Please share a little bit about who you are, your background and how you ended up in the Cannabis Industry.
What’s up! My name is Beau Schmitt, and I’ve been entrepreneuring since 2012 when I left my corporate finance cubicle. From 2012 to 2017, I spent most of my time owning and operating bars, the most recent of which was Project Bar & Grill. PB&G was also where I met my current Co-Founder of Sunday Scaries, Mike Sill. Owning and operating the full service restaurant with 50 employees together was excruciatingly stressful, which is why Mike and I originally started experimenting with CBD in early 2017. We had been seeking help from friends when CBD was recommended to us by a friend, Garrett. We instantly loved how CBD made us feel calmer and focused.
At the time, CBD wasn’t newsworthy or a “trending” commodity. Originally, Mike and I started Sunday Scaries (Click here to shop!) as a hobby-like side project for ourselves and our other stressed out friends. It’s important to note that most of the CBD companies in the space in early 2017 were primarily focused on the Boomer generation. They also had medicinal-sounding or cannabis-related names like CBDmd, PlusCBD, JustCBD, American Shaman and CBDfx. We saw a big opportunity in focusing on brand-centric marketing to the millennial generation. With so many unique anxiety issues plaguing the millennial generation, we thought they could largely benefit from CBD the same why Mike and I had.
Tell us about the initial vision for your company and how, if applicable, you have had to pivot as the world has changed.
Our original vision was to make a fun, efficacious product & destigmatize anxiety for our community of customers. And it hasn’t changed since. Our flagship product was broad spectrum CBD gummies enriched with vitamins D3 & B12 and coconut oil. As I mentioned before, in early 2017, CBD wasn’t newsworthy or a main point of conversion. Therefore, marketing was easy. We were able to quickly scale campaigns on Facebook, Instagram and Google without contention. But, that changed quickly in 2018 when most of the major marketing channels started classifying CBD as a restricted substance. It wasn’t even until late 2018, when the Farm Bill passed, that CBD was descheduled from being a narcotic on the same level as Heroin (queue the eyerolls).
Sunday Scaries has since pivoted into approved marketing channels and lateral growth strategies through our existing customers. Fortunately, we have a ton of brand loyalists who continually help us improve our products and refer new customers. Arguably, the classification of CBD as a “banned substance” in major marketing channels has shifted the priorities for many CBD companies from quality assurance to marketing. We’ve seen companies with bad products do well with marketing while other companies with great products fail because they can’t comprehend how to get their message out. We’ve been fortunate to have navigated both obstacles successfully, but not without a sh*t ton of hard work and late nights.
Education has been a big part of silencing the stigma associated with marijuana. While we have a long way to go, have you seen any improvements in this regard? How can it be improved?
To be honest, when we launched Sunday Scaries in 2017, education was a major part of our marketing ecosystem for the first 12 months. It seemed like everyone was confused as to whether CBD would get you high, and whether it was synonymous with THC. Also at that time, the notion of full spectrum CBD vs broad spectrum CBD vs CBD isolate was not even conversational. However, since the CBD boom in 2018, most of the confusion around CBD has subsided as CBD became one of the trendiest keywords in the nation. According to Google Trends, in 2018 “CBD Gummies” was the 3rd most searched food term in the US, only behind “romaine lettuce” and “unicorn cake.”
The next step for educational improvement is executing more scientific CBD studies. Prior to 2018, studies were largely handcuffed because of CBD’s outrageous Schedule classification. We wholly believe CBD will be a cornerstone in the American healthcare and pharmaceutical system within the next 5 years.
How important is offering multiple product/service options to cannabis users during this unique time in our country?
I think there is a threshold here. Obviously, you have to have some type of product to market & generate income for your business. However, Sunday Scaries has always operated more like In-N-Out rather than a McDonalds. Our product offerings are limited, but they perform well because the quality is exceptional, product-market fit is right, branding is on-point and our marketing messages reach our target audience. As long as you continue to solve a problem for your end consumer, you’re covering your most important asset: value.
Let’s talk marketing. Since traditional advertising in the industry isn’t available, will your brand be affected by this or do you have an advantage in some way?
As I mentioned before, the big “traditional” marketing channels for ecommerce businesses are exceptionally difficult. And nearly impossible to scale. This includes: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat, Google Search, Google Display Network, YouTube and Amazon. All of those platforms have either very restrictive or 100% restrictive advertising policies against CBD.
Also, as any commoditized industry matures, ingredient-based marketing becomes less effective. In 2018, simply having a “CBD product” was exciting enough to make a sale. In 2021, simply having a “CBD product” means virtually nothing. Right now, we believe brand-based & “why” marketing is the cornerstone of success. We currently estimate that customers need between 5-9 touchpoints with a reputable brand before making a purchase. If you’re familiar with Simon Sinek, we refer to this as the transition from “what-based” marketing to “why-based” marketing.
Please tell us something that concerns you in the overall cannabis industry and something that excites you.
What concerns me about the cannabis industry as a whole is the impact of pharmaceutical lobbying against cannabis, and even more specifically, CBD as a GRAS ingredient. What excites me are the potential widespread benefits of CBD and the many ailments it may help with. With arguably negligible side effects and so many beneficial properties, I’m also really excited to see how the CBD industry matures and gets refined in the next 24 months.
From a competitive perspective, we do feel that a rising tide lifts all boats. We are close with many CBD companies and regularly trade insights. It’s safe to say, we’re all very excited and optimistic about the future of CBD.
Where can people learn more about your company?
Check us out at SundayScaries.com
Shop all our products HERE!