Category Archives: Business

Books: Kelly & Kathleen…Want To Help You Change The World!

By Shenee Tabannah

Kelly Tomblin, former President & CEO of JPS believes that the world is calling out for a new style of leadership and she knows how to help you get there in 100 days. Kelly and her best friend, Kathleen Sullivan are the authors of the new provocative leadership book, 100 Days of Doing Power Differently. Change Your Leadership, Change The World.

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The book is a leadership guide book built on the THINKLOVE model for leadership. It provides a mirror for your current leadership influence and helps you to create a new path over 100 days for the leader that you want to become.

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Leadership is a privilege and an honour, and should be treated as such. This book will inspire you to own your power as a Leader, while challenging you to Do Power Differently.

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The book is dedicated to the people of Jamaica and the Jamaica Pubic Service Family. It was while in Jamaica, Kelly was inspired to put this book together as she was blown away by her experience.

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Kelly had served in Leadership roles for over 20 years, however, she was exposed to a rare and superior form of Leadership when she moved to Jamaica in 2012. In just 5 years, Kelly and her Leadership Team were able to do a 360 transformation at JPS and she believes that their style of leadership could be duplicated and will lead to similar extraordinary results in other companies.

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Kelly returned to Jamaica recently to launch her book at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel. Jamaica is where it all started, so it was only fitting that Kelly started her book promotion tour here. To purchase 100 Days of Doing Power Differently, visit
http://www.doingpowerdifferently.com.

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IMARI: Making Authenticity Viral

By Marshelle Haseley

There are Millennial creators gaining YouTube and other subscribers by the millions. People who are attracted by their topical and inspiring content. Bodies of content that bring the attention of viewers from all age groups and backgrounds to issues that matter more than how many Instagram followers, we have- or how many articles of clothing we own from the 50th fashion micro-season for the year. It is more about how we show up in the world and less about what we show up wearing.

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Our chat with Imari Anderson (@freeimari) gave insight into a brand-new wave of creativity and inspiration. A creative of Jamaican descent, who has profoundly impacted online filmography and digital media.

Imari worked as a filmmaker with the team at Jubilee. Jubilee defines itself as a bridge, to connect and inspire love through the sharing of compelling stories. The team uses platforms such as YouTube and Instagram to share the human-centric content they create to create connections, challenge assumptions, and touch the soul.

He spent a year working there- forming part of a team that created content that gathered over 100 million views, and over 800 thousand new subscribers in that one year.

Anderson defines himself as someone who is working on finding out who he is every day. “Let me put it this way, I am working on trying to remember that every day”. He said, “I try not to identify with the things I do or have done, as who I am. I try to release how others would describe me, or labels to which I could subscribe. I wouldn’t say ‘Imari is a filmmaker’. It feels limiting. It feels more natural to say Imari is a joker, leader- Imari is passionate (sometimes to a fault). Imari is the guy who will debate controversial philosophy with you in the car on the way to the club. Imari is Imari.

In an industry that could create an illusion that everything comes from pulling creativity from the wind, Imari said, thinking is what inspires a lot of his creativity. He said that by subscribing to a certain identity we only allow ourselves to create from that identity. But by being ‘free Imari’, he said, “I’m only limited to create based on what happens to be inspiring me at the time. Notice the nod to my Instagram name”, he said, after which he laughed. Imari believes that life holds within it, unlimited potential and experiences, and he does not want anything holding him back from seeing and knowing as much as possible.

Paternal lineage connects him to Jamaica. Imari gave some insight into how the Caribbean culture contributed to who he is as a creative. Even though his father’s principles impacted him, Anderson still sought to take it in and manifest it all in a way that felt more authentic to him. “There are things that informed my upbringing like certain foods (plantain is my go to) or Caribbean culture, like a strong faith-centred upbringing. But besides the obvious, I’d like to think that from an early age I didn’t want to be defined by things like heritage.”

Anderson continued by stating that with a Caribbean parent comes specific ideals and values. A lot of it he said, came through when he was growing up playing soccer (football). “Ideas like always being the best in whatever you do, pushing yourself harder than the next man, I think these are things that came to me from my dad and through him from my grandfather.”

