The legalization of cannabis now presents naming and branding challenges as well as opportunities for the businesses that sell it. Ramping up production, navigating regulations and managing overhead are huge tasks for any company. In the rush to get into a new market, many people lose sight of an equally important part of their business– their brand.
Here are a few tips to launching a cannabis brand:
The stigma of partaking in recreational cannabis is quickly fading away allowing everyone – from mom's in minivans to vets with PTSD to CEOs – to enjoy it's endless benefits. The key is to make sure you identify what audience you are courting and be sure to speak their visual and verbal language.
You can't be everything to everyone. You will have more success tackling a narrow audience first. Once you have established success with that group, you can then layer on secondary audiences by tailing your messaging to those specific groups.
Take away: Be specific about who you plan to market to at each stage.
A strong brand is clearly differentiated by a unique story. Your brand story is your north star. Even if a consumer never digests your story in full, you and your team will use it to guide any strategy, design and messaging decisions. This allows you to ensure your brand is succinct and never veers off course.
A good story will establish an emotional connection with your customers, latch on to their subconscious and lead to repeat purchases. Crafting your north star is a difficult task, but will be your foundation for on-going success.
Take away: Leverage brand strategy experts to help you refine your story.
Packaging is an essential piece of marketing. In many cases, it is the last "ad" a person will see for the product before they decide which product to buy. Even for highly rational people, there is always an emotional aspect to buying something that most people are not consciously aware of. Packaging designers, on the other hand, are well aware of this propensity to make emotionally-driven buying decisions and leverage it to craft effective design that compels a consumer to buy.
Packaging design is an area that you have to nail to hit the big numbers. And with the increasing competition in the cannabis industry, your packaging matters more than ever. The days of the one-note stoner aesthetic are over making way for mainstream appeal.
Take away: Hire a experienced packaging designer.
Whether it be distribution, legal representation or brand strategy, you're success rides on your partnerships. Strategic business partnerships allow businesses the opportunity to grow their customer base and improve their business.
But gaining new customers is only one of many reasons for forming partnerships. A partnership could mean your business will have access to new products, reach a new market, block a competitor (through an exclusive contract) or increase customer loyalty.
Take away: Use partnerships to strengthen weak aspects of your business.
To accelerate the time it takes to transform your vision into reality and to make sure it's executed at the highest level, you need to lean on experts. It seems like more and more self-proclaimed experts are popping up every day. Make sure you identify who is truly an expert in an given field. Here's a few tips you can use to find the good eggs:
Take away: Don't try to do it all. Lean on the experts propel you forward.
rumble is a multi-discipline creative agency at the forefront of the cannabis movement. We have decades of experience working with loved, mainstream brands and we’re applying our expertise to cannabis, resulting in elevated brand experiences that woo consumers.