In select studies, celebrity endorsements have produced an average 4% sales increase. At this time, it appears that isn’t the case in the US cannabis market.
To date, most celebrity cannabis brands, whether endorsed or owned, leave some questioning their market impact. The unease appears warranted when considering how various celebrities have failed to live up to critical metrics, toplined by sales, market saturation and product quality.
Success stories are scant at this time.
As reported in Kate Robertson’s One Weed Please newsletter, one celebrity brand, Seth Rogen’s Houseplant, cracked California’s top 100 sellers of 2021, coming in at 91 with $9.3 million sold. Brands like Marley Natural (approximately $4.3 million), B-Real‘s Insane ($3.6 million) and Jay-Z‘s Monogram ($700,000) did not make the list.
Data compiled across 11 hybrid and medical-only markets provided by BDSA highlighted two cannabis brands making headway in Q1 2022:
- Willie’s Reserve: Founded in 2015, the Willie Nelson-backed brand is sold in Arizona, California, Colorado and Nevada and was a top-50 seller in the Colorado market. The venture is a partnership with Holistic Industries.
- Cann: The brand had the top-selling THC-infused beverage in California is backed by a bevy of celebrity investors. They include Gwyneth Paltrow, Baron Davis, Rebel Wilson, Ruby Rose, Darren Criss, Casey Niestat, Tove Lo, and Bre-Z.
Considering More Than Financial Reports
Various respondents, including Roy Bingham, BDSA co-founder and CEO, noted that sales and business metrics are just some qualitative and quantitative points worth assessing.
“While brand awareness and brand loyalty are emerging among the cannabis consumer base, celebrity brand status is less important to consumers…than product attributes such as price point, cannabinoid content, and flavor,” said Bingham.
The celebrity’s connection with cannabis and its consumers is essential. If buyers sense inauthenticity, then sales may be hard to come by.
“Simply placing a name on a product to attract that person’s fanbase may generate some initial excitement, but if the connection doesn’t make sense, the excitement will not last,” said Erika Salgado, CMO for PharmaCann. Their celebrity brands include The Allman Brothers’ Chocolate Chunk strain, sold in Illinois.
To Read The Rest Of This Article By Andrew Ward on Benzinga
Published: July 04, 2022
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News