If you’re like most upcoming cannabis companies today, you’re probably facing the challenge of building a professional brand for your marijuana business. For years, most companies never felt the need to have a brand- their default logo has always been the good-ol’ green marijuana leaf.
Do You Need Professional Branding for Your Marijuana Business?
But things have since changed. The booming cannabis industry means a higher demand for professional cannabis business branding. More than 60% of the U.S has legalized marijuana for medical and some for recreational use. Demand for professional cannabis branding is therefore growing.
Branding is a critical aspect of any business. Understanding what a brand is and knowing how you can use it to get your business in front of the right people, increase sales and build a huge following can give you a good head start in this competitive market.
The practice of branding began with ancient Egyptians who used to differentiate cattle by burning a distinctive mark into the animal’s skin with a hot branding iron. Today, branding has evolved to include not only a company’s products, but also its personality, promises, and values. A brand is akin to a lens through which outsiders view a company. In fact, the word ‘’brand’’ is now so common that it has become synonymous with words like business and company.
Building a brand
Building a brand from scratch is not a walk in the park, especially for those who are in the cannabis industry. Apart from being faced with a plethora of rules on everything from product packaging to advertising, you also have the extra burden of creating an acceptable brand in an industry that is demonized by many.
Most people who are not conversant with the cannabis industry see it as an immoral, unlawful and misogynistic sector full of stereotypic stoners with blood-shot eyes and shaggy, unkempt hair. In fact, I once had a friend who thought that medical cannabis users were psychopaths who needed to be kept in mental institutions.
While cannabis entrepreneurs have made gigantic steps towards creating formal and welcoming brands, the industry needs more sophisticated brands that will take the medical and recreational markets a notch higher. To appeal to a broader population, we must shift from the demonized perception to that of a genuinely respected business with products that help people. The only way to make this happen is through professional branding.
Professional branding requires more than just an icon, logo, and tagline and color palette. It is an ongoing identification and differentiation process through which customers identify with your company. Consumers deserve a valid, relevant and personal experience with a company. How your business meets these demands is a critical factor in building your brand. To be successful at this requires a ton load of work than most individuals think.
It requires a commitment and dedication to the business to ensure that the brand is not only consistent but also aligned across all the areas where customers interact with your company. This includes:
-Advertising and public relations
-Sales and marketing
-Social media marketing
If your vision is to create a brand that speaks for your company, has a loyal following and stands out on the shelves, the following steps are crucial to your success:
1. Take time to find out what makes your business unique and special.
Create your own unique selling points by discovering more about your business, why it is unique and what you have to offer that sets you apart from the competition. From a customer’s viewpoint, your unique selling point is the answer to the question, ‘’why should I buy from your company?’’
2. Figure out who your target audience is
Who exactly do you intend to target with your branding? Who are your ideal customers and what are they trying to find in the marketplace? Once you find an answer to these questions, you can begin to work on a brand those appeals to your target audience.
3. Be original and unique
While a green marijuana leaf may be useful outside a dispensary to inform the public that you are selling medical marijuana, a generic green logo will almost certainly guarantee that your business will just be one among the many. There are many creative ways to stand out from competition with your branding, but using a generic piece is not the best way to build a unique and special brand.
4. Have a professional design company
A creative and quality design will give you a leg up over your competition, and while it may be tempting to cut costs by hiring a friend with limited experience to create a cheap logo, you’ll certainly get what you pay for. Remember, if your brand looks poor, your customers might think your products and services are just as pitiable.
5. Create a great logo that reflects your brand and personality
Work with your professional designer to create a clean, simple, and creative logo that speaks for your business, sells itself and has state and even nationwide recognition.
Today, you have an amazing opportunity as an upcoming company to win significant market share with a brand that provides meaningful experiences to cannabis consumers, but it’s getting crowded quite fast. Investing in branding for your business can help you keep your loyal customer base, target and attract new customers, and therefore accelerate your success in front of the competition!
Steve Forbes once said, ‘’your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business.’’