With states around the country decriminalizing cannabis and beginning to open avenues to retailers, creative branding is the best way to break your brand out of the crowded market. Almost 45% of logos registered as trademarks in the cannabis business features the classic cannabis leaf – muddling many brands together. Consistent brand presentation is shown to increase overall revenue and growth by 33% and is the first way to get customers attention. Strong creative branding allows you to influence your customer’s purchase decisions, and an uncommon name helps your customers remember your voice. 

Roadblocks in Creative Branding

Regulations in the states are less stringent – depending on what state you are advertising in. Massachusetts set up strict guidelines for logos and advertising – these laws prohibit references to cannabis (including the ever-popular cannabis leaf) and “colloquial references”. They also extend their regulations to the stores themselves as well – there can’t be any illuminated signs outside of a dispensary thirty minutes before sundown or after end of business. Advertising of marijuana isn’t allowed on promotional items such as hats, t-shirts, drink holders, electronic equipment or novelty items. Even included is giveaways, coupons, or free products.

Cannabis companies in Colorado aren’t allowed to advertise on mobile devices or use location-based advertising. California only allows advertising in media markets where at least 71.6% of the population is over 21. Washington allows direct mailers to customers – if they don’t include coupons. 

So how are companies breaking out if the rules are patched together? 

It all begins with a name.

Many dispensaries are using their creative branding expertise to capitalize on humor and puns to make sure that their brands stand out while customers are scrolling apps like WeedMaps or Leafly. Humor humanizes your brand – letting you build a personal relationship with the client. 

Humor and puns in dispensary names can be based on multiple things – location, pop culture, and tongue-in-cheek cannabis culture. 

Location humor can be as simple as a pun off where you are based. Smokane did some tweaking to the name of the city they’re based in – Spokane – to create the beginning of a brand that sets them apart from the other dispensaries in the area. Walla Walla Weedery based in Washington and Eugreen, based in Oregon, are two companies using creative branding to set themselves apart in a competitive market. 

Pop culture is a theme that’s commonly used – if someone is used to seeing it out in pop culture, it’s easily recognizable in other places. Dank Dynasty, basing their name off the incredibly popular tv show Duck Dynasty, is a great example. Hippocratic Growth in Maryland sees the value in basing their store name from the well-known Hippocratic Oath taken by doctors in the medical industry.

When all else fails, many dispensaries fall back on tongue-in-cheek culture. Based surprisingly in Portland, OR and not New York, Gram Central Station did just that. Even with restricted advertising limitations, Canadian dispensaries are having fun with their creative branding, as well. Alberta has two – Mary Jane on Penny Lane and Budzz & Roses

Unsure of where to begin your creative branding process – or are you unsure of where your state stands on legalization? We know exactly how to lay the foundation for your brand. Give the experts at Cannabis Brands a call today

About Cannabis Brands

Cannabis Brands serves cannabis corporations, growers, distributors, and dispensaries providing award-winning marketing communications strategies that give you a competitive edge. Contact the professionals at Cannabis Brands to learn more!