On February 21st, Kellyann Lamb of QIND, will speak at Kahner Global's Cannabis Private Investment Summit in Fort Lauderdale, FL. This event gathers industry leaders and investors for a day of collaboration and networking
QIND is a direct selling in-home purchase and delivery of medicinal and recreational cannabis. The company provides curated products through in-home events as well as a robust e-commerce platform and subscription boxes. Becoming a trusted resource is as much creating an empowered community of educated consumers, as it is maintaining a personal touch.
“At the end of the day, people buy from who they like and who they trust, “ Lamb shares. “Our goal is to provide that sophisticated retail environment and relationship, but always have the customer feel that it is unique to them and their requirements. “
This interview has been edited for length and clarity
It’s common to make analogies between cannabis and a range of mainstream consumer products from beer to coffee. What comparison makes the most sense for you, if any?
I could probably pick out some brands that have had to go through the different buying life cycles with the customer. Who needed to help the consumer understand the applications of a new product such as cannabis and its multiple applications to find what is relatable to the customer’s own life. I think that we’re four or five steps earlier than where Starbucks had to go in and retrain the consumer. One day we will get to that point but we’re still early in the customer life cycle.
Fundamentally, we believe that cannabis is a good solution for many health and wellness needs, and we also know that many people are supportive of the legalization of cannabis. But many potential customers lack the knowledge or the motivation to go out of their way to purchase cannabis.
Where I believe we are as an industry, in order to get mainstream adoption, it’s about education. It’s about helping consumers understand how cannabis can help them live a more productive, positive life.
When we talk about cannabis education, are we also talking about the language we use around it?
For us, it’s all about empowerment; that is the overarching goal. Empowered by education to determine whether cannabis is right for that consumer or not. Empowered to take control of their health and wellness needs. Empowered to purchase in a way that best suit their lifestyle, and empowered to share our brand with their personal network because what we are delivering is in line with their personal values.
Any narrative or language that we use to talk about QIND is centered around customers being empowered to make the very best decision for themselves and then providing them a relaxed and fun environment in which to purchase cannabis.
Cannabis is an interesting platform to talk about larger issues of empowerment and specifically gender dynamics. Where and how can the industry meet the needs of female consumers?
Women are going to be the bridge. I think cannabis is right for all demographics and age groups and women are going to be that natural bridge to those groups. Just by her own nature, this customer is out there looking for better ways to live a healthier life. She’s going to be the one to come across cannabis as a better life tool. She’s the one who goes out and shares it with her personal circle.
I believe that more brands are going to find a brand language and a brand image that resonates with her and that also has a broader gender appeal so she can bring her husband or brother into the product. The cannabis industry is going to learn how to appeal to a woman’s sensibility and the successful ones are going to be brands that have gender neutrality.
How adaptable is cannabis to this current age of marketing?
The QIND approach uses an in home selling environment. It’s social selling, not necessarily from the Facebook interaction but actually being in an environment of peers.
Seeing other people who you didn’t know use cannabis, whether they are using it recreationally or medicinally, having that peer group helps overcome stigma or introduce new applications. It is going to be this new selling environment, at least initially, that is the most successful environment.
When I think about consumers generally, we’re rather sophisticated. We’ve grown up in traditional retail environments, evolved into the e-commerce world and now into a combination of the two. We’ve taken these two different experiences and created a third. The idea is that brands are now meeting consumers when and how consumers want to be met.
Cannabis is so personal. Whether people want to keep their cannabis consumption private or they need to learn how to make it right for themselves, either way, it’s personal. Brands will be challenged to provide a high touch, non- intrusive relationship with the consumer, where they feel like they have everything they need without having their privacy invaded.
What are the indicators you would look for in a company that can navigate and be successful in this industry?
A company with a leadership team that has experienced a nascent stage of a product category which goes mainstream, and that has had experience changing consumer perception about what is a product or how a product is purchased and used. The first life cycle is education that this is a product that’s here to stay, and why.
The next step is, how do you sell to the mainstream consumer and take that product through the purchasing lifecycle? To an investor, I would say look to a company that has the leadership team and a proven track record of taking such concepts mainstream. Each one of those different steps in consumer engagement is different. As you get more mainstream, you start refining the language, the customer offerings and providing alternatives product uses. When the consumer has gotten comfortable with the product category, they will want more options.
Look for a leadership team that has done this in the past with other products because that is going to be critical to cannabis going from where we are today into the future.
The Cannabis Private Investment Summit brings together the best and brightest cannabis entrepreneurs and ultra high net worth investors & family offices. It is the premiere summit for institutional investors, family offices, and ultra high net worth investors. For additional information, please visit www.cannabrunch.net or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.