By on June 24th, 2020

The 10 Cannabis Brand Commandments

The 10 Cannabis Brand Commandments by David Paleschuck

Ed. note: We’ve teamed up with cannabis branding and marketing legend David Paleschuck to bring you 10 pro tips from David’s forthcoming book Branding Bud: The Commercialization of Cannabis. Whether you apply them to your website, social media presence, press releases, pop-ups, virtual events, or digital advertising campaigns, these Cannabis Brand Commandments are broadly applicable to all areas of building and marketing a cannabis or CBD brand.

The following tips and pointers are designed to help cannabis brand owners and marketers rethink what they do and how they do it, with the goal of stimulating innovative ideas in a competitive landscape during difficult social times.

  1. Be Authentic

The 10 Cannabis Brand Commandments

Be what and who you say you are. Savvy consumers know a fake when they see it. If you make a claim, offer proof of your commitment. Authenticity, credibility, and clarity are your best friends. When you gain loyal fans, you also gain a following that informs others about your brand.

  1. Tell Your Story

The 10 Cannabis Brand Commandments

What is your brand’s mission? Are there any clear differentiators? Ask yourself, “Why do I do, what I do?” Once you’re clear on why, it will be easier to communicate your purpose and establish a strong message and tone for your brand.

  1. Know When Good Is Good Enough

The 10 Cannabis Brand Commandments

Many brand owners are perfectionists, needing everything in order before launching a new product or brand. During the pandemic, with the inability to create highly produced content, now is especially the time to share rough, non-scripted, behind-the-scenes footage and content.

  1. Leverage Brand Archetypes

The 10 Cannabis Brand Commandments

Want consumers to understand your brand immediately? Brand archetypes contain elements that we all understand. Leveraging collective cues helps potential customers identify and understand your brand instantly.

  1. Be Consistent

The 10 Cannabis Brand Commandments

Your message should be the same, no matter where your customers or potential customers encounter it. Repetition is your friend, as people typically have to see your brand five to seven times before actively remembering it.

  1. Entertain Your Audience

The 10 Cannabis Brand Commandments

We live in an entertainment society, so it’s important not only to offer a quality product or service, but to offer it in such a way that’s unique, appealing, and entertaining. A funny or heartwarming  commercial or video that tells your story is always memorable.

  1. Make Your Packaging Unique

The 10 Cannabis Brand Commandments

Think about ways to keep your brand’s packaging relevant after its initial use. Is it functional? Can it be used as a decorative container? Is it collectible? Some cannabis brands create limited edition artist-designed packages, making loyal fans clamor for their next release.

  1. Think Partnerships

The 10 Cannabis Brand Commandments

Brand partnerships are an effective marketing method, and thoughtfully collaborating with brands that make different yet related products is a smart partnership strategy. When done correctly, each brand legitimizes the other, solidifying their place within the community together.

  1. Create Smart Merch

The 10 Cannabis Brand Commandments

Branded merchandise puts your brand in people’s hands and, literally, on people’s bodies. But T-shirts and hats are expensive, and carrying inventory by gender and size seems like a business in itself. Why not create branded pins at half the cost, with no sizing or gender issues and minimal storage requirements?

  1. Network With Others

The 10 Cannabis Brand Commandments

During these “uncertain times,” it’s important to continue to stay in touch with those that are meaningful to you and your business. The fact that more people are online these days means that you can easily reach out, connect, and synergize with colleagues, influencers, and other brands.

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With over twenty-five years of brand-building and consumer marketing experience at American Express, MasterCard, PepsiCo and Microsoft – and over eight years in the legal cannabis industry as VP, Licensing & Brand Partnerships at Dope Magazine; Chief Brand Officer at Evergreen Herbal and Chief Brand Architect at The Matters Group – Paleschuck has played a part in creating many of today’s well-known cannabis brands. His writings on cannabis trends, branding and packaging have been featured in The Cannabis Industry Journal, New Cannabis Ventures, Dope Magazine, High Times, PROHBTD, among others. His work has been noted and quoted in Forbes, Kiplingers, The Brookings Institution as well as interviewed with Wharton School Of Business Entrepreneur Radio; CannabisRadio; among others. Since launching his book, “Branding Bud: The Commercialization of Cannabis”, he now consults to the legal cannabis industry on brand development and strategic marketing.

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