November 12, 2018Comments are off for this post.

Prime Extracts Named Best Brand By LeafLink

 

LeafLink, a sales platform for cannabis brands, distributors, and retailers, has chosen Prime Extracts, one of our cannabis clients, for having the Best Branding in their 2018 LeafLink List! Each year the LeafLink List recognizes the best-selling and fastest-growing brands and products on their platform. We are incredibly honored to see our work among some of the most well-known brands in the cannabis industry!

Over the past year, the Brand Joint team worked with Prime Extracts to develop the name, logo, packaging design and overall brand strategy for their line of refined cannabis concentrates. To set a strong brand foundation for their product line, we worked with the Maryland-based company to determine what their brand stood for and how to best differentiate their products from others across the state. Together, we focused on three core brand values to communicate to their target audience through marketing and design: quality, transparency, and responsibility.

Quality 

Choosing a name for your cannabis company can be one of the most challenging and important parts of developing your brand identity. It’s important that your cannabusiness name conveys your brand essence to consumers. The name “Prime Extracts” reflects the purity of the concentrated cannabis. Using an organic, food-grade ethanol extraction process, plant material is distilled to its prime components, resulting in clean, consistent products comprised only of cannabis-derived ingredients. Reflective of that brand promise, we designed a minimalist logo using prime shapes and numbers. Additionally, the packaging incorporates bold, bright patterns, complimenting the robust and flavorful terpene and cannabinoid profiles for which Prime Extracts is known.

 

 

Transparency 

Prior to Prime Extracts' release in the Maryland market, we noticed that other brands attached a generic, unformatted label listing the state-required lab results and ingredients to their products. That label often covers up packaging design and is difficult to read due to its small print.

The Brand Joint team took Maryland's packaging regulations and incorporated them into a design feature that benefits consumers. Our unique label highlights Prime's terpene and cannabinoid profile in a simplified, educational design. This allows patients to quickly identify ingredients, allowing for educated purchasing decisions based on their desired experience. Additionally, when new products and strains are released, our social media team posts the third-party test results as another way to educate consumers through transparency.


Responsibility

One of the biggest problems our team identified with concentrate packaging is the difficulty of identifying a strain type once it has been removed from the original packaging. How can a consumer choose the appropriate strain type without any identifying marker on the cartridge? The brightly color-coded system we created for all Prime products is especially effective on the mouthpieces for vape pens. Sativa-dominate distillate, for example, will always be packaged in orange, while hybrids are marked as purple. Not only does the packaging stand apart on shelves, but it goes above and beyond in terms of patient safety. Packaging inserts and strain information are often discarded upon initial use, but patients will be able to medicate responsibility and appropriately based on their desired experience.

While this overall brand strategy and design is unique to Prime Extracts, the Brand Joint process is applied to each and everyone of our clients. Whether designing a logo, website, or social media content, we always start by building a brand's foundation — establishing the brand story and core values — before releasing products into the market.

We are grateful to LeafLink for recognizing our brand strategy and design for Prime Extracts on their 2018 List! We look forward to developing new products with the Prime team in the near future. Follow Brand Joint on Instagram to see what we're up to with out other cannabis clients!

October 5, 2018Comments are off for this post.

An Open Letter to the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission 

Just this week, news broke in our home state that the Maryland Medical Marijuana Commission has announced a proposal moving to restrict advertising and marketing efforts for cannabis growers, processors, independent testing labs, and dispensaries.

Below is an open letter to the Commission from Brand Joint's Founder and Creative Director, Jennifer Culpepper:

I am writing to the MMCC in response to the Commission's proposed regulations for advertising and marketing. The new regulations would prohibit radio, television, billboard and print advertising, as well as websites, apps, and social media that do not verify the user is 18 years or older. As the Founder & Creative Director of Brand Joint, a branding and design company working exclusively in the cannabis industry. Social media, marketing and advertising  is just a small aspect of what my company does.

I write not as someone who is concerned about the financial impact these regulations might have on my company, but as someone who believes that patients and the overall community deserve open communication from cannabis businesses. Social media platforms, such as Facebook & Instagram are one of the most convenient and accessible forms of communication medical cannabis patients have with their dispensaries, makers of their medicine, and their fellow community members. Within the last year, I have seen thousands of patients come together to form supportive groups on these platforms, thanks, in part, to engaged cannabis businesses.

Because there were no reasons provided for this sudden change, I can only guess at goal of these proposed regulations — to hide cannabis and its use in order to protect children, teens and the general public.

