Just about every high-level Cannabis Entrepreneur and Employee has experienced the overzealous rep with a fascinating story and wonderful personality whose boss knows your boss and what have you. This rep generally presents a product that has resulted in half-baked branding and quality and a price point from another decade. This is among the worst scenarios any given buyer or owner can find themselves in. These social pressures of endorsing any given brand based on reasons outside of product quality begin to have detrimental effects on your menu and quickly.
Let us discuss the concept of "enabling vs. support" before we get too deep into this conversation because it's a significant differentiation. Enabling is ignoring more red flags than you typically would because you have a personal relationship with someone and supporting them anyway. Support is you addressing and seeking solutions to red flags together. I firmly believe if you're in one of these core roles, it is your fiduciary, cultural, and consumer commitment responsibility not to enable the sale of a heart-warming story coupled with a lukewarm product on your shelf. So what should the conversation look like during these interactions?
When your old frat members show up with a new distillate vape at a $1 over standard wholesale and begin flooding your mind with memories of the good ole days in place of a product demonstration and big promises of celebrity endorsement and funding, take a moment to pause and think. If I endorse this product, is it supporting my friends' success, or is it supporting their inevitable failure and damaging both our reputations?
The responsible conversation to have here is one of guidance. As industry leaders in control of developing menus and crafting consumer habits, it is our responsibility to guide new brands in the right direction, not shun them or support them based on personal relationships. The results of this conversation far outweigh the brief tension of the explanation, I assure you.
Utilize your extended network to aid these new entries into Recreational Cannabis on how to come to market with appropriately priced, formulated, and marketed products. Utilizing this approach ensures a closer relationship much further into the future and an understanding from the retail side that this new brand partner is diligent, attentive, and can pivot quickly during market changes. The resulting long-term revenue from this approach is a far healthier approach to launching your brand. Do not remain in a vacuum of how fantastic a brand is before you show up to the market with it. Seek market analysis from Buyers and Owners before submitting final form packaging and inventory requests.