Tag Archives: Brand

California’s Cannabis Collectibles at The Standard Hotel!


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Recreational cannabis dispensaries will be opening up in the legal states next year.  States like Massachusetts, Maine, and even California are gearing up for the so-called ‘green rush’ that will be hitting the streets.  It’s been more than a year since four more states became 420-friendly for recreational use.

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What’s most important to keep watch of is California’s colossal cannabis rush.  California’s recreational dispensaries are opening in January (six months earlier than Massachusetts!) and they have been working for over year to get things ready.  Cannabis played a major role in modifying California’s culture as a part of the United States.  It’s crucial that California rolls out the reddest of red carpet for the 420 audiences next year.  Many audiences, especially visiting tourists, will be traveling down to California to take their piece of the notorious OG Kush.

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California is working diligently to finalize all of the licensing for the dispensaries.  Various dispensaries are set to open in January, while some still have to jump through a few more hoops to get business started.  One business is looking to open up their cannabis shop in a unique location – a hotel lobby.

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Image result for the standard hotel hollywood

Lord Jones, a weed edibles maker, is looking to open up a cannabis shop in The Standard Hotel on the Sunset Strip of West Hollywood.  The small cannabis shop would feature products from delicious treats infused with THC to healthy topicals like lotion.  Even better – they may ben able to sell ACTUAL cannabis that you could smoke!

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Image result for the standard hotel hollywood

Imagine that – a small shop in the hotel lobby featuring some amazing cannabis products to choose from.  You could stop by to buy a pre-roll of a nice sativa strain like Moonshine Haze during your trip in Los Angeles.  If you’re coming back after a long day, why not go in and purchase some Bubba Kush flowers for the nightcap?  The possible scenarios for this genius marketing idea are ENDLESS!

Image result for the standard hotel hollywood

Image result for the standard hotel hollywood

Providing a small cannabis shop in The Standard Hotel would be killing two birds with one stone – on one hand you’re marketing the product for the guests (that being the cannabis products!).  On the other hand, you’re also promoting the place that the cannabis is being sold at.  Two marketing mixes are being utilized for one amazing strategy happening in West Hollywood.

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Image result for West Hollywood

While this marketing tactic would bring about a great PR miracle for the Standard Hotel, there are some obstacles that we have to overcome before anything happens.  West Hollywood is still currently in the process of approving its license procedure.  Even after West Hollywood gets its licenses squared away, the Standard Hotel would ALSO need a state license (due to California’s dual-licensing program).  Before we can even see this marketing/PR tactic in play, we must jump through some legal hoops in order to open the hotel lobby cannabis shop.

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Image result for Gay West Hollywood

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Even still, this would be an incredible idea.  It’s nestled on 8300 Sunset Boulevard, which is nestled right on the legendary Sunset Strip.  Hollywood is known for its entertaining tourist attractions and West Hollywood reels in some audiences as well.  What’s also intriguing to point out is that West Hollywood is one of many gay neighborhoods of California (others include Hillcrest neighborhood in San Diego and The Castro neighborhood of San Francisco!).

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Image result for Licensed Cannabis products

As a PR pro, I thought this was a fantastic concept.  Cannabis trends have been booming since legalization has been sweeping the nation.  It’s important to utilize all aspects of the marketing mix with cannabis.  Even with these complicated legality issues between the state and federal government, we should figure out other ways to sell cannabis.  Dispensaries are wonderful and all, but we shouldn’t narrow our marketing mix to just one type of place.

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How about a trendy nightclub in Los Angeles that features VIP dab stations?  Or a luxurious spa on Beverly Hills that feature THC-infused bath bombs?  These scenarios CAN become a reality, folks!  We shouldn’t let frivolous legality roadblocks prevent us from becoming more creative about how we market cannabis products.  The place of the marketing mix shouldn’t just be around dispensaries; instead, we need to brainstorm every kind of place where cannabis would be most useful.

