What’s in a name? How Missouri brands were built…

What’s in a name? How Missouri brands were built…


People in the Missouri cannabis community who I work with on a regular basis already know I’m a nerd about certain things.  Packaging?  Yes.  New Products?  I’ll talk about them until your eyes cross.  Brands. I’m admitting it. I LOVE brands. Not in an “I only carry Prada bags” sort of way – that is SO not me.  But more in a “tell me about how you landed on the name Brand X – what made you call it that” way.  So it should come as no surprise that while working on the story about brands we can’t wait to try in Missouri, I wanted more information, more stories.

Luckily for me, some of the folks interviewed not only indulged my nerding out but told some amazing stories about how they became their brands. Instinct says that there will be some readers who are miffed that only a few companies are mentioned in this story, but before anyone casts stones – I did contact multiple operators to provide them an opportunity to talk about their brands.  This is an insane time for many, who are laser-focused on standing up their facilities and preparing for commencement, so not everyone had time to spend on the press.  As we get closer to launch for many of our Missouri facilities, we’ll be featuring more of their stories – so don’t be a hater, ok?

Kicking it off with Clovr – here we go!  Clovr Cannabis is license holder for manufacturing and that means the creation of and manufacture of infused products.  Branding is critical for any business, but for those who are creating or manufacturing products, it’s important not only to be strategic about the branding of the products but of the brand for the company itself.   Bethanie White was gracious enough to give me some of her valuable time to talk all things Clovr and we talked at length about Clovr and where the name and the identity came from.

“The basics behind the name Clovr began as wanting to make sure we are a brand that can encourage people to enhance their lives,” said White about the brand identity.  “The target demographic for us is 30-50 years old, active people, parents, people who want subtle changes that the medicine can provide – like getting out of bed.”  While that might sound like an odd subtle change, the reality for many patients is that cannabis CAN give them the ability to react differently to what might seem like insurmountable tasks easier to face.  Bethanie agreed, “If you can give someone medicine that can give them an hour or two of activity instead of nothing, that’s the goal.”

Clovr’s philosophy for their identity is this – “Come as you are – no judgment, no exclusion – all as one.”  The “come as you are” idea is aligned with what most people in cannabis advocacy and culture will say is a positive side effect of the use of the controversial plant.  Today’s cannabis revolution doesn’t follow the “devil’s lettuce” or “stoner” stereotypical behavior.  It’s for everyone who chooses to use it. Eco-friendly packaging is also a priority – Calyx packaging is a Wana partner that Clovr will be utilizing as well. “Our investors and team agreed to higher-priced packaging to ensure quality and effectiveness,” said White.  It makes great sense – think about the price of chocolate bars and the care that goes into their production, without the right packaging, there’s a risk of product quality loss, which isn’t acceptable to consumers.     

The logo and the name are the other part of the story and Clovr started simple – “we wanted something that said green, natural, fresh.”  Partnering with Wick and Mortar,  one of the cannabis branding darlings of the industry and bonafide award winners, the Clovr name, logo, and spelling were the outcome.  The elimination of the “e” in the spelling gave it a unique spin, and the simplicity of the logo appealed to the Clovr team and the brand and logo were solidified.  

Bethanie White is a delight to talk to and while she’s a powerhouse professionally, she’s also very humble and has undeniable street cred.  Having worked in the industry in Colorado, she’s well versed in national brands, the packaging design rollercoaster caused by frequently shifting regulations, and the cultural side of the business.  If you have the opportunity to work with Bethanie, take it.  Josh Mitchem made it clear to me that he brought Bethanie into Clovr after having her as an employee previously in their careers, “There was no way she wasn’t going to joining this team, that girl is incredible,” is what Mitchem told me when we spoke at MOCANNBIZCON.  Andrew Mullins, Executive Director of MoCannTrade gives her his version of the ultimate endorsement, “Bethanie is a STUD.”

CAMP Cannabis has its own wunderkind in branding, Brandon Dunn.  Brandon and I talked for almost 4 hours and it was apparent within the first fifteen minutes of our time together that CAMP made the right choice for a brand hero.  Dunn’s genuine love for the company ethos is almost soulful.   At CAMP, an acronym for Certified Alternative Medicine Providers, market research was carefully curated, and the pillars are marketing were all cared for – from demographics to use cases, this group did their homework.


If you aren’t already familiar with CAMP and their identity, it’s important to understand their founding principles – founders Susan Griffith and Jennifer McGuire come from long and illustrious healthcare careers.  Dunn says, “This company was based on the premise of medicine – with experience in healthcare, the mission has always been to provide high-quality medicine allows you to have a better quality of life.”  They believe that if you make good choices to be healthy, you make it about the way you live versus the things you have.  “The foundation of health isn’t a pill, or a shot, or a drug – the foundation of health is living a better life.  Live better TODAY than you did yesterday and use medicine that can improve your ability to lead a healthy life.”

“CAMP values positivity and inclusiveness, social responsibility, good corporate citizenship, and social equality for women,” Dunn said.  Like Clovr, CAMP is anxious to ensure they support eco-friendly packaging – smart innovation AND responsibly made packaging that is also reusable or recyclable support the direction they chose.  The approach taken for products is straightforward.  Brandon said, “To keep costs low for patients, especially when the market will impact price in its infancy, we won’t market as a luxury brand.  We’ll be high quality, consistent brand, that is readily accessible to patients within reasonable financial reach.”

Susan Griffith and I spoke after Brandon had joined CAMP, jokingly “poached,” and she told me, “Brandon is AMAZING.  He’s able to do so many things and knows so much, we had to have him.”  With hashtags that include #letsgocamp and #campisforeveryone, thus far, the brand is fun and has enough whimsy to be memorable, while focusing on making medicine for, well, everyone.

BeLeaf will be coming to market with multiple brands – multiple brand identities – multiple brand stories.  SWADE. Not only will this serve as the name of their own dispensaries, but according to Melissa Cowin, Director of Marketing for BeLeaf, also the name of their highly anticipated luxury flower products.  When I asked Cowin about the origins of the SWADE story, she said, “if you look at the logo, it’s the perfect match for the name, it’s meant to illustrate the plant and body connection.  It’s swaying, movement, rhythmic motion.”  SWADE is luxury personified and the company tells me that the patient experience in-store will be of the utmost in top-shelf treatment.

BeLeaf’s other big name is Sinse.  Sinse, from the word “sinsemilla,” meaning non-seed bearing female plants, which is typically high potency.  Cowin has developed an identity for the brand that is “approachable, grab-a-beer-with me, and will provide a guided tour through cannabis for consumers.”  Sinse will serve as the brand for the company’s flagship brand.

Melissa Cowin has been described by the CEO, Mitch Meyers, as a unicorn.  Meyers told me, “She really is self-taught when it comes to marketing, branding, and all the digital work she is creating for our company.  She personally has a high level of taste and studies the craft intently. She also ‘believes in the product’ and our company mission, and it seems effortless as she is helping to create our brands.  Many times there are crazy timelines and deliverables and she is pragmatic and cool-headed like Larry the Cable Guy – just git’ er done!”

Cannabis, in particular, has a very competitive nature and that puts pressure on companies to build their brands on the foundations of their core values, but also ensure that the brand identity is memorable and meaningful to consumers.  The brands in Missouri are as diverse as the branding experts themselves and in talking with each of these valuable players, it was liberating to see the passion behind their work.  During the journey from concept to go-to-market, we’re all looking forward to seeing and hearing more about the brands being grown and developed for Missouri’s medical market.

DISCLOSURE: Brandon Dunn is co-founder of Greenway Media.