As a cannabis marketing agency, Cannabis Creative has been recognized in the industry for the brands we build. From local small businesses to national, multi-state operator brands and everything in between, our approach is all about creating emotional engagement between consumers and brands.
In fact, our strategists are extremely intentional about every step of this process because brand-building is the foundation of a business that can outperform its competitors. When we build a cannabis brand from scratch, there are two major components we focus on: the tangible and the intangible.
The tangible brand is made up of the elements of a brand that you can see, touch, and feel; it’s on the packaging, in the store, and splashed across digital marketing channels.
The intangible brand is what allows the tangible brand to be a cohesive experience and includes elements such as the mission statement, brand story, core values, and so on.
In tandem, these two elements of the brand craft a distinct experience and emotion for the consumer. Therefore, carefully crafting a brand strategy for your cannabis business is essential to standing out from the crowd, especially in such a saturated market.
If you’re thinking about building a new cannabis or revamping your current one, here’s our three-step process for building a cannabis brand from scratch:
Step 1. Niche down
One of the biggest mistakes we see many clients make is that they are trying to please everyone. The reality is you cannot sell to every type of buyer. No matter how welcoming you want your cannabis business to be, you should not be catering to every demographic, life stage, etc. Doing so will only make you background noise in the industry.
The key is to niche down, also known as picking a specialty.
For instance, a brand for people who want to move away from alcohol (Cann) and a brand for athletes that want to recover in more effective ways (Summaforte) is going to look very different than a brand that wants to provide cannabis to everyone.
With a more specialized focus, these brands will be able to further resonate with and build loyalty amongst their consumers. In other words, niching down helps determine who you are creating your brand for and what larger vision they need to be in alignment with.
Think about your target audience and why you are uniquely equipped to take care of them. Some questions you could ask yourself while niching down include:
- Who can you create the most impact for?
- What are you and your team passionate about?
- Who is not currently being served by the market?
Step 2. Identify your mission and core values
Once you know who you’re serving and why, you can go through the steps to define your purpose or mission statement, and core values. This part of your cannabis brand strategy shapes company culture, influences decisions, and ultimately guides your customers in their interactions with your brand.
Think of these as the drivers of your entire brand. What will always remain important to you no matter how your business evolves? Maybe it’s sustainability, maybe it’s exceeding industry standards, maybe it’s diversity and inclusion, maybe it’s destigmatizing cannabis – and so on.
While you’re thinking about core values, it’s also important to consider exactly how mission-forward you want to be as a company. As younger, more digitally connected consumers enter the market, conscious or mindful consumerism is on the rise.
It’s been well documented and observed that today’s consumers (especially Gen Z) demand high-quality, sustainable, and ethically-sourced products and solutions. They have strong moral principles and do more than their due diligence on a company’s values and practices before making a purchase decision.
Charitable causes, community enrichment, sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and more are all possible ways to strengthen your brand and connect with your target audience. As an added bonus, it builds phenomenal company culture and usually makes your business much more fulfilling to run and/or be a part of.
Ask yourself, is it enough to comply with state-mandated “positive impact plans” or is it an opportunity to exceed those requirements and create meaningful, long-lasting change in the industry or beyond?
Should you choose to incorporate a pillar or core value in your brand around a social cause you care about, be sure to embed that message in everything you do as an organization.
Step 3. Craft a brand story
To stand out in a saturated market for the right reasons, you want to focus your attention on becoming a really powerful, impactful brand. Doing so means you have to tell a story that people care about.
Consumers nowadays want to connect with brands on things they also care about. Even if you come up with something generic, your customers will see right through it. In other words, authenticity is key.
Sit down with your team and figure out what it is that is driving you to work day and night on this brand. Combine your niche, target audience, mission, and core values into a compelling story. That will serve as the story that customers can connect to and resonate with – and help you stand out from the crowd.
Craft your cannabis brand with Cannabis Creative
With nearly a decade of digital marketing experience and specialized industry knowledge, our team at Cannabis Creative is uniquely equipped to help build your cannabis brand from scratch. We’ve worked with brands all over the United States (and beyond!) with our data-driven marketing strategies.
As cannabis marketing professionals, we’re able to help you from start to finish with Brand Identity, Print & Packaging Design, Website Design & Development, Digital Advertising, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing, Email & SMS Marketing, Photography & Videography, and more.
Whether you’re looking to start a new brand or refresh an existing one, let our team help. Contact us to work with us and craft a cannabis brand that will stand out from the crowd.