The Opportunity for Hemp Brands
Doing it the Right Way, from the Ground Floor Up
By Will Carr
Where is the hemp industry headed? What are we doing and why are we doing it? How does CBD fit into the marketplace? How does branding contribute to the evolution of hemp-derived consumer product goods? We have an incredible opportunity to do things the right way from the ground floor up. From the very beginning, we can make an impact in niche markets. We can steer the course of mass-retail products, forever changing the landscape of the marketplace. We can piece by piece, little by little, create a future with a better world and improve the lives of people everywhere.
There’s a lot of fluff in CBD and hemp right now. Hundreds of new brands and businesses are started every month with the idea that they’re going to sell CBD and make lots of money. Many of these same companies put little thought into the actual quality of their products, where the market is headed, and how their products will impact the environment. Where is the social responsibility? Where is the effort to market something truly better to the consumer?
Brands are the answer to this problem. Brands that actually care. Brands that don’t just talk the talk, but truly walk the walk. Branding and marketing are often demonized as evil with the intention to trick the consumer into purchasing. This doesn’t have to be the case, though.
What if brands provided more value than the cost of their products? When a brand markets itself as sustainable, as making an effort to provide healthy, nutritional products that genuinely supply a consumer good to the market that changes the game and makes a positive impact for Earth and all of us living here, then marketing becomes a beautiful thing.
It becomes a connection between the brand, product, and consumer that is real. This type of synergy lasts because it’s all based in truth. The brand is creating positive change for the world and the customer gets a product they can feel happy about supporting. When done with honest and genuine intentions, branding and marketing become a catalyst for the hope of a brighter tomorrow and the opportunity for that change to become reality.
As CBD exits the “fad” stage it’s currently in and the snake oil approach of “CBD cures all” gradually disappears, we are going to see many more dietary supplement and functional food CBD products come to market. As we recognize the true benefit of CBD for overall general health and wellness, to be treated like a dietary supplement and essential nutrient rather than a magical cure for everything, CBD will be in products sitting on the shelves of every aisle in the grocery store.
The benefits of CBD are best noticed when paired with other nutritional ingredients, not as a stand-alone product. Will there still be a place for tinctures, oil drops, and gummies? Absolutely. They will just no longer be the “norm.” Instead, the products you’re already consuming will have CBD infused into them. That’s the approach we’ve taken at Genesee with our protein bars, plant-based protein powder, and wellness shots. We’re ahead of the curve and I think that’s a really fun and promising place to be.
Where will the hemp industry be in 2, 5, 30+ years? I have my thoughts, but I can’t say for sure. The one thing I can tell you though, is that the people within this industry have inspired me, motivated me, and given me a new perspective on what it means to be a business owner and member of a community. As I’ve submersed myself in this space, the people I have met and the personal connections I have made have truly changed my life.
As business leaders, it is our responsibility to take action, holding ourselves accountable to sustainable and ethical practices. It is also upon the consumers to research and support brands that are doing things the right way, following up their claims with actions to support them. To name one person or brand would do so many people a disservice, but you know who you are. I see you at shows and conferences tackling your ambitions. We are friends on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn… I see your daily life, personally and professionally, and I’m able to get a sense of who you are as a person. We look each other in the eye, shake hands (maybe hug), and I see your pure intention to do your part in making the world a better place.
The slogan for the infamous hemp trade show, NoCo Hemp Expo, is “One Louder.” I like this because it’s true. If every one of us, one at a time, can make the mental shift and practice what we preach, we can start a movement with enough momentum to be unstoppable. And that’s exactly what we’re doing. In the hemp space, we’re making true change in the world. One action, one day, one year at a time, we are all making a difference. We are making an impact.
So, if I have one last thing to say, it’s Thank You! All of you making this space and industry so incredible, meaningful, and fun to be a part of. Thank you for bringing your best selves to your work, to your businesses, and to the brands you support. One person at a time. One louder at a time. Let’s keep the momentum rollin’!
See you out there.
Founder – Genesee
Will Carr is the Founder of Genesee, a CBD Health & Wellness Brand based in Evergreen, CO. After graduating with a degree in Industrial & Systems Engineering, Will traveled to South America where he played basketball professionally. In the summer of 2017, Will had his first encounter with the amazing benefits of hemp and CBD. Recognizing the potential use within athletics and sport, Will founded Genesee and made it his goal to develop a line of dietary supplements geared for the fitness focused, active lifestyle individual.
This week’s guest columnist Will Carr, founder of Genesee, a hemp company focused on athletic nutrition, feels consumer brands can make a big difference in helping consumers, the planet and doing the right thing.
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