For Jann Parish, ex-marketing head at Victoria’s Secret, the iconic lingerie brand, who’s just been named chief marketing officer at Columbus, Ohio-based cannabis retailer Green Growth Brands, the “sex sells” trope that has infested much of today’s cannabis marketing is something she’s determined to change in her new role.
Courtesy of Green Growth Brands
“I take personal offense at what I see,” says Parish, ex-CMO at Victoria’s Secret. “I don’t find cannabis to be a male thing. Thinking differently is what attracts consumers today. It does not take a girl in a bikini to do that.” And, with GGB employing women-centric advertising for some of their brands, “there’s no better way to counteract the effects of sexism,” she added.
Like other executives who have made the leap from the traditional retail world into the booming albeit fragmented and still federally illegal cannabis economy, Parish, whose impressive resume also includes positions at clothing retail giants Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, has experienced her share of misapprehension. But the long-term gains outweigh the short-term qualms.
“Does it challenge me and make me uncomfortable that I’m going to go out with a not so established business?” Parish asks rhetorically. “Absolutely 100 percent. But there’s all of this opportunity and energy to make it what I think it might be.”
When asked what drove Parish toward the space, she referenced its singular, unmined potential. Another catalyst is the growing acceptance of cannabis in mainstream society. That is no fallacy: A recent Gallup post found that a majority of Americans (66 percent) support legalization.
“I liked the chance to be brave,” said Parish. “You’re living your life. You have a chance to live out of the box. Looking at how the