Our CEO, Zack Darling, recently spoke with Business Coach Bruce Eckfeldt on his podcast, Thinking Outside the Bud. Learn more about why branding is so important for cannabis companies today, how to navigate this constantly shifting industry, and how to differentiate your brand from the noise. You'll also hear more on The Hybrid Creative's history, working within regulations that vary at the local, state, and federal levels, and what it means to be a purpose-driven brand in a sea of "green rushers."
The podcast dives deeper to touch on the reasons new businesses are entering the cannabis industry today and need for continued respect and understanding of plant and the community surrounding it. Give the full podcast a listen and check out a few of our favorite snippets below:
On the Changing Industry...
"...my exposure to cannabis from the beginning was really back in the outlaw days. I've had the opportunity to witness and participate in, and help craft the transformation of the prohibition days into a legitimate thriving industry."
"I think the shock that [legalization] is actually happening has finally started to wear off for some of us. And I think there's a lot of reggae artists that are looking for new lyrics to sing about."
"It's every new brand's responsibility to to make sure that they are participating in raising that bar, in showing that this industry is sophisticated and mature, showing that that we care, showing that we are not just catering to that stoner mentality that it's been around for so long. It's our job to de-stigmatize and legitimize this new industry."
"When have we ever had an industry that just went from straight private market illegal to all of a sudden public legitimacy and making up for lost time to creatively and legally define itself? Now we're pretty excited to be a part of this and we're grateful for the opportunity to jump aboard and do what we love, be creative and help to define the industry—this is a once in a lifetime opportunity."
On Cannabis Branding...
"People don't buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it, and Simon Sinek promotes the concept of starting with why. There's a lot of good looking brands out there that don't quite know why they're doing anything other than making money. And those are the ones that tend to lose."
"But if you look at the brands that are really strong in the industry right now, the ones that are really thriving, and the ones that have that kind of high level of consumer loyalty, they've really clearly articulated their why. They are 100 percent about what that is, then producing high quality products and making money and participating in the cannabis economy. That comes secondary."
"When you have really well articulated why ,your consumers have something to connect, resonate with, and find alignment with. The biggest competitor in cannabis right now is not brand A versus brand B, it's brand noise. It's the clutter in the industry. When you walk into a dispensary, you've got 100 different products that are yelling for your attention. How are you going to cut through that? Being a purpose-driven, meaningful brand is what makes that deeper connection with the consumer. People want to be part of change, and purpose-driven brands are creating change and challenging the status quo."
Cannabis Past, Present, and Future...
"There's a lot of people out there that they don't care about the history of cannabis. They don't care about the medicinal elements of it. They don't care about the fact that cannabis has the capacity to change the mindset of the world and help people get off of opiates and become less aggressive probably stop lobbing missiles from one country to another. Cannabis has the capacity to change the paradigm of the world and that's what most of us, especially those of us who have been in for a long time, are inspired by. We're not just here to make money. We're here to transform the state of the planet and the human condition."
"I believe that for those of us that have been in it for a while that really understand the heart behind the cannabis industry and are dedicated to not losing that heart. We need to be discerning as to who we're bringing aboard that's really new to the industry and help them to find their way."
"I've learned that a lot of people are so thrilled to finally have an opportunity to take these large scale business skills that they have and these this knowledge that they have of how to navigate an industry and come into something that they can truly believe in and feel good about put their head on their pillow at night and feel like they're doing something that's contributing to humanity in the world. It's wonderful to see how not only is business trying to influence a new industry like cannabis, but the cannabis industry is having a dramatic influence on the traditional business world as a whole as well."
"When we are doing a brand strategy workshop with a new client, we always try to drive home the idea that if you're trying to be everything to everyone, you can't be something to someone. And right now in the cannabis industry, the exponential growth that we're going to be seeing isn't going to necessarily come from current cannabis users just consuming more cannabis. It's going to come from new markets."
Be sure to listen to the full podcast for lots more potent discussion on the cannabis industry, branding and marketing, and the epic potential of the plant and the community surrounding it.