MARIJUANA BRANDING: SAY NO TO POT LEAFS IN YOUR LOGO!
Flashback a little over ten years ago and consider the state of the cannabis industry. At this time, there were 11 states that had legalized medical cannabis, but the federal government upheld their power to prohibit it at the national level. As would anyone passionate about their cause, cannabis advocates everywhere refused to step down. Instead, they rallied with depictions of their prized leaf, fighting for legal use with no concern for marijuana branding. Now fast forward to the present day where 25 states have legalized marijuana in some form. Medical Marijuana Inc. identifies the cannabis industry as the fastest growing industry in the United States, with a market worth expected to triple by the year 2020.
USPTO records show that the first U.S. marijuana leaf logo trademark was filed in 2004, and the years since have seen an explosion in the symbols. By 2015, more than 1 in 500 new U.S. logos featured a cannabis leaf.
It can be hard to keep up with an industry that’s growing at this rate, especially with the rise of branded products. Brightfield Group found there to be over 645 brands of cannabis products in Washington state alone, and that is just one of those 25 states who have legalized. Amidst all these options, how does one decide which to buy? When the industry first started, it seemed like nobody paid any attention to branding. They grew their flower, extracted their oils, and baked their edibles, then packaged the product in bags with a label displaying the iconic leaf and their canna-brand name.
Everyone was so excited to buy some legal weed that they didn’t care what the packaging looked like. But now that the industry has matured and the novelty has worn off, people aren’t just out to purchase any weed they can anymore. They’re allowed to be picky and have preferences, and they have a wide selection to do some from. Looking at a shelf of black and green bags all stamped with a cannabis leaf can be daunting. When buying cannabis, users want to be confident that they’re going to enjoy their experience. As with most purchases, they’ve come to either buy the recommended name or to choose a product based on the packaging in which it is presented to them in.
Packaging is one of the most valuable ways in which a company can market their product. Consumers are attracted to packaging that makes them feel good and that fits well into the lifestyle that they identify with. The most sought after products are the ones who conquer the cliques of their industry and distinguish themselves in some way. Your logo doesn’t need to be a depiction of your product and your packaging doesn’t have to fit the pattern set by pioneers of the industry. Instead, you should consider unique ways to capture the attention of your audience.