If you’re just starting out as a cannabusiness owner, you may be tempted to cut costs by DIY’ing your marijuana logo. But don’t make the mistake of scrimping on this important piece of marketing. People do judge a book by its cover, and your logo may well be your only chance to make an impression on potential customers.
Adam Kolbach, HYC’s head designer and media production expert, has seen it all in terms of logos — especially terrible ones. “I’m amazed at how people spend millions of dollars and tons of effort working 18 hours a day on their business, and then they’ll just make their own logo,” he says.
Your brand is how you sell your product. People are overwhelmed with information, so you have about two seconds to capture their attention before they move on to the next product. If your marijuana logo doesn’t stand out, your cannabusiness will blend into the background of all the other businesses out there.
Read on to learn all the do’s and don’ts of creating a marijuana logo that makes a memorable — and positive — first impression.
Marijuana Logo: What Not to Do
The first mistake to avoid is creating a generic marijuana logo, which camouflages your brand. Elements like green crosses and cannabis leaves are overused, boring, and instantly forgettable. Step away from the status quo.
Don’t use stock logos and slap your company name on there either — anything that lacks inspiration or creativity will translate into a mediocre experience for your customer. Don’t be mediocre.
Kolbach also advises not going with your first idea. “You might say, I like boats, so I’ll put a boat on there,” he says. “But you’ve got to think: Is that really going to sell your product?” The marijuana logo must stand out to your customers, not just to you.
To avoid backlash, be very careful not to appeal to kids. Take notes from the Joe Camel controversy, and leave out any kind of characters, especially cartoons. Even if your marijuana logo is animated, aim for more realism and less goofy caricature.
Finally, don’t make your marijuana logo yourself. As the business owner, you’re too close to your brand to see what really makes it special. A third-party advocate, on the other hand, won’t have that kind of tunnel vision. And while you may know cannabis very well, you probably aren’t an expert in marketing and branding strategy.
What to Do Instead
For inspiration on creating a standout marijuana logo, Kolbach recommends studying the craft beer industry. “There are so many great logos there, and they all fight for attention,” he says. In contrast, the cannabis industry tends to lack imagination.
Instead of following trends, look at your market and ask yourself what’s missing. What can you do with your marijuana logo that no one else has done? Then, test your ideas on a focus group of friends and colleagues, but do so without attachment to the results. You might be surprised by what they tell you.
Take, for example, a black cat logo that Kolbach once designed for a music company. “It looked really cool and grabbed attention,” he recalls, “but it turns out most people hate cats. And especially black ones.” Kolbach was shocked by the feedback, but redesigned the logo into a robot instead, to a much better reception.
As you gather ideas, work on getting to know your brand, your products, and your audience. Ask yourself questions like:
- Why did I get into the cannabis industry?
- What makes my brand different from others?
- What does my brand stand for?
- Is my brand premium? Economical?
- Who do I want to sell to? (Think demographics — gender, age, occupation, stage of life, etc.)
- How can I build the bridge between my product and my audience with the brand?
The more you understand about your brand identity and your audience, the easier it will be to craft a unique and eye-catching marijuana logo.
Trust Your Marijuana Logo Designer
Once you have a solid understanding of your brand identity and your audience, work with an expert to design your marijuana logo. Trust their expertise — and their creativity.
At HYC, Kolbach is a master of ingenuity and branding innovation. His final advice is to let your designer go wild, bold, and as far out of the box as possible. You can always reel the design back in, but you can’t amplify a safe, boring concept.
For more information and guidance on creating a marijuana logo and building your cannabusiness, reach out to us to schedule a consultation.