The cannabis market is a crowded space, to say the least. Each sector has its fair share of players vying for their spot as a market leader. A quality line of products alone has little to no shot of surviving if it’s presented with poor branding and marketing. Quality product production is undoubtedly of the utmost concern, but so is the branding of your cannabis products.
Some tend to forget, but branding has always been important in cannabis. Even back in the illicit era, many producers and cultivators stood out using vivid, funny, or otherwise standout imagery. Some had catchy names or other puns to help keep their service fresh in customers’ minds. Today, the same end game is the plan. Except, the methods have largely changed to fit in line with modern marketing techniques, which focus on recognition, frequency, and consistency.
The industry has pivoted to a new type of strategy in recent years. Taking examples for the alcohol, beauty and various other mature verticals, today’s cannabis lines cater to a diverse, nearly all-inclusive base of consumers. In recent years, this strategy has paid off, helping many names in the space occupy dominant market shares in state-by-state circumstances, for the most part. Think Jungle Boys, Cookies, Green Dot Labs, or a host other nearly household names in the cannabis industry.
The shift in branding is only accelerating today, with many experts suggesting that now is the time to target your demographic. Many believe that brands may not be able to sustain long-term success unless they become less of a “serve-all brand”. In this theory, a brand has to choose to cater to a specific market or demographic. Some examples of this are comparing less expensive, mass produced beers to craft ones; it’s hard to be both, and many cannabis companies are finding that out now.
While the market certainly has changed over time, it has not deviated entirely from its goals. Like any other market, leaders need and want to emerge. In such a crowded space, this can’t be done without an effective branding plan that clearly outlines the company, its goals, objectives, and key indicators it intends to hit.
Various strategies exist in today’s market to stand out from the rest, but many cannabis producers are so passionate about the plant and their products that they tend to neglect their marketing. Some have gone the celebrity partnership route. Other ventures use digital means as much as they are allowed to on Google and social media, which is to say, not very much, given the legion of advertising restrictions. In some cases, local in-dispensary with supporting print campaigns have garnered brand names in their own backyard. Numerous others options exist, and there are sure to be others that haven’t reached the market just yet but will once regulations nationally start becoming more friendly to cannabis entities.
In any case, it is vital that your cannabis concentrates brand picks a cohesive marketing strategy and runs with it. Investing in a thoroughly thought out plan and executing it is essential in creating a brand, cannabis or anywhere. Make sure that your brand doesn’t fumble an otherwise brilliant business plan by skimping on branding.
Branding and Marketing Talent
Branding seems simple enough on paper, but can often prove to be a formidable, nebulous task once your business is tangled in the mire that is marketing metrics and brand consistency. For some companies, they don’t have the internal workforce or expertise to confidently perform the essential tasks that come with branding a company. It typically requires at least a full time, talented hire to begin properly executing, so if that is not in the cards for your company, there are other solutions.
Reaching out to capable hands in the space is a wise idea for many companies that need help branding their business. Whether a newly launched venture or an established company looking to turn the page, third-party experts are an excellent way to fill any gaps in your team. In doing so, your business gives itself the best footing to succeed by standing out, converting customers and obtaining repeating consumers while establishing a brand name.
Our team at Pure Cannalabs is ready to do just that for your brand. With years of experience launching and consulting ventures to success, our team can help your concentrates brand reach the top.
A branded dab tool included with some of Olio’s concentrates – an excellent way to utilize branding directly with a product
Cannabis Company Must-Have Brand Elements
Branding options are about as endless as the imagination and regulations allow. This seemingly wide-open array of options can be freeing. However, it can eventually lead to many possibilities becoming lost in the process along the way. Brands can avoid falling into such pitfalls by having a few core elements in their asset playbook. Without these, there’s no way to ensure you’re connecting with your customers in a consistent manner, nor telling your brand story in a way that is the same wherever they may encounter it.
