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Sage Creative Group - Marketing & Branding CBD

Why marketing and branding are becoming more important when launching CBD products. Interview with Rachel Bishop, Creative Director with the Sage Creative Group.

So how did you get started?

I have over 20+ Years of experience working for large retailers such as Fred Meyer as Lead Graphic Designer, to being Head Creative Director for a large advertising agency that focused on the pharmaceutical and supplement space. I have also done freelance work for various start-ups and independent projects.

What experience brought you to the business of CBD and Hemp?

My husband is the Co-Founder of Third Wave Farms. So I have been immersed in all things Hemp for quite some time. His team gave me the opportunity to re-brand TWF and it has been such a fun project. My passion for Hemp and what it can give back to our communities grows as more information and evidence presents itself. Taking my love for design and branding and merging it with such an amazing movement has been a very exciting addition to my business. I have worked with some amazing hemp companies thus far and look forward to working with more in the future! 

What are the advantages of working with an agency? By hiring an agency you get to work directly with experts in each of their fields. For example we have design experts, marketing experts, website experts and social media experts. If a start-up were to hire each one of these as full time employees they would have a payroll upwards of $250,000 +, not to mention payroll taxes, benefits etc. By hiring an agency you have access to each of these experts, all are on the same team, all know their clients goals and all work together to achieve success.

What branding / marketing hurdles are you finding with CBD brands?

I think the biggest challenge is keeping up with the changing regulations, especially when it comes to content you can put on the label. Some brands want to be very conservative, while others are a bit more aggressive. Some brands want to overstate their health claims, this lends itself to potential backlash of pulling products from the shelves which does neither brand or retailer any good. All is to be expected when you are a pioneer in a new industry. We try to keep abreast of all the latest regulations. We want to make sure that our brands are well informed as to what they can and cannot state on their packaging and marketing collateral.

What can be done better for branding CBD?

CBD sales cross all ages, lifestyles and products. Branding for your targeted audience and making sure your brand message is consist and clear is so important. If you aren’t clear about who your brand targets and what makes it stand out against the rest… then how can you expect your potential customer to know? Be clear, consistent and confident! 

Since CBD brands can’t advertise on Social Media, how can CBD brands create awareness?

Not being able to advertise on Social Media has become a huge challenge for the CBD industry. Many brands are having to think out of the box. Influencers, tradeshows, in-store events, and good ‘ol networking are at the top of the list. Email campaigns with attention getting graphics and calls to action are also effective. The name of the game is awareness and engagement. You have to attack your marketing strategy at all fronts and look for opportunities that may seem untraditional.

What companies are you currently working with?

Third Wave Farms, Kamiah Botanicals, Boone’s Hemp Company, Farmer Fred’s Apothecary.

With an estimated 2,000 CBD brands on the market, how does a one create awareness over the others?

Knowing what differentiates you from your competitors, growing and diversifying your product lines or offerings and putting in the time and money that it takes to rise above the rest. You get less than 2 seconds to gain someone’s attention, so whatever you do make sure it gets the right message across and engages with your target audience.

 For a Free Quote contact the Sage Creative Group at 949.292.6288 or email at


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