In hopes of growing business, marijuana vendors are working to class up cannabis and rebrand the marijuana industry.
As the movement to legalize marijuana continues, businesses and investors are faced with a unique challenge—rebranding the stoner stigma.
Marijuana businesses are refining their logos, improving their packaging and hiring advertising agencies in an attempt to attract new kind of clientele.
These businesses want to appeal to the health-conscious crowd, moms and dads, the business executives, and the athletes.
Jan Cole hopes her recreational marijuana store in Boulder, Colo. will attract the all-organic, socially conscious, foody crowd.
The big glass windows that let in natural light, the earth-toned walls, and the name of her store, The Farm, creates a warm and inviting atmosphere that puts customers at ease.
In an interview with NPR, Cole said, “We have a lot of people who come in think that we might be an organic food grocer or something.” And that’s just what Cole was hoping for.
“Whole Foods is a good example of the type of clientele that we attract,” she says.
Another Colorado-based business is changing the way people view marijuana.
Olivia Mannix and Jennifer DeFalco are the founders of Cannabrand, an advertising agency with the sole purpose of marketing marijuana. Their goal is to help the marijuana industry shed the stoner stigma.
In an interview with The New York Times, Mannix said that dispensaries “look like underground abortion clinics” and pot advertisements consist of “women with whipped cream straddling bongs.”
She adds that the typical pot head stereotype of a guy, rolling a joint in his parents’ basement, covered in Cheetos crumbs, is still prevalent, and that is the image they are trying to get rid of.
To counter this stigma, Cannabrand helps marijuana companies develop a modernized, sharp look in everything from their company name to the uniforms their employees wear.
They also teach their clients to use the word “cannabis” instead of “pot” or “consume” instead of “smoke” in an effort to sophisticate the industry.
Many companies have also found success with marketing to women, specifically women who are interested in health and exercise.
Sockeye, a creative agency in Portland, Ore., conducted market survey research for one of its clients, Mirth Provisions, and found that its largest demographic was female.
So to further appeal to women , Mirth Provisions has created healthier products such as low-sugar cannabis infused fruit juices, and a mouth spray that produces a subtle body high.