Why is your brand here? What is the reason for your company’s being? What makes you different?
Here is where your company needs to detail its beliefs and the goals it would like to achieve. This statement will begin as an internal guiding point before often becoming a central statement to outward-facing brand efforts. A rock solid mission statement, while seemingly a small task for your web developer to check a box, is extremely important. It has been argued that people buy why you do something, not what you do, and we tend to agree. This is one of the most glossed over parts of any new brand or business. If your mission statement or raison d’etre is insubstantial, then the people who really want to know about your company will not be satisfied. A few good guidelines for writing a great cannabis business mission statement are:
- Keep it to 2 sentences or less. Someone should be able to read and digest your mission statement instantly.
- Try to avoid long, run-on sentences. Make it direct and to the point, but not vague or difficult to understand.
- Tell the reader what your business believes, and don’t rush the project. You may go through multiple iterations before you want to commit to one.
A Compelling Brand Story
A compelling brand story should tell how your cannabis concentrates brand came to be. How did the mission statement come to life? What was the driving force behind it all? Have your company’s brand story expose the audience to what you are about beyond the product. Show how it all came to fruition. Many companies can get their mission statement and brand stories confused. One easy way to differentiate them is that your mission statement is what your brand stands for, and your brand story is how your mission statement or company came to be. Take for example Papa & Barkley’s brand story, which is a perfect example of taking a genuine story which developed into one of the leading cannabis brands in California. The company was founded by Adam Grossman, who wanted to help his elderly father with a product that helped him during hospice. Many people out there can connect with that brand story, and creating a connection between the founding of your business and your customers is critical as it will inform your marketing in numerous ways.
A Defined Brand Guide
A brand guide serves as the source for all of your company’s marketing and branding information. A thorough brand guide covers colors, fonts and logos, just as it may phrasing and an overall approach to the goal of the content the brand creates. Premium design elements offer customers more than just a superb product. They also provide a brand, from story to packaging, that are just as compelling as the product in the box.
The brand guide is one of the key brand assets we find missing regularly, and as a result, many brands simply are not visually consistent across all of the channels they operate in. A great brand guide is the rosetta stone for your company’s marketing, and should include the specific colors, fonts, logo variations, and all other visual aspects of your brand in defined language. Without this, your brand will not be conveyed consistently, which is one of the most avoidable mistakes a company can make. Consistency in any brand or marketing strategy is everything, which is why the Coca Cola Company specifically designed their glass bottles in such a way to be recognized even if they were broken.
Businesses like Cookies, Jungle Boys as well as Papa & Barkley have set the bar by creating brands that transcend cannabis with vivid imagery and instantly recognizable logos. Even without trying their products, people often want to endorse and wear their gear. Each company’s use of beautiful packaging and high-quality aesthetics come from its brand guide as the steering force behind team creativity.
A Consistent Logo
This might seem like a given, but it’s incredible how infrequently this is implemented in the cannabis branding space. A consistent, standardized logo is crucial in establishing the look and feel of your cannabis brand. Often, your logo will have a few different iterations depending on context, including a dark version and a light version to fit the design application. The logo helps make the difference in getting someone to try your product for the first time. Having a well thought out logo can serve as the introduction sign a customer is looking for in a sea of unfamiliar products. Use an image that stands out and establishes the right message to your target audience. While developing or redesigning your company logo might seem like an extremely difficult task, by getting expert help you can create a brand mark that truly resonates with your target customers. This is one part of the process that you should not skimp on or otherwise rush through.
Ready to Brand Your Business?
Our team of experts at Pure Cannalabs are well-versed in helping brands establish themselves. Our team can help your concentrates venture navigate the hurdles and earn a major segment of the market for yourself, with the massive cost that a typical agency would charge for similar services. From designing beautiful and compliant packaging, to crafting a mission statement that stands the test of time, or developing a logo that’ll standout among the players, we’re ready and able to help with just about anything.