Mistakes. We all make them right? Especially in the world of cannabis. Within the past few years, health experts and people alike have been turning a new leaf. Educating themselves on the benefits of cannabis and the growth of the cannabis industry (we won’t stop with the puns either).
As states legalize recreational sales across the US, the cannabis industry has developed into a formidable industry that expects the cross $20 billion in revenue by 2024. We all know that where there is huge opportunity, there is huge competition.
From farms to labs to dispensaries, all cannabis companies have to make a decision early on how to stand out from the competition. The easiest way to stand out is always branding.
Controlled Chaos has worked with many of the recreational cannabis companies, and we’ve found a few common mistakes these new companies make when trying to out-brand the competition.
1. Don’t Limit Your Audience With Basic Branding
The only people who smoke marijuana live in vans, wear tie-dye shirts, and know every lyric to Afroman’s “Because I Got High,” right? Well, maybe some of them. However, the modern market for cannabis use is so much more diverse than the Reefer Madness depictions of old. Only catering towards a certain “stoner” stereotype will limit your opportunity to attract potential customers.
Common traps that ensnare new cannabis companies is utilizing a pot leaf, incorporating cannabis puns into their brand name, and overusing green in their brand colors.
Give a quick thought of your favorite beer beverage. Is there an overwhelming amount of brown used on the can? Sometimes, yes, but not often. Do they incorporate hops or barley into their brand name? Sometimes, but not often. Imagery follows the same trend, as well.
A huge part of the newly legalized market is new cannabis users. People who are looking for an experience, rather than an indulgence of teen nostalgia.
Keep your branding crisp and clean. Utilize your brand name to create a feeling beyond telling people there is cannabis in the product. Stay away from green – there is no way your product will stand out when everyone else is using green, too.
2. Know Your State’s Regulations
Legal, illegal, decriminalized, CBD, medical, and recreational. The laws are constantly changing from state to state. Beyond legalization, how cannabis companies are allowed to advertise, package products, and conduct outreach varies from state-to-state. If you are thinking of marketing for the cannabis industry, well then you will probably have to also understand the state and FDA regulations.
We will make it easy for you by leaving this link right here.
By not complying with state regulations, you and the business will face some serious consequences like termination of licenses and deactivation of that really pretty website you worked so hard on.
To ensure a safe and successful marketing campaign, please do yourself a favor and say it with me, research! Keep your staff educated and up-to-date with marketing regulations so you can continue blazing your way to the next level.
3. Utilize Search Engine Optimization (From The Beginning)
As we touched on in the regulations section, advertising a cannabis product have numerous hurdles that other industries can bypass (cough, cough, pharmaceuticals).
One of the largest hurdles, especially for new cannabis companies, is establishing an online presence. While states have legalized the sales of cannabis, large advertising platforms like Google and Facebook are still operating under federal law, which prohibits any sale marijuana.
So, new companies are often very restricted on building a brand presence online.
Without direct advertising available, SEO will be your friend in the end. SEO tends to be an afterthought for most cannabis companies but the goal is to identify trends and see which topics appeal to them.
Take advantage of the tools you have so your site maintains at the top because stoners do not have time to scroll to the second page of Google.