Branding is a crucial aspect of any business. It gives companies a way of distinguishing themselves from their competitors while enabling them to build trust and recognition with their customer base and target market.
With that being said, let’s take a look at ten simple steps cannabis companies can take to define their brand in this rapidly expanding market.
Think of Brand Identity
A company’s brand identity reveals how it wants consumers to perceive it. This is a collection of all the elements a company portrays, such as its name, logo, packaging, colors, and so on.
As a cannabis company, it’s important to make your brand stand out amongst the rest, so make sure you have your brand identity in mind with every key business decision you make. If you’re trying to market yourself as “high end,” then your brand identity needs to reflect that.
Understand Your Niche
The marijuana industry in the USA is huge, and it’s growing bigger each year. The legalized U.S.cannabis industry hit $13.6 billion in sales in 2019 and is projected to reach the dizzy heights of around $17 billion in 2020.
If you want to capture a part of this market, you need to understand what your particular niche is and brand yourself accordingly. Do you have a vegan/organic product? If so, you would almost certainly benefit from positioning yourself as a specialist vegan cannabis company with the help of your brand identity.
The same can be said for companies that work with doctors and pharmaceutical companies for the medical side of the industry, dispensaries for the recreational side, and marijuana cultivators.
Convey Company Values
Great companies aren’t just about sales and their bottom line. They have core values and beliefs that stand for something. Once you have defined what these core values are, your company must perpetuate this throughout its actions.
A good example would be Apple and their core values of simplicity and continuous innovation. If your cannabis company is focusing on selling sustainable, eco-friendly, grown cannabis, then it should be conveying this message across as all channels.
Medical vs. Recreational
The approach to branding between medical and recreational is like chalk and cheese. Both are distinct and required a different approach to be successful. Consider which of these two markets you are positioned and develop your brand accordingly.
Choose Brand Colors & Typography Wisely
Colors and typography are two powerful and often understated aspects of branding. They’re both forms of non-verbal messaging that you are sending about your brand to your customers.
Select your typography and color wisely. Try to make them fit soundly with the message and values you are trying to portray with your brand. As you would expect, the vast majority of cannabis brands use a green color scheme, which presents an opportunity to stand out from the opposition with some creative banding.
Packaging is Crucial
The packaging of your cannabis product is an essential part of your company branding. Your packaging gives you a great chance to implement your company values and brand identity into the design, as well as your logo and desired message that comes with the product.
This is one of the most important aspects of branding as it needs to convey the right message while still pragmatically serving its function. Develop your own custom marijuana packaging that looks the part while serving its function, and you’re on to a winner.
Think Digital & Social
It could be argued that your company’s online image is just as important as its physical image. Your brand should extend across all the main social media platforms and form a cohesive image with the rest of your branding. This includes your website and email correspondence too. Spice it up with some original cannabis web design ideas.
This is especially important considering that cannabis businesses often face more challenges in social platforms due to cannabis still being controversial and restricted content on many platforms.
Understand Your Target Audience & Their Expectations
- Who is your perfect customer?
- What would their interests be
- What would they like to see from the cannabis products that they buy?
Far too often, companies develop a product and then try to find the customer second. Sometimes it pays to start with the customer in mind and work backward. Figure out your ideal buyers’ persona and position a develop a brand that appeals to them
The cannabis industry is competitive and fast-paced. If you want to keep you, then you need to conduct a competitor analysis to see where your competitors are. Study what you think they are doing well, and try to highlight some things that they could work on.
If you can develop an objective understanding of where your brand is compared to your competitors, then it will help you make better decisions and potentially achieve a competitive advantage.
Give Your Brand a Personality
Very few cannabis bands have reached the stage where they have mastered the art of true cohesive brand design across all their platforms. If you really want to stand out, then give your brand some personality. Give it some character, maybe even make it slightly controversial if you can manage to pull it off in a tasteful manner.
Whatever it is, integrate this personality into the fabric of your brand – your logo, tagline, company values, marketing, packaging, and everything else in between.
If you follow these ten simple steps when developing your cannabis brand, you’ll be well on your way to set yourself apart from your competitors. Remember, branding is a potent tool, but only when its implemented correctly.
Consider your values carefully and have your target audience in mind with every decision that you make.