When you think of the pharmacy chain CVS, what comes to mind?
How about Peyton Manning (pre and post football retirement)?
What about CBD?
On Wednesday, March 20, 2019, CVS Pharmacy became the first national chain to announce plans for selling hemp-derived CBD products in 800 stores in eight states. This action of a major brand was a leap forward to legitimize CBD as a medical and cosmetic treatment for adults.
CVS's move will set the tone for other major chains to follow suit. What it does as well is make small local businesses, who sell skin and wellness products, sit-up and take notice.
Smaller CBD companies will now be able to more easily approach brick and mortar stores and use the CVS move to break down the stigma of CBD that is omnipresent.
The "CVS Effect" allows for local businesses to think, "Hey...if it's good for CVS, it's good for us and our customers." For CBD product manufacturers, the CVS Effect becomes an open door for a sale.
Where does Peyton Manning come in?
For Nationwide Insurance, Papa John's Pizza (formerly), DirecTV and Buick, Manning is/was a spokesperson. But more than that, he is an influencer that companies still go to in order to make commercials about their products.
Many other sports figures are influencers/spokespersons - i.e. Russell Wilson, Shaquille O'Neal, Joe Namath, etc.
Many actors and actresses are also influencers/spokespersons - i.e. Matthew McConaughey, Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney.
Famous people sell products and have for decades. To get a famous person to sell your brand is golden (and expensive).
CBD is a hot commodity and will stay hot for many years. To some, CBD is a life-changer and will very likely significantly disrupt the pharmacy megalopy in the coming years.
Because of very successful drug education for the past 80+ years, cannabis (and it's derivative CBD) has a sticky stigma that few want to touch or talk about. Because CBD has been shown to be successful as a treatment for many medical conditions (no pharmaceutical treats the range of conditions that CBD does), this plant-based natural product is becoming more mainstream and accepted. Grandparents (probably the nation's most conservative age group) are now enjoying the benefits of hemp. Who would have thought?
CVS waltzes in this week and surprises everybody with the fact that they will stock CBD. They legitimize a stigma product and become the influencer for the local mom and pop shop (and hopefully other major brands).
Peyton Manning the influencer. CVS the influencer.