Another trait he thinks may have something to do with the Caribbean influence, is something he saw in his father, who he described as a proud Jamaican. Anderson said his father has always been big on helping people. “Now that I think of it, there’s probably some overlap in how I saw his sacrifice for kids that he was coaching, who didn’t have the resources- and how I’ve really gone above and beyond for certain projects that I thought could really help people. Even if it was to my own detriment.”

From an early age, Imari wanted to show up in the world as an individual. “That’s not to say my background isn’t valuable, the island approach to soccer is what initially gave me confidence. The island rhythm is probably where I get my dance moves. But I’ve always been of the mindset – ‘this is what came before me, what am I doing next? How am I going to build on it and make it my own?”

PANACHE asked a few more questions to get more insight into the process of what forms a rounded millennial creative.

P: What did you see yourself growing up to become?

I: “A soccer player. Definitely. There’s nothing you could’ve told me before the age of like 17 that would have convinced me otherwise.”

P: What attracted you to filmmaking?

I: “Honestly, when I first found it in high school I didn’t take it seriously. I just thought it was fun, and I wasn’t strongly interested in any related subjects. So I picked that up as my college major and studied it at the University of South Carolina. I got passionate about it there, and I found myself working on projects more than classmates. I’d sneak into the editing room after hours just to work on my own projects. Then, as I started to see the correlation between media and how the world is impacted. I made a pretty dramatic shift towards exclusively making content that I thought the world needed more of. I stopped doing skit shows and music videos, and started making videos for non-profits or for people with really relevant messages. What really attracted me is that it felt like the tool of our time. Something that could be used to either push us forward as a species or keep us distracted and divided. I saw the power of it and felt like if I was going to be in the game it came with responsibility. I’m trying to be more balanced about that now, though, I want to bring some of the original artistic motivation back into how I approach my work. I still want it to be art.“

P: Did you study film? And what is one of your favourite pieces of work?

I: “Yes I did, but most of my knowledge came from a production company I started while I was in college. That’s what gave me the initial real life experience. I’d say my favourite series is the Between Worlds Series. It felt like it embodied what I’m going for as a filmmaker. It has a message (we create better when we work outside of our labels) but it was also just fun and creative to shoot.”

P: How did you become part of Jubilee?

I: “I’ve been a filmmaker professionally for about 6 years now, it feels like 16. When I really started taking it seriously I wanted to make work that I felt like added to the culture and made people better human beings rather than stuff that was unoriginal or counterproductive. This led me to connect with Jason who founded Jubilee a couple years ago. We stayed in touch and when I left my job in the Bay Area last year I sent him a film I was working on and he encouraged me to consider working at Jubilee.”

P: What inspires you?

I: “Life. The different ways we all live life and the fact that there’s always so much for us to learn. None of us have the answers. And so, the people who really just live in constant curiosity, and the things they make, really get me going. I think for me to say ‘I want to make a living making videos that inspire people and encourage them to think outside of the box’ sounds like a pipe dream. People know how hard it is to make it. Being a director and 9 times out of ten even if you make it, you’re making content that you probably don’t believe in, or that is really just about how much money it can make. I love the fact that I committed to this idea, and that there are other people out there who see the value media has to change things up and invest in it. We can really change the world. I think Jubilee is founded on this idea.”

P: What would you tell your 10-year-old self?

I: “Believe in yourself dude. There’s no point not to. Everybody you see is just on a constant journey of becoming themselves, of trusting themselves. Don’t convince yourself that you’re less than what you are. You’re amazing and there’s no reason not to be.”

P: What is likely to be your next move?

I: “I want to explore my creativity. I want to do more writing and picking up more experimental projects. I’m feeling like I have a lot more to express artistically so I’m looking at different ways that can come about – whether its photography, writing, or directing new projects. But first, I’m going to live life. See what inspiration I’ve been missing out on after being so focused for the last couple years. Travel, meet new people, have new experiences. See what other neurons I can get spinning in the noggin and then make some magic with them.”

Imari is no longer with team Jubilee but he will be creating work of depth and authenticity. We look forward to seeing more from this powerful creative.

PANACHE Magazine Wins Big at CTO Travel Media Awards In New York

Best Feature by Caribbean Journalist for a Caribbean Media

June 8, 2018, New York, USA

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Kinisha Correia (L), award-winning journalist, and Tricia Williamson, CEO & Editorial Director, PANACHE, proudly display their winning award at the recent Caribbean Travel Media Awards in New York.