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With that, I hope that the plan really goes through.  Providing cannabis in a place like The Standard Hotel would be the start of how we utilize where we can provide cannabis.  Dispensaries are amazing and all, but it’s going to take more creative ideas from the marketing mix in order to raise awareness of the product.  Whether it be a trendy nightclub or opulent spa, cannabis should be promoted in every sort of place possible.

Hopefully we’ll be able to purchase Blackberry Kush pre-rolls at hotel lobbies in the near future.

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Gravitating Gravity Blankets!


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Every now and then I run into some unique products that provide some surprising benefits.  Products such as the Himalayan Salt Lamp or meditation app help consumers relieve the daily stress and anxiety they feel every once in a while.  In this rapid and chaotic age of technology, many people are feeling more stressed than ever.  This stress can cause problems with sleep, eating habits, work, social well-being, and overall health.

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Sleep is one of the most important tasks of our biological agenda.  Getting enough shuteye is key to making the most out of your day.  Losing even a few hours and your day is sure to go sour due to a lack of energy.  A good bed, some comfy pillows, and a warm blanket will help put you into a good rest.  If the typical bedding products haven’t been getting you to sleep well, then there’s always…The Gravity Blanket.

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Image result for Gravity Blanket

The Gravity Blanket is a revolutionary weighted blanket aimed at helping with stress, anxiety, AND sleep.  It started as a Kickstarter idea back in April 26th and reached its financial goal in just one month (over 23,000 pledges donated over $4.7 million so far!).  Entrepreneur John Fiorentino initiated the project and his work has been featured in businesses like Mashable, Fast Company, Elle, Yahoo! Health, and many other media channels.

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Image result for Gravity Blanket

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Here’s the science – the Gravity Blanket is known as a weighted blanket, a special type of blanket that’s engineered to be 7-12% of your body weight.  This aspect relaxes the nervous system through simulating the feeling of being held or hugged (FREE HUGS!).  Wrapping this warm blanket will help increase melatonin and serotonin levels while also decreasing levels of cortisol.  Increasing both melatonin and serotonin are key ingredients for improving your overall mood as well as promoting a restful sleep.

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Better sleep is the main USP (unique selling product) for the Gravity Blanket.  Gravity will minimize any body movement so you will fall into a deeper REM cycle much easier.  With the perfect combination of ultra-soft microfiber and weighted feel, you’ll be sure to fall right to sleep instantly.

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But the science doesn’t stop there!  Gravity utilizes the power of proprioceptive input (also known as ‘deep touch pressure stimulation’), a beneficial therapeutic method where you stimulate pressure points on the body.  These pressure points are linked to improve sleep, relaxation, and even mood.  Initiating these pressure points will reduce cortisol levels and produce more serotonin.

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Gravity Blankets won’t be shipping out until January 2018, but you can still get your pre-order in today.  If you’re looking for a warm blanket with amazing therapeutic effects, the Gravity Blanket is something you should look into.  You can wrap yourself into a deeper sleep with the comforting Gravity Blanket.

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This is really neat stress-combating product idea!  It reinvents the idea of a warm blanket by adding comforting pressure points that help you fall into a deeper sleep.  The therapeutic effects weren’t what threw me into learning about this product, but rather, how they were incorporated with a blanket to make it weighted.  Turning the blanket into a weighted blanket makes the product that much more enjoyable and desirable as well.

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In the end, the Gravity Blanket is a perfect case where a common product (a blanket, in this case!) was rejuvenated with fresh ideas to create something truly amazing.  The wheel was being reinvented, redesigned to take a unique shape to form some other purpose.  This should be a way of how we look at products or services.  Searching for original ideas means going back to the drawing board and understanding what made them so incredible in the first place.

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That’s why the Gravity Blanket knocked it out of the park as a unique product.  It was redesigned with some more benefits for the consumer to enjoy.  Who knows what other product will be cooked up in the near future.  Hopefully it will help combat the daily stress and anxiety we go through in life.

