Q&A: Conservatism is the play for cannabis brand dosist

Campaign talked to the company's CMO about educating consumers and employing traditional marketing.

When you are selling cannabis, it is pioneering to be traditional. Anne-Marie Dacyshyn, the chief marketing officer of dosist THC dose pens, is positioning the line squarely in the more familiar wellness sector. Dosist is just another option to consider on a wellness journey, akin to drinking a smoothie in the morning or taking a yoga class at night.

Dacyshyn, in place at Los Angeles-based dosist for 18 months, joined an already sophisticated marketing team. Dosist’s chairman is Jason DeLand, a co-founder at Anomaly, which is also a co-creator of the brand. After an initial go-to-market as hmbldt, a nod to Northern California’s pot-growing Humboldt County, the evolution to dosist underscored the positioning of being a mainstream wellness product, like herbal supplements.

Dosist pens deliver a predictable dose and its six variations are tweaked with concentrations of THC, CBD and other ingredients, like lavender and tumeric, in a promise to deliver "bliss," "relief," "passion" and more. The company’s CEO Gunner Winston has likened dosist to "forever brands" like Apple, Starbucks and Nike.

Formerly the CMO at Burton Snowboards, which 20 years ago had to convince ski resorts that snowboarding was for real, Dacyshyn is facing similar challenges.

"Burton was a brand that was introducing the new sport of snowboarding," said Dacyshyn. "We had to lead with education first. What was this sport? How did it work? How was it safe?"

Campaign talked to Dacyshyn about educating consumers and employing traditional marketing practices like flagships, extensions, partnerships and even holiday gift sets, pioneering for a category that is quickly shedding its controversial roots.

——————————————————————-

How are you positioning dosist in the marketplace?

As a brand that came out of the state of California, the number one wellness economy in the world, we know people wanted more all-natural solutions. Just as you pick what smoothies you drink, if you eat plant-based or you go to Barry’s Bootcamp or meditate, dosist is part of that collection of rituals and behaviors. It is wellness, based as part of a broader narrative.

Everything we do is really about education. We refer to our marketing department as our education group. There is still so much stigma around this plant. We have to take time with consumers to educate them. We are in the long game. We do best when we can put ourselves out there have conversations.

What is driving your retail strategy, which includes two Los Angeles stores? How do you insure a similar retail experience with wholesale accounts?

The best in brand always have a flagship experience. The point wasn’t to put down commercial enterprises. The whole point was to make it inclusive. For example, the people who work there are not called store associates, they are called guides. We showcase the education. Our hope is, we are making a connection with people. The goal is not transactional.

The other piece of retail is we have more than 100 wonderful retail partners on the wholesale side. It’s not just the consumer you have to think about in your wholesale model, it is also about having that same connection with those associates that represent us at all those retailers. So we have associate education to share why we are different and how they can learn more about dosist. We make sure they understand tenets of brand.

We just launched in Nevada, and we have some great retail partners who we are working with to create great experiences and activations for their customers. We have wonderful partners like MedMen, ShowGrow and Planet 13, which created a "global cannabis experience." We are now a partner within that space. We like partners that we feel are creating something special for the consumer and share our vision.

In Nevada, it is not dosist that created the "Global cannabis experience", that is our partner Planet 13 who created it, and we are now a partner within that space if that makes sense.

Dosist is the ‘preferred cannabis partner’ of Soho House in North America. How do you connect with their memberships? 

Soho House does an amazing job of curating their membership group. They are on the pulse, they are early adopters, and they do crave more information and like to be in the know. For us, that is what makes it such a nice thing. That audience tends to travel, they all show up at the same cities where dosist wants to be. They are progressive, they want to understand, it is something they really want to learn about.

At our next Soho House event in Los Angeles this month, our CEO will be there and the co-creator of the pen to talk about what we created. It is about finding the consumer where they are. I applaud Soho House for saying our members want to know about this cannabis vertical. They like how we bring that wellness and educational side to it.

You recently introduced a brand extension - the dosist dose dial - sublingual tablets in a sleek, white container.

We are over the moon over our new product, dose dial. It is on shelves starting this week.

That is a big headline for us to once again innovate a dose-control device that dispenses a targeted formula of THC and CBD, like our dose pens. We did our ‘bliss’ and ‘calm’ formulations with the dial.

Frankly, there are a lot of concerns out there with edibles. They are often presented in forms like gummies or chocolate. Where that can be delicious and fun, there is no dose control to speak of. With dose dial, every time you turn the dial one tablet comes out and you know exactly what is in it.

Dosist introduced holiday gift sets last year. What are the plans for holiday 2019?

Of course we have a holiday play, as most (brands) do. Last year, we took more of a CPG approach to the holidays. Just like you see in beauty, we made beautiful holiday kits with a dosist dose pen and matching candle and a card. .

This is actually the 2nd year that "cannabis is coming home for the holidays." This year, it feels more normalized and we feel it will be more popular this year.

Giving the gift of dosist is giving the gift of health and happiness. I know among my friends and family who would be happy with a "calm" gift set, or "relief" for friends who are trainers.

Dosist is planning its first national launch for January in Canada, which allowed legal sales of marijuana in October, 2019. Tell us about your plans. 

Because Canada is so intent on education and that is what we are built on, we don't have to pivot at all. We will just come with our education platform. No events at bars, as we are not on that intoxication play. We are the most conservative you can be. The launch will be about education and about introducing the product as a solution for Canadians to integrate into their own wellness campaigns.

We will continue to work with Soho House in Toronto and we will work with our partner, Barry’s Bootcamp; we will sponsor classes with Barry’s. The point is for the brand to always show up same.

Subscribe today for just $89 a year

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.com , plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a subscriber

GET YOUR CAMPAIGN DAILY FIX

The latest work, news, advice, comment and analysis, sent to you every day

register free