Within the heavily regulated CBD industry, it’s difficult for brands to advertise their products across the same depth and variety of channels afforded to companies in other categories. Due to compliance regulations, CBD brands have limited options when it comes to promoting and selling their products. As a result, CBD companies are generally forced to rely on their direct-to-consumer, in-store displays, and product and packaging designs — while brands outside the CBD category can leverage the power of social media and online campaigns across mainstream advertising and retail media networks to drive brand awareness and sales.
Adding to this difficulty, the CBD industry is saturated with new entrants, retail locations and unique products all vying for the attention of the same consumer base — one that’s already awash in brand and product imagery. Today the average consumer is exposed to millions of stimuli and hundreds, if not thousands, of visuals on a daily basis.
Personalization in CBD Imagery Draws in Consumers
This increased exposure to imagery and customized environments delivered via streaming services and social media algorithms has made consumers accustomed to experiences that are tailored to their unique preferences and behavior, and they have now grown to expect increased levels of personalization. People need to see themselves in the products they are buying; in fact, 70% of consumers say they are more likely to buy a product from a personally relevant page or experience, while 30% of shoppers say they will not purchase a product if visuals are missing or low quality. And in an era where product imagery is the most important factor in a purchasing decision, developing engaging and appealing visual content has never been more critical.
With the rigid constraints of CBD marketing and advertising, paired with a highly coveted target audience, many brands have turned to new technologies such as computer vision and AI-powered image analysis software. These tools help brands better understand the visual wants and needs of their consumers, and ensure all their visual content is optimized to resonate both in-store and across the digital shelf.
Placing AI at the Center of CBD Visual Marketing
Recent advances in machine learning and AI are enabling brands to gain deeper insight into the visual preferences of consumer audiences. Utilizing an AI-based approach allows brands to understand how their ideal consumer audience perceives visual content and, more importantly, it provides advertising, ecommerce, marketing and insights teams with the ability to identify and understand the visuals that motivate consumers to view and buy products.
These advances in AI and computer vision technologies can be leveraged to understand the visual preferences of unique consumer audiences by analyzing the massive scale of interactions online shoppers have with digital imagery on a daily basis. The images a given audience interacts with and are exposed to are very different based on where they shop, the brands they’re influenced by, and the content they choose to consume.
By gathering and analyzing this information, AI technology is now capable of discovering patterns in brand and product imagery that are particularly attractive and engaging to different consumer audiences. Thousands of unique visual elements impact what makes any given image appealing to an audience — elements like composition, layout, color schemes, scenery, model usage, shadows, object placement, rotation, lighting and hundreds more.
This data and unsupervised learning can be used to model the visual preferences of an audience and generate predictions on how likely an image is to capture the attention of, and elicit a positive response from, a given audience. With this new ability, marketing, creative, ecommerce and insights teams are now able to measure the effectiveness of their own visual content, test massive quantities of new content, and even analyze competitive offerings to understand which brand is best positioned to win with distinct consumer audiences — all in real time. The result is accelerated testing and research workflows, increases in digital and physical traffic, lifts in conversions and sales, streamlined creative decisions and new competitive intelligence.
Leveraging AI-Based Development of In-Store CBD Displays
When it comes to standing out on the physical shelf, brands are leveraging these new AI-driven image analysis capabilities to best understand how to design the most effective and engaging products, packaging and in-store displays. Elements like color, use of illustrations, imagery on-pack, text sizing and placement, and composition and layout can be optimized for target audiences by running tests on different concepts and variations and selecting the option that is predicted to most resonate with the target audience.
By using AI to optimize in-store designs and appearance, CBD brands can dramatically improve find time on shelves and in-store sales, all while dramatically reducing their research and concept testing times and generating a valuable new source of competitive visual intelligence.
Jehan Hamedi, Founder and CEO of VIZIT, is an expert in computational social science whose work includes important advances in AI, computer vision, consumer insights and ecommerce. Before launching VIZIT, Hamedi worked at Crimson Hexagon with leading global brands including Google, Twitter, Walgreens, Toyota and Paramount Pictures. Hamedi founded VIZIT, which is powered by patented visual AI and a proprietary database of more than 1 trillion visual cues that influence consumer behavior, to help companies measure, understand and optimize their visual brands to drive more sales, engagement and connections with their target audiences.