Colorful Craft Cider Breweries!


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Happy October everyone!  The leaves are changing and the weather has gotten a lot cooler over the past few weeks.  This is the season that brings in major changes within the next few months.  Summer may be gone for a while, but now it’s time for the many holidays that are coming up.

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One of my favorite things I look forward to in the fall are pumpkin-spiced beers coated with the caramel-sugar rim.  I wrote about this intriguing drink combo last year (which can be found here) and I still order this drink every once in a while.  Other than the caramel-sugar coated rim, I have been really into hard ciders these days.

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Image result for Cider

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I’ve drank apple cider in the fall as a kid and these hard ciders certainly don’t disappoint.  Drinking cider takes me back to my childhood days in Ipswich when I would take trips to Russell Orchards with my family.  The warm, sweet cider tasted great to wash down those sugary apple cider mini donuts.  It’s these little things that made fall such an amazing season.  Even though I’ve grown up and moved out of Ipswich, I still crave for the taste of cider every now and then.

Image result for Hard Cider

Image result for Hard Cider

Hard cider is like the grown-up version of the cider I drank at Russell Orchards, only this time the cider is mixed with alcohol.  Believe it or not, there’s actually some cider breweries around Massachusetts.  Most of them are within the Boston area and one is right in the North Shore.  Here are a few notable cider breweries to check out in the fall:

Downeast Cider House

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The first cider brewery on the list is Downeast Cider House.  Located in East Boston, Downeast Cider House features various ciders with different fruit blend.  One featured cider to check out is the Pumpkin Blend, which features hints of chai tea and freshly-pressed pumpkin.  Downeast Cider House is a 12-minute stroll from the Maverick Station of the T.  Stop by Downeast Cider House Thursdays-Sundays if you’re ever looking for something around East Boston!

          Prospect Ciderworks

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Located in South End of Boston is Prospect Ciderworks.  While Prospect Ciderworks isn’t open to the public, they do offer private tours on a case-by-case basis.  One notable cider to check out is Paradise, a cider featuring orange peel and grains of paradise.  This cider is steeped with grains of paradise and orange peel after being fermented with a Belgian Ale yeast.  Be sure to look out for Prospect Ciderworks if you’re ever in the South End area of Boston.

          Far From The Tree Craft Hard Cider

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Image result for Far From The Tree Cider Apple of my Chai

Image result for Far From The Tree Cider Apple of my Chai

One cider brewery that is farther north of Boston is Far From The Tree Cider in Salem.  Far From The Tree Cider is just less than one mile from the Salem Train Station.  Apple of My Chai (black-tea cider with clove, cinnamon, cardamom, and an orange peel) and Ectoplasm (green bell pepper, jalapeno, and kiwi) are some notable choices to pick from.  Other than their flavorful ciders, Far From The Tree features weekly events as well.  Some of their daily events include Trivia Night w/ Captain Crew on every 1st/3rd Monday and even Video Game Night every Tuesday.  Swing by Far From The Tree Cider if you’re ever in Salem searching for a good cider and some fun!

          Bantam Cider Company

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Residing within the Boston neighborhood of Somerville is Bantam Cider Company.  Bantam Cider Company is open Friday-Sunday for tours and can be found within Somerville’s Union Square area.  One of their notable ciders include Rojo, a cider aged with sour cherries and black peppercorns to create a spicy fruity aroma.  Stop by Bantam Cider Company if you’re ever strolling through Somerville one day.

          Artifact Cider Project

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Image result for Artifact Cider Project

Just west of Downeast Cider House is Artifact Cider Project in Everett.  Artifact Cider Project features six ciders to choose from that feature some funky designs.  One cider that got my attention was Perception Shift (both for its intriguing art work and the cider flavor itself).  Perception Shift blends American and European cidermaking traditions to create this bittersweet cider flavor.  You can find Artifact Cider Project on tap in various restaurants/bars in Boston.  Check out the Artifact Cider Project brewery in Everett.

