Make 4/20 a Green Day

By Jeff Lenard   read

Taking advantage of an existing event can help your sales grow like weeds.

April 14, 2021

420-green-day-landing.jpgIt’s time to fire up those promotions and blaze a new trail that can make you some serious cabbage. I’m talking ganja. Jamaican smokes. Chronic. Cheeba. Mary Jane. Hippie lettuce.

But I’m not talking about selling wacky tobacky. That would, in fact, be illegal under current federal law. Instead, I’m talking about developing clever promotions that can capture the spirit of a holiday or special event. And in this case, I’m talking about 4/20, which is April 20 and dedicated to the bud beloved by Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg.

This blog idea was sparked by a promotional e-mail from the Goods Mart, a small New York City convenience store that thinks big. The Goods Mart ships themed snack boxes around the country, and the latest is a 4/20-inspired snack box called the Think BIG Munchie Box. The products are curated to “satisfy your sweet and savory cravings this 4/20 and beyond.” The promotion is supported by one of the cofounders of the group Think BIG, which advocates for the global legalization of hemp and cannabis. Another cofounder, and the inspiration for the name of the group, is C.J. Wallace, son of Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace. The Goods Mart ties a donation to Think BIG with each BIG Munchie Box purchase.

Since thinking big and creating these snack boxes last year, the Goods Mart has been able to supercharge its sales during a time when its walk-in customer based was reduced to 25% of normal during the pandemic a year ago.

The Goods Mart continues to create sales opportunities with themed snack boxes and is elevating its brand by working with organizations that have extensive social media campaigns. And it’s about having some fun and sharing an experience. If you want tunes to snack to, the Goods Mart links to a Spotify playlist on its website that features Big Poppa (House Mix), which conveniently clocks in at 4:20. You can also snack and stare.

Now, this has nothing to do with selling weed. It’s about taking advantage of an existing event and seeing your sales grow like weeds. And there are plenty of promotional opportunities to consider.

Holidays are great for your business, whether they encourage backyard cookouts in the summer or holiday gift giving and trips to grandma’s house in the winter. But the Goods Mart shows that any “holiday” can be good for business if you are creative. And there are more than 1,500 official national days, weeks and months tied to a specific theme.

As I write this column, it’s April 11 and International Louie Louie day. Yes, that song with the chorus, “Louie Louie, oh no, me gotta go, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, baby” is recognized as an official day in multiple states. Were legislators who introduced and voted for these bills flame broiled? That’s not for me to say.

A quick aside about “Louie Louie.” Because the songs lyrics were widely believed to be subversive and/or filthy, the FBI opened an investigation. Eighteen months later, the agency came up with nothing. Which means they totally missed the word that the drummer yells at the 56-second mark after dropping one of his sticks. It’s the word that Ralphie from “A Christmas Story” refers to as, “The word, the big one, the Queen Mother of dirty words”—and it wasn’t “fudge.” So maybe next year you could have a promotion for fudge on Louie Louie Day.

Okay, that’s a truly half-baked idea, but there are better ones. I saw a few clever pie promotions for National Pi Day on March 14 (3/14 or 3.14, get it?). I’m sure Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with you) is ripe for clever sales pitches. It’s the day before Cinco de Mayo, which is now less about a historic battle and more “drink-o de Mayo” by most people today. We also have National Licorice Day and Grilled Cheese Day on the docket this week. (For the record, those are two distinct celebrations­—except on 4/20, I suppose.)

Ultimately, it’s about finding space for your brand. I’m not suggesting that a pineapple express pitch is the right fit, but I’m sure you can find a celebration that lends to brand-appropriate fun. It’s about finding the right tone for the right audience. Would I work in this many slang words for marijuana in a media interview? Not unless I was seriously carmelyzed. But this is a blog. It’s supposed to be more edgy and fun—­at least that’s what they told me. I hope HR understands.

For your business, it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive to create something that makes your employees and customers smile. Ask around and I’m sure you’ll find some great ideas.

Jeff Lenard is the vice president of strategic industry initiatives at NACS. He’s not doing anything special on 4/20 besides working a normal day. However, he did buy a Think BIG Snack Box “for a friend.”