The CLS Guide to Stellar Cannabis Branding
With states rapidly legalizing cannabis for adult use, new opportunities for businesses to expand into the green market are abundant. In order to take advantage of these opportunities, it’s important to remember that your branding strategy is what will ultimately determine your success in a new market. This rings especially true in the cannabis space, where hundreds of new companies are competing for valuable space on dispensary shelves.
Marketing your products in the 21st century is about far more than advertising. Branding has become the method through which businesses establish the quality of their goods and cultivate a lasting positive reputation.
Long gone are the days of counterculture iconography in product branding. Cannabis companies need to be thoughtful about how their company wants to be perceived and it’s crucial that they market products with sophisticated and modern packaging. It is now about sleek graphic design and obvious clarity regarding potency, contents, and potential effects. In this new industry, few cannabis businesses have mastered this powerful and approachable balance to branding.
Our wholesale brand City Trees, whose products can be found in 45 dispensaries across Nevada, offers attractive and engaging packaging while simultaneously educating consumers through specially crafted products that list terpenes and cannabinoid levels. The majority of product labels in dispensaries have unclear packaging design and consumers are left wondering about terpenes, cannabinoids and how the product will actually make them feel.
City Trees is well known for cartridges (see below picture) and disposable vape pens which are labeled according to the consumers’ desired goal: “Relax,” “Energy,” “Pain [Relief],” “Calm,” “Bliss,” and the 1:1 THC/CBD ratio “Calm” pen. The brand recently launched a new capsule line, consisting of three different ratios of CBD to THC: “CBD” capsules with a ratio of 10:1 ratio of CBD to THC; “Rise” capsules with a 4:1 ratio of CBD to THC; and “Rest” capsules with a 1:4 CBD to THC ratio. City Trees also offers branded and Rosins and Dab Oils (see above picture), for consumers who enjoy using concentrates.
Constructing your company’s personality through branding is also integral to building positive perceptions and brand reputation. People gravitate towards our brand over others primarily because they identify with the lifestyle being offered. Cannabis companies need to market themselves by building a story and style association for their brand that resonates with desirable demographics.
A quality brand is the invisible connection a company has with those who engage with it in any way. It’s not just about attracting and retaining customers - branding is how trust is built and stigmas are reduced. It’s informed by a company’s packaging and lifestyle association, but one of the most important details is what a business does. Being socially responsible in this industry is an essential pillar of developing a strong cannabis brand, which is one of the reasons City Trees has partnered with dispensaries around Nevada to collect and recycle depleted or dead lithium-ion batteries from any brand of vape pen. We realize our consumers care deeply about issues of sustainability and we do too.
We’ve found our consumers aren’t looking to simply buy and consume a product; they want to feel connected to something bigger than themselves. The best way to gain repeat business is to connect with your customers by offering them just that. At City Trees, considering our target market and their buying habits, we are focused on offering a sophisticated and attainable wellness lifestyle which incorporates cannabis. Our brand is not focused on partying - we are a company dedicated to offering an experience which is tailored to relieving exact symptoms, using specific terpenes and cannabinoids. We aim to show that you can live a healthy and productive lifestyle while enjoying the benefits that cannabis can offer.
As the cannabis industry matures, the importance of branding moves to the forefront. No matter the product, this generation of consumer thrives on authenticity. The cannabis companies that will succeed in the end are those who are crafting their brand into something attractive to the next generation of cannabis consumer.