You have a great idea for the cannabis industry, or a new cannabis product and you want to share it with the world. The good news is the world wants you to share it. What you may not know is all of the intricacies of branding your idea or product so that same world understands what and where and why it exists. For this reason and more you might be considering hiring a cannabis marketing agency. They have the expertise and experience to clear these hurdles, and it’s what they love to do. If this is you, then here are 5 things to look for to make sure you hire an agency that really rocks.
There are agencies out there that focus entirely on cannabis marketing, and there are agencies that work for whoever walks through the door. No matter who you choose, they need to understand the peculiarities of the cannabis industry and an agency that does everything will charge you more for the research required to work for you. You would be wise to hire an agency that has at least worked for other cannabis clients so they have some experience and knowledge of our world.
Meet with potential agencies first. Are they sure of themselves without being arrogant? Can they show you a breadth of professional work and tell you why they do what they do? Can they tell you about how they accomplished certain goals for past clients? If so then you can be assured that they know what they are doing, and they won’t be afraid to tell you when their expertise surpasses your wishes. Nobody needs a yes-man when it comes to branding.
Creativity is actually problem solving. It is not the science of aesthetics and making things pretty. Although, I would argue, that a problem solved well is almost always very good looking. Every business has it’s challenges and every brand has it’s own challenges as well. Creating a brand that is unique, and stands out from the crowd while being a part of the crowd is a difficult challenge to say the least, and it requires a large amount of problem solving creativity to get through it.
This goes hand in hand with creativity, and any good agency is good at design. Again, design is not the same as art. Design is about function first and art can be functional or just pure form. Design is never pure form, it is always about the function first. Does the poster do the job of letting people know about the event? Or is it hard to read? Does the logo say who you are and what you are about in a glance? Or is it bland and hard to connect with?
It’s really easy to ignore tried and true methods of communication in favor of the new and exciting. Startup businesses don’t always have a ton of money. It takes temperance and experience to make a decision between a trade show booth or a website when you can’t afford both. A really good cannabis marketing agency will be discern between forms of communication. Then they can tell you what will work best for you regardless of the fad of the day. Heed these tips and you are well on your way to having great marketing at your fingertips.
The cannabis industry is exciting. Cannabis consumers are creative and constantly developing new businesses. Yet, a problem exists for most new entrepreneurs: “How does one with zero business experience get started?” The list below outlines 10 things you need to know when launching a new business. This information should also prove useful to anyone who has a little business experience but wants to learn more about branding.
If you talk about yourself as a dispensary, an edible product or a grower, you need to realize that there are thousands of others doing the same thing as you. And this means, you need to know what makes you different. For example, a company focused on making a micro-dose edible product for athletes will stand out to a specific group of people within the general cannabis edibles crowd.
Give your definition a name.
If your business makes high end edibles for the downtown hipster to take out on the town on Friday night, it would be wise to target him with a brand name that suits his energy and lifestyle. “Whiskey and Cosmo Recreational Edibles” is a far better cannabis brand name than “BombzAway.” You are going to need a lot of options, so don’t stop at one. White board or post-it notes sessions with your friends and some creative consumables are in order.
Once you’ve come up with a name that works, check the trademarks and url. Here is where you will need some patience and creativity. Most of the names you like will already have a trademark or a web domain. You need both. Head back to the naming board. By now, you should begin to see the fun side of doing this – you get to have another creative brainstorm party!
Got a name? Now it needs a face.
It’s logo time. Make sure you start with a black and white design because it’s important that your final design look great when stripped of color. There are exceptions to this rule, but if you or whoever makes your logo isn’t a professional graphic designer, you are going to make a big mistake. Again, stay black and white. All of the best logos are black and white first.
Next, you need typography, which is the personality of your words. Choose a typeface that has numerous font variations, like ‘light’ and ‘bold’. More fonts means more options. Rather than going into it blind, it’s helpful to research what the professionals are using and what brands that share your vibe are using.
Now you need a color palette. Refer back to your definition for guidance and remember who you are trying to talk to so that you can show them what they already like.
Build a style guide.
A style guide is a pdf or booklet that features all of the above items and also gives guidelines for how the look of your brand is applied to touch points like packaging, advertising, website, merchandise and more. This is a difficult task, as there are a lot of details that can be easily missed.
Whatever you do, consider hiring professionals for all this work, as it will nearly always end up far better than if you do it yourself. Have fun and get busy creating!