All Posts in What We’re Up To

November 13, 2017 - No Comments!

Veteran’s Day in Baltimore: Healing Our Heroes

The Brand Joint team was proud to partner with Women Grow to organize an amazing educational event on Veteran's Day at Charm City Medicus, a medical cannabis dispensary in Baltimore, Maryland. "Healing Our Heroes" provided the opportunity for veterans to hear from a wide variety of cannabis advocates, doctors and industry experts about the basics of cannabis and the different ailments the plant can treat. Attendees were also allowed to take small tours throughout the recently constructed CCM dispensary.

Speakers at the event included:
Bryan Hill: Charm City Medicus
Sarah Stenuf: Retired SPC 15R Apache Crew Chief & Founder of HappyHealing420 LLC
Reggie Alston: Prime Extracts (formerly 7 Points Agro-Therapeutics)
Jim Elftmann: gLeaf, Director of Cultivation
Dr. Brian S. Kahan: Medical Director at The Kahan Center for Pain Management
Dr. Andrew Rosenstein: Steep Hill Laboratories
Dr. Chanda Macias: Women Grow DMV/ National Holistic Healing Center

The Brand Joint team in the brand new Crab Cakes & Cannabis line

 

Jim Elftmann, Director of Cultivation at gLeaf speaking about the differences between Indica and Sativa strains

 

Retired Army Veteran Sarah Stenuf shares her story and explains how cannabis saved her life

As Maryland dispensaries prepare to open, educational events and community outreach are crucial. With the disconnect between federal and state legalization efforts, it's not surprising to have concerned and confused community members. CCM's President, Bryan Hill prioritizes community outreach events to help educate the public about medical cannabis and its health benefits. Hill was thrilled to see such a great turnout on the chilly Fall Saturday,

"Healing Our Heroes was an amazing first event held at the dispensary. Our team was excited to see so many patients and those that just wanted to learn about cannabis show up and interact with our panel of speakers. It's important for our patients to feel comfortable when they visit the dispensary and this event was an important step to introducing ourselves to Baltimore and Dundalk communities."

Just like the CCM's patients, the Brand Joint team is counting down he days until the dispensary's grand opening. We look forward to organizing events for our clients, including CCM, to increase community awareness and patient education within the state of Maryland.

October 10, 2017 - No Comments!

Designing the Perfect Dispensary Experience: The First Impression

On October 5, Jenn had the pleasure of speaking at the Philadelphia Chapter of Women Grow. Hosted by the law firm Offit Kurman, the event brought together a diverse group of cannabis enthusiasts and entrepreneurs. As Philadelphia's medical marijuana program is ramping up, Jenn's talk focused on designing the perfect brand dispensary experience.

At Brand Joint, we emphasize to our clients that a brand is more than just a catchy name and your logo on the wall. A brand should provide a particular experience that evokes emotion (hopefully positive!) from customers. That's why it's so important for dispensaries to spend time and energy branding and designing their entire patient experience. Before you even step into a dispensary, your customers will likely visit your website or social media pages. Your digital outreach is just one aspect of your branded experience, but we'll save that for another blog!

During her discussion, Jenn explained how dispensary owners should ask themselves, "What experience do I want to provide for my patients? What do I want them to feel the moment they step in the door?" You only get one first impression, so it's important to properly communicate your message. Keep in mind that experiences will be different for states with medical programs versus adult-use dispensaries.

Exterior: The exterior of a dispensary is just as important as the interior. To implement a branded experience for your dispensary, it's best to walk through the entire process through the eyes of your patients. Is your building in an area with lots of walking traffic or is there a parking lot? Depending on your location, having ample parking close to your building might be an important factor, especially for patients with ailments that make it difficult to walk or use stairs.

Photo Credit: Lightshade

As your customer moves toward the doorway, what do they see? In states like Maryland and Pennsylvania, where the medical cannabis program is on the brink of going live, it's likely that patients may feel apprehensive about visiting a dispensary for the first time. Do they feel safe approaching the building? Is the area well lit? Do you have on-site security guard? And if so, will an armed guard make them feel safe and secure or more nervous?

Photo Credit: Silverpeak Apothecary

Entering the Dispensary: As the customer enters the dispensary, they'll typically approach an entrance area or waiting room. While this area is typical used for security purposes, while you check IDs or wait for a dispensary agent to become available, you can use this an opportunity to add value to the patient's experience. While they're waiting, perhaps you have educational materials or videos playing. Maybe you have a lovely retail display?

Think about the sensory experiences: What do they see? Is there someone that opens the door with a friendly greeting? What do they smell? What music is playing, if any? Are the wall colors bright and vivid or natural and calming? There's not a right or wrong answer to designing the sensory experience for your brand, as long as it remains intentional and consistent throughout.

