It’s no doubt that over the past year, numerous CBD brands have begun jockeying for the title of the biggest and the best. While celebrities line up on billboards and TV to tell us how great their favourite product is, many smaller startups drop off the radar. It can be easy to forget that only a few years ago, the CBD market was awash with small businesses championing the power of hemp-based products.
One business bucking this trend is Browns CBD. An ethical startup based in Sheffield focused on helping people through the power of hemp founded by Laurence Brown, a young entrepreneur who dreamed of launching an e-commerce brand at university. While studying, Laurence was searching for an idea that could help him earn a living while having a positive impact on people and the environment. After dealing with mild anxiety, Laurence turned to CBD, leading to a lightbulb moment. “I’d been struggling with moderate anxiety for several years and had tried everything under the sun to manage it. Although eating clean, getting plenty of exercise, and spending time in nature largely had it under control, I still felt I could do with a little extra help,” he tells us.
“My search led me to CBD oil, and after just a few days of trying it, I was amazed by the impact it had on my overall wellbeing. And I was fascinated by how such a stigmatized plant could have such positive effects. After a bit more research, I learned more about how hemp had huge potential to positively impact the environment. That’s when it clicked! In my hands, I had a product that could improve people’s quality of life and have a positive impact on the environment. This was the business idea I had been looking for.”
After a few days of trying CBD I was amazed by the impact it had on my wellbeing… thats when it clicked! This was the business idea I had been looking for.
Spurred on by the positive impact CBD had on his own life Laurence began championing the power of the product to friends and family, launching a website and shipping products out at cost to test the water. Thanks to the positive feedback, a business is born.
But how does a business like Browns CBD remain competitive in the face of big competition? Laurence believes his passion and personal touch is what keep customers coming back. “Every CBD company will tell you that they have the best products available, which is understandable. But I’ve always tried to prioritise high-efficacy products that have a real positive impact on people’s lives. I’m passionate about the whole cannabis plant, rather than just CBD alone. And try to offer oils and other CBD products that offer as much of the plant as legally possible.
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As well as being well priced, Browns has a competitive loyalty scheme, giving customers 5p on every £1 spend to use against repeat purchases. Customer support and education are also key. Commendably, the website has live chat support, a feature only normally seen on the websites of high street brands. “I started out as a customer of CBD products so I understand the journey that our customers are on. This means I’m able to provide personal and high-quality customer service in order to build good relationships with our valued customers. We often say your wellbeing is our success as I’m a true believer that the success of any CBD company is mainly due to how much of a positive impact the products have on customers’ lives.”
We put Browns to the test, asking for advice for a first time CBD consumer, and the information stacked up with brands you’ll find on the high street. It’s heartwarming to see a startup with ethics, customers and the environment at its core doing well, so what does the future hold for the company as it continues to grow?
“We will continue providing high-quality products and customer service, while constantly looking to expand our product range if we find any product that we feel is worth our customer’s while. We will soon be launching some higher strength CBD Patches to cater to customers who require higher doses. Keep an eye out for the product launch as we will be kicking off with an introductory offer!”