Luxury cannabis brands are certainly making an impact on the industry lately. In fact, in the past few years, we’ve witnessed the debut and growth of many luxury brands. There is still a huge opportunity for cannabis businesses to develop premium brands in the market. There is definitely room to grow if you wish to launch your own premium cannabis brand and we highly encourage you to go in this direction since we are seeing this trend taking a stronghold on the industry.
But first, what is the difference between premium & luxury brands when compared to more standard cannabis products? How do they impact cannabis branding, marketing and are there any effective ways to make it through?
Let’s take a long look at the cannabis industry for a moment. Have you noticed that there is a common trend that’s been around for years – the democratization of luxury. In other words, as the middle class and the economy grow, mass brands begin to imitate luxury. They learn the “rules” of luxury branding, mimic them, and create confusion among consumers. Therefore, consumers can be tricked into thinking a brand offers a certain level of luxury while it’s not.
As the cannabis market expands and becomes more legalized across the states, the need for luxury cannabis branding is rising rapidly. This is also followed by the threats of imposter brands.
In simple terms, if a premium brand is of high quality and high price, then a luxury brand takes that concept to a completely different level. A luxury brand isn’t all about better quality or higher prices. It’s an experience that customers can’t have anywhere else. Luxury cannabis brands will separate your buyers from the rest in three distinct ways:
- Socially: each brand represents a social status symbol that is universally accepted.
- Comparably: The brand symbolizes a value that is greater than the rest.
- Individually: The brand has special meaning to the buyer.
Can cannabis branding and packaging feel as high-end as say, a vintage bottle of wine? Of course, it can and this is what excites us as designers, we are seeing cannabis branding evolving. So for new business owners who are about to dive into this market, there is still plenty of room to launch a luxury cannabis brand and this is the perfect time to do so. Let your brand and products celebrate indulgence, and be something everybody wants as part of their cannabis ritual.
With any branding strategy, in addition to luxury cannabis’, knowing your customer is the key. Consider who you’re selling for, and who you’re communicating with as the first steps of understanding your customers. Some companies run into the pitfalls of creating messaging that falls short of reaching their target audience because they never understood their product well enough to know who could benefit from using it.
When creating a luxury cannabis brand, we recommend focusing your search to start with women. Women tend to seek out higher-end products and are in general the purchasers of most households. It is women who also enjoy benefits around a product so creating a luxury brand that offers health or vitality benefits is on the right path.
Take a look at a recent luxury cannabis gift guide and you see plenty of the same offerings you’d see from outside the industry: fine leather, trendy scents, an assortment of colors, gold, and other high-end metals. Luxury cannabis branding must first focus on its design, from the logo, packaging, to every smallest detail you could think of. Since high-end consumers are sensitive about what they’re using, seeing, touching, attention to detail is critical.
Another thing you will want to pay attention to when it comes to design is the willingness to fit your audience's needs. Whether that’s utilizing eco-friendly packaging or donating a portion of their sales to reparative-justice projects happening in the cannabis industry, luxury brands should reflect a more thoughtful and engaged consumer.
Most dispensaries and even other brands don’t notice this, but the user experience is where all the major differences come from. Remember, “premium” and “luxury” are about experiences, not just quality and price. We highly recommend creating experiences that are unique, measured, and enjoyable just like when purchasing from designer clothing brands.
Moreover, for luxury cannabis branding, it may be less about creating the product that gets you the most stoned. Instead of focusing on being the one you want to be seen smoking. Be the classy brand that creates impacts on consumers' perspectives and even others. All in all, the luxury cannabis brand is for smokers who want to be perceived as a sophisticate, not a stoner.
Besides having a luxurious cannabis brand design, and flawless customers experience, how you communicate, your brand messaging is extremely vital as well. Communication is the foundation for building your relationships with consumers, making sure you’re speaking “their languages”, with the right voice, tone, mood, and channels are the main goals here. Start with having strong marketing and PR strategy, then narrow it down to your communication plan. Building a luxury cannabis brand that consumers are obsessed with starts with how they perceive you as a company. You can capture your consumer's attention by crafting strong communication and overall marketing strategy.
One small note is if/how you choose influencers and representative also affect your cannabis branding. We highly recommend working with a cannabis-specific marketing team that has resources such as influencers in the cannabis market is a huge bonus! We partner with some of the top cannabis PR teams that provide our clients with the best marketing strategies.
Although creating a high-end cannabis branding has many steps, it can be a very rewarding industry to take part in. In fact, the doors to claim your business as a luxury brand are still wide open with the marijuana market, and there are plenty of opportunities. As the industry becomes more and more legalize nationwide, your audiences will grow along. Consumers are ready and willing to pay more for the best experience, so prepare your real good before publishing.
Studio Linear is the creative agency you’re looking for when it comes to cannabis branding. We specialize in cannabis & CBD brand messaging, strategy and marketing. We create logos and visuals that convey your brand's voice and packaging that levels up every shelf of dispensaries. So if you are in need of a helping hand, Studio Linear is here for you!