Well Made

Ep. 112 Branding a Feeling with Benjamin Witte

April 1, 2020 · RSS · Apple Podcasts

In many ways, the cannabis industry still feels like a grey area. That's why Recess founder Benjamin Witte didn't set out to build a brand on top of an ingredient — he wanted to build a brand on top of a feeling. 

The creative community has adopted the fruit-infused CBD drink with open arms, which is very much by design. The pastel gradients, neon signs, and ephemeral imagery are all meant to evoke that easy sense of creative calm.

Lately, Benjamin has spent most of his time pushing for the FDA to issue final regulations for CBD. With clear regulations, his team has plans to expand way beyond fizzy drinks. In this episode, Benjamin shares how he hired writers to build a story driven marketing team, how he's generating the most impressions for the least amount of money, and what new products Recess has in the works.

“Micro communities are the future.”

 Branding a Feeling
 Branding a Feeling

Benjamin sets the record straight — CBD is a commoditized compound, just like caffeine (4:11). He shares his personal experience with it and what made him to want to market a feeling. 

You can't talk CBD without talking about regulations, and Benjamin dives right into why he wants more of them, why they're so muddy, and what needs to happen before Recess can expand (14:34). He shares his team building strategy: The creative side is lead by writers with no beverage experience, and the business side is lead by beverage industry veterans. (21:54)

Benjamin's goal for Recess's content is to get the most impressions for the least amount of money — and they're doing pretty well on that account (30:18). But impressions aren't just online. He talks about the concept behind building out a workspace that's also an event space (33:57).

Finally, Benjamin tracks back the supply chain to share how he found his production and distribution partners (38:16). Then, he looks forward with plans for syndicated content, merch, and more IRL events (50:58).


Also mentioned on the episode: 

  • In Episode 108, we talked to Pop-Up Grocer founder Emily Schildt about branding a feeling. 
  • The UK recently released new CBD guidelines.
  • On Episode 80, we talked to Seed founder, Ara Katz about how she brings the three-act structure to brand storytelling. 
  • Benjamin confirms that Haus and Recess do indeed taste great together. 

Header photo by Noah Kalina.


You can find this and all future episodes on iTunes, Google Play, and here on the Lumi blog. This episode was edited by Evan Goodchild.

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