The Challenge: LEVIA cannabis seltzers were about to launch in Massachusetts, a newcomer to the legal cannabis market in 2018 while there was an already-established cannabis seltzer on dispensary shelves from California called CANN – a quality product with a national reputation and a loyal following. Was Massachusetts ready for a second cannabis beverage company? Was LEVIA late to store shelves because of a forced last-minute rebrand by a company who shared the same name LEVIA previously wanted to launch as?
The Approach: Emphasize LEVIA’s local roots, knowing that consumers love to support local and regional products, especially if their quality surpasses non-local competition. On the quality front – the science that went into their products was far superior, and taste tests proved all three flavors – Dream, Celebrate and Achieve – were favored over the taste of Cann. We dug into that narrative, encouraging local, regional and cannabis-specific media + influencers to compare and contrast while crafting their stories. That approach worked, and press coverage often mentioned LEVIA as being the best-tasting of the two, highlighting their local roots, and mentioning plans for national expansion in other legal states.
Results: Our favorite result was the combination of their high-quality product, branding, media coverage and social media garnering attention from VCs and publicly-traded national cannabis companies, and being acquired within 8 months after launching in February 2021. While the press coverage we secured only played a small part, it did play a part in catching the attention of suitors. Ayr Wellness – the company that acquired LEVIA – acknowledged they normally part ways with the acquired company’s local + regional PR agency shortly after acquisition, but DPA Communications is the only company they kept on, and continues to keep on, through today.