Choom Crystallizes Commitment to Recreational Branding with New Hire
March 1st, 2018
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As the cannabis industry matures and grows, the differentiation of products and brands in the marketplace becomes critical. With the pending legalization of adult-use recreational marijuana in Canada, the marketing of positive and relatable brands will likely define who is successful and who falls by the wayside as the focus moves from medicinal to recreational products.
Choom Holdings Inc, (CSE: CHOO) (OTCQB: CHOOF) is a Canadian company that is committed wholeheartedly to the recreational marijuana market. While many established companies are having to switch gears (and make major acquisitions and investments) to adapt from the medical to the adult-use market, Choom™ was founded purely as a recreational brand. The company’s recent appointment of a new SVP of Marketing further demonstrates that commitment.
Importance of Retail Lifestyle Marketing
Choom announced the appointment of Chris Gagan as Senior Vice President of Marketing. Mr. Gagan brings an impressive background in retail marketing to the team, and will help to guide the company’s strategy in creating and growing a leading recreational brand.
Mr. Gagan was most recently with Canadian Tire (TSE: CTC.A), a nationwide retailer of automotive supplies, sporting goods, and housewares. He led the creation and execution of several in-house apparel brands, leading efforts from product design to marketing to sales execution. His products garnered $60 million in yearly sales. Prior to that, he was instrumental in the development and sales of a wide range of consumer products for Sugoi Performance Apparel, a division of Dorel Sports (TSE: DII.B) and Fox Racing Inc, a privately held globally recognized action sports brand.
Mr. Gagan’s experience in creating, implementing and selling brands that promote and represent a lifestyle should prove invaluable to Choom. Lifestyle brands are positioned to embody the interests and attitudes of a culture or a group, with the product contributing to the consumer’s chosen lifestyle. That type of identification will likely be very important to marijuana consumers, and Choom is positioned with both its concept and its team to effectively broadcast a healthy and relaxed lifestyle to those consumers.
The Choom™ Concept
The Choom™ brand was inspired by the Choom Gang, Hawaiian locals in the 1970’s who were committed to the relaxed spirit of good times and who loved to smoke choom, the slang term for marijuana. President Obama has even referred to his experiences as part of the Choom Gang. Choom Holdings is focused on bringing those positive and relaxed vibes to the Canadian recreational consumer through a combination of high-grade handcrafted cannabis and stylish, professional retail stores that are inviting to the curious cannabis consumer who might not feel so comfortable going into a more traditional head shop.
Recent deals in the cannabis industry have highlighted the need to shift marketing concepts from medical to recreational, and the deals are not small. Alcohol conglomerate Constellation Brands invested about $245 million in Canopy Growth with the idea to develop and market cannabis-based beverages. Aphria bought Broken Coast Cannabis for $230 million for its recreational potential, and also committed $12.5 million to the newly-formed Hiku Brands which is focused on recreational branding and distribution.
Choom Holdings owns one late-stage Licensed Producer applicant in the interior of British Columbia, and is nearing the acquisition of another late-stage applicant on Vancouver Island. Completion of the licensing process will be a great move forward for the company. But just as important will be the execution of the lifestyle branding strategy. Plenty of companies are producing marijuana, but as the recent industry deals demonstrate, many of them don’t have the capacity or experience to market their products to a broader audience in search of a good time. It appears that the pieces are in place for Choom™ to do just that.
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