September 2017

Here’s a conundrum for you: how do you go about cannabis branding if you cannot trademark your business? How can you trademark something that’s not legal -- everywhere? In “Protecting Cannabis Brand Names,” Oliver Herzfeld writes for Forbes about the trials and tribulations cannabis brands are facing from a legal perspective. It’s a great review of the problem that these businesses face as more and more U.S. states legalize the substance in some form or another while the federal government has not. As a matter of fact, most of his suggestions apply to anyone trying to create a brand, not just those in this predicament. For example: Avoid infringement from the beginning Use in commerce Register at the state level Trademark ancillary products

Ah, September. The psychological end of summer and the time when many students, both young and old, head back to school. In addition to typical education programs, let's also add a brand education program to the mix. Right now, we’re helping a seven-year-old brand re-articulate its brand and tweak its strategy. Recently the CEO asked me if we would also put together a training program for new employees. Absolutely! Bar none, the most important and glaring lessons I’ve learned while managing brands is the power of understanding. Once the brand strategy is explained, brand standard infractions decrease, cynicism turns to support, pride, and adulation, and employee engagement soars. A strong brand education program is best to deliver at two levels: The strategy basics. What does