How Women Are Growing And Thriving In A Budding Industry
Recently AdWeek produced a panel of Media and Marketing’s six most powerful women and how they rose and maintained their success in a male-driven industry. They shared their thoughts on what it takes to be a powerful woman in business and how they define themselves both personally and professionally. Despite having different backgrounds, ages, and ideas, all of these women shared one thing besides having two X chromosomes – the idea of being a bold entrepreneur.
Rebecca Minkoff, a fashion designer and co-founder of Rebecca Minkoff, urges her employees to be their own entrepreneur even while working for her. She stated in the interview with AdWeek and Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski, “I’m most proud when someone says, ‘I quit. I’m starting my own company.’”.
Empowering women was a large focus of the interview – teaching ambitious and driven women to reach out of their comfort zones and to take risks with their work and with their life. These women challenge the entrepreneurial zeitgeist, proving that women bring a unique perspective and are a market to invest in, not ignore. This perspective is changing the way people view cannabis and the way we develop this industry, and the women in the cannabis industry are using this perspective to thrive.
Cannabis entrepreneurs are challenging this industry to think big, and women like Jane West and Jazmin Hupp are leading the way. Both West and Hupp, co-Founders of Women Grow, the networking and trade association dedicated to empowering women to succeed in the cannabis industry, are two of the industry’s most prominent.
Hupp shared with Bloomberg that she was attending the Cannabis Cup trade show in Denver one year when she came to the realization that the cannabis industry knew nothing about women and their herbal needs. She explained that she was searching for a jar to store her product and the only thing offered was a standard glass jar. When she asked a nearby vendor for something different and elegant, he offered to develop her a pink version. Bruce Barcott, author of Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America, shares Hupp’s opinion with TIME Magazine saying “One of the problems marijuana culture has had is sexism that is built into the industry – everything from labeling to product advertising”.
Analyzing your consumers and understanding their needs are important factors when deciding how to market your product. By caving to stereotypes, you eliminate large audiences who may use your product differently but purchase all the same. At Refined Bud, we challenge you not to fall into these stereotypical traps. Women, as reported by Bloomberg, “make up about half of occasional consumers of cannabis” and “one-third of heavy and moderate users” – and not all of them want the pink product container. With a large share of cannabis consumers being women, how is your brand targeting them?
Changing the stereotype of cannabis users from that old guy in his parent’s basement rocking a Bob Marley tee to wider market took a delicate approach – one could say, it needed a woman’s touch. Women like Cannabrand co-founders Olivia Mannix and Jennifer DeFalco are also changing the way people in America view cannabis and entrepreneurs in this space. Their rich background in business and talents in marketing aided them in positioning a product that needed a new spin to grow market share and expand the cannabis industry. By pushing the industry to expand beyond the stereotypes, Mannix and DeFalco helped bring about improvements in cannabis advertisements, storefronts, packaging and how cannabrands are able to appeal to a different, more refined consumer. These women understand that women and other diverse communities make up an enormous, underutilized market and by taking the risk to repackage cannabis to appeal to them generates greater market share that will continue to grow.
Not only are women taking a new approach to the marketing cannabis, but they are changing how the industry functioned for decades, turning the tables and the power dynamic within the cannabis community. By empowering leaders, entrepreneurs, mothers, recent graduates and women all across the country – these women came to the cannabis space and changed the conversation. Now, we’re seeing these changes percolate across the industry. We are witnessing more collaboration, variations of products and doses, and the necessary innovation to grow the industry as a whole. Hupp explained the reasoning for collaboration at the first Women Grow Leadership Summit in May 2015, “because to get to the next level, we need a network of women you like and trust”.
Women are thriving in cannabis by taking a new approach, stepping out of their comfort area and into a world where women lead as entrepreneurs in an evolving industry. With this new approach in mind, your company needs to ensure you’re looking at women as a major consumer of your brand or product. If you aren’t, you may be missing out and it could greatly impact your business’s’ bottom line and its future growth within this budding industry.