New Cannabis Brand Book Offers Late Best Practices For The Booming Industry
“Branding Bud: The Commercialization of Cannabis” by David Paleschuck is the first book of its kind to bring solid branding and marketing best practices to an industry in dire need. Yet “Branding Bud” is more than just a B2B introduction as it provides a fascinating overview of an estimated multi-billion dollar industry whose long and complicated history dates back to when ancestors George Washington and Thomas Jefferson farmed. hemp.
Released fortuitously on April 20, “Branding Bud” clearly fills a void in the market. Recently, the book has rocketed to the top of Amazon’s bestseller list as number one in the branding and logo design category.
New York born and Seattle resident, 58, Paleschuck accumulated over twenty years of branding and consumer marketing experience at blue chip companies such as American Express and Microsoft, before moving on to put its expertise at the service of the legal cannabis industry. There he held positions that included Vice President of Licensing and Brand Partnerships at Dope Magazine and Brand Director at Evergreen Herbal and The Matters Group. With his experience, Paleschuck was a natural to write a book on cannabis branding. It didn’t go smoothly, however.
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
Iris Dorbian: What made you want to write this book?
David Paleschuck: There were so many misunderstandings and misconceptions about the plant and the culture. My goal is to normalize the plant.
Dorabe: How long did it take you to write the book?
Paleschuck: The book took me five years to write. I wrote the book twice. While I was writing the book, the laws were changing under me. The brands came and went or they changed brands. For example, when the state of Washington [required] a limited color palette for cannabis packaging, suddenly some brands had to re-color.
Dorabe: What was your favorite aspect of writing the book? Conversely, what did you find the most problematic?
Paleschuck: As a brand and marketing person who always looks at things on a meta level and sees the trends, the amazing part was this clarity. There are brand archetypes, and they keep repeating and in different ways in different states. If anyone really likes practitioners, that’s an archetype. Or there are nostalgic brands. So it was really this revelation: now I see what’s going on. For me that was the most exciting. It is also the first book on the cannabis brand.
[Most problematic] are the laws and rules [are always] changing. But as I interviewed people, I realized that there were two different perspectives: doctors and salespeople. Then there were entrepreneurs talking about trade and their return on investment. It was a minefield. I had to be aware of the heritage of the factory, but also of the different perspectives of people who have worked in the industry for a long time and those who come to the industry.
Dorabe: I was very fascinated by the outside and insider audience segments for cannabis that you cite in the book, using the Matters Group Report. Was this something you have always known as a marketer or did you find out while researching the book?
Paleschuck: As a brand and marketer for 30 or 40 years, I knew it intuitively. In many ways growing up as a skateboarder I always knew there were insiders and outsiders. Every elementary child knows it too. It was this specific report related to cannabis user segments that kind of solidified it for me and I said, “Cool! I can use it to talk about cannabis users. ”
Dorabe: What surprised you the most while working on this book?
Paleschuck: I was surprised at the link between [Federal Bureau of Narcotics’ first Commissioner] Harry anslinger; [ex-U.S. Treasury Secretary] Andrew Mellon, [the uncle of Anslinger’s wife]; and the Weyerhaeuser and DuPont companies particularly linked to their activities focus on wood, paper and pulp, petroleum, etc. One of the reasons hemp was banned was because of the Weyerhaeuser family, the Hearst family, and Anslinger’s wife. It would put tree pulp people out of business and they would print on hemp. There was a connection to this and probably a conspiracy around Anslinger’s decision to put cannabis and cannabis-derived products off the market so that the Weyerhaeuser family could cut down trees and supply the industry. pulp information.
Dorabe: In the book, you write that a sure-fire way for companies not to be taken seriously is to use tired brand tropes, like the cannabis leaf as a logo. Where do you see the future of the cannabis brand?
Paleschuck: It’s really integrated or linked to the needs of the consumer. If someone is looking for an ambitious brand that makes them feel something, this is a brand type. But if someone is looking for something specific to an advantage, this is the future. It is really about the benefit, the effect, or the desire to be something bigger than you. For me, this is where cannabis branding goes.