PANACHE Magazine (the flagship travel and lifestyle magazine from the PANACHE Digital Media family), has won the Best Feature Award that appeared in a Caribbean-based media by a Caribbean-based Journalist.  This was announced at the coveted Caribbean Travel Media Awards in New York on Friday, June 8, 2018.

The award-winning feature, “More than Just Beads: Story and Myth,” which was written by Kinisha Correia, was published in the October 2017 issue and showcased the work of Story & Myth, a Jamaican brand which specialises in, “island-inspired handmade jewellery.”   The four-page feature, which included photography by Niesha Brown, was a unique celebration of stunning earthiness behind each Story & Myth bracelet and necklace.  The feature shared details on how each bead is made and highlighted the fact that they are created by local artisans, many of whom are physically disabled.   The creations of these individuals provide them with much-needed income for their families.

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Tricia Williamson, CEO and Editorial Director of PANACHE Magazine, said, “We are honoured by this achievement.  This win speaks volumes to our unwavering commitment to being the voice for Jamaican and Caribbean stories that truly connect with our readers. I commend Kinisha on the way she utilised her writing prowess to produce such a well-written story that captured the imagination of the readers and I am forever grateful to Story & Myth for allowing us to share their powerful story through our magazine.”

Award-winning writer, Kinisha Correia, shared, “I’m appreciative and honoured that my work has been recognized by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO). I’m also proud that the piece selected was on a business creating change by weaving environmental and socially conscious practices into its work. Winning this award strengthens the message that business can be a force for good in the region. I’m grateful to be a part of that cultural shift.”

Kristie Stephenson, owner of Story & Myth, added that she was, “…thrilled and excited that these long time oral mythical stories are getting acknowledged in the mainstream.”

This was PANACHE’s first time participating in the prestigious travel media awards and along with the historic win; the magazine was also a finalist for Best Photograph Accompanying a Feature.  The image by Ikenna Douglas, which was displayed on the PANACHE Magazine Cover of April 2017, was the entry in this Category.

We’re very proud and excited at PANACHE!  This win is a “celebration of excellence” and we are humbled to know that our efforts are seen in that light!  We are also truly grateful for the recognition of our Caribbean talent by the CTO, as we know that this will serve as motivation to other upcoming Caribbean journalists,” shared Tricia Williamson.


About PANACHE

PANACHE Communications/ PANACHE Digital Media is a magazine publishing and digital marketing company based in Jamaica and the USA. PANACHE Magazine is published six times annually in print on demand via Magcloud and free digital editions at www.panachejamagazine.com

For more info, visit www.panachedigital.media

About the CTO Travel Media Awards

The Caribbean tourism industry cherishes its strong relationship with the media and in appreciation for their constant positive coverage of the region, recognizes media for influencing their readers to travel to the Caribbean.  This recognition took place in New York City during Caribbean Week New York.

To honour the media’s exceptional work in promoting the Caribbean, in feature print, broadcast and online, we invite CTO government members, their public relations agencies and journalists to provide us with their top media placements for 2017 on CTO member countries. Awards will be presented to journalists from US and Caribbean-based media.

For more info, visit: http://www.onecaribbean.org

#DMWF: Brands Get Better Organic Visibility with Instagram Stories

Stories have been captivating audiences across social media platforms, allowing brands and users to give their followers a glimpse into their life-moments for a limited time. Instagram Stories usage has exploded, and brick and mortar stores especially have been creating unique ways to get in on the action – incentivizing both in-store and online purchases.

The popularity of Instagram Stories has exploded since their 2016 debut. In fact, Instagram Stories growth hasn’t slowed down since – boasting 300 million daily active users as of today. Of course, it comes as no surprise that these short clips have become a social media favorite.

Brick and Mortar stores have been quick to jump on the Stories trend, creating opportunities for customers to purchase products on and off the web. For example, Instagram’s “Swipe up” option has made it easy for marketers to direct Insta traffic to other webpages. If a customer sees a product they’re interested in, they can swipe straight to the buy page without any hassle or time wasted on searching.

