. “The technology used in Notion has been shown to deliver more CBD into the system than other routes of delivery.”

Cannabis has been shown to relax muscles, manage nausea, and help people cope with PTSD. Cream-based CBD, the company says, can help cannabidiol go mainstream because consumers like convenience.

Legal cannabis spending is expected to reach $47 billion in 2027.

North America is the world’s largest marketplace, but it’s also full of products and noise. Businesses can stand out from the crowd by differentiating their products or services. By carving out a niche, companies can gain a loyal following from customers because they fulfill unique needs in the market.

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