Marijuana Business Magazine February 2019

Marijuana Business Magazine | February 2019 16 Building Scalable Brands to Overcome Marijuana Marketing Malaise Five questions with Lily Colley, national marketing director for edibles maker Incredibles By Lisa Bernard-Kuhn M arijuana marketing expert Lily Colley knows well the long list of hurdles that cannabis firms face as they hustle to scale their brands and compete nationally. As the national marketing director for Denver-based edibles maker Incredibles and former marketing co­ ordinator for Denver-based Dixie Brands, Colley has navi- gated the patchwork of state regulations and restrictions on paid advertising and other marketing practices. In an interview with Marijuana Business Magazine, Colley discussed the top branding trends underway and strategies for overcoming the marketing limitations many firms face. What are the top regulatory challenges for cannabis marketers? Not only are paid promotions illegal almost universally, but the fragmented state-by-state legal structure means that substantial resources must be devoted to compliance while also devoting substantial resources to creating state-specific labels and networks. As more brands begin to scale and emerge as national players, will smaller, regional brands be able to survive? Agile regional brands will survive if they continue to scale, adopt new technologies and refine their product offerings and offer budtender training. (See related story on page 74.) One of the few advantages of the fragmented state-by-state regulatory environments and limited manufacturing licenses in each market is that brands who are first-movers and who possess local- market expertise and networks will continue to thrive. Consumer education is growing as a key component of cannabis branding and marketing. How do you see this evolving? Incredibles has gone so far as to develop video education assets (and) leave-behind print materials focused on responsible consumption best practices. We’re also look- ing into consumer apps and developing in-store brand ambassadors and sales-rep training programs. I think it will be very interesting to see the continued evolution of effect-based products, which require a Lily Colley Courtesy Photo Q & A | Five Questions