It is certainly hard for cannabis companies like ours to tell our brand stories.
Regulations restrict where content and marketing materials can live, thus limiting a brand’s ability to build credibility with consumers. Strict requirements ensure that all cannabis-related promotional materials are age-gated and that the material itself doesn’t present cannabis or the brand in a way that evokes positive or negative emotions about a way of life that includes glamour, recreation, vitality and risk among other things.
Companies feel limited to simple displays of brand elements, operations, facilities, products, events and cannabis education. Some have gotten around these regulations by using celebrities as advisors or managers. For example, cannabis producer Canopy Growth brought on Martha Stewart and Seth Rogan in advisory capacities.
Branding through packaging has been another issue for producers north of the U.S. border. Companies are limited to one font, one Pantone color and one branded element, and must include a plethora of warning labels on all packaged products. Enterprising brands are turning to their digital platforms to showcase more appealing renderings of packaging and building consumer awareness that way.
Combined, all the regulations create a head-scratching problem for marketers in the space. How do you build a brand that resonates with consumers without involving emotions? And without branded packaging, how do you create a differentiated brand for consumers? At Valens, it’s through our core values and reputable partners.
Kayla Mann – Ad Week – July 19, 2019.