As the cannabis market has moved to shed the “stoner” stereotype numerous have held of its customers, a number of marijuana companies are rebranding themselves through name alterations and other methods to attempt to reflect the providers they’ve turn into.
Whether or not the choice revolves about an initial public supplying (IPO), including Akerna’s, or the acquisition of various dispensaries such as Cresco Labs, numerous providers are operating toward making a unified, experienced brand.
Bill Winchester, president and chief inventive officer of promoting firm Lindsay, Stone & Briggs, which has offices in Madison, Wisconsin, and Minneapolis, mentioned the following are other possible factors a marijuana firm may well rebrand:
- It has launched new and various solutions.
- The competitive landscape in the market has shifted, and it desires its brand to reflect these alterations.
- It desires to pressure the increasing professionalism surrounding the marijuana market.
“The market is altering and sort of going from possibly anything that is sort of way recreational and goofy to anything that is a tiny far more critical and medicinal,” Winchester mentioned.
Rebranding and going public
An IPO was the impetus behind the renaming of Denver cannabis technologies enterprise MJ Freeway to Akerna, which trades on the Nasdaq as KERN.
The name alter occurred when MJ Freeway merged with MTech, a unique objective acquisition firm, according to MJ Freeway’s vice president of international promoting and communications, Jeanette Ward Horton.
The new name was constructed about “kern,” which she said represents an organic kernel of corn or a kernel of information.
The rebranding procedure led the group to a far better understanding of what the enterprise provides to the marketplace, Horton added.
“We truly wanted for the public listing a name that was not so immediately tied to cannabis but would make a far more balanced connection in between cannabis and tracking systems,” she mentioned, referring to seed-to-sale tracking computer software.
“It’s truly a reflection of the maturation of the space. There is a lot of movement from private providers to public providers and folks getting acquired by bigger providers.”
Higher Street turn into Acreage
In March 2018, Higher Street Capital Partners became Acreage Holdings as aspect of its strategy to pursue an IPO.
Acreage Holdings trades on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) as ACRG.U and on the more than-the-counter exchanges as ACRGF.
Kevin Murphy, the company’s founder, chair and CEO, came from the economic market and began the enterprise in 2011 as an investment automobile.
Many years later, he turned his concentrate to cannabis and invited other investors to participate.
“High Street Capital Partners was a brand for the investment neighborhood particularly,” mentioned Howard Schacter, vice president of communications at Acreage Holdings. “Acreage had true resonance in a couple of various areas.
“It’s an illustration of the aspect of the business enterprise that is about increasing, and increasing is what we looked to do and continue to do as a enterprise. It is a great reflection of development in all of its various meanings.”
Producing a national brand
Sector watchers note that as some providers expand their footprints into new locations by acquiring dispensaries, they’re deciding on to alter their names and remodel shops to convey a unified message to consumers.
For instance, healthcare marijuana enterprise Vireo Overall health International, primarily based in Minneapolis, recently launched its very first Green Goods-branded dispensary in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and has plans for two far more retail retailers in Bethlehem and Stroudsburg, pending regulatory approval.
The name of the umbrella enterprise will stay Vireo, which trades on the CSE as VREO. But going forward, Green Goods will be the retail brand.
Vireo CEO Kyle Kingsley mentioned there is no further price to make out new retailers beneath the Green Goods brand, but rebranding current retailers demands a substantial investment that could run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars for bigger shops.
“We’re undertaking this in a incredibly price-helpful way,” Kingsley mentioned. “It’s a marvelous unifying brand for our dispensaries.”
The rebranding work also entails focusing on Vireo’s e-commerce platform.
Buyers can order on the net to obtain goods via in-shop pickup or delivery, which is Vireo’s biggest income generator in areas exactly where the service is permitted.
“We’re hunting to make it uncomplicated for people,” Kingsley mentioned. “If they do an on the net refill, it can be a two-minute interaction. On line orders have improved substantially – far more than half of our transactions are e-commerce.”
Conveying a content image
An additional instance is Chicago-primarily based Cresco Labs (CSE: CL), which owns 31 retail licenses in 11 states and 21 operating dispensaries – all acquired via mergers and acquisitions of other providers.
Cresco is rebranding all the dispensaries it is acquired as Sunnyside, a name that is intended to convey happiness.
But the procedure is not easy.
“When you want to alter the name of a dispensary, it is not as uncomplicated as other companies,” mentioned Jason Erkes, chief communications officer for Cresco Labs.
“You’re dealing with the government and regulators and a lot of firsts. It is incredibly burdensome.”
Margaret Jackson can be reached at [email protected]