Common Sense Advertising & Minors 

It’s commendable that lawmakers want to ensure that children and teenagers do not have access to cannabis and are not influenced to try cannabis upon seeing creative marketing and advertising campaigns. We agree that content, advertisements and packaging should not contain anything attractive to children, such as cartoons, characters, popular phrases or references to candy. These regulations are widely embraced by programs across the country. However, by blanket banning advertising and marketing, we push Marylands' program into the dark and risk making legitimate businesses and prescribed medication relegated to the black market.

With responsible advertising and marketing practices, the cannabis community offers an opportunity for families to have important conversations with their children. As a mother of two school-aged children, I am quite familiar with approaching difficult topics. Just like any other prescription drug they may see advertised, I tell my children that cannabis is medicine only to be used by the intended patient under a doctor's supervision. One cannot purchase cannabis from a dispensary without qualifying and receiving a written certification from a registered physician.

Like any other substance, there will always be those who abuse cannabis. This should also be part of the conversation we have with our kids. As medical cannabis continues to gain support across the United States, we must take the responsibility to have conversations with our children as we would with any other substance intended for adults. By shielding information about cannabis and Maryland's medical program, we miss out on important teachable moments for our children.

Educating in the Community 

Dispensaries, growers, and processors utilize social media to advertise educational events that are beneficial to patients, as well as community members interested in learning more about medical cannabis. Advertising is crucial to community engagement. Without the use of social media and other forms of communication, our community would have no idea these events are taking place. More so, it threatens the potential dialogue and important relationships between businesses and the community.

Many scientists, doctors, patients, and cannabis advocates applaud the plant’s health benefits for a variety of ailments. Due to misinformation and debunked myths about marijuana, there is still a deep-rooted concern by some lawmakers and citizens that cannabis is a dangerous drug and a threat to our community. In response to those concerns, my team has helped organize several events for dispensaries and cannabis businesses, including town halls, veteran-focused gatherings, and "meet and greets" with respected industry professionals, doctors, and scientists. We always make sure to reach out to nearby businesses and neighborhoods to address community concerns. These events would not have been successful without the use of print advertising and social media. Quite simply, the ability to advertise is the ability to speak directly to our community.

Advertising and Marketing for Good 

This new policy, in my opinion, continues to stigmatize cannabis and cannabis consumers. Through social media, we have the ability to normalize medical cannabis use and create a supportive environment for patients. For Brand Joint and our clients, social media has become an important tool when it comes to educating the public about the cannabis plant, its medicinal benefits, history and culture. Our company was founded with the vision to make cannabis more accessible and approachable to a broader audience.

Through our work, we aim to break down negative stereotypes and remove the stigma that medical patients and adult-use consumers face. As states across the U.S. implement medical marijuana programs, its clear that the plant and its usefulness as an alternative to prescription drugs is being brought into the light. I believe that the proposed advertising regulations put our state's program two steps back and into the dark.

The state of Maryland has become one of the top 5 states with the highest rates of opioid-related deaths and since the 90’s, Maryland has continuously been above that national average of opioid deaths. According to research by JAMA in April of 2018, "State implementation of medical marijuana laws was associated with a 5.88% lower rate of opioid prescribing.”

With a health crisis in our very own state, I believe the ability for cannabis businesses to interact with their communities is key to addressing prescription drug abuse. I encourage the Commission to allow industry professionals to continue their efforts in educating and engaging with their patients and the community through social media platforms and advertising opportunities. I ask that you reconsider the proposed advertising and marketing regulations, so we can continue to bring our amazing medical cannabis program into the light.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Jennifer Culpepper
Brand Joint
Founder & Creative Director

 

June 14, 2018Comments are off for this post.

Talking Terps in Downtown Annapolis

On Wednesday, June 13th, Brand Joint co-hosted an amazing event with the Maryland chapter of Women Grow in beautiful downtown Annapolis. Industry professionals, aspiring entrepreneurs, cannabis enthusiasts and medical patients gathered on the rooftop of Metropolitan to learn more about cannabis concentrates, terpenes and cannabinoids during the panel discussion, "Talking Terps with Prime Extracts."

Jennifer Culpepper, Brand Joint's Founder, led the conversation with two of our incredible clients, Reggie Alston of Prime Extracts and Dr. Chanda Macias and Michael Bobo of National Holistic Healing Center, as well as Philip Stripling of Steep Hill Maryland and DC.

Reggie, Prime's Founder, explained how his Maryland brand of refined cannabis concentrates are formulated to create a well-balanced experience for consumers. As a cell-biologist and dispensary owner, Dr. Chanda shared knowledge about ailment strain-alignment, and how certain strains and terpenes can benefit patients with certain illnesses and symptoms. Michael revealed his three favorite terpenes — Ocimene, Limonene and Myrcene — and demonstrated the various concentrate delivery methods. Phil then informed attendees about the Steep Hill Labs testing process and how patients can utilize test results to determine which strains are most beneficial for their needs.

