The Feeling of Recess

Marco Marandiz
Sep 4 · 3 min read

At a glance, Recess looks more like a high end restaurant than a d2c brand, which has really attractive implications for their word of mouth growth.

@takearecess

Like a high end restaurant, the design of their physical space creates an environment and feeling that you want to take home with you, and maintains an aura of social curiosity.

I can only describe this as a neon moonwalk.

What’s fascinating is that their growth strategy blends allure, aesthetic and social media to creatively circumvent the restrictions around CBD advertising.

And they lean into it — Recess doesn’t do any advertising at all. Instead Recess became an earned media darling and the subject of articles in widespread publications.

Kinda like when a great chef opens a restaurant in NYC.

Earned media gives @takearecess credibility during their time in the limelight, regardless of any pre-negotiation of the articles.

When you succeed at making word of mouth the nucleus of your brand strategy, your name starts to buzz.

The obvious “moment” that Recess is looking to occupy in their customer’s day to day life would be the occasional $5 drink up to the daily $5 latte category.

But I’ve read some comparisons of Recess to @lacroixwater, and find it to be an unexamined comparison. Here’s why:

@benwitte drinks five or six cans of Recess a day, but adds that he sees the seltzer as a productivity aid you can drink at literally any hour of the day, anytime you need it.”

That’s $500 minimum on CBD sparkling water. PER MONTH! (non Recess CEO rate)

At 5–6 cans a day, Recess starts to compete with their customer’s sparkling water intake.

Even at one can a day, customers may see it as 10xing their sparkling water budget (La Croix is ~$0.40/can) and not displacing a drink in their $5 daily drink category.

Also:

$5 for a 10mg CBD infused drink from Recess = 50c / mg

$50 for a 250mg CBD oil from @GetPopulum= 20c / mg

For customers looking for that consistent CBD chill of 10mg/day, will customers choose Recess at $5/day? Or go for a CBD oil at $2/day?

JEEZ if you live in NY that’s an accessible product. (though they aren’t in store anywhere else in the US)

Tbh this map shocked me. I didn’t know Recess had retail reach like that!

h/t @ginlane really love all the work coming out of your shop.

Aaaaand it’s here.

  1. Love the interior box print — brings the website to my kitchen.

2. The matte finish on the cans is a small touch that you notice every time you pick it up

Marco Marandiz

Written by

DTC Strategist // Consultant at Marandiz & Co., Strategist at 2PM. Ex Product @HomeAway @CapitalOne @CastroPodcasts

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