Branding has come a long way from its beginnings. From literally branding cattle in ancient Egypt to mark ownership to today’s use of logos, packaging, and strategy, branding has always functioned as an indicator of identity. In cannabis, brands of all shapes and sizes strive to target their markets with intentional, emotional, and authentic branding that consumers will remember. Strategies vary from brand to brand, with some opting for extensive omnichannel marketing and others utilizing exciting activations and stunts to boost visibility. No matter the strategy, top brands and the agencies that help craft their stories exhibit incredible creativity as they strive to differentiate themselves amid the competition.
When it comes down to it, a brand is meant to tell a story- a goal that would not be possible without the talented public relations, branding, and marketing agencies and consultants behind the scenes. Agencies like Pulp + Wire keep an eye on trends and design branding for the future, while Maverick Public Relations focuses on educating its audiences. MATTEO Communications secures high-profile placements and press trips, introducing the media to the many nuances of the industry as well as the stories behind its clients. Chapter 2 Agency works to shape the legal market and maximize the industry’s potential, and Grasslands employs a journalist’s perspective to capture media attention. Approaching cannabis branding from all angles, these are just a few agencies lifting their clients to new heights with unique, personalized storytelling.
The brands themselves employ a wide spectrum of branding tactics to make their products shine. Some tap into pop culture and social media, like Cann’s witty Instagram feed featuring high-profile celebrity collaborations or Stündenglass’s mesmerizing gravity bong TikToks. Rebel Spirit centers its identity on an emotional story reflecting the pain of unjust incarceration, and Ball Family Farms uses eye-catching packaging and iconic fictional Black characters to represent each strain. Luchador harkens back to its founder’s Mexican heritage in its flavors, products, and entertaining wrestling events that certainly make an impression. There is no one way to represent a brand- the brands that thrive are those that confidently portray their identity and inspiration.
“These days, dispensaries are filled with distinct products, from their outward packaging down to the personal stories they tell,” said Kathee Brewer, editorial director at Inc Media, the parent company of mg Magazine. “Each brand is unquestionably unique and represents itself in its own way, yet they all share the same goal: to create a household cannabis name as well-known as any mainstream product or company. As the industry unfolds, watching which brands continue to stand out will indicate which strategies stand the test of time.”