Should You Rebrand Your Cannabis Company?

Everyone needs a fresh start once in a while, including your cannabis brand! Sometimes rebranding is precisely the thing your company needs to get a brand new lease on life, as long as the timing is right. So when should you start thinking about rebranding your cannabis company? Here are seven signs it’s time to evolve.

Seven Signs It’s Time to Rebrand Your Cannabis Company

1. The Market Has Changed

There’s only one constant in the universe, and it’s that everything changes. This is especially true in the cannabis industry, where rules and regulations are constantly being changed. Maybe your market has gone from purely medicinal to adult-use. Perhaps the local city council has altered cannabis zoning laws. Or maybe consumer preferences have merely changed. Regardless of the reasons, the cannabis industry is fast moving and still taking shape; which means that you need to keep your brand flexible and capable of changing as well.

2. Your Company Has Drifted Away From Its Original Purpose

Another sign that you need to rebrand your company is if you have drifted away from your company’s original purpose. Countless companies throughout history have started off selling one product, only to realize that they were more successful selling something else. A great example of this can be found in the company Avon. More than a century ago, David H. McConnell founded Avon with the intention of selling books door-to-door.

In order to help boost his sales, McConnell started offering perfume samples along with his products in hopes of attracting female consumers. Before long, he realized that the perfume samples were actually more popular, so he pivoted the business from selling books to selling beauty products. Similarly, if you notice that your cannabis business no longer fits into its original purpose, then it may be time to take a step to realign your branding to match what you’re best at.

3. You Want to Capture a New Audience

When you first start your business and go through the branding process, much of the groundwork that you lay down will be aspirational. You may think that you want to sell your cannabis products to skateboarding millennials, but as time goes on you might realize that this might not be the best demographic or maybe you simply see a new opportunity that you want to seize upon. A strange, but still successful, example of this can be found in Marlboro Cigarettes.

A long time ago, Marlboro was considered a women’s brand because they sold filtered cigarettes. Once studies came out that said that filtered cigarettes were “healthier” than non-filtered cigarettes, Marlboro seized upon the opportunity, rolled out their famous Marlboro Man campaign, and the rest is history. Regardless of your reasons, if you’re looking to appeal to a new target demographic, then it might be time to think about rebranding. No two people are entirely alike, and similarly neither are target audiences. Even if you love your old brand, capturing new audiences will require you to think about your brand differently.

4. You Want to Put All of Your Brands Under One Label

As the cannabis industry matures, market consolidation becomes an ever-increasing fact of life. Big brands gobble up smaller brands, and sometimes smaller brands band together to become a bigger brand. Regardless of how it happens, if you have a lot of cannabis brands under one roof, it may be time to think about organizing all of your different brands into one singular entity.

By organizing all of your brands under one roof, you can not only help make the company more recognizable, but you can also save costs by streamlining production costs as well. For example, in the early 90s, Colgate-Palmolive saved $20 million a year by eliminating a quarter of their owned brands. Now you may not end up banking an extra $20 million a year, but you will start to see greater efficiencies by consolidating all of your brands under one cohesive identity.

5. Your current brand has a negative identity

In this ever-increasingly digital age, bad news can spread fast. One moment you’re the world’s most trusted cannabis brand, and then suddenly you’re the second coming of Henry Anslinger. If your company’s brand image is in the doghouse, then you will definitely want to consider undergoing a rebrand. One of the great things about the age of the internet is that while people are quick to anger, they are also quick to forget. A rebrand may be just the thing you need to wipe the slate clean and start all over again.

Naturally, this will depend on the severity of your brand’s negative image. If people just don’t like your brand, then it may be as simple changing your logo and reworking how you market the brand. However, if your brand has some seriously heavy baggage, like pending criminal charges against former employees or something equally as scandalous, then you will have to do a top to bottom rebrand. Yes, people do forget, but if you go about your rebrand in a sloppy or insincere manner, then you will only aggravate the issue.

6. Your Brand is Indistinguishable from Your Competitors

Do you remember that CGI ant movie from the late 90s? How about the movie where an asteroid is coming to destroy the Earth? If you find yourself thinking about several different movies at the same time, then you probably have an idea of where this is all going. Different people often have the same idea. As smart and original as you are, there’s a good chance that there’s someone equally as intelligent and innovative as you are that just came up with the exact same idea as you.

If your brand is having a hard time distinguishing itself from your competitors, then it is high time for a rebrand. Lean into what makes your company different from those around you and build your new brand around it. By making your brand distinct once again, you almost instantly become more visible to consumers; who often have trouble differentiating from all of the cannabis brands out there.

7. Your Branding is Outdated

You cannot stop the march of time. Ten years ago, you may have had the hottest cannabis brand out there. But if you haven’t done much with it since then, it might be time for a change. That is not to say that there is something necessarily wrong with your brand, but rather that nothing lasts forever. If you want to keep your brand relevant, then a little rebranding will go a long way. Take the company Old Spice for example.

A little more than a decade ago, Old Spice was a brand that was brand more closely associated with your grandfather than anything else. But then in 2010, Old Spice launched an aggressive television and social media campaign featuring former NFL player Isiah Mustafa and everything changed. Now instead of associating Old Spice with your grandfather, you think off all the zany commercials they’ve put out in the last decade; like a screaming Terry Crews playing the drums with his muscles. If Old Spice can go from grandpas to millennials, then you too can breathe new life into your brand.

By going through the rebranding process, you can help give your brand a new lease on life and capture new audiences that you never thought possible. If you found yourself identifying with any of the above points, then it may be time to think about rebranding your cannabis company; and that’s ok. Everyone needs a refresher now and then, even your cannabis brand.

Let’s Make Some Work


Kait Heacock

Kait Heacock is a writer living in Seattle. Her nonfiction has appeared in Crab Creek Review, DAME, Largehearted Boy, Literary Hub, The Millions, The Women’s Review of Books, and The Washington Post. Her debut short story collection, Siblings and Other Disappointments, is available now. She smokes sativa and dances to Sleater-Kinney records before sitting down to write.