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For years, cannabis was associated with back-alley deals after dusk. Now it's becoming as commonplace as walking into a convenience store to buy beer.
That's why, as cannabis starts its next phase, branding is going to be incredibly important.
It's going to separate the winners from the wannabes. The cannabis firms that get branding right stand to make early investors a lot of money.
Take Starbucks - the company is an incredible branding machine.
Starbucks has managed to make its name synonymous with coffee. Customers know what to expect when they walk into one of its 30,000 locations around the world. They know what they order is going to taste the same whether the store is in a suburban strip mall or in the lobby of a luxury city hotel. Because the Seattle coffee giant has earned customers' trust through branding.
Incredible branding is also why the company is now worth $92 billion.
For cannabis companies to be known throughout the world, it's critical for them to follow a similar branding model. They need to offer quality and consistency throughout their products and services.
Smart cannabis executives know this and are working on it as we speak.
While there hasn't been enough time for cannabis companies to build brands that have global or even regional recognition yet, it's coming. But there won't just be a "Starbucks of cannabis" - it goes much deeper than that.
There will be companies battling it out to become the "Coca-Cola" of CBD-infused drinks, the "Apple" of must-own cannabis devices, and the "Uber" of marijuana delivery services.
It's these winning cannabis brands that are going to deliver huge windfalls for investors. So here are the upcoming cannabis "brands" we have our eye on now...
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A Premier Cannabis Tourist Destination
If a marijuana firm has global ambitions, it needs to be in Sin City.
In fact, if you're visiting Las Vegas and want to check out the local cannabis scene, the unique company we want to talk about today should be the first place you stop.
Aside from having an aerial orb show, an 18-foot outdoor water feature, an LED interactive floor, and interactive laser art, this company strives to provide the best customer service. It's like walking into an Apple store: A knowledgeable staff is there to help you find exactly what you're looking for.
If you want a cannabis product that will help you fall asleep or one that will help you feel relaxed yet alert, a staff member will help you figure out the best products to suit your needs.
Right now, this company only operates in Las Vegas. But if it gets its business model in Sin City right, big things could be on the horizon...
The company we're talking about is Planet 13 Holdings Inc. (OTCMKTS: PLNHF).
Aside from everything we mentioned earlier, Planet 13 is also working on building a coffee shop, a bistro/pizzeria, a customer-facing production facility, and a few more things to draw in a crowd. That's what truly makes Planet 13 much more than just a place to buy cannabis.
In an age when it's hard to get people to visit a physical store, Planet 13 gives even those who are just mildly curious about cannabis a reason to stop by.
Even for those who can't visit the store, this marijuana company has you covered by offering a delivery service.
In Planet 13's most recent earnings report, the company said its "superstore" is drawing over 3,000 visitors per day and generating over $5 million a month in revenue.
For Q1 2019, revenue was $13.8 million, compared to $3.6 million from the same time a year ago. That's an increase of 286%. On top of the revenue jump, Planet 13 is also launching its own CBD brand.
Planet 13 is building an impressive business model in one of the most important marijuana markets in the country. In terms of branding, its main focus is showcasing itself as a premier cannabis tourist destination.
It's a bold branding strategy, but it appears to be working for the firm.
Creating High-End Brands
In 2015, Scott Campbell and Clement Kwan founded Beboe, a company that's taken a different approach when it comes to selling cannabis.
The duo found that when Beboe was launched in 2015, a lot of customers were mainly interested in finding cheap products that could make them really high. However, Campbell and Kwan believed that there was a market for individuals who wanted to experience some of the effects of marijuana but still function in social settings.
This shows smart management and forward-thinking abilities.
Campbell and Kwan identified a need and created a market to fill it rather than waiting for the rest of the industry to catch on. They didn't wait to see what customers thought was best because oftentimes, customers just don't know what they want yet or what could be available to them.
Again, identifying what people will want in the future or what is lacking right now and filling the void is something to look for when it comes to a brand.
With how things have played out, Campbell and Kwan have been awarded for their foresight.
In February 2019, Green Thumb Industries Inc. (OTCMKTS: GTBIF) acquired Beboe for an undisclosed sum. As of May 2, 2019, Green Thumb owned and operated 18 retail stores and had licenses for 77 locations across the United States.
It's also headquartered in Chicago, Ill., a state that legalized recreational marijuana use back in May 2019 and has since become a cannabis haven in the middle of "prohibition territory."
This all means that we're heading full steam into cannabis normalization, which creates bigger profit opportunities than ever before.
Ultimately, we're also going to see high-end department stores begin to carry luxury cannabis products and accessories, much like we have seen retail chains rush to sell CBD products. In fact, Canopy Growth Corp. (NYSE: CGC), or as we call it, the "Microsoft of cannabis," bought vaporizer company Storz & Bickel, which sells $599 vaporizers.
