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For cannabis companies, hiring quality employees and vendors has always been a difficult matter. Though much easier over the past year, there still remain great challenges, especially when companies grow larger, develop a national or international reputation, and have brands and an image to protect. The needs change. Hiring companies that do not specifically or traditionally cater to the cannabis industry becomes a necessity.
Here and in the next three parts of this four part series, we will be following the unique situation in which Denver-based MiNDFUL finds itself in seeking a full-service advertising agency. We will follow the process from release of Request for Proposals (RFP) through the selection process and up to the announcement of the winning agency.
At the end of this article, you will find RFP recently made public by MiNDFUL. This is an open process and we encourage all comers. For more information and the full RFP, please send a note of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org.
So far, we have been pleasantly surprised by the caliber of advertising agencies that have contacted us as well as the level of involvement of senior executives within those agencies. While we have not previously made the RFP ‘public,’ we have sent it to several agencies with whom members of our executive team have had relationships in the past. Every one of these agencies has national reach and existing national clients.
The first surprise came when this very limited release of the RFP seemed to have been leaked, causing other agencies to reach out and ask to be invited to respond. “I’ve heard through the grapevine…” “Word on the street is…” “I understand that you are looking for…” The desire to be a part of this industry is growing as the stigma is lifting.
Unfortunately though, the stigma is not completely gone. One particularly biting response from an agency informed us that they charge a very high retainer, every month. They would only be willing to talk if that was something we could afford. I highly doubt that is their standard response. Yes, we can afford that. Yes, that is in our budget. No, we won’t be calling.
Who are we?
MiNDFUL is a national cannabis producer and retailer that first and foremost believes we can all do well by doing good. We are committed to growing the highest quality cannabis through beyond organic methodology. We understand the importance of having a quality product as the basis of our customer experience retail philosophy. MiNDFUL is increasingly receiving national and international attention and we are looking for like minded vendors that are interested in getting in the rocket ship for the ride of a life time.
What we do?
MiNDFUL currently produces an average of 500 pounds of cannabis a month that we sell through our 5 retail outlets. We also are a leading producer of cannabis concentrates through TR Scientific, a subsidiary of MiNDFUL. We have two new products that will be launching under separate brands.
What we need?
We are looking for a dynamic, fast paced, out of the box thinking Agency of Record to assist us in brand management and strategy to grow our current customer base. This is a unique opportunity in that there is a completely untapped market of consumers that just need a little help understanding why they need our highest quality products. In particular, we are missing a major market segment and that is female consumers. This isn’t unique to MiNDFUL. It’s a major miss of the industry. We believe the current strategy of fighting for the same consumer through price wars is flawed, incredibly limiting and does a disservice to patients and consumers.
We are looking for a full service agency to assist us in a short and long-term brand strategy across various platforms to maximize our customer base. We need a creative team that has the ability to understand the current industry and the brilliance to create a completely new customer base all the while working with as efficiently as possible to manage a realistic budget.
We need an agency that understands and can commit the correct resources to support the front end heavy lift of getting a few key items completed- website redesign, 2015 calendar year ad campaign, LuvBud and Breathe product launch — understanding that our team will be 100% committed to quick responses to your work to get this enormous task done in a very short turnaround. We have a solid marketing team at your disposal. You have a creative CEO and PR Director to help guide the process.
For more information and the full RFP, please send a note of interest to: email@example.com
VIDEO: See MiNDFUL’s CEO Megan Sanders speak on a Crain’s New York Business panel