Digital Marketing Lessons for the Cannabis Industry from Snoop Lion aka Snoop Dogg
If you told me in 1992 that Snoop Lion, formerly Snoop Doggy Dogg, would evolve from Lil’ Ghetto Boy to become the most prolific businessman on the West Coast, I’d think you smoke too much chronic.
These days, not only is Snoop still acting, rapping and releasing albums, he’s an Internet tour de force, with over 11 million Twitter followers, a YouTube show that recently hit one million daily views and appearances in mainstream marketing campaigns for Hot Pockets, Overstock.com, and Adidas—a brand he’s credited with reviving while coaching his kid’s football team to stay involved in the lives of his family and community.
WATCH: You Got What I Eat (Hot Pockets) with Kate Upton & Snoop Dogg:
Snoop’s Doggy-style is one of the most recognizable in the world, and his business acumen (along with the team he built) is solidifying his legacy in pop culture. Snoop Dogg is a household name more recognizable among soccer moms than Mr. Clean.
He is also the most prolific celebrity cannabis supporter on the planet and he already has an herbal G-Pen on the market that’s competing with the more controversial glycerin-based eCigs.
I recently met with Nick Adler, Vice President of Business Development at Cashmere Agency, the team responsible for maintaining Snoop’s brand, to discuss how digital content and marketing are rapidly changing. Nick provided some useful insights about how to navigate the murky marijuana waters as national decriminalization initiatives loom on the horizon.
1. It Doesn’t Take Pot to Make Green
Despite the many documented medicinal benefits of marijuana, the plant is still stigmatized. Although many state law enforcement agencies no longer actively seek out cannabis patients, there are still legal risks to participating in the industry, but it doesn’t take cannabis to make money in the cannabis industry.
Cashmere is currently promoting the Snoopify app, which adds digital stickers to your Instagram photos. One of their premium stickers is the $150 “Golden Jay,” which, as the label says, adds a golden joint with rainbow smoke to your pictures. The item became an immediate hit among users, with Snoop fans clamoring to add swag to their social media presence.
If you’re looking to break into the industry, think outside the box – dispensaries and growers aren’t the only people profiting off the legalization of recreational marijuana use. App developers, location services such as Leafly or companies like Magical Butter – no matter what your skill set is, you can contribute to this budding industry. Keep your head high.
2. Legalization Creates Intellectual Property Issues
Ever hear of Cheech, Chong, Willie Nelson, or Snoop Dogg? What about MILF Weed or Pineapple Express? These iconic brands have permeated pop culture long enough to spawn fan-made bud strains, similar to how Breaking Bad inspired meth-labs to dye their product blue.
While Bryan Cranston will likely never live to see meth legalized, an overlooked side-effect of cannabis decriminalization is opening the doors for the creators of these fan-made strains to either sell their rights or fight a lengthy battle. It’s similar to what happened during the infancy of the Internet, when anyone with the cash could register, say, WhiteHouse.com, and put a porn site up.
3. Content Is King
Although legalization is changing marijuana’s place in American culture, the principles of business remain in place. We live in a media-saturated society and you have to produce great content if you have any hope of sticking out in the crowd. Throughout our conversation, Adler stressed the necessity of creating engaging content. Cashmere’s focus is on connecting brands to Millennials, and, as you can see, they have the Good Good.
As for Snoop, he’s currently riding high – this year marks his second annual 4/20 Wellness Retreat, a special event Cashmere is hosting in conjunction with the Cannabis Cup at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver, Colo., with Wiz Kalifa, YG and Smoke DZA on the lineup, this year’s event looks to easily trump last year’s 4/20 eve at Filmore Auditorium.
The looming legalization of marijuana is causing a stir across the country. As we speak, activists both for and against the alluring herb are gathering support to help push their initiatives through. We can’t predict the future, but thus far, supporters are winning the battle. With legendary artists like Snoop being supported by Main Street and Middle America, it’s only a matter of time before we have the freedom to choose marijuana.