The explosive growth of the legal cannabis industry has created a marketplace that can be overwhelming to the average consumer. It often feels like there is a new brand or product being launched every day that addresses a niche demand, making the space feel convoluted and hard to navigate. Modern-day cannabis brands are working overtime to change that. As a seasoned public relations executive that represents over 40 clients in the regulated cannabis space, I have seen how transparent and education-focused brands have been able to outlast regulatory scrutiny through smart packaging decisions.
Historically, the cannabis industry has had its own vernacular, often whimsical and sophomoric, compared to categories adult consumers typically encounter. Brands in the legal space are looking to reinvent the dialogue and consumer relationship around their products by changing the way consumers perceive the product right from first glance, using sophisticated, transparent and educational packaging methods to guide consumers’ buying decisions.
Changing The Stigma
Traditional names for cannabis strains centered around non-descriptive slang terms, such as Sour Diesel, Cat Piss or Girl Scout Cookies, are tied to stigmas associated with stoner culture and the illicit market. While these names are established and recognizable to experienced cannabis consumers, they may be confusing for newcomers and alienate audiences that are curious but still wary of engaging with the regulated market.
Brands aiming to break the mold and reach entirely new demographics should create products that would appear attractive even on the shelf of a pharmacy or cosmetics store. Framing a product as a health supplement or luxury product is ideal for reaching more sophisticated customer bases.
For example, California-based Canndescent, one of our clients, left behind intimidating strain names in favor of moods and feelings such as Calm, Cruise, Create, Connect and Charge. The brand’s flower products are elegantly stored in high-quality glass jars and packaged in a distinctive Hermès-like orange box.
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News