That’s the list of cider breweries within the Boston area.  Those leaves aren’t falling any slower, so now’s the time to check out one of five cider breweries.  Whether you’re craving a cider with a summer feel or grabbing a cider while playing video games, there’s a cider brewery for everyone.

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Check out these amazing cider breweries in the Boston area.  Happy Fall!

Welcome Home, Chip & Joanna!


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Image result for Martha Stewart Home Collection

Image result for Martha Stewart Home Collection

Home collections are just one of many product trends these days.  Whether it is sets of plates or bedding sheets, people enjoy purchasing home products from notable brands.  Some brands are basing their strategy around a particular celebrity.  For example, Martha Stewart collaborated with Macy’s to launch her Martha Stewart Home Collection for her audience.  The audiences that enjoy watching Martha Stewart will follow her brand and that includes purchasing goods from the Martha Stewart Home Collection catalog.

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But it isn’t just Macy’s that is collaborating with celebrities for product launches.  Businesses such as Walmart, Home Depot, Petco Store, Kmart, and even Target are working alongside with celebrities for their marketing strategy.  This marketing tactic is useful for two reasons – one is that it raises more awareness of the brands and two is that it increases their daily profits.  What’s also interesting about this strategy is how the two types of brands are flourishing in the long run (Martha Stewart’s collection brings awareness and raises profits for Macy’s and vice-versa!).  Martha Stewart is helping to bring more attention towards Macy’s department stores while Macy’s is drawing consumer’s attention towards Stewart’s brand.

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Image result for Department Store Closing

It’s this kind of idea that help department stores thrive in the 21st century.  Department stores are losing hundreds of thousands of dollars and most brands are losing their business to the point where they have to declare bankruptcy.  With more consumers of the millennial generation shopping online and as retail shopping becomes an idea of the past, department stores are scouting for any game plan to drive in more business.  Target’s newest marketing strategy involves two celebrities from HGTV.

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Image result for hgtv Chip and Joanna

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Fixer-Upper stars Chip and Joanna Gaines are collaborating with Target to launch their new product line called Hearth & Hand with Magnolia.  The and Hearth & Hand collection will feature over 300 products designed by the home-flipping duo.  Some notable items featured include tables, gifts, pitchers, vases, and other common household items.  Chip and Joanna’s newest home collection will release on November 5th.

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Image result for HGTV Fixer-Upper

Chip and Joanna Gaines star in HGTV’s Fixer-Upper, a real-estate series where the duo ‘flip’ undesired homes into beautiful pieces of art.  Joanna acts as lead designer of the process while Chip manages the realty and construction aspect of the company.  With their powers combined, Chip and Joanna salvage undesired homes and showcasing them as how they always intended to be.  These flips help revitalize whole neighborhoods within the area.  The duo operates under their company Magnolia Homes, a design and remodeling business in Waco, Texas.

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Image result for Hearth & Hand Target

Hearth & Hand with Magnolia is another perfect case study where celebrities are utilized to further the company’s business agenda.  Target is driving more consumers into their stores by working alongside with Chip and Joanna Gaines to create a profitable home collection.  This home collection will definitely be more affordable (especially for millennials!) than their competitors are offering.

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I thought this HGTV+Target home collection collaboration was a fantastic idea!  I always liked the concept of businesses working with celebrities about endorsement deals.  Celebrities bring about tons of attention from the audience and they can certainly steer them towards another particular brand.  Target is definitely on the right path as far as driving more business goes.

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While I don’t watch Fixer-Upper too much, I do think Target is working with an intriguing marketing strategy for their business.  Consumers are much more different now than they were in the 20th century now that social media came into play.  Social media sites introduced consumers into a whole new way of conducting business.  For example, the concept of delivery services only applied to pizza places; nowadays, you can get all kinds of products delivered right to your door (including cannabis!).