The panel was extremely informative and attendees were able to ask any questions they had about cannabis concentrates and the differences between wax, shatter, and oil cartridges.

Crabcakes & Cannabis, a Maryland lifestyle brand created by Brand Joint, was also in attendance with a pop-up shop and raffle giveaways.

The venue was beautiful, the weather was great and the turnout was incredible! We are so thankful for the wealth of knowledge shared by our industry panel and we hope that attendees walked away more comfortable and informed about the benefits of cannabis concentrates.

February 26, 2018Comments are off for this post.

Now Hiring: Graphic Design Summer Intern

 

It's that time again — Brand Joint is searching for a summer intern to help us out with graphic design and branding projects for our awesome cannabis clients! Each semester, Brand Joint (and our sister company Peppermill Projects), seeks out an aspiring Graphic Designer who is outgoing, passionate about design and looking for real-world branding experience.

As our Graphic Design intern, you’ll learn the ins and outs of working at a full-service branding studio. You’ll work alongside our design team to create social media content, including styled photoshoots, illustrations and animated clips. You’ll sit in on brainstorming meetings, help our team come up with creative solutions and design content for our cannabis clients. You'll build your portfolio and have fun while doing it!

WHO YOU ARE: You have completed your Junior year at a college or university with an excellent Graphic Design program. You're ridiculously organized and meet your deadlines. You’re creative, extremely detail-oriented, have a passion for design and typography, and will be comfortable designing for the evolving cannabis industry. Your skills include:

– Experience with the Adobe CS including InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop
– Squarespace & WordPress
– Other interactive, photography or illustration skills

WHAT YOU NEED: A strong work ethic, positive attitude, excellent communication skills, and the ability to work in a fast-paced, collaborative environment! Excellent taste in music and an appreciation for snacking is also a plus.

NEXT STEPS: Email your resume and a few lines on why you should be our next intern to talent@brandjoint.com. Please include a link to your online portfolio. This is an unpaid internship, but suitable for college credit.

* Applications are due March 23rd. We will begin scheduling phone interviews the first week of April.

Take a look at some of the work from our previous interns:

 

 

February 7, 2018Comments are off for this post.

2018 WGLS Recap

Last week our Founder, Jennifer Culpepper, attended the 2018 Women Grow Leadership Summit in Denver, Colorado. Once a year, cannabis industry women gather to network, inspire one another and share industry insight. Over the course of three days, Jenn met with incredible women (and men) passionate about their cannabis careers and the growth of our amazing industry. In addition to attending several networking events and Breakout Sessions, Jenn sat on two educational panels and held her own Lightning Talk on the big stage.

In her Lightning Talk, "Connecting to Your Authentic Brand," Jenn revealed that when a brand is true to its values and the passions of the people behind the brand — that's how it becomes authentic and successful. As the Brand Joint team developed the messaging for this year's Summit, she explained her role as a brand strategist and designer. She can confidently define and build a brand for a business or organization, but it's up to the organization to LIVE that brand authentically. She invited the audience to inspire change, disrupt business as usual, and create the industry that we want it to be.

 

On Friday, Jenn joined panelists Dasheeda Dawson, Morgan Noble and Felicia Davis for their Breakout Session, "Big Brand Insights to Guide Your Cannabusiness Marketing." During the panel discussion, they discussed the unique challenges entrepreneurs face in the cannabis industry, especially in regards to digital marketing and branding. Later that day, she joined another panel talking about parenting and cannabis. This lively discussion brought up many important topics, including advocacy for sick children, the stigma of adult-use, and the challenges of speaking to children about cannabis use and its legality.

Jenn with Dr. Chanda Macias, the new Chairwoman of Women Grow!

Jenn met a lot of incredible women this year, including the Sisters of the Valley

We are thankful to have been such a big part of creating the messaging and theme for this year's Women Grow Leadership Summit. We feel more enthusiastic than ever about our opportunity to shape the industry's culture and we are determined to help make our community of entrepreneurs more inclusive, diverse and open-minded.

January 24, 2018Comments are off for this post.

Women Grow Leadership Summit 2018

On January 31st, I'll be heading out to Denver for the 2018 Women Grow Leadership Summit. You may have attended my panel discussion at last year's Summit, "Parenting in the Cannabis Industry," but this year, I am thrilled to discuss another topic that I'm certainly familiar with. I am honored to join fellow panelists Dasheeda Dawson, Morgan Noble and Felicia Davis for our Breakout Session, "Big Brand Insights to Guide Your Cannabusiness Marketing." During this panel discussion, we'll be sharing insight into developing a power house brand and how to establish yourself in the marketplace. Additionally, we'll discuss the unique challenges entrepreneurs face in the cannabis and the ways you can overcome them.