Before you even begin to design a beautiful dispensary experience, you need to know what will make that experience perfect for your customers. Learning what your specific customers value is the key. Do they value a relaxing, spa-like shopping environment? Are they looking for a more guided educational approach? Or are they generally in a hurry and value a quick, tech-supported experience?

Once you determine your target audience, you can consider the various shopping experiences you can create for your customers. Sign up for our newsletter to read Part 2 of Designing the Perfect Dispensary Experience: Different Retail Experiences.

September 28, 2017 - No Comments!

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

September 27, 2017 - No Comments!

Brand Joint Fall Intern: Angus Walbeck

Brand Joint is excited to have our fall intern, Angus Walbeck join our team! Angus joined the Brand Joint team to gain “real world” experience after graduating with a BFA in Graphic Design from Salisbury University. While at Salisbury, Angus developed advertising and promotional materials for Fat Fish Bar and Restaurant.  Read more

July 20, 2017 - No Comments!

Cannabis Branding Internship Opportunity

Summer isn't quite over yet, but we’re already thinking ahead to fall. We're not just looking forward to a break from the Maryland heat, but we're excited to welcome our fall intern! Each semester, Brand Joint and our sister company, Peppermill Projects, seeks out an aspiring Graphic Designer who is passionate about design and looking for real-world branding experience.

We won’t make you fetch us coffee (but we’ll gladly take one if you’re offering). Instead, you’ll learn the ins and outs of working at a full-service cannabis branding studio. You’ll work alongside our design team to create social media content, including styled photoshoots, illustrations and animation. You’ll sit in on brainstorming meetings and help dispensaries, processors, growers and other cannabis businesses develop brand strategy and creative solutions. Our goal is to help you build your portfolio and provide you with the skills and enthusiasm for starting your career in Graphic Design!

WHO YOU ARE: You are in your Senior year at an excellent Graphic Design program at a college or university. You’re creative, detail-oriented and have a passion for design and typography. Your skills include:

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

WHAT YOU NEED: A strong work ethic, positive can-do attitude, excellent communication skills, an ability to work in a fast-paced, collaborative environment and an enthusiasm for improving your design skills!

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

June 29, 2017 - No Comments!

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, 2017 - No Comments!

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!

May 24, 2017 - No Comments!

Marijuana Business Daily Conference

On May 17th-19th, the Brand Joint team attended the Marijuana Business Spring Conference and Expo at the Gaylord National Harbor Resort and Conference Center. Over a course of three days, cannabis entrepreneurs and business leaders gathered in Washington, D.C. to network and gain industry insight from speakers on a wide variety of topics. It was great to meet up with some of our wonderful business friends and partners that we have been in contact with over the last year!

MJBiz Con continues to be one of the most professional, knowledgable and well-attended conferences in the cannabis industry. As we walked the Expo floor, it was exciting to see the amount of businesses dedicated to this booming industry. With over 500 exhibitors, there was plenty to see and much to learn — everything from lights and soil to products, packaging and consulting firms. We look forward to developing and designing some incredible brands and can't wait to attend the next Marijuana Business Daily Conference and Expo!

 

April 25, 2017 - No Comments!

Maryland Patient Registry Now Open!

You may have been wondering...how can I become a patient for medical marijuana in Maryland? After months of delays and anticipation, patient and caregiver open enrollment officially began on Monday, April 24th for The Natalie M. LaPrade Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission! The registration processes and requirements differ for adult and minor patients, but both are to be completed online. Requirements and more information on how to register can be found here.

As a reminder, medical cannabis is not yet available in the state of Maryland. However, pre-approved growers, processors, and dispensaries are currently in the process of becoming operational. According to the MMCC, medical cannabis is expected to be available by the end of this summer. We are excited for Maryland patients and look forward to helping these new cannabusinesses build their brands!

April 19, 2017 - No Comments!

Summer Intern: Richy Arthurs

The Brand Joint office has gone international! Originally from Dublin, Ireland, Richy Arthurs joined the Brand Joint and Peppermill Projects team for an internship to learn what goes on behind the scenes of a cannabis branding and design studio. Richy studied Web Development at Maynooth University and was formerly employed at IBM in Dublin.

Richy "cycles" to our office weekly, where he assists our creative team with brainstorming sessions and promotional projects. Since joining the team, Richy has quickly (and impressively) picked up some interactive and animation skills. He's currently working on some fun, informational videos for Brand Joint and our clients.

In his spare time, he enjoys photography, reading, ultimate frisbee, drinking beer and scoping out his new home here in Maryland. Welcome to the team, Richy!