Hold onto your hats — Snoop Dogg just hit us with a curveball, announcing he is done with smoking cannabis. This revelation, apparently, comes after much consideration and conversation with his family.
Known as one of the most prominent ambassadors for cannabis culture, Snoop Dogg’s pivot away from his iconic association with smoke teaches us lessons, not just for individuals but also for leaders in the ever-evolving landscape of identity and perception.
It’s safe to say Snoop’s journey in the cannabis world has been nothing short of legendary. In 2020, I remember he received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement distinction at the Clio Cannabis Awards, recognizing his undeniable impact on the cannabis industry. From his business ventures like the Merry Jane brand and Leafs by Snoop line to his involvement in the Casa Verde firm alongside Ted Chung, Snoop has played a pivotal role in shaping the culture around cannabis.
Here’s what to takeaway from his announcement.
Snoop’s move helps brands learn the importance of prioritizing well-being. If a brand has built its identity around certain values or lifestyle choices, it should be willing to evolve if those choices are no longer in alignment with the well-being of its audience or society. It’s called doing the right thing, and given that 65% of consumers believe that brands could be doing more to support their well-being, younger audiences today will love you for it.
So, leaders, listen up — regularly assess the values and lifestyle choices associated with your brand image, ensuring that you authentically reflect the brand’s mission and resonate with the target audience. Take, for instance, McDonald’s, which has embraced a healthier direction by introducing menu options that cater to changing consumer preferences, demonstrating that even the most problematic industry giants can prioritize health authentically — even if it’s baby steps. We’ve all got to start somewhere, right?
Focus On Personal Growth And Change
I do believe Snoop Dogg’s evolution teaches us the importance of brand evolution. Just as individuals grow and change, brands need to adapt to remain relevant. This lesson emphasizes that brands should be dynamic entities that can shift their messaging, products, or services in response to changes in societal values, consumer preferences, or industry trends. Stagnation can lead to a loss of relevance and connection with the audience.
Consider Apple as an example — a brand that has consistently evolved from its roots in personal computers to a tech and lifestyle giant. Apple’s ability to adapt to technological trends showcases the power of brand evolution. It also makes you more human and relatable, especially to younger audiences.
Value Flexibility And Break Away From Stereotypes
Last but not least, brands must learn the value of flexibility and breaking away from stereotypes. And parents would agree. A recent study showed 79% of parents want their children to act against gender stereotypes. I believe Snoop’s decision challenges the stereotype associated with his public persona, demonstrating that individuals —and by extension, brands — can defy expectations.
So, recognize the power of challenging stereotypes and consider how your brand can resonate with audiences by defying conventional norms. This lesson encourages brands to be bold and creative in their communication strategies. Take Nike, for instance, which has consistently shattered athletic stereotypes through campaigns like “Just Do It,” and Colin Kaepernick’s “Believe in something even if it means sacrificing everything,” endorsing diverse athletes and promoting inclusivity. Nike’s bold approach has created a powerful narrative, inspiring individuals to defy stereotypes and pursue their passions.
I think Snoop Dogg’s decision to step away from smoking weed marks a significant chapter in his life, challenging both personal and public perceptions. It’s a brave move, and he should be commended for it.
And while Ed Sheeran and Russell Crowe’s stories about smoking with Snoop may have been a frequent source of headlines, his latest choice encourages a deeper exploration of the multifaceted nature of personal and brand evolution. It’s a reminder that even the most iconic figures evolve, and brands should too.
So, leaders, I would ask you to ponder this: Are you blazing a trail, or are you getting lost in the smoke? I believe the journey of your brand is a continuous evolution — make it legendary.
Named Esquire’s Influencer Of The Year, Jeetendr Sehdev is a media personality, international speaker and the author of the New York Times bestselling sensation, The Kim Kardashian Principle: Why Shameless Sells (and How to Do It Right.)