When I left last year's Summit, I felt inspired, empowered and more enthusiastic than ever about the future of the cannabis industry and my role within it. Channeling that passion, I was happy to help the Women Grow team develop the messaging and brand for this year's Summit.

When women grow, we all grow. 

The message of this upcoming Leadership Summit is particularly poignant in today's climate. As a relatively new industry, we have a unique opportunity to shape its culture and future. Women Grow has helped paved the way for women dedicating their time and talent to the industry's growth to achieve leadership roles in successful cannabis companies. Many of these leaders are mothers, professionals in other industries and new entrepreneurs. But we can't stop fighting for our voices to be heard in this industry. Despite our success stories, we have work to do.

The cannabis industry should follow the example of the cannabis culture that started this very movement by striving to be more diverse, open-minded and inclusive. We must create a culture where women (and men) are not only treated equally, but feel valued, safe and comfortable in the workplace. We have the opportunity to show other industries that we have the power to change the norm.

When women lead, we inspire change. 

I've been to countless cannabis conferences and expos and have benefited from the networking opportunities. The Women Grow Leadership Summit, however, is unlike any other conference I've attended. The Summit offers an opportunity for speakers and attendees to share their stories, goals, expertise and inspiration freely. You walk away from the conference with more than a stack of business cards and flyers. What you gain from the Women Grow Leadership Summit is invaluable knowledge, resources and relationships that will undoubtedly help you on your path in this industry.

With just under a week until the Summit, I've found myself reflecting on my journey into this amazing industry. Women Grow truly fosters a sense of a community and empowerment for cannabis entrepreneurs. I continue to be in awe of my friends, partners and clients — especially the many women that have helped shaped and will continue to shape this diverse industry. I look forward to seeing familiar faces and building new relationships at the 2018 Women Grow Leadership Summit.

When women unite, we are unstoppable.

- Jennifer Culpepper, Founder & Creative Director of Brand Joint 

 

*By using our special sponsor discount code: brandj, you can purchase your All Access pass for the Leadership Summit for $325!

 

September 28, 2017Comments are off for this post.

Branding Pennsylvania Dispensaries

Brand Joint is headed to Philly! Our Creative Director, Jennifer Culpepper will be the Featured Speaker at the Women Grow: Philadelphia Networking Event on October 5th. With 52 dispensaries opening in the Keystone State in 2018, having a well-designed dispensary brand is more important than ever. If the industry as a whole makes an effort to become more accessible and approachable to a broader audience, dispensaries will become more easily accepted by their communities. 

A well-branded dispensary experience requires more than putting a logo on the wall, your products and apparel — it's the total sum of all the little details. Design details inside the dispensary like the music playing in the waiting room, the art on the walls, staff uniforms and product packaging must be consistent with the exterior design elements, such as your like website and 
social media presence. Together, these details create an overall brand experience that leaves patients with a positive lasting impression.
 
Jenn will explain how dispensary owners can create a loyal following by finding their key differentiators, determining the proper target audience and designing a memorable retail experience. Don't miss out — get your tickets here

June 29, 2017Comments are off for this post.

Brand Joint Featured in MG Magazine

We are excited to announce that Brand Joint was featured in June's issue of MG Magazine! In the article, "Profiles in Marketing: People, Firms, Brands & Stories," our Founder Jennifer Culpepper shared insight to common mistakes cannabis companies make regarding their branding and design. You can find the full article in MG Magazine or read it online!

June 1, 2017Comments are off for this post.

Marketing Mentor Podcast

This week, Brand Joint's Founder, Jennifer Culpepper was featured on The Marketing Mentor Podcast. The Marketing Mentor, Ilise Benun, covers a wide variety of topics. Each episode is a "no-fluff chat about the nuts and bolts of how designers, copywriters, photographers and other creatives are doing to grow their business to get better clients with bigger budgets."

In the latest episode, "Experienced Newbie: Entering the Brand New Cannabis Market," Jenn shares insight to seeking out a niche and helping the cannabis industry find value in strong brand strategy and quality design. You can listen to the full episode here!

February 7, 2017Comments are off for this post.

Women Grow Leadership Summit

Last week, our Chief Creative Jennifer Culpepper attended the Women Grow Leadership Summit in Denver, Colorado. Once a year, cannabis industry women (and men) gather in Denver to network, share insight and inspire one another. Over the course of three days, Jenn attended inspirational lightning talks, social events and educational panels. It was a motivational and inspiring summit, surrounded by so many incredible women that are passionate about their cannabis careers.

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