Lola Lola aims to reinvent the consumer experience with an eye-catching, mindful approach to selling cannabis.
Lola Lola’s co-founder and chief executive officer, Michael Garganese, learned the value of marketing right out of college: His first job was at Google. “I worked in their social media marketing division called Wildfire, soaking in as much education and knowledge as I could,” he said. After spending a few years on Google’s team, he ventured out on his own, connecting with some growers in Northern California who needed help managing their farms.
The idea for Lola Lola (“The name was intriguing and memorable with just a hint of mysteriousness,” he noted) arose from his dissatisfaction with the then-standard consumer experience. “As a consumer of cannabis, I felt the experience of purchasing from the dispensaries could be much better,” Garganese said.
Lola Lola focuses on the future…and, well, enchantment. Everything about the company’s products screams romance, alchemy, and a higher state of consciousness, from the elegant, upscale, dreamy, fairytale-like packaging—taking inspiration from funky hotels—to hand-picked, hand-packed, and hand-extracted medicine. Garganese hopes the company’s product line, aesthetic, and ethos provide the winning combination as they approach dispensaries in 2016.
“Our products enhance dispensaries by helping create a more pleasant experience for the cannabis consumer and budtenders,” he said. “Cannabis users are usually loyal to specific strains but aren’t loyal to the brand behind the strain. Who grew it? Who processed it? What did the people who make this product stand for? These are all questions Lola Lola helps answer.”
Investing considerable energy and resources in point-of-sale marketing is one of Garganese’s strategies for garnering precious retail space. The team has developed a smattering of bespoke custom display cases. “They come in three separate versions and sizes to be able to fit any store’s layout. There are countertop displays, freestanding floor displays, and wall-hanging displays,” Garganese said. Wanderlodge, a forty-foot bus in which the sales team travels, makes an unforgettable impression.
Garganese sees his core customers as everyone from the experienced connoisseur to the person who used cannabis in high school or college, then gave it up as they got older, but now has rejoined the movement.
“But more importantly,” he said, “it is people who don’t want to be boxed into the historical stigma of using cannabis.”