Just take a look at how cosmetics brand, Lush is taking advantage of Stories. They cleverly use the space to advertise new products that their customers may not know about. In a stream of Stories they showcase the bath bomb experience from start to finish. Interested customers are informed during the last story that the bath bomb is only available for a limited time and are able to easily swipe-to-purchase to add a new item to their collection.


Beauty supply retailer, Sally Beauty Salon has taken a unique approach to their 5 seconds of fame, driving their viewers to make in-store visits. In their Story they demonstrate the application of a new metallic lip gloss that is only available for a limited time. They smartly tag the distributer, Ardell Beauty in their previous clips to raise awareness about the brand in case their viewers know or are interested in learning more. To direct users to their stores, Sally Beauty Salon uses the “Swipe up” feature to help their beauty queens find a store nearest them. By reserving high-demand products for exclusive in-store purchases, stores can attract customers to their stores which could potentially lead to other purchases.

Brands Post More Stories Than Posts

To find out how Stories stack up against organic posts Socialbakers took a look at content from more than 1,100 Instagram profiles. Our conclusions? These time-sensitive clips have BIG potential.

Interestingly, we found that the largest Instagram profiles aren’t really making the most of this new format. The relative number of posts and Stories brands are publishing are nearly even. Considering that Stories are posted countless times a day without any repercussions, we would expect that the overall share of Stories vs. posts would be more than just an 8% difference. Is it possible that by not embracing this new format brands are missing out on a major opportunity?

Brands Using Stories Get More Visibility

Due to the time-limited nature of Stories, brands will need to create a specific set of KPIs. Unlike posts – Likes or Comments shouldn’t be considered success metrics. Partly because Likes are impossible to leave within a Story and partly because clips are often too short for users to leave a comment.

So, what should brands measure when it comes to Instagram Stories? Well – reach and impressions are a huge part of it. Reach is important because it shows the unique views the Story received, compared to total impressions, which gives the overall number of how many times the Story was viewed.

According to Socialbakers data, it was clear that brands’ Stories had a tremendous impact on their overall impressions, though it’s true that posts still predominantly make up most of a brand’s reach. However, we can’t ignore that the lifecycle of a post and Story are quite different, so of course the comparison isn’t 100% fair.

Here we can see that posts contribute to a whopping 81% of a brand’s impressions while Stories account for 19%. Brands may be thinking that 19% may not be big enough to encourage them to roll up your sleeves and start posting Stories – but let’s look at the data.

 

 

For the brands analyzed, we can see that one-fourth of their impressions are solely coming from Stories. This is actually a huge chunk – especially taking into consideration that it’s purely organic – which is becoming harder and harder to achieve. With that being said, brands that are not posting Instagram Stories are getting reach from one source – posts. This means that they are missing out on a quarter of free impressions!

Takeaway

Organic reach is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve on social media, especially in light of algorithm changes like the recent Facebook News Feed update. More and more brands are expected to put dollars behind their content, in order to ensure that it gets seen. However, adopting new formats could be the loophole that could earn you better visibility. While reach is still possible on Facebook, marketers are now turning to Instagram to connect with their audiences.

To encourage foot traffic, brick and mortar stores should provide their audiences with an added value. This can be as simple as stocking your shelves with limited edition items that aren’t available online or offering coupons only in-store. This helps create a sense of urgency, and gives customers a good reason to make the trip. There are tons of reasons why brick and mortar stores shouldn’t shy away from Instagram Stories we’ve provided only a few, with a little creativity stores can easily increase visits and purchases in no time.

Source: https://www.digitalmarketing-conference.com/brands-get-better-organic-visibility-with-instagram-stories/

This blog post was written by Jordan Julian, Social Media Analyst, Socialbakers – Silver sponsors of DMWF London 2018

https://www.socialbakers.com/

Kaya & Jamaica’s medical ganja industry

Jamaica’s medical ganja industry takes ‘historic step’ with Kaya

Chairman of Kaya Farms, Balram Vaswani, has said that sister company, Kaya Herbhouse is set to officially open its doors in March to the Jamaican public and visitors to the island, who are interested in sampling its offerings of medical marijuana and related products.

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In making the announcement on Tuesday, Vaswani said persons wishing to purchase ganja and ganja products must comply with one of four regulations.

