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Differentiating Your Brand in the Mass CBD Market

First published

August 2020

In a low-barrier to entry mass marketplace, consumers tend to make decisions instinctively, with limited research and reliance on brand name recognition. When price point is the primary deciding factor, drugstore CBD brands will sacrifice quality to be as accessible as possible, or keep the branding to an obvious minimum—with basic, overused visual cannabis signals like weed leaves and shades of green.

In this article, we’ll explore the following ways to stand out in the mass CBD market:

  • “Own” a unique color scheme
    We’ll consider how color systems can define your brand’s vibe, while differentiating your space on socials and on the shelf
  • Have a pulse
    We’ll address how to infuse personality into elements like branded iconography and stickers
  • Create playfully branded collections
    We’ll consider how to navigate FDA barriers to making CBD claims (trust us, there are a lot) by curating creative collections that effectively imply a product benefit, without actually stating it

Own a unique color scheme.

Consumers place visual appearance and color above all other factors when shopping—with 85% of shoppers citing it as the single most important reason why they go with one product over another. A consistent color scheme can differentiate you from other CBD brands, while unifying your product line and improving brand recognition—leading to increased consumer loyalty.

Tip: Beyond your packaging and website, consider how employing a consistent color scheme on social channels can reinforce your brand identity.

Have a pulse.

Work on creating a unique visual language that captures the spirit of your CBD product. There are plenty of opportunities to add personality to visuals: subtly animating branded iconography brings simple drawings to life, while creating drawings with branded sayings results in shareable content. Ask yourself (and your team):

"What small, thoughtful details can we pepper in to catch consumers by surprise? How can we infuse life into each and every touch point the consumer comes across—from social, to site, to packaging? How can visual and verbal systems work in tandem to reinforce brand values?"

Create playfully branded collections.

After establishing a memorable tone of voice, infuse it everywhere. One way to do so is through product and collection naming, which also happens to be an effective CBD marketing tool.

As many within the CBD industry know, there are many things you cannot say and cannot claim. For brand copywriters, this might seem like a major limitation—but it’s actually a brilliant opportunity to get creative. Instead of stating that your CBD tinctures treat anxiety, use language such as “The Chill Out” collection to get your point across.

Tip: Adding a playful twist to normally mundane categorization keeps the consumer engaged, makes the brand more relatable and skirts making actual claims: a win-win-win.

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In an extremely saturated CBD mass market, hopeful new brands can differentiate themselves by developing a unique color system, infusing iconography and badges with lively personality and creating playful product collections.

For further design agency insights, check out How Thoughtful Design Supports Luxury CBD Brands.

If you’re looking for more direction and guidance, get in touch with our team at Any Studios.