With so many CBD-infused products on the market, first-time CBD users or curious onlookers might need a little help—and motivation—in choosing which brand to try.
Charlotte’s Web, a leader in the CBD space that sells hemp-based products, wants to educate consumers about how their CBD products are made by inviting them to trade in their own unwanted or questionable bottles from other brands.
The Colorado-based company opened the CBD Swap pop-up in Miami, a store that aims to promote Charlotte’s Web products and educate consumers about hemp farming and manufacturing. The pop-up is a physical extension of “Trust The Earth,” the brand’s first high-profile ad campaign that launched in fall 2019. The campaign is themed around the brand’s mission to promote hemp as a natural way of improving one’s quality of life.
The swap program, which runs now through Feb. 1, is the first of its kind for a CBD company. The brand invites consumers to bring CBD bottles they may have purchased out of curiosity or received as a gift, but are unsure if they want to try. Onsite brand representatives will then discuss CBD’s place in the alternative wellness space, how Charlotte’s Web products are made and possible health benefits. Consumers who trade in their bottles will receive a free bottle of the brand’s original oil tincture.
Reed Damon, vp, marketing, Charlotte’s Web, said the brand chose to open a retail pop-up to interact directly with consumers as a second phase of the campaign. Damon said the swap program is the brand’s way of addressing competition in a rapidly growing market. According to a report from Brightfield Group, a consumer insights and market research group for the CBD and cannabis industries, there are more than 3,500 different CBD brands operating in the space—and the industry is projected to be worth more than $24 billion by 2025. E-commerce platforms now support the alternative wellness product.
“The explosion of CBD competitors brings along a wide gamut of quality and consumer confusion. A lot of people were probably gifted CBD over the holidays,” Damon said. “We want to give consumers the opportunity to learn about what makes high-quality hemp extract and the ability to turn what they were gifted into a Charlotte’s Web product.”
Charlotte’s Web’s high-profile ad buy for the campaign, which was created in partnership street artist Shepard Fairey’s Studio Number One and experiential agency Fake Love, is a rarity in the industry. Marketing CBD and cannabis products is still heavily regulated, and brands often have to find loopholes to advertise or get creative with subtle campaigns that promote lifestyle and wellness.
Damon said the brand will look at earned media and word of mouth marketing on social media to measure the success of the activation. In its first five days, the pop-up garnered more than 20 million earned media impressions in local press outlets, according to the brand.
“Traditional social media marketing channels aren’t as available to CBD companies yet, like they would be if we were selling shredded cheese,” Damon said. “For us, success [will translate to] how many consumers we can educate and how much earned media we’re able to get through talking about our mission.”
The 1,500-square-foot space opened in the city’s Wynwood neighborhood Jan. 8 and runs through March 31. Charlotte’s Web’s in-house agency designed the retail experience in partnership with Winston Retail. The space incorporates campaign imagery that includes the brand’s hemp fields.
The space also sells Charlotte’s Web’s full slate of products, which include gummies, balms and items for pets. Additionally, the pop-up sells “Trust The Earth” swag featuring campaign artwork by Fairey. Damon said after the swap program ends on Feb. 1, the pop-up will function as a regular store.
The brand chose to open a pop-up in Miami after bringing Fairey’s “Trust The Earth” cannabis mural to the Museum of Graffiti in Wynwood in December to coincide with Art Basel. The mural, which is on display through Feb. 3., was introduced in Brooklyn last fall to coincide with the campaign launch.
Damon also noted the brand also plans to hold special events at the pop-up surrounding the Super Bowl on Feb. 2 in Miami. Depending on the pop-up’s success, the brand is considering doing future activations.