The cannabis industry is projected to be a $50 billion market by 2026, making it an incredibly lucrative space in which to do business. What's more, as states legalize marijuana for both medicinal and recreational use, the industry is only expected to continue to grow. All of this interest has generated excitement among marijuana entrepreneurs and investors alike.
But it's important to remember that the cannabis industry is still in its early stages, and there are plenty of risks involved. It also means that businesses that want to stand out in such a fast-growing industry need to hone their brand identity from the outset.
If you're looking to create a successful and sustainable cannabis brand, then it's important to keep the following tips in mind.
Understand The Components Of A Strong Brand
For as much as we talk about the importance of branding, the truth is that many business owners don't take the time to think about what branding is, or what it's meant to accomplish. Knowing that branding is important and understanding why are two different things. So let's take a moment to analyze what all goes into developing a brand.
Your brand consists of the following:
Your company's name
Your company's logo
Your company's colors
Your company's typeface or font
The tone of your marketing materials
Your website design
The way your office looks and feels
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to what makes a strong brand, but there are some essential components that all brands should have in order to be successful. A strong brand has a clear and consistent message, it is easily recognizable, and it resonates with its target audience.
Your brand should also be authentic and true to itself. Consumers are more likely to trust brands that are genuine and honest, and they will be less likely to forgive mistakes made by companies that try to be something they’re not.
Finally, a strong brand is always evolving. It continuously grows and changes to remain relevant and interesting to customers.If you want your brand to be strong, you need to make sure it evolves along with customer needs and desires. Change isn't always easy, but it's necessary for brands that want to stay on top.
Research The Competition
When starting a cannabis company, it’s important to do your research and understand the competition. What do they offer? What are their prices? How do they market their products? What are the strong points of their brand?
Once you have a good understanding of the competition, you can start to create your own brand strategy. What makes your company different? Why should people choose your products over the competition? How will you reach your target audience?
These last two questions are essential (and we'll go into them more below). But the main takeaway from all your research into your competition should be to set you on a path toward creating something unique. You want your brand to be a breath of fresh air, so to speak. Avoid what everyone else is doing in the cannabis space, and instead take inspiration from other markets.
Creating a strong cannabis brand takes time and effort, but doing your homework upfront will help set you up for success.
Determine Your Value Proposition
When starting a cannabis company, one of the most important things you will need to do is identify your company’s value proposition. What makes your company different from all the others? Why should people do business with you instead of someone else?
Your company’s value proposition should be clear and concise, and it should be something that you can consistently promote across all aspects of your branding. It should be at the core of everything you do, from your marketing to your customer service.
I can't emphasize enough how important this is. Your company’s value proposition is what differentiates you from your competitors, and it should be something that your customers can see and understand. It should be something that makes them want to do business with you.
If you can’t articulate your company’s value proposition, then you need to work on it until you can. This is one of the most important aspects of branding, and it’s essential that you get it right.
Target The Right Market For Your Cannabis Products
When it comes to cannabis branding, it’s important to target the right audience. Just like any other product, you need to identify your ideal customer and figure out how to reach them.
There are a few different ways to target cannabis consumers. You can target people based on their age, location, or interests. For example, you could target millennials in California who are interested in healthy living. The more detailed you can be about who your prospective clients are, the better.
Once you’ve targeted your audience, you need to create content that appeals to them. This content can be in the form of blog posts, social media posts, or even podcasts. Make sure that you focus on the needs and interests of your audience, and not on what you think they should be interested in. One of the biggest mistakes we see businesses make when marketing themselves is focusing on what they want their customers to know, instead of figuring out what they are actually interested in seeing, reading, hearing, and consuming.
Finally, when it comes to creating on-brand content, don’t be afraid to be yourself. Be authentic and honest, and your audience will appreciate it.
Identify What Makes The Cannabis Industry Unique
Everything we've talked about to this point has been general advice that applies to every industry. But the cannabis industry is unique, and you should have a good feel for that before you start the branding process. One key distinction is that cannabis is still federally illegal in the United States. That creates all sorts of unique challenges and opportunities for businesses in the space.
Another distinguishing factor is that customer demographics for cannabis products are extremely diverse. The market ranges from young people who are using it for recreational purposes to senior citizens who are using it to relieve arthritis pain. Figure out where your brand fits on this extremely broad spectrum.
