Cannabis News

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What goes into building a successful cannabis brand? Experts share their thoughts on challenges and opportunities in the space.

The cannabis industry depends on branding in a variety of ways.

At the investor level, successful brands may end up dictating which stocks become big winners. And for companies there’s a desire to create memorable products that buyers connect with time and time again.

Despite its importance, branding has been a major challenge for cannabis companies in both Canada and the US. Although market participants see light at the end of the tunnel, there’s still a long road ahead before cannabis brands become household names.

The Investing News Network (INN) spoke with a collection of experts to explore the wide-ranging world of branding and what needs to be done for the cannabis industry to get to the next stage of growth.

Missing pieces for branding market

INN talked to a group of branding experts about the challenges cannabis companies have faced with branding, and the possibilities that could arise as the US market evolves.

“If you have a product that’s not exceptional, it falls off pretty quickly because there’s so many to compete with,” Leah Thiel, vice president of marketing at Indiva (TSXV:NDVA,OTCQX:NDVAF), said.

George Mancheril, co-founder and CEO of Bespoke Financial, told INN it’s still early days, and there are opportunities in the US for small cannabis brands to become nationally recognized names.

What are the chances a big brand puts out a cannabis item?

At this point, it’s one of the longest-running conversation points in the regulated cannabis industry: When will big-name companies step in?

The market has seen the entry of alcohol makers by way of strategic investments, but the idea of a brand such as Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) or Oreo stepping in with a cannabis product is long way from being a reality. However, the idea of it happening at all does seem close for some stakeholders in the space.

“At some point that marriage is going to happen,” said Dreamfields Brands CEO Sebastian Solano, whose company oversees the California cannabis brand Jeeter.

Beverages offer curious point for brand expansion

Cannabis-infused beverages are a unique product category for the industry, but they haven’t yet captured a large portion of the consumer market. However, experts are hopeful about the opportunity to reach a wider array of consumers who may not be interested in smokable products.

Jeff Fallows, president of the Valens Company (TSX:VLNS,OTCQX:VLNCF), said he is encouraged by the progress of cannabis drinks available in the market and is excited to see where they go from here.

Additionally, cannabis drinks may also hold a chance to help introduce different consumption modes, which a research firm recently called for.

Cannabis retailers share perspectives

David Farris, vice president of sales and marketing with Planet 13 Holdings (CSE:PLTH,OTCQB:PLNHF), and Trevor Fencott, president and CEO of Fire & Flower Holdings (TSX:FAF,OTCQX:FFLWF), joined INN in a video panel to share with investors how they evaluate the packaged cannabis market.

The conversation highlights the role of retailers and how much effort these companies go through to guarantee sales success with their partners. “We really dictate the sales within our store,” Farris told INN.

The key differentiator between the two firms is their target markets at the moment. Planet 13 is a US retail operator with a widely popular megastore in Las Vegas, Nevada. For his part, Fencott oversees the operations of Fire & Flower as a Canada-based retailer.

Fencott spoke about the challenges seen throughout the Canadian market and how consumers haven’t yet formed bonds with particular brands from the regulated market. “There’s very little brand resonance with people,” the Canadian retailer executive said.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Cannabis for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

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