Cannabis Brand Wars: ‘Immersive Experiences’ Dominate Hall of Flowers



If you had no thought what cannabis was and you attended the Hall of Flowers final week at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Northern California, you could assume that “cannabis” had some thing to do with interior decorating. Just about each booth on the business event’s exhibition floor was dripping in houseplants, in wooden and ceramic design and style accents, in aromatherapy diffusers, or in colors, fabrics and furnishings straight out of a West Elm catalog. That is mainly because, in the crowded California marketplace, several cannabis organizations are increasingly focusing on branding — rather than the classic technique of basically developing super dank weed and obtaining it to the proper people today — as a way to stand out from the crowd.

But “branding” no longer implies the design and style of a item package or a tagline. In today’s late-capitalism dystopia, a brand can mean almost everything. Advertising managers will inform you that brands can have related smells, stories and soundtracks, as nicely as personalities, dreams and an ethos. A company’s booth at a trade show is not a microscopic corner of the space-time continuum rented out in the pursuit of promoting far more disposable solutions, it is the chance for an “immersive brand experience” that showcases to the taste-creating public how cool that brand can be.

Phil Duncan, vice president and international design and style officer of Proctor &amp Gamble, says in an interview in the 2011 book “Brand Pondering and Other Noble Pursuits” that “a brand is some thing you have an unexplained emotional connection to.”

If that is accurate — and offered that California’s legal cannabis marketplace is not however two-years-old, only coming on the web on Jan. 1, 2018 — then we customers are but a captive audience of naive youngsters, getting taught who to like.

And of course, like youngsters, the shiniest and most-novel experiences caught our eye. Right here are 5 organizations who applied their Hall of Flowers booth to present a new type of “immersive brand encounter.” If the arms race of integrative advertising and marketing continues to choose up speed, subsequent year we’ll be writing you from a hot air balloon, as we hit a joint with hologram David Bowie.

1) Rock Climbing with Organic Wonder

Upon getting into the Hall of Flowers fairgrounds, 1 stone obelisk demanded interest amidst the maw of the crowd. Colorado-primarily based company Natural Wonder brought a totally-functional climbing wall to the occasion! Positive, the Acreage Holdings-owned brand didn’t have any item to provide, as their cannabis-infused breath spray has not however been licensed in the state of California. But they did lay down mulch, construct a “campfire” that doubled as a telephone-charging station for electronic devices and contract a neighborhood kids’ celebration corporation to bring a climbing wall with instructors to the occasion. We didn’t see as well several organization-minded people try a climb, but granted, it was pretty an ambitious activity to undertake at a cannabis conference.

Botanist Cannabis Now

two) Greenhouse Vibes with The Botanist

Down the row from Organic Wonder’s climbing wall sat a actual greenhouse, created from glass and steel and filled with houseplants on loan from a neighborhood nursery. Outdoors the greenhouse, brand reps gave away cups of juice for totally free, crafted to pair with terpene-wealthy tinctures bought inside, exactly where cooling mist sprayed down to mingle with the crucial oils diffusing in the air. I overheard point-of-sale company Meadow co-founder David Hua shout “This entire encounter is incredible!” as he left the greenhouse. This booth belonged to an additional Acreage Holdings brand, The Botanist, which has nine dispensaries (two however-to-open) in 4 distinctive states and a line of tinctures and vaporizers. The Hall of Flowers was the initially time that The Botanist displayed its cannabis solutions in California, a rep told Cannabis Now, which was element of why they place so substantially work into the booth.

three) S’mores with Mellows

I was beginning to assume that possibly only organizations new to California — and organizations without the need of cannabis to provide — had been the ones placing a shocking quantity of work into their booth encounter, possibly to compensate for some thing. But then, soon after meandering inside, I identified Stephanie Hua, who has been a nicely-identified player promoting cannabis-infused marshmallows in California considering the fact that 2015. She spent the afternoon creating s’mores with her pillowy Mellow creations. In the method, she each repurposed the butane torch (much better identified for its part in taking dabs) and reimagined the munchies encounter.

four) Real Buds with LEAF California

Amidst the houseplants and the plastic cannabis leaves, only 1 booth brought flowering cannabis plants to the show, begging the concerns: “Is this even legal?” and “If this is legal, why is not absolutely everyone carrying out it?” Yes, it is legal in California to have flowering plants at a private occasion exactly where absolutely everyone is more than 21 years old, said LEAF California’s cultivation manager Will Pierce. “I have no thought why far more people today are not carrying out this,” he stated. “I’m bringing far more subsequent year.” The plants from the Sacramento-primarily based cultivation corporation smelled excellent, and when lightly squeezed, had a tight bud structure and emitted even far more playful terpenes. Maybe it will not be uncommon subsequent year to see actual flowering cannabis colas at business events, but it absolutely was this time about.

Sherbinski Cannabis Now

five) Museum Exhibits with Sherbinskis

Final but not least, longtime California cannabis company Sherbinskis took the thought that “building a brand is about storytelling” pretty actually at their booth at the Hall of Flowers. In a miniature museum exhibit, replete with an audio recording from corporation founder Mario Guzman explaining the archival objects, Sherbinskis told the story of their flagship strain, Gelato. With 5 museum pillars in a brief row, Sherbinskis displayed the initially cannabis cultivation books Guzman purchased in San Francisco, the test outcomes of the initially Gelato phenotypes, the scoring ballots from the taste tests, the empty jars that held these initially buds and the fancy vaporizers that the corporation sells now. “This exhibit gives a timeline to appreciate exactly where the Gelato strain came from and exactly where Sherbinskis is headed now,” stated Devon Horace, a consultant for Sherbinskis.

Inform US, what tends to make you like a cannabis brand?


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