Ray Hendrickson has been using the acronym CBD to sell religious books and gifts for 40 years. But with cannabidiol products gaining global popularity, fewer customers are calling about bible verses.
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Ray Hendrickson owns an incredibly popular website, but these days, a significant number of visitors are finding themselves disappointed at the landing page. That’s because Hendrickson’s website, www.CBD.com, has nothing to do with hemp or marijuana-derived cannabidiol, and is instead a decades-old marketplace for Christian literature.
Yes, as far as the internet is concerned, Hendrickson’s company, Christian Book Distributors is the original CBD. But with cannabidiol products now taking over the health, wellness, beauty, and alternative medicine industries, the New York Times is reporting that the independent book seller has decided to permanently change the company’s name. The owner hopes to avoid further phone calls and confusion mistaking his brand for a hemp oil distributor.
“The problem is the other CBD is just so popular at this point in time that it just kind of overwhelms our brand,” Hendrickson told the Times. “A person may call up and say, ‘Hey, I’m looking for my order,’ It’s like, ‘What did you order?’ ‘Oh, I ordered gummies.’ ‘You don’t have the right company.’”
The Peabody, Massachusetts brand was started by Hendrickson and his brother in 1978, and they’ve used the CBD abbreviations for the 40 years since, building brand recognition in the Christian community and growing the company to over 600 employees. But these days, if you plug “CBD” into your favorite search engine, Christianbook’s CBD.com address is typically missing, with tech savvy hemp and cannabis companies taking those top spots.
“Our ‘CBD’ is nowhere to be found in the search results,” Hendrickson told local Massachusetts newspaper Salem News last month. “We just feel like the CBD phenomenon is going to continue to grow across the country. That’s why we wanted to get out ahead of it.”
And so after more than four decades, CBD ceded its acronym to the cannabis industry, saying goodbye to the Christian Book Distributors name once and for all. But even with the branding now changed, the company has continued to retain ownership of the CBD.com domain name, and could potentially make a pretty penny if they ever wanted to turn it over to a cannabidiol company.
“It’s been a great name for us,” Hendrickson told the Salem News. “But we just need to focus in on Christianbook, which we feel will be very identifiable to our business and our brand.”
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