“We remain in compliance with the rules enacted by the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA), and persons will be able to legally purchase marijuana for medicinal purposes while also being able to experience the Kaya Herbhouse and Kaya Café,” Vaswani said in a press release.

The development comes as Vaswani’s Kaya Farms – which is home to the country’s first legal medical cannabis dispensary – harvested its first crop.

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The first official ‘cut’ and harvest took place on Tuesday in the presence of Augustus Staples, Chief Executive Officer of the CLA, at Kaya Farms in Drax Hall, St Ann.

According to a press release, the plants from the harvest will be cured, trimmed and packaged for sale to Kaya Herbhouse in St Ann for the first sale to medical patients, and ‘Everything Oily’ for processing. This it said satisfies the tripartite agreements signed to ensure a closed loop system for the sale of marijuana as enacted in the Dangerous Drugs (Cannabis Licensing) Regulations.

The press release said the regulations allow for the sale and use of ganja for specific reasons, namely in accordance with the written recommendation or prescription of a registered medical practitioner, for consumption on the premises or for the provision of therapeutic services utilising ganja.

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“I am truly honoured as a Jamaican to make the historic step where our country can finally monetise on this industry as Europe, Australia, India, China, and the US have already done,” said Vaswani.

According to the release, Kaya’s goal is to make Jamaica the flagship of the global wellness tourism industry and become the new symbol of the island’s roots and lifestyle.

Source: http://www.loopjamaica.com/content/jamaicas-medical-ganja-industry-takes-historic-step-kaya


‘Got To Have Kaya Now’ – Marley Son Advocates With Bob’s Slang

In the 40th year since the release of Bob Marley’s romantic album Kaya, the legend’s slang for cannabis has become a branding tool in the ongoing campaign to legalise the herb. Many of the sons of the global reggae icon have put action to Tuff Gong’s long-standing cannabis advocacy.

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Rohan Marley of Marley Coffee (left) and Balram Vaswani, chairman of Kaya Inc, cutting the ribbon to the Kaya Café at the grand opening, recently.

Stephen, Ziggy, Ky-mani, Julian, and Damian Marley will headline the second annual, all-ages Kaya Fest, named after the 1978 album. The music festival relocated from Miami, Florida, to San Bernardino, California, where the festival can benefit from the state’s legalisation of cannabis for recreational use. The two-day concert will also feature guests Toots and the Maytals, Lauryn Hill, Cypress Hill, and Tom Morello.

“He would be at the forefront of this movement for people to know the herb. It’s in his nature, where he come from,” Stephen said in an interview with Rollingstone Magazine. In 2016, the family launched Marley Natural, a name brand for various strains of cannabis, pipes, hempseed body wash, and other products.

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“You see marijuana becoming legal. You see his legacy has taken on more importance because of what he has been telling people for years. ‘Hey, I told you so!’ So the legacy has grown another step,” Damian added.

BOLD MOVES

Also making bold moves is the entrepreneurial son, Rohan Marley. As of last weekend, Ocho Rios, St Ann, became home to Kaya Farms, the first legal medical cannabis dispensary in the English-speaking Caribbean. Kaya Farms and sister companies Kaya Herbhouse, Kaya Spa, Kaya CafÈ, and Kaya Tours plan to offer a variety of services for Jamaicans and tourists, including the sale of marijuana for medicinal and therapeutic purposes.

Participating in the grand opening event last weekend was Balram Vaswani, chairman and chief ganja officer at Kaya Farms and his associate Rohan, chairman of Marley Coffee.

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“It’s great when what is naturally produced here, the herb, can become a business and drive the economy. So it’s never too late, and that’s why it’s happening right now,” Rohan said during the launch. He accompanied Vaswari in the official ribbon-cutting ritual.

“For me, the journey has been extremely long. This is an economic change for Jamaica. With this product, we have a chance for it to be a product of Jamaica, made in Jamaica, where we can control the start to finish. This could be an export. This can bring in revenue and wealth creation and help small farmers all the way up to large companies – not only farmers but auxiliary businesses, carpenters, plumbers, bartenders, etc,” Vaswani said.

Guests are welcome to tour Kaya Farms and its processing facility and kick back inside Kaya CafÈ, which exclusively carries Marley Coffee.

