Michigan has seen healthy sales growth this year and is likely to stay in the country’s top ten markets even as New York and other more populous states begin to compete. (Here’s some historical context and insight.) When it comes to consumption habits, recent BDSA data shows that sales have significantly grown across all product categories in Michigan this year. For example, sales of pre-rolls in July were nearly double what they were in January, and when we compare edibles sales in January and July, we see a 42.7% increase.
So Michigan consumers are buying more and more weed. But today we’re going to take a step away from sales data and discuss popularity. What are the hottest cannabis brands in the great state of Michigan? We turn to Pioneer Intelligence for answers.
First a note on methods and criteria:
These are not necessarily the biggest cannabis brands in Michigan
We’ve been doing these lists for a while and realized they can get pretty boring when the biggest MSO brands (think Select) often appear at the top of every list. So this week we’ll be looking at Michigan-only brands and brands that operate in Michigan and no more than two other markets.
Here’s what we mean by the hottest weed brands in Michigan
When we say “hot” we don’t necessarily mean the best-selling brands (though there’s usually overlap), but rather the brands that are generating the most buzz and have most recently increased their consumer engagement across three pillars: social media, earned media, and brand website.
What makes a brand “hot” and what can we learn from these brands?
The Pioneer Intelligence Heat Index gives greater weight to brands that have increased their consumer engagement. This helps us differentiate between brands that are “hot” right now and brands that already had large social media followings and busy web traffic (though, again, there’s often overlap).
Of course this always makes us wonder what these hot brands are doing to create buzz and what strategies they’re using to engage consumers and grow their fanbase. For answers this week we turned to Demian Kato, creative director at high-ranking Terrapin. The secret to their success? They’ve recently rebranded their concentrates brand, Double Bear, to communicate their dedication to the relationship between science and flower, and they’ve oriented their rebrand around engaging with the consumer.
“Knowing that Terrapin consistently grows quality cannabis and provides that flower to an exceptionally talented team of scientists, the caliber of our concentrate products starts with that relationship,” Kato explains, adding, “Once the rebrand was complete, we brought it to life with a consumer awareness campaign that included social, billboards, videos, merch, local vendor events, and larger cultural events where our brand ambassadors could engage with consumers directly.”
Kato says that Terrapin’s overall consumer engagement policy is built around culture and supporting community, the arts, and social responsibility. “Since taking on the leadership role of the marketing department, I’ve expanded on those efforts with an artist collaboration program, music event sponsorships, influencer partnerships, and product collaborations–all under the north star of highlighting how cannabis is infused with the cultures that we all enjoy and support,” Kato says, adding, “Honestly, I wholeheartedly recognize that this isn’t innovation as much as leaning into where cannabis has always been and continues to grow.”
Amen to that and, without further ado, here’s nine other brands that are really reaching Michigan consumers:
Pioneer Intelligence leverages data to benchmark marketing performance of consumer-facing cannabis brands. Built by a group of experienced and passionate marketers and data scientists, Pioneer helps industry stakeholders better understand how communications strategies resonate with audiences. In early 2021, Pioneer launched its first products, a suite of marketing performance scorecards. These reports present actionable data across three focus areas: social media, earned media and web-related activities. More information can be found on the company’s website, https://pioneer.buzz.
Disclaimer: Pioneer currently has more than 621 brands in their active pool with hundreds more in their pipeline. (Pipeline brands require six months of data before being added to the active pool. )Lists of both active and pipeline brands can be found at pioneer.buzz/brands. If you would like to request your brand be tracked by Pioneer, please email [email protected].