Now legal in half the country, cannabis products are working through traditional branding exercises the way any other product or brand does.
Marijuana has historically relied on word of mouth marketing, with users telling their friends where to get the most righteous buds or who sells the most mellow strains. The packaging was minimalistic, appearing in plain baggies, cellophane, or reused prescription pill bottles with a great effort given to un-marketing and keeping information on the down-low.
Now that legalization has begun, makers of cannabis products are finding themselves in the same place as any other brand manager and product marketer. They are developing logos and graphic design standards, they are writing and testing messaging, and the are creating new and unique packaging as well as an online presence.
It’s interesting to see how this young vertical navigates legitimacy and what types of brand campaigns will develop. Already we are seeing online marketplaces popup that present their brands in very different ways depending on their target audience or personas.