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Neon Predict

Neon Predict

Innovative go-to-market strategy for a cannabis startup

Neon partnered with a new cannabis brand to develop a predictive analytics tool to optimize retail store placement, increase customer acquisition, and ultimately, drive revenue.


  • Strategy
  • Go-to-market
  • Development
  • Marketing


  • React
  • Typescript
  • Mapbox
  • BigQuery
  • Serverless

Small business, big data

When a newly-minted cannabis startup needed a way to take on bigger brands with deeper pockets, they came to Neon. We worked closely with our partner to determine their competitive advantage, and ultimately, developed a go-to-market strategy and predictive analytics tool based on optimizing retail store placement – giving this small business the benefits of enterprise-level insights.

Computer displaying mapping software

Location, location, location

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. This startup 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 our partner.

Tablet displaying mapping software

Finding the hot zones

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, Neon Predict, enabled us to pinpoint convenient, high-traffic locations near cannabis consumers and plan the most desirable sites for the brand’s retail stores. Local businesses are the backbone of our community; we were determined to give this homegrown retailer a competitive edge.

Tablet displaying map software
Tablet displaying map software

Sparking strategic decisions

Our partner used Neon Predict to choose the most convenient locations for its customers. As these stores began to open, we also provided tactical marketing and brand development work. Neon Predict will continue to 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 empowers this small business to stand tall and give its customers 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."

Jeff Prete

General Manager


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We are grateful to be located in the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tseil-Waututh) Nations.
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