On Cannabis PR: Startup Brand Messaging, Agency Partnership and the Bottom Line

startup brand messaging

Author: John Svoboda
Job Title: Business Development Manager

Prior to joining the team at Grasslands, the majority of my professional career was spent building and leading sales teams for startup software companies. 

Many small businesses run on extremely tight budgets, and much of the time, team members are asked to take on responsibilities above and beyond their title or role. What this usually means, is that along with the standard sales responsibilities—cultivating new business, negotiating agreements, closing deals and managing post-sale experiences—traditional marketing responsibilities like company messaging, brand visibility, and development of sales and website content fell on my plate. 

Time is a limited resource in the world of startups, so much of the messaging and branding work was inevitably set on the back burner. That led to consumer confusion, a lack of a cohesive corporate messaging, and ultimately, missed revenues.

There will always be fires to put out when you are managing a small business. Prioritizing which fires to douse first is a constant struggle. 

Small business and startup brand messaging is an essential ingredient for success in any sector, especially the fast-paced cannabis economy. But oftentimes, it’s deemed a lower priority than immediate pressing needs such as customer satisfaction, financial stability and investor relations. However, it is the foundational messaging, the story behind the brand, which will help set the course for the brand’s long-term success.

Enlisting the help of an agency allows you to take yourself out of the weeds for a minute to see the big picture. An agency can present interesting angles and storylines about your own business that you may have overlooked before, and you can utilize this outside perspective in several ways to solidify your organization’s foundation. 

Developing your startup brand messaging and making it interesting will ultimately lead to content for your website, compelling sales documents, and a roadmap for blogs and thought leadership.

Sure, there is a cost associated with bringing on an agency. And sometimes, that price tag may deter business owners from bringing in an agency partner. Unfortunately, this hesitation may end up costing the business more in the long run because it frequently leads to employee fatigue, lower quality content, and the lack of a clear communication roadmap.

I wish I knew then what I know now about agencies. Partnering with an agency enables businesses to elevate their profile and break through the noisy marketplace with informed public relations, thoughtful content marketing, contextual social media, savvy thought leadership work, impactful newsletter campaigns and experiential event execution. Building your business on the solid communications foundation an agency provides goes a long way to help alleviate stress on your team and provide greater engagement opportunities with your customers.

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