Are you looking to build a successful cannabis brand, but seem to be lost? Creating successful branding and design is part of the process for every company. However, many in the cannabis industry only rely on supply-and-demand to make their sales. Think about this: would you rather buy Coors Lite or a good craft beer with an eye-catching label or bottle? Even if your dad may enjoy a cold Coors while watching a game, the truth is, you and your friends are more likely to go for something new. Why? It’s just human nature. For example, we all want the new iPhone, even though ours works perfectly fine, right? Novelty, combined with perceived experiences, will sell your product. As the legalization of recreational cannabis grows, so do the creative entrepreneurs that run the show. If you want to be an industry leader, then you have to combine innovative marijuana branding with customer loyalty.
The fact is the brands that sprout up first, gain control over the market quickly. Remember, what may have worked the first couple years will not work the third year. Focus on consistent, strategic marketing and campaigning for your cannabis brand, and good things will grow in the environment you’ve created. So, where do you go from here? We thought we’d let you in on some secrets from industry leaders, so you have all the tools you need to continue to compete with them.
1. Make A Conscious Effort in Branding
Like we said before, branding is everything. Sure, you’ll have some customers just because you’re close to their home, or because you just plain sell marijuana. However, by just sitting back and letting the customers come to you, you will never be a leading competitor in the industry, and may not even be successful.
Creating a logo is great, but successful cannabis branding is so much more than that. You must create a brand which evokes emotion in consumers; a brand that’s as sticky as the products you sell. When they hear your brand’s name, you want beautiful imagery coming to mind, and their mouths to begin watering. Create a robust cannabis brand, ensuring all social media, and marketing is consistent. Using the same brand image on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc., not to mention the quality and consistency of your customer service, sales team, website, and products. Why? Consumers need consistency. Apple never uses a strawberry to market their products because it is confusing and misaligned with what they’ve shown their consumers. It’s all about loyalty and consistency without unwelcome surprises. For example, check out one of our most recent case studies Rebel Spirit Cannabis
2. Understand Your Audience
A common mistake when developing a cannabis brand is to play to the likes of management teams, rather than to their target markets. You may like black-and-white graphics, but that may not catch the eyes of your consumer base. The goal is to determine the age bracket (ideally within a 15-year span), what your customers are looking for, what your brand promise is, and what makes it unique. For example, if your consumer base is made up of 55 to 70 year-olds looking to purchase marijuana for medical purposes, you’re not going to want to use the same bright imagery or innovation in packaging that you would with younger, recreational consumers. In contrast, if your consumers are younger and impressionable, take the time to develop packaging and marketing in a way that will deliver your brand message in a fresh and entertaining way.
Now that marijuana has become legalized, you have the opportunity to market it to mainstream audiences. If you want the brand to be more streamlined and sophisticated, avoid using slang terms associated with old-school “stoner” culture, and instead use “cannabis” in marketing. Swap out the psychedelic colors for white space and cool blues and grays.
3. Be Aware of Local Regulations
If you want to prevent future legal issues, you must understand local laws before marketing. Every state and county have different rules that could cause your business problems if not followed. Avoid making any safety, health claims, or medical benefits with your product. While research has shown many benefits of marijuana, the industry is encouraging there to be additional research conducted. Avoid making any claims about the advantages or safeness of your product, bottom line. Also make sure that you keep up on rules like packaging regulations, as they change frequently and can present unprecedented challenges if you’re not up-to-date.
Use by Minors
Diversion to Other States
Crime, Violence, and Guns
Images provided by Third Way
4. Hire a Pro
If you don’t feel you have the ability to create compelling marketing or designs that will stand out from the crowd, you may want to consider hiring someone who does it for a living. The benefits you receive from quality cannabis branding will more than pay for it. Take the time to sit down with your team to map out a strategy. Remember when you did those “five-year plans” in high school? Do it again, but this time with a lot more enthusiasm!
Designing the creative elements is fun, but you need to ensure your cannabis brand uniquely identifies itself, demonstrates your brand’s mission, as well as stays consistent throughout every platform of social media and marketing materials. Believe it or not, branding done correctly can lead to a remarkable growth in sales. The fact that there are so many cannabis brands out there that haven’t taken the time to do this is an advantage to you.