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Guests to Kaya Farms are able to purchase various strains available and legally purchase medicinal marijuana, once proper documentation as required by the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) has been provided. The regulations outlined by the CLA allow for the sale and use of marijuana in limited quantities and for specific reasons, namely, in accordance with the written recommendation or prescription of a registered medical practitioner, for consumption on the premises, or for the provision of therapeutic services utilising ganja.

Kaya Farms’ grand opening closed with a concert featuring Ky-mani Marley, Keznamdi, Jah 9, and Toots and the Maytals.

Source: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/entertainment/20180318/got-have-kaya-now-marley-son-advocates-bobs-slang


Ganja Company Kaya To List On Toronto Stock Exchange

Kaya Inc, a licensed ganja business in Jamaica that opened its first ganja cafe in Ocho Rios in March, is going public in Canada and will list on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Under the transaction, Kaya will enact a “reverse takeover” with a listed company called Buzz Capital.

The takeover also comes with a separate plan to raise CAD$8.5 million of which CAD$5.5 million is being sought from institutional investors, while another entity called HIKU Brands has already agreed to provide backing of CAD$3 million, said Kaya Inc CEO and founder Balram Vaswani.

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The Kaya brand is framed on a shirt worn by Owen ‘JahJah’ Warren, chief grower at Kaya Farms, during the March 10 opening event for Kaya’s operations in St Ann. Kaya is merging with another company called Buzz Capital and will list on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The listing is being preceded by a series of transactions, which will see Kaya merging with Buzz. The latter company was formed in 2017 and listed on the TSX Venture Exchange in the same year, with the intent of being utilised as a vehicle for a takeover.

Buzz issued a letter of intent about the transaction earlier this month indicating that the companies would finalise their negotiations and secure a deal by April 15. It will result in Kaya shareholders owning nearly nine-tenths of the amalgamated shares.

Vaswani told the Financial Gleaner that the ganja authority in Jamaica was abreast of the dealings to list overseas.

“All contemplated transactions are subject to oversight and approval of the Cannabis Licensing Authority. This includes both Jamaican ownership and directorship exceeding 50 per cent at all times,” he said.

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“We will continue to work with all governing bodies as we continue to build a Jamaican brand that can extend beyond the shores of our island. This will give all Jamaicans access to invest and participate in a transparent regulated industry,” said the ganjapreneur via email.

The structure of the takeover deal involves Buzz enacting a reduction in its ordinary shareholding from 8.2 million to 4.1 million units followed by a name change from Buzz to Kaya Inc; then the exchange of all issued and outstanding shares of Kaya for common shares of the resulting entity; followed by the exchange of all issued and outstanding Kaya options and warrants for shares of the new entity.

The resulting company is expected to have 43 million issued shares “of which approximately 89 per cent will be held by the current shareholders of Kaya, and 11 per cent by the existing shareholders of Buzz”, according to a press release on the transaction.

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Kaya reaped the first legal harvest for sale last month in the presence of the Cannabis Licensing Authority. This harvest will feed the stock of the store or herbhouse, the first of which opened in St Ann.

The costs associated with the development of the cafe, dispensary, and farm to date have surpassed J$76 million.

Starbucks… Brewing Opportunities For Jamaican Youth

Starbucks has a long history going back more than forty years of investing in the communities it serves worldwide by creating opportunities for young people, particularly those in underserved communities. The company plans to similarly partner with Caribbean Coffee Baristas Ltd. in Jamaica to support initiatives aimed at connecting young men and women in the community with the resources and support they need to succeed. Starbucks partners recently volunteered at the Garland Hall Memorial Children’s Home, painting and refurbishing the orphanage. The company is also looking at ways to support food donation and book and clothing drives.

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In line with its global efforts to connect youth to economic opportunities, Starbucks plans to work with the MultiCare Youth Foundation to develop a Life and Work Skills training program for local youth from disadvantaged backgrounds, with a focus on 16- to 29-year-olds who are not in school or employed. With funding from The Starbucks Foundation, the program is intended to support youth in both Montego Bay and Kingston and will include customer service skills training to ensure youth are ready to access employment in the retail, service, or hospitality industries. By working with the MultiCare Youth Foundation, Starbucks also plans to include volunteer opportunities for partners to serve as mentors to participating youth.

