So why do some celebrity brands fail and some succeed? Just like the plant, cannabis companies need tender love and meticulous care. They should be rooted in authenticity too. This rollercoaster of an industry is not for those looking to get rich quick. As exemplified by certain businesses, the ones who succeed are the ones where the owner, celebrity or non-famous entrepreneur, are involved on the ground.
A celebrity brand may grab attention and drive traffic to purchase their products, but if the quality is off, they will most likely not see a second purchase after that. The second purchase is important for the longevity of a brand, as the brand alone can not sustain itself off a celebrity name. Think of Dan Blizerian, who has 30.6 million instagram followers. He launched a THC brand, Ignite alongside his CBD company, Ignite CBD. His CBD company is still running, but his THC brand has fallen off. Ignite wasn’t so welcomed, as it received a lot of backlash for its not-so-stellar quality product and the sexualization of women in cannabis in their marketing. "Honestly, shame on them," CEO of marketing firm Cannabrand, Olivia Mannix. said. "It's not only putting a damper on the cannabis industry, but it's putting a damper on the women's movement and women's rights.” People come and go in the industry, but the real ones remain.
A lot of active and retired athletes have been stepping into the cannabis space, which may seem odd, but actually makes plenty of sense. CBD and THC have anti-inflammatory properties, making cannabis products ideal for an athlete’s pain management. For instance, Al Harrington, 16-year NBA veteran, launched his cannabis brand, Viola, in 2011. His story was deeper than just wanting to cash in on the green rush. The inspiration for starting the company came from Al’s grandmother who suffers from glaucoma and diabetes. With some convincing from Al, she reluctantly agreed to try cannabis for her pain and found immediate relief. Inspired, Al was moved to create a purposeful company in the space and named it Viola, after his grandmother. Viola was more about the plant than the profit. That’s not to say that good business isn’t important, but those with an emotional connection tend to go further. That goes for any industry.
Prior to her most recent child’s birth, Kim Kardashian threw a CBD-themed baby shower. She has been vocal about her CBD use, stating in a Poosh post that “I started taking CBD, and it really changed things for me. It calms me down automatically.” Some people have voiced that Kim Kardashian is just trying to hop on the “trendy” CBD, but shouldn’t we be happy someone with her platform size is speaking on the plant positively? As the legal weed market is opening its flood gates, some companies believe that celebrities might be a shortcut to success. This isn’t necessarily true or not true. At the end of the day, it’s important for education and awareness. TSome may not care what a scientist has to say, but if Kim Kardashian co-signs people may just listen. The power of celebrity is almost, just almost, as powerful as the plant.