After completing the logistics necessary to get your company licensed and up to speed with the many cannabis regulations, you’ll want to spark a fire under your business by developing a fitting brand.
Unlike the dirty work of applications and business plans, this process should be fun. It’s a chance for your team to breathe life into your business through cannabis branding. This step will help you win over future customers and turn them into coveted evangelists.
If you’ve put in the nugs, sweat and tears to get this far, we’re sure you’re passionate about the market you’re getting into. Lucky for you, your customers will be too. This mutual love for all things cannabis will make the process of developing your brand and its personality that much easier.
1. Create a Dank Brand Identity
Your brand identity is the part of your business that sets you and your work apart from competitors. In the emerging market of marijuana-related businesses, you can expect that the number of competitors will continue to grow as weed becomes decriminalized and eventually legalized for recreational use.
This is why it’s important that your business, that is already grinding and ahead of the game, develops a brand identity to help it stand out and become a trusted source for the green for years to come.
Before your business emerges onto the scene, you’ll want to put in a bit of research on the market as is. You want to turn your brand into what you’d be looking for if you were in your customers’ shoes.
Take note of the types of conversations that are occurring between consumers and their go-to shops. This will help you understand what types of interactions your future customers are engaging in along with the cannabis advertising that’s already working well. This will also give you an opportunity to take a look at your competitors and their cannabis branding.
It’s very important that you get this right from the onset so we’ve provided some steps to help you on your way. These aren’t necessarily in order but are all of equal importance in the development of your brand identity.
- Write Your Positioning Statement
After contemplating your place in the market, you can develop your positioning statement. Collaborate with your team on your vision, mission and goals. This process will help you uncover the values your brand will represent while helping you stay consistent in voice, style and design. Think about your brand’s positioning as a kushion to fall back on and revisit when need be. You’ll need to modify it as your target customers, offered products and available technologies grow.
- Deciding on a Business Name
At some point, you’ll have to figure out your business’s name. If you need a bit of help thinking of something clever, get some ideas from this cannabis dispensary name generator. Think about your business’s name as your first impression with your customers. It’s their first chance to interact with your company so it should represent your mission and goals.
- Develop Your Brand’s Look & Feel
The next step is to develop the look and feel of your brand. The work you do in this phase should build off of what you’ve figured out prior. Consider which graphics, logos and fonts you’ll use to draw in customers. The look of your brand should be consistent with a formulated brand voice. Your business’s messages, graphics and actions will need to follow the type of language you’ve chosen to communicate with customers. Here’s an example of what it looks like when your brand’s look and feel are on point.
- Discover Your Brand Voice
What will be the tone that you will you use to communicate with customers? Will your brand be sarcastic and witty, or straightforward and mellow? What will your slogan be? It’s crucial to figure these things out before creating your website or publishing messages on social media. Remember consistency? Well, it’s important here, too. You want to establish a voice that’s human, professional and reflects the values of your brand. This voice will be responsible for engaging and educating your audience.
2. Know Your Peeps (Your Target Audience)
Unlike businesses in other markets, your target audience will be generally easy to identify. There are the health and wellness, science, policy and social peeps. Then, there are the lifestyle and culture audiences. These groups are all different, with varied interests and needs. In order to reach them, your engagements will need to be tailored to each specific audience.
However, a majority of the people who will be purchasing from your company will be well-versed in all things marijuana, whether they are acquiring the goods for themselves or for a family member as a caregiver. Unlike department stores and other one-stop shops, your dispensary is offering one specific thing. Your offered variation comes in with different strains and ways of consumption, from sativa to indica and cartridges to edibles.
Identifying and understanding your audience early on is crucial to making sure your business continues to blossom. You want to know your customers, their preferences, likes, dislikes and behavioral patterns. Having this type of relationship with your audience will help you make crucial business choices, like which products to sell and what strains are high in demand.
Knowing your audience will also help you communicate with your customers, especially on social media platforms. It’s safe to say with the age of marijuana purchasers staying at 21+ that your audience will be active on social media. Use these platforms to your advantage as a way into their world. If you know whom you’re talking to then you know how to engage your audience and convince them that you have what they’re looking for.
3. Take Risks to Engage with Your Target Market
To excel in your cannabis branding, you can’t be afraid to stand out. Your future customers aren’t going to be attracted to your brand if you’re trying to reach them with run-of-the-mill messaging. There’s a pretty good chance your future clientele will be susceptible to a certain kind of humor and language – you’re pulling their leg and they’re going to get a good laugh out of it.
By now, cannabis users are used to the overplayed stoner jokes. The people who use cannabis are of all different ages and occupations, with varied reasons for consumption. To counteract those status-quo cannabis companies you must be a trailblazer and reach them with new jokes that don’t mock their assumed qualities.
Create posts and messages that contain information that’s helpful to your audience. Meet them where they’re at and provide them with what they need to know before making a purchase. You want to reach them by taking a personal approach and appealing to their interests or sense of humor. They’ll identify your brand as one of them. Talk about the key to a budding friendship. (Sorry, couldn’t help it.)
As you may know, our team here at DSM has no trouble being punny and it’s clearly gotten us a long way. Just to prove a point, we’re friends, right? We know you said yes, you get the picture.
To begin noticing growth within your company, you’re going to need unique cannabis branding with a strong identity to match. Do research to understand your target audience and then take the right kind of risks to engage with them. In the end, don’t try to sell them anything but rather seek to educate and the rest will be easy.