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We’ve entered the digital age, with the brick-and-mortar concept slowly dying off.  Retail shopping is becoming a thing of the past and department stores are now being replaced by online sites.  It’s marketing strategies like Target’s collaboration with HGTV that shine the light of hope for the brick-and-mortar concept in this digital world.

Dystifyzer’s Live 24/7 Nintendo Stream


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Whenever I create these amazing posts for MakeSandcastlesNotWar, I gotta have some fantastic music blasting.  Blasting some music gives me that creative energy surging through me during my writing.  Whether it’s the soulful jazz music from Weather Report or an adventurous folk-indie album that puts me into a mysterious new world, having that music blasting gave wonders to what has become the MakeSandcastlesNotWar blog.  A new topic, or a new path rather, places readers into the exciting journey today (and in most cases, stories that foreshadow another major event in the future!).

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Rather than dig deep into how to harvest that creative energy into writing ideas (those stories will be unlocked at a later time!), it’s time to dive into the music on YouTube.  YouTube has tons of albums up and are absolutely FREE to play.  Rock, jazz, metal, country, blues, and even ambiance music are easy to discover on this social media site.  As someone who loves video game music every now and then, I enjoy the video game playlists that are around.

Image result for youtube Video Game Music

Image result for youtube Video Game Music

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I’ve stumbled onto some crazy music playlists that introduced me to some original video games I didn’t get into as a kid.  Nintendo was always my favorite video game brand and I always choose to play their games every year.  Their games were so much fun, but it was also their nostalgic music that really tugged at my heartstrings.  It’s always cool running into music playlists catered only to the Nintendo series.  Discovering Nintendo music playlists was awesome, but then I found a video showcasing a live streaming service STRICTLY for Nintendo music!

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A 24/7 live streaming service featuring Nintendo music ACTUALLY exists on YouTube!  YouTube user Dystifyzer started streaming on August 23rd and has been streaming tracks from the Nintendo series.  Various users can listen in and chat with others about their favorite songs.  Dystifyzer’s unique channel has favored well with the audience and has been subscribed by over 16,000 users.

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The unique aspect of Dystifyzer’s live stream is the interactivity happening between the users.  Users can simply chat with others, request for songs to be played, ask for rupees (which can be cashed in for things like donating for new album drops!), and even hold mini marathons themselves.  There are over 10,000 tracks from hundreds of games to choose from. You can complete these commands by entering key codes into the chat using the exclamation point.  Typing !rupees will provide the users rupees based on the number of hours they have watch.  If you want to request a song, simply type !songrequest and choose the song from which game it came from.  The more hours you watched, the more rupees you will have to use.

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Users can also rank up by watching the stream service more often.  As you rank higher up, more features will be unlocked to use.  Some awesome features include holding a mini marathon based on your picks or purchasing new album for the stream.  Ranking up is one of those interesting interactive features that provide users more than just free music (did I happen to mention that it’s also COMMERCIAL-FREE as well?).

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With that, Dystifyzer’s live Nintendo stream is definitely worth checking out.  Dystifyzer combined users’ love of nostalgic Nintendo games with a chatroom full of interactive features.  It’s a great stream to kick back with some awesome music from Nintendo and talk amongst others about your favorite games.

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Image result for Youtube Live Stream

This is the kind of unique idea that pushes the boundaries of what YouTube can offer for its users.  Providing users the ability to share music albums around with other listeners is one thing, but creating a live stream service based on a unique theme is a whole other ballgame.  Its users like Dystifyzer that help build upon YouTube’s social community.

Image result for Youtube Video Game Service

Image result for Youtube Video Game Service

Thanks to Dystifyzer, we now have a unique interactive live streaming service featuring some of the most timeless music from Nintendo series.  Hopefully other users will branch out from his unique idea and provide other video game streaming services (like for Sony or other video game brands!).

If you’re looking for an easy playlist, check out Dystifyzer’s 24/7 Nintendo Music Live Stream on Youtube!