Common branding horrors within the cannabis industry and how to avoid them

Common branding horrors within the cannabis industry and how to avoid them

Let’s be honest, cannabis has been given a pretty bad rap over the years. As a substance surrounded by such controversy, no one could blame you for associating the plant with a questionable social clan and the steady rise of suspicious new ideas. It’s due to common misconceptions like these that successful branding is so important; especially in the cannabis industry.

Branding is a powerful tool. Done right, it has the ability to completely change the consumer’s perception. Businesses’ within the medical cannabis industry should take advantage of this to help transform hesitant attitudes. While branding has the power to give your brand relevance, it can be tricky to get right. Good branding is often inconspicuous, but bad branding sticks out like a sore thumb. Here are some of the most common mistakes made that make our skin crawl:

Not being transparent

As a growing industry, potential consumers will often feel skeptical about buying into a brand. Transparency is key to showing that you are a trustworthy source. Willingness to be completely open with your audience, by showing the faces behind the company on social media, including contact details on your website, answer questions and queries are all great ways to come across as being reachable and reliable. It is also important to remember that people are investing their trust in you that you have their health in your best interest. With this in consideration, it is critical that you do not make any unfounded health claims. You may have heard before that a little white lie in order to seem more appealing won’t hurt anybody, but in this case, there is a large risk that it will. Don’t let this come back to haunt you…

Assuming that you have earned credibility with your consumers

Imagine this. You’re walking along the street and a complete stranger walks up to you waving a product in your face asking you to buy their product; would you? Most likely not. We are more likely to go to brands we know and trust, therefore building a relationship with your potential customers is a necessity if you want to be reputable within industry. Using social platforms to engage with potential consumers is a great way of creating a personality for your brand. You can also use it to post engaging content to help educate your audience while proving to them that you know your stuff and show that you can bring value to them.

Not having a clear brand message

You have to give your consumers a reason to choose your products over your competitors. The best way to do this? Putting across a strong brand message. It is likely that your consumers will be indecisive when choosing a similar product from a different brand. Having a strong brand message with values that are always delivered helps to make you their go-to without even having to think about it. Examples of values may include: ⦁ What your product or service can do for them ⦁ How the consumer will benefit from the product of service ⦁ Why your customers need you ⦁ What makes your product or service different from your competitors It is important that this information is communicated concisely so that consumers feel as though they have made an informed decision when they choose you.

‘The stoner look’

When it comes to the visual elements of your brand, the biggest no-no is using images that fuel the negative stereotypes that we are trying to move away from. There are a lot of people who are unfamiliar with the industry and still perceive it to be shady and lurk within illegal shadows. Using overemphasised cannabis leaves, smoke, joints and other obvious cannabis-related images in your branding comes across as distasteful and is likely to create negative assumptions and put potential consumers off before they give your brand a chance. More sophisticated imagery helps to relieve these stereotypes and makes your brand welcoming and appeal to more consumers. Brand perception is huge, therefore a professional logo, website and packaging that puts across your brand personality and message is one thing where there is no room for error.

As the industry is quickly expanding, the pressure to make your brand stand out is on the rise. More growth within the industry means more competition. The best way to ensure that you do this right is by getting guidance from people with experience who know what works. Establishing a credible brand from the off will get you climbing to the top way ahead of those to come.


  • Client: Yandex
  • Service: Design, Branding