Innovative go-to-market strategy for a cannabis startup
Neon partnered with Jima to develop a predictive analytics tool to optimize retail store placement, increase customer acquisition, and ultimately, drive revenue.
Jima, a newly-minted cannabis startup, needed a way to take on bigger brands with deeper pockets. In order to determine their competitive advantage, Neon worked with Jima to develop a go-to-market strategy based on optimizing retail store placement — giving this small business the benefits of enterprise-level insights.
We learned that the top cannabis retail stores outperform their competition by up to $7 million a year. Our research also revealed the main reason why: cannabis shoppers value location above selection, service, brand, and even price. As a startup, Jima didn’t have the luxury of trial and error; we had to get it right the first time. Multinational chains, like Starbucks, have proven tools to identify high-potential retail sites, but cannabis users have different needs than coffee drinkers. A verified store-siting model didn’t exist, so we built one from scratch for Jima.
By combining competitor store locations, demographic information, and anonymized mobility data, we analyzed the travel patterns of both legal cannabis shoppers and grey market buyers. The resulting tool enabled us to pinpoint convenient, high-traffic locations near cannabis consumers and plan the most desirable sites for Jima’s retail stores. Local businesses are the backbone of our community; we were determined to give Jima a competitive edge.
Jima used data modeling to choose the most convenient locations for customers. As these stores begin to open, we continue to provide tactical marketing and brand development work. Neon’s scalable tool will inform the company’s expansion, and it can also be configured to support other verticals. Entering a $3 billion-dollar market with entrenched players backed by big money can be daunting. But a strategic blend of localized intelligence and data science will empower a small business to stand tall and serve its customers with an industry-leading experience.
"Neon was a terrific partner for our GTM tool. They felt like an extension of our team, and were super easy to work with — even as we adjusted scope on the fly, based on research findings and testing. They also helped to develop the product roadmap beyond the beta stage. We now have a solid platform we can build upon for many years to come."