There will be cannabis consumers who want cheap vapes and cheap cannabis, but there will also be those who prefer higher-quality products.
Remember that cannabis is going to be just like any other industry, so there are going to be companies focusing on high-end brands.
It's a market that's ripe for cannabis firms to try to dominate, so watch this space closely.
Creating Product Differentiation
There are a lot of different ways a company can make sure it stands out among the competition.
Interestingly, some cannabis companies are going the same way as food companies and focusing on creating organic products. Just like growing a tomato plant, a farmer can choose to do it organically or using chemicals.
Of course, the problem with growing anything organically is that it can be expensive and can take a lot of time. Also, without treating the plants with chemicals, farmers run the risk of bugs and insects eating their crops.
While chemicals are not environmentally friendly, they're used by some cannabis farmers to grow their plants because they're affordable, widely available, and can increase the growth and THC production of plants.
Ultimately, what a consumer prefers is up to them, and there are cannabis enthusiasts who want an organic offering.
One of the companies focusing on creating organic marijuana products is The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (OTCMKTS: TGODF).
The Green Organic Dutchman, or "TGOD," claims it's the global leader in cultivating premium, certified-organic cannabis. The company does not use synthetic chemicals or pesticides.
The Green Organic Dutchman's products are certified organic by Pro-Cert, and its growing process is certified organic by ECOCERT Canada. Pro-Cert and ECOCERT are two of North America's most recognized organic-certification bodies.
Cannabis Branding & Packaging
Another aspect of cannabis branding is the actual packaging.
Places like California are setting up packaging requirements to try to help prevent children from easily opening cannabis products.
As you may see in the news from time to time, there are instances when pets or young children have consumed cannabis products by accident. This is a challenge that's a little more unique to the cannabis industry, but it's one that all successful cannabis companies will have to figure out.
Once they have the physical requirements needed to make the packaging compliant figured out, cannabis firms will then have to decide how they want to present their labels.
Just like how we talked about high-end cannabis earlier, some companies are creating sophisticated and classic looks for their packaging.
For example, Van der Pop is a Seattle-based luxury cannabis brand that was acquired by Tokyo Smoke in 2017. Since then, it has become a female-focused educational platform, but the Van der Pop website still sells cannabis and cannabis accessories. The company also sells a very fashionable cannabis grinder. If you browse its website, you'll notice that the company places an emphasis on artistic packaging.
Long known for being a cannabis enthusiast, music star Willie Nelson has gone a different route with his Willie's Reserve line. His site offers everything from edibles to glass jars for storing marijuana. He's gone for a more rustic look for his packaging, which fits his image as a country singer.
But in order to be successful, a marijuana company has to be authentic and understand its target audience. If Nelson came out with a product that had a similar type of label as what Van der Pop offers, that wouldn't make sense.
If a company is based around using CBD or cannabis for sports and wellness, it should reflect that in its branding. It shouldn't have bland colors. It should be creating excitement. On the other hand, if a company is promoting its products as something that can help people relax and fall asleep, it shouldn't use vibrant colors.
Identifying the Winners
What's going to help separate you from other cannabis investors is understanding that this is an industry that's exactly like any other.
There are going to be big players and small players, and identifying who is going to make it big will help take your investments to the next level.
By now understanding how branding works, you will have a better chance at finding the next "Starbucks," "Amazon," or "Microsoft" of cannabis companies that's set to make it big.
Keep in mind that not every cannabis company is going to be a winner. But if you find the "Amazon" of marijuana, you're going to have a huge payday.
Plus, you won't want to miss this exciting new opportunity...
You see, we're teaming up with legendary quarterback Joe Montana for the 2020 American Cannabis Summit.
2020 is shaping up to be a landmark year for cannabis markets - and we want you to be able to capitalize on this unprecedented economic phenomenon.
In this extraordinary event, you'll learn the No. 1 trick to spot a winning cannabis IPO...
The biggest investing mistake first-time cannabis investors make...
And the three numbers you absolutely need to check before investing a penny in any cannabis stock.
But remember: Space is limited, and time is running out because this all goes live today, Feb. 25 at 1 p.m. (ET).
About the Author
Millions of Americans are hungry for information on cannabis investing. And for good reason…
Cannabis is the fastest-growing investment opportunity of all time. It represents a turning point for investors.
That’s what inspired the launch of The National Institute for Cannabis Investors – The Institute, or NICI, for short.
The Institute brings together the brightest minds in cannabis investing and research, all to give investors the information and guidance needed to make a fortune.
NICI is the most powerful cannabis-investing tool available to investors who want to achieve their dreams of financial freedom. You can learn more about how to get free access to their cannabis profit research here.