If you’re running your own business, you’ve likely put some thought into your company’s brand, even if you haven’t realized yet. Branding is an integral part of any business with cannabusiness being no exception. However, like so many aspects of the marijuana industry, cannabis branding is more challenging than branding for more established, federally-accepted enterprises. While 62% of American’s approve of legalizing cannabis, it’s still a much more controversial commodity than hand soap or toilet paper. Branding your cannabis business is going to take some effort, but it’s still something that must be done. And trust us, your competitors are doing it too.
Finding the Emotional Core of Your Business
All of the time, energy and thought you’ve put into your cannabusiness needs to be focused. Branding gives you the opportunity to organize and focus your vision while also finding the emotional essence at the heart of your business. It’s the spirit of your company, clearly defined. A great method of getting to the emotional core of your brand is by recounting the story of your business. Go back to the very beginning. Ask yourself the “who”, “what”, “where”, “when” and “why” to find that emotional point. This not only develops interest in your brand, but also identifies the parts of it that are relatable.
Using Customer History to Clarify Your Cannabis Branding
One of the immediate benefits of developing your cannabis branding is improved focus. It’s a great opportunity to really analyze your customers and their needs. Have you ever stopped to analyze your target audience? If not, we hope you’ve been keeping detailed records of your transactions. Sales records reveal consumer trends that can really help you connect the dots with your cannabis branding. Look at what your customers are buying, but also look at when they’re buying. The results can be eye opening.
Creating Your Cannabis Logo
You can choose from a variety of methods to execute your cannabis branding. One of the most important methods is logo development. Drafting a logo that’s representative of your company’s essence is integral. If you’re struggling to develop a logo, you may want to employ the creative minds of a branding service that specializes in the cannabis industry. Many services can offer custom branded packaging solutions as well. You can also look at the logos of industry success stories to get ideas, but ultimately your logo needs to reflect your company’s unique essence. In other words, you don’t want to just copy the concepts of a competitor’s logo. Their logo tells their story. You need your logo to tell your story.
Some tips for developing an outstanding logo include:
- Use complimentary colors that reflect the aesthetic of your brand
- Keep it simple
- Opt for timeless instead of trendy
- Imagery should be simple and easily recognizable
- Use custom fonts
- Take advantage of symmetry
- Avoid stereotyping (ie. stoner imagery)
- Create a sense of motion
- Work with negative space
It would be nearly impossible to include every one of the above points in your logo, but even if you can execute one or two of these points artfully, you’ll be looking good.
Tying Everything Together with a Style Guide
Once you have your logo designed, you can start to develop a style guide. A style guide is a crucial tool in connecting your branding to your marketing campaigns. This is how you’ll reinforce your brand. Recurring themes, images, colors, fonts, language, hashtags, and even staff behavior can create a customer experience that builds your brand. The presentation of your promotions is likely to vary across different media and platforms, but a style guide can help you to remain on target with clear, unique branding that ties everything together nicely.
Using Your Voice to Spread Your Brand
Now that you have your style guide, you can reinforce your cannabis branding by creating your voice. Social media is an excellent tool for strengthening the voice of your branding, but a lot of platforms aren’t very friendly to cannabis companies. Therefore, you’ll have to be smart and somewhat cautious when using social media to get your brand in the public eye. Normal avenues of brand building, such as Facebook ads, may not be approved due to the federal stance on cannabis. But you can still get creative with hashtags on Instagram, film YouTube content, start a blog on your website, stay active and engaging on Twitter, or even use LinkedIn to build your network. No matter what options you choose, keep your style guide handy. You need to not only look like your brand… you need to speak it.
While cannabis branding can be more challenging than developing branding in other industries, it’s a necessary step. There are a lot of people jumping head first into the cannabis industry, so developing a strong brand is vital to making your business stand out in the crowd of competition. Rest assured, your competitors are developing their own branding. Try to have fun with it. This is your story and it deserves your passion.