Branding and Marketing are the icings on the cake. Nothing sells a product like a customer-to-customer endorsement. That being said, once you have the branding and marketing in place, everything works together in sync to sell a product. From grabbing the customer’s attention with our signature bright, beachy colors on every package to the potent aroma of our cannabis product, we know how to make an impact with a first impression. We get one shot to make a first impression, so we have to make sure our messaging is on point every time.
I had the pleasure of interviewing George Sadler, co-founder and President of Platinum Smoking device, a prominent San Diego-based cannabis company. From the company’s humble beginnings in Sadler’s garage to becoming a 70M dollars multistate operation, Sadler and his son and co-founder, Cody, are proof that a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck can go a long way. Now operating in Oklahoma, Michigan and California, Platinum is poised to be one of the biggest Smoking device brands in the legal cannabis market. Armed with a decade of industry expertise, George has been able to build a trusted and beloved cannabis brand with tried and true strategies that paved the way for his brand’s ultimate success.
Thank you for joining us George. Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you share a story about the funniest marketing mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Not sure if there is anything really good, but our first photo shoot we hired a model to do closeups with her hand and our Smoking device pen. After a full day of shooting, we were editing the photos to find out her nails were so dirty and thrashed we had to have our guy photoshop new nails on all the photos. Always make sure your models are done up.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
I would say our passion. We really do care about our customers and it shows. We take pride in our product and our team. Total support on the retail level. Example: Right now we are doing a “takeover” of a licensed retail for a month. We have wrapped the walls, brought in plants, budtenders will be wearing collaborative t-shirts. We will have our Brand Ambassador on sight to promote our products and answer questions plus give out swag. We have done PV piñatas in stores for Cinco De Mayo that were filled with candy, prizes and our products.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
We are always working on new products, but right now we are working on our full line of products. We are also working on our PV Unfiltered podcast. This was launched in the spring and is gaining traction quickly.
Ok let’s now jump to the core part of our interview. In a nutshell, how would you define the difference between brand marketing (branding) and product marketing (advertising)? Can you explain?
I think best said on my part is to say that brand marketing is bringing positive awareness of your company to your customer, integrity, security and consistency are all key components to brand marketing. Product marketing is more specific but still requires the same as brand marketing. I don’t think one works without the other.
Can you explain to our readers why it is important to invest resources and energy into building a brand, in addition to the general marketing and advertising efforts?
Can you share 5 strategies that a company should be doing to build a trusted and believable brand?
Consistency of Product- If a customer purchases a Platinum chocolate bar, they are going to expect the same experience every time. Customers want to know what they’re getting before they make a purchase. Once a customer has enjoyed one or all of our products, they can rest assured that every time will be like the last- no surprises!
Transparency- We pride ourselves on being transparent with our customers. We third party lab test all of our products to ensure we are selling the highest quality, safest and legally-compliant products. We do everything according to laws and regulations. When we had issues with illicit market counterfeits, we implemented a QR code on our product packaging so our customers would know immediately that what they were about to purchase was a genuine product. If there’s no QR- it’s not Platinum!
Customer Support- We are here for our customers day and night. We encourage our customers to reach out to us whenever they need it. Whether it’s a question, comment or concern, we are here to listen and support our customers in every way possible.
Quality to Consumer Expectations- We don’t cut corners at Platinum. Quality is key. Customers keep coming back because they know every time they make a Platinum purchase they know they are going to get a high-quality product. We use top-shelf cannabis and ingredients- whether it’s for the eighth jar of flower or gummy coin.
Branding and Marketing- Branding and Marketing are the icings on the cake. Nothing sells a product like a customer-to-customer endorsement. That being said, once you have the branding and marketing in place, everything works together in sync to sell a product. From grabbing the customer’s attention with our signature bright, beachy colors on every package to the potent aroma of our cannabis product, we know how to make an impact with a first impression. We get one shot to make a first impression, so we have to make sure our messaging is on point every time.
In your opinion, what is an example of a company that has done a fantastic job building a believable and beloved brand. What specifically impresses you? What can one do to replicate that?
We all know that Apple and Tesla have exceeded in this area.
In advertising, one generally measures success by the number of sales. How does one measure the success of a brand building campaign? Is it similar, is it different?
Platinum as a brand has always been consumer-driven. We try to “touch the customer” and this includes the budtender, the buyer, and the person looking for the best value in a Smoking device or edible.
What role does social media play in your branding efforts?
A large majority of our marketing efforts are allocated towards social media. This is the most interactive way to reach our community and have an online share of voice within the cannabis market. We use a variety of different platforms from Instagram, to Tik Tok that showcase our products, company culture and behind the scene videos designed to educate & engage our audiences.
What advice would you give to other marketers or business leaders to thrive and avoid burnout?
Stay focused. Don’t get distracted. Cannabis, as a fledgling industry, is very fast-moving and ever-changing. It is easy to jump on the new big thing. If you believe in your product, work to improve areas of your operation and sales…and stay focused.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
We promote from within whenever there is an opportunity. People should be given a chance to succeed and not be judged by the level of their education. At Platinum, we have employees that are “natural managers and motivators”. That basic skill is enhanced with guidance and support.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Communication is the most important skill any leader can possess.” -Richard Branson
We are blessed that very prominent leaders in business and entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you would like to have lunch or breakfast with? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
Joe Rogan. I listen to him faithfully.