Green Horizons released a detailed report studying cannabis consumers and the cannabis market in general. The report addresses a diverse selection of topics like social concerns with using cannabis, talking to non-users about why they choose not to use cannabis, and dispensary reports and findings. An interesting part of the report focused on cannabis branding, and how that impacts cannabis users at large.
One of the biggest hurdles of branding cannabis is creating a product that stands out. The report says that “overall, 3 in 10 cannabis users feel all cannabis is ‘pretty much the same.’” Medical users are more likely than recreational users to feel this way, and younger people tend to feel this way more than older people. 34% of those who feel this way are between the ages of 18-34, and 40% of those surveyed are medical users. Medical users might be more likely to feel this way because they have a specific problem they are trying to solve from using cannabis. Younger people may be more inclined to feel this way because of the diverse selection of products they have been accustomed to, versus the older generation who smoked illegally for most of their life up until recently.
The report notes that even in areas where cannabis is fully legal and users have had more opportunity to experience a diverse selection of products and brands, the feeling of all cannabis being “pretty much the same” still stands.
Leafs by Snoop Is Best Known Brand
Leafs by Snoop is the topmost recognizable brand to those surveyed, with only 23% saying they know of it. The products, which are promoted by iconic rapper Snoop Dogg, are distributed through Canopy Growth Corp. (NYSE:CGC). It also goes by the initials LBS and is currently facing a lawsuit over the leaf design by the Toronto Maple Leafs professional hockey team.
The report listed 16 more brands, and 32% of people surveyed had never heard of any of the listed brands. Cheeba Chews is the second brand people are most aware of at 22%.
This signals a potential issue in cannabis branding and the establishment of brand identity. According to the report, “this highlights the immense growth opportunity for brands to break out in an increasingly crowded marketplace. Cannabis users who live in recreational states— and are therefore more likely to visit retail locations—are more likely to report awareness of at least one brand tested. Yet, even in recreational states, no brands approach anything near-universal awareness.”
The report claims that capturing what cannabis users want to feel is a crucial component in leaving a mark with branding. The packaging and brand’s image can be exactly what is trending today, but it is just another pretty name without a cannabis product that works. The report shows that 76% of users want to feel relaxed when they use cannabis, with happy and relieved trailing closely behind. If cannabis brands could tailor to this specific desire with their branding and the product in the package, they would generate lifetime customers and make a splash in the crowded marketplace. This is true for CBD companies as well. In the opinion of many, CBD has become more about fitting into a wellness trend than providing medicine to people. Pretty packaging with the CBD content testing out at close to nothing has been showing up in the marketplace more and more.
As cannabis becomes more mainstream, those working in the industry aim to combat social stigