What is branding?
At a minimum, branding is your logo. At it’s best, branding encompasses your true vision, it’s the practice of bringing your organization to life. Branding is traditionally thought of as formulating company names, logos, and slogans to reflect its personality. However, branding also refers to the experience people have when interacting with your organization; it’s the feeling they have when they see your products or think about your business, when they enter your shop. Whether you are a dispensary, a cultivation center, or anywhere between; a calculated approach to branding will help you stand out – and it should be the foundation of your marketing strategy.
So how do you create a powerful & impactful brand? We’re glad you asked… 🙂
First, create an experience
Any time a customer interacts with your brand, you have the opportunity to leave them with a lasting impression. These ‘micro-interactions’ add up to become a customer’s opinion of your brand. So ask yourself, how can we successfully portray our brand’s personality and products?
- What does your signage look like?
- Is the storefront well-lit & inviting?
- What is the customer experience upon entering the store?
- What is the average wait time?
- Are your budtenders helpful & professional?
- Is there music playing? Is it too loud? Is it agreeable with a broad range of preferences? Etc.
- What is the first thing people see on your home page?
- How does your logo look on the website?
- Is your website easy to navigate?
- Is your social media content informative? Are followers engaging?
- Do you interact with your followers on social media?
In today’s digital landscape, brands have the opportunity to influence how they are perceived more than ever. At the end of the day, the customer’s perception will determine your brand, so you need to do everything you can to offer them a pleasant experience that will leave them with nothing but a positive perspective.
Your website is your brand’s first impression!
Your website is essentially the digital representation of your cannabis business – it’s your brand’s first impression! Your website’s user experience, or UX, will drastically impact how your brand is perceived. Some key UX points:
- How fast does your website load?
- Can I find your menu, directions & contact info?
- Do you have live chat?
- Is your online ordering system seamless?
- Is your site optimized for mobile use?
With over 25% of people clicking the first Google search result, prioritizing your SEO strategy is a no-brainer. When customers search “dispensary near me” or “Skywalker OG for sale,” you’ll want to be among the top results. How you rank on Google can drastically affect your sales. However, you don’t want to put all your effort into SEO without first having a clean and consistent website design.
Make sure you consider your brand message, and be sure that this message translates seamlessly from your storefront to your website. Learn more about our cannabis web design services to find out how we build amazing websites that accurately depict the mission and values of your canna-business.
Social Media plays a huge role in your brand, too!
A recent study showed 3.6 billion active people on social media in 2020, with a projected increase to almost 4.41 billion in 2025. It’s impossible not to acknowledge the benefits that social media platforms could have on your brand now and in the future.
Cannabis + social media have an…interesting relationship
The cannabis industry’s approach to social media is a little different. Social media platforms have major advertising restrictions for cannabis and you will not be able to pay for exposure. This means your organic content will need to do the heavy-lifting. You can do this by interacting with your followers and bringing them inside the life of your brand!
We’ll break social media branding strategy into two wide-reaching categories.
Aesthetic – your professional appearance.
- Do your social media accounts have the same @username?
- Is your profile picture high-quality and consistent throughout your platforms?
- Are photos of products professionally taken and edited?
- Are your colors and fonts consistent?
Strategies – your content.
- Do you have a calendar keeping your staff (and content) on track?
- Do you have weekly/monthly campaigns?
- Do you have giveaways?
- Is there a mix between photos and videos?
- Does your brand seem “human?”
- Do you post consistently?
The key to winning on social media is producing quality content, consistently. Interacting with your followers and surveying the types of content they like is a great way to get ideas.
Your product packaging must also align with your brand vision!
Your packaging is *almost* as important as the product inside. If done correctly, your package design can sway purchase habits and promote strong brand recognition.
Want an example? The orange shoebox. Yeah, you know it… Nike. That orange cardboard has become a staple of both the sneaker industry and the Nike brand. Think about it this way: if a customer is deciding between two sativa strains with similar THC content, they’re going to be picking the better packaging. Some considerations:
- Do the colors reflect the mood of the product?
- Is your font big or small?
- What shape is your packaging?
- Simple and practical design vs. complex and imaginative design?
- Is it recyclable?
Want to see how it all comes together?
Check out our package design work. Your brand is your story, it’s your lifeblood, it’s what makes YOUR business YOUR business! So differentiate yourself from the rest. Remember to provide your customers with a unique experience at each part of their journey and remember CannaPlanners is here to help when you need it.