CANNAINVESTOR Magazine December / January 2016 - Page 103

Launching a new brand is much different than developing a brand—one is strategic and one is tactical. You have to make sure you have a brand that is truly reflective of the cannabis business you are in. Having said that, most people have not revamped their branding in too long. A brand refresh should start with an honest and strategic review of how your cannabis business may have changed over time and what your aspirations are for the business in the future. Are these changes reflected in your brand values and attributes? The extent of these changes may well determine whether you need to approach the updates as a refresh or a rebrand… they are different.

I see a lot of cannabis companies that need to bring their product names into their brand names. Pay tribute to your parent company. It all goes full circle. Sometimes it’s things as simple as evolving your logo. This is so often overlooked. No, it won’t ruin your branding. Yes, it will keep you innovative. I’m not saying you have to do a complete revamp. I said, “evolve”.

How do you know it’s time for a rebrand?

Is your brand story still relevant?

Undertaking an audit of your current offering of digital and printed assets and asking if they reflect not only the ‘who’ of your cannabis business and brand but the ‘what’ of all the great work you have been doing. Is it time to change the story to match? Some changes may be obvious and quick and easy to make – others may require further thought and research. How has your customer base changed? How can you encompass these insights into a targeted brand story?

Dated look and feel [logo, website, communications]

You know it as soon as you see it. There are some excellent cannabis B2B’s out there who are doing brilliant work, but haven’t yet found the time to invest in updating their marketing materials, logos and websites to match. This is reflected in dated designs, colors, stock images, content across your website and even language & tag lines that are just plain out of touch!

Internal business changes

“If your firm now looks different on the inside, it also needs to look different on the outside” (Spur). Where there have been significant changes such as a merger, acquisition, new leadership, cultural transformation or removal/addition of market and product offerings then it is a good idea to revisit and reassert your cannabis brand. This is a proactive and practical way to communicate changes to your external audience as part of a comprehensive communications plan.

Do you stand out from the competition?

How do you measure up in comparison to your competitors? Or maybe this time it’s not about measuring up and more about doing something a little different. Many cannabis B2Bs tend to have a more ‘serious’ appeal with dark colors and technical language more popular in the late 90’s and early ‘00’s. A splash of color and ‘on trend’ creative design principals can give digital assets a great new look that you clients will love.