Starbucks has operated stores in the Caribbean since 2002 when it opened its first store in Puerto Rico’s Old San Juan. It now operates in six Caribbean markets, including the Bahamas, Aruba, Curacao, Trinidad and Tobago, and now Jamaica. For Starbucks, which first opened in 1971 in Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market, the opening in Jamaica marks its 17th market in the Latin America and Caribbean region and 76th global market.

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Starbucks opened its first store in Jamaica in late November and entered its 76th market globally, marking a historic milestone for the global coffee company’s Caribbean operations and its storied history of sourcing the highest quality coffee from the region going back more than four decades.

The new café, located at Doctor’s Cave Beach in Montego Bay, offers customers an inviting destination to relax, unwind and connect in one of the area’s most iconic neighbourhoods. Featuring custom artwork by local artist Fiona Godfrey, the store’s unique design pays tribute to Jamaica’s history and rich coffee heritage. Customers can enjoy a wide range of Starbucks beverages and food, including its signature handcrafted hot and cold espresso beverages made with 100 percent Arabica coffee. To mark this historic opening, the company is also featuring Starbucks Reserve® Jamaica Blue Mountain whole bean coffee, a long-time favourite with Starbucks customers in the U.S. and Canada.

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“As a company that has worked for many decades with Jamaica’s coffee-growing communities, we are honored to have the opportunity to work our local business partner Caribbean Coffee Baristas to open our first store in the beautiful island nation of Jamaica,” said Ricardo Rico, Starbucks general manager and vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean, who attended the opening celebrations in Montego Bay. “For Starbucks, this is an opportunity to build on more than forty years of the best in-store experience to customers around the globe that is rooted in high-quality coffee and our engaged, knowledgeable baristas. Our new Starbucks Jamaica partners (employees) are ready to welcome customers, as we mark the beginning of this exciting chapter in the Caribbean market.”

Starbucks® stores in Jamaica are operated by Caribbean Coffee Baristas Ltd., a joint venture between Ian Dear, Chief Executive Officer of leading restaurant management and franchise operator Margaritaville Caribbean Group and Adam Stewart, who is also Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sandals Resorts International. Together, they plan to open up to 15 locations in Jamaica over the next five years, with a shared commitment towards creating opportunities for Starbucks employees, delivering a unique and unmatched customer experience, and supporting the region’s coffee producers. Following Montego Bay, the company expects to open in Kingston in 2018.

“As a leading Caribbean hospitality group, our achievements have always been guided by listening, responding and delivering on our customers’ expectations,” said Dear. “Bringing Starbucks, a globally recognized and respected brand, to our Jamaican shores, is a natural progression for us. We pledge to continue providing the high standards that we and Starbucks are known for. This is another occasion for us to create fantastic opportunities, for everyone involved, and to create another global platform for our locally-grown Blue Mountain Coffee. We know that this venture will be highly successful, and we look forward to an exciting future with Starbucks.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Starbucks to Jamaica and bring the Starbucks Experience to customers on the island,” said Stewart. “Through our shared values, including our dedication to delivering the best customer experience, commitment to being an employer of choice, and operating responsibly in the communities we serve, we aim to create a truly unique coffeehouse experience here in Jamaica.”
“In addition, I believe that Starbucks, with its long-standing love of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, represents one of the greatest opportunities for the incremental growth in the export of our locally-grown coffee,” said Stewart.

Honoring Jamaica’s Rich Heritage through Coffee and Design

In celebration of Starbucks launch in the market, customers can now enjoy Starbucks Reserve® Jamaica Blue Mountain whole bean coffee – a rare and exceptional coffee grown by Amber, Clifton Mount and Wallenford Estate farms in the Blue Mountain region, and roasted exclusively at the state-of-the-art Starbucks Reserve™ Roastery in the company’s hometown of Seattle. The company also plans to source Jamaican coffee for single origin coffees and blends for its stores in other markets across Latin America, and connect agronomists and technical experts from the Starbucks Global Agronomy Center to coffee producers in Jamaica. |P

#DMWF: Three ways brands use micro influencers to increase conversions

Influencer marketing

Unless you’ve been on a sabbatical without access to the latest marketing news and trends, there’s a high chance that you’ve heard influencer marketing repeating like your favourite earworm on a hit radio channel.