Brands that are successful in the cannabis industry will need to be able to appeal to a wide range of customers. They'll also need to be able to navigate the complex legal landscape and stay up-to-date with changing regulations. You'll also have to understand that there's still a serious stigma for a lot of people around the use of cannabis.
Of course, there's also a lot of curiosity about cannabis, CBD, and hemp, and what it can do for consumers both from a recreational and a medical perspective. We're seeing brands that lean into educating their consumers are gaining a major advantage over those that don't.
Design An Eye-Catching Logo
Logos are often the first thing people see when they encounter a brand. They are also one of the most important aspects of branding, as they help to create an identity for a company or product. In order to create an effective logo, it is important to keep a few things in mind.
First, a logo should be simple and easy to remember. It should also be versatile enough to be used in a variety of mediums, from print to digital. Additionally, it is important to make sure that the logo is unique and reflects the values of the company.
From the moment you decide you want to start a cannabis business, you need to be willing to invest in a great logo. I hear from potential clients all the time that balk at our prices. I hear some variation of "I can go online and get a logo made for $50." That may be true, but then you'll be stuck with a 50-dollar logo.
There's a lot that goes into making a professional logo to ensure it resonates with your target audience and will stand the test of time. First, it's important to consider your company's values and what you want your logo to communicate. Next, consider typography, layout, and color choice. Finally, make sure to get feedback from peers and test how well the logo performs in different mediums.
A thorough logo design process will consider all of the above. At The Hood Collective, we take the time to research your niche, develop multiple concepts, and work with you at every step to ensure that you will fall in love with the finished product.
Develop A Unique Brand Identity + Voice
When starting a cannabis business, creating a brand identity and voice for your company is essential to standing out from the competition. It can be one of the most challenging aspects of marketing, but it’s also one of the most important. A strong brand identity will help you connect with your target audience, and create loyalty among customers.
Your brand identity should be unique and reflect the values and mission of your company. So what exactly do we mean by brand voice? Your brand voice is the way you communicate with your audience. Some companies choose to be humorous and lighthearted, while others take a more serious tone. It’s important to find the right voice for your company and stick to it. Consistency is key when it comes to branding (See Below).
One example of a brand with a clear and effective voice is Nike. Nike’s voice is confident and inspiring, with a message that encourages people to push themselves and achieve their goals. Their ads and marketing materials often feature athletes who have overcome challenges, showing that with hard work and perseverance, anything is possible. This message resonates with consumers, who aspire to be like the successful athletes that Nike promotes.
Another example of brand voice in action is Coca-Cola’s “Taste the Feeling” campaign. Coca-Cola has a long history of advertising slogans, such as “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” and “It’s the real thing.” In recent years, the company has shifted to using more emotional brand voice in its marketing.
The “Taste the Feeling” campaign features a series of short videos in which people from all over the world share their positive experiences with Coca-Cola. The videos are filmed in a cinematic style, with emotionally charged music playing in the background. The overall effect is that Coca-Cola wants you to feel the positive emotions that come with drinking its products. This type of brand voice is very effective at creating an emotional connection with consumers.
Your cannabis company may not have millions of dollars to invest in marketing like Nike and Coke, but the good news is creating a brand voice doesn't need to be expensive. You just need to take the time to figure out what you want your brand to be, and then be consistent in sharing that message with your audience.
Be Consistent In Your Messaging
Consistent messaging is key for a successful cannabis brand. It’s important to be clear about what your brand represents and to stick to your core values. You also need to make sure that your branding is on point across all channels, from your website to your social media profiles.
If a cannabis brand can develop a strong message and stick to it, it will be much more successful in the long run. It’s also important to be open to feedback from customers and to make changes based on that feedback.
Unfortunately, too many companies take a Frankenstein approach to their marketing, without taking the time to come up with a cohesive strategy. This kind of scattershot marketing makes it extremely difficult to remain consistent and stay on brand. That's why you should consider partnering with a cannabis marketing and branding agency that can help you at every stage of the marketing process.
Cannabis Branding From The Hood Collective
Cannabis is becoming a legal commodity in more and more states, and as the industry grows, so does the demand for quality branding. If you want to create a successful cannabis brand, you need to make a significant investment of time and money.
To save both and get more effective results, partner with The Hood Collective to get started. We are experts in branding, logo design, and content marketing for the cannabis industry. Our branding and graphic design experts are eager to help.
Get in touch today to schedule a free consultation.