Craig Lyon knows a little about working in a fast-paced, competitive marketplace.
Before taking over this year as the head of marketing at Connected Cannabis Co., Lyon spent 10 years at Nike, working his way up from a marketing intern to senior brand director of the North American Leadership Team. During his time at the shoe giant, Lyon helped launch signature lines for NBA superstars like Kyrie Irving, Paul George and reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.
“That experience taught me the importance of building synergy between marketing and product departments,” he says. “We have an opportunity at Connected to work hand-in-hand with our cultivation team to build and expand upon the possibilities of our future product portfolio and go-to-market strategy.”
Lyon says he didn’t set out looking for a job in cannabis, but he was intrigued by the decade-long history of Connected, a California-based cultivation company.
“The brand’s commitment to authenticity and quality are what has made it the market leader it is today, and ultimately made this too great an opportunity to pass on,” he says.
While there are parallels between Nike and Connected — “both represent the pinnacle standard for product excellence in their respective industries,” he says — the two companies are in different stratospheres when it comes to their marketing. According to Lyon, Connected has established itself with less than 1% of revenue going toward marketing.
“To build this level of loyalty amongst customers based only on product quality and word-of-mouth is basically unheard of,” he says.
And his top priority with his new company is building Connected into a national brand and setting the stage to bring Connected products to new states.
“Connected was conceived in the heart of cannabis culture and innovation,” he says. “It’s a part of who we are and will be critical to our foundation going forward.”
— Brian Beckley and Garrett Rudolph