Until today, the song has been telling a story about brands that use Instagram celebrities to promote their products. One or at the very most a few posts without a long-term plan and strategy – like ‘The Ketchup Song’ that brought the Spanish girl band ‘Las Ketchup’ into the spotlight for a short while, only then to disappear forever.

And most of the brands have been following the same rhythm.

That beat is about to changeRight now. Put your headphones on.

The hit song of 2018 is not about celebrities but about micro influencers; in other words, your most influential customers sharing their experiences using your products and services.

The most forward-thinking brands let these most engaged and influential customers tell their story, showcasing the brand’s products in actual use. They encourage these micro influencers to share feedback on social channels and place a call-to-action on all the marketing materials online and offline.

With social media aggregation tools like Flockler, they identify micro influencers and content is curated, categorised and displayed digitally – encouraging other customers to purchase the product too.

Sounds simple?

No? Need tips on how to engage micro influencers in creating user-generated content?

Let me throw you a few tactics that you can start using today:

  1. Contact some of your key customers and interview them about how they initially came across your product and how your product has helped to solve their problem(s). Ask them to provide images, create quotes from the interview content, and place them on your homepage and product pages.
  2. Ask your customers to share their experience with friends and mention your Facebook page, Instagram profile or Twitter account. The content gathered during the interviews will be a great example of the type and tone of content you are looking your audience to share. Trust me: if the content feels authentic, other customers will follow. Brands can’t dictate to consumers but they can set the rhythm; potentially creating a timeless tune instead of a one-hit wonder.
  3. Repost the content shared by your customers. Amplifying the content of your most engaged customers is an efficient way to increase the engagement and reach of your social channels. Buffer, a social media management tool, has been using this tactic to great success – by reposting the best user‑generated content, they increased the number of Instagram followers by 400% in one year!

For more tips on how to get started and engage your customers in creating content, check my latest blog post on how to launch an influencer marketing campaign and download Flockler’s Influencer Marketing Checklist – it guides you through the planning, implementing and measuring stages of a full influencer marketing campaign.

Three brands using micro influencers to increase conversions

GlassesUSA: Making user-generated content shoppable

GlassesUSA, a major online retailer of eyewear, has built a ‘Social shop’ highlighting images posted by happy customers worldwide. The images are tagged with related products – making it easy for customers to purchase something they like.

The Social Shop serves as an excellent example of how brands can make user-generated content shoppable. Product feedback and reviews from peers inspire other people and encourage them to buy too.

Planet Fitness: Amplifying content by the most loyal customers

At the time of decreasing reach for branded social content, what do forward-thinking brands do? They encourage their customers to share their experiences, engage with the content, and amplify it within their community.

That’s the beat Planet Fitness Community is playing! In addition to useful content created by the marketing team, Planet Fitness is actively promoting their most engaged customers on social channels. The higher engagement and visibility of this content enables Planet Fitness to reach out to a new customer base and build an engaged community. With 1400+ gyms and more than 10 million members, they are not running out of content anytime soon.

Women for Women: Driving brand awareness and donations with an engaging campaign

Are you looking to create an evergreen hit song with your influencer marketing campaign? Well, who wouldn’t?

A winning social strategy is to ask customers to share a story mentioning their loved ones or someone they think highly of. Sharing a story about someone you care about sparks the attention of your friends and increases engagement. It’s fuel for the algorithms of social media channels – the faster the engagement increases, the more visibility the post will get in our news feeds.

Women for Women take this approach with #SheInspiresMe. The campaign encourages women to share a story about someone who inspires them in their life. The high engagement around the hashtag helps Women for Women to increase brand awareness and drive donations.

Have you already created influencer marketing campaigns? Download Flockler’s Influencer Marketing Checklist – it guides you through planning, implementing and measuring your influencer marketing campaigns.

P.S. still don’t remember ‘The Ketchup Song’? Don’t worry; I had to check their YouTube video when my colleague mentioned it as one of the songs and artists that were played intensively for a short period and then disappeared.

Toni Hopponen is the CEO and Founder of Flockler – a platform helping brands to collect, analyse and display customer stories on their digital services. Find out more at www.flockler.com

Written by: Flockler