How do you develop a classy cannabis brand?

Imac, Iphone X, and tablet displaying various pages of The Kushroom website

Since legalization, the number of online cannabis dispensaries has blown up. The market is oversaturated. So, how do you compete when you’re selling a premium product? Even more difficult: how do you compete when the majority of your customers look at the price over the name of the product? This is like selling Chocolate Licorice Stout in Bud Light country.

The answer? Do what Vancouver breweries did. Make it cool. Make it a scene.

The Kushroom brand guidelines on 3 panels on sage green background

OBJECTIVES

1.

1. Conceptualise a name

which connects cannabis and exclusivity

2.

2. Make the product shine

with carefully composed product photography

3.

3. Build a premium cannabis brand

with a bespoke website and an underground, speakeasy persona

Imac, macbook, Iphone X, and tablet displaying different pages of The Kushroom website

A brand apart

Our client gave us absolute freedom in building this brand. That all starts with taking the time to choose a name. Consider what you’re trying to say about your company. We threw around so many names, vetoes, and “there are no stupid ideas, but…”s that eventually sparks flew and magic happened. Paper, white boards, pacing the office… we took our time.

We wanted the brand identity and the name to be completely entwined. Kush is a kind of cannabis that any buyer can recognise. The idea that it’s a room, a place, somewhere you need a password or to know someone to enter, really appealed to us. And, of course, it rhymes with mushroom, so you get a sense of natural products. Maybe it’s not fun when you explain it…

The Kushroom home page on a sage green background

A place you want to visit

We wanted to bring some class and legitimacy to an industry that has been historically looked down upon. A lot of the cannabis sites out there feel thrown together and a little cheap, which devalues the product no matter how fresh or high quality. They’re also aimed at a very young demographic and have similar looks: lots of neon green and deals, deals, deals. 

We saw a gap in the market. A mature person or beginner seeking cannabis, either recreationally or medicinally, might go to those sites and find the “stoner” branding overwhelming. We wanted to elevate the experience beyond this. What about the artists, the parents, the patients, the businessmen and women, even the older connoisseurs? Shouldn’t they have a place to find an accessible, beautifully packaged, premium crop of cannabis?

 

Confidence in the product

Why devalue your product? Cannabis grows fast. The industry is growing faster. This means that there is so much availability that brands are cutting their prices all the time. It also means that they often shoot it in a similarly cheap way.

Premium products can’t be made to look cheap. As our client took the time to grow a superior strain of cannabis, we considered how to present it. We chose to make it the star of the show, to have each icon be on a separate colour to pop against our minimalist site, and let each item sell itself in crisp detail.

marijuana buds on a bright yellow background
Mushroom on an orange background

We took what we know from cannabis marketing and blended it with what we learned from building other premium brands. The result is a site that removes the stigma associated with cannabis and presents a smooth, pleasant user experience for any buyer.