The cannabis industry is still in its infancy and it is constantly evolving. Branding is crucial in every industry but particularly in the cannabis industry, where there is so much competition and constant change. New consumers want to try cannabis for the first time and brands with a strong identity will be able to attract their attention.
In designing a brand identity, brands need to pay attention to the entire customer journey and not just focus on the product. For instance, custom cannabis packaging can elevate the whole experience for customers.
- Tell a brand story
Cannabis branding is very important and can make the difference between success and failure. The most successful cannabis brands are clear about who they are and deliver accordingly.
Every detail in the brand identity guidelines helps to tell the brand story and convey its personality, image and voice. Logos, fonts, typography, illustrations, colors and shapes all help to convey this.
For example, cannabis packaging usually emphasizes the health aspects of products and a cannabis brand may focus on how their products have benefits for a healthy lifestyle. Other cannabis brands may focus on luxury and have a sophisticated, upscale image with consumers buying products like sleek joint cases and going for a custom rolling paper.
- Be consistent
Consistency is essential in branding and brand identity guidelines helps with maintaining consistency. Repetition on many different channels drives home the essence of the brand.
Consumers should be able to recognize the brand message no matter where it comes from. Using an instantly recognizable but strategic combination of colors, fonts, and visual elements can give a cannabis brand a real competitive edge.
- It starts with the logo
The logo encapsulates the brand identity and is often what people remember when they think about a brand. Outsourcing the creation of a logo without any direction can result in a bland, generic logo that does not stand out.
Many cannabis brands use the cannabis leaf, which has instant recognition but requires some thought to make it memorable. Brands are finding ways to modernize its look and steer away from stoner stereotypes.
They may use a stylized version of the leaf, use colors other than green, or combine it with other elements to modernize it. Many cannabis stickers, for example, feature modernized versions of the cannabis leaf and allow for customization of text.
- Make smart color choices
Muted greens and browns tie in with the natural nature of the product and many brands are emphasizing this. As well as using more organic colors, brands are also using pharmaceutical colors and symbols to add legitimacy to their products and appeal to a new segment of the cannabis market – medical cannabis users.
Cannabis packaging, for example, may combine a green cannabis leaf with a grayish-blue cross to give it that medical vibe.
- Embrace minimalism
Minimalist designs in black and white are a far cry from the psychedelic colors associated with cannabis in the past. Too many colors and complicated designs can simply waste money and space. It takes very little time for the brain to form an impression and a minimalistic design can often make the most impact.
Minimalistic cannabis packaging, for example, conveys a highly targeted brand message in a way that is instantly understandable. Simple and crisp yet elegant cannabis packaging designs are reinforcing the idea of cannabis as a tool for relaxation. Custom rolling paper may be organic and unbleached with minimalist product packaging designs.
- Play with words
The fonts and text also help to convey the brand story. Brands need to be careful about how they play with words to appeal to their particular audience.
For example, Gen X appreciates irony and may enjoy it when brands play with old stereotypes. Cannabis brands need to avoid references to stoner terminology on cannabis stickers if they want to appeal to a new base of medical cannabis users.
- Use appropriate Imagery
Never use cartoon-like images as this is strictly prohibited in many states. Branding must not appeal to children and anyway, using this type of image misses the majority of cannabis consumers anyway. Cartoonish branding does nothing to promote the image of cannabis as a way to find relief from a wide range of health problems.
- Focus on packaging design
Whether a brand is selling flower, edibles, extracts or topicals, they need quality, compliant packaging. Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach, unique custom cannabis packaging solutions can create an unforgettable customer experience. The packaging design is what customers see first and it should create a lasting impression.
Products have to stand out on dispensary shelves and cannabis stickers can help them to do so. It is good to partner with cannabis packaging companies that stay up to date on the regulations and will help to make sure products are retail-approved.
- Consider environmentally friendly packaging
It is a well-known fact that people are more conscious about sustainability than ever before. Sustainable cannabis packaging offers a way to appeal to eco-conscious consumers. Some examples include the use of recyclable options, such as pouches, compostable smell proof bags and metal cans.
Manufacturers of custom rolling paper are using only pure, certified organic materials. Plastic recovered from the sea is being used instead of new plastic. Hemp-based plastic, which is biodegradable, is becoming popular.
- Use customized labels
All products must be properly labeled, with a detailed description of the product and recommended use. When it comes to edibles, the label design must appeal to customers but cannot include phrases, colors or images that appeal to children. It is possible to have customized cannabis stickers printed on premium materials at affordable prices. These stickers can be used on discreet black and gray smell proof bags.
Many elements go into the construction of a powerful brand identity, including an eye-catching logo, custom cannabis packaging and custom labels. Telling a consistent story across all platforms is important for customers to really connect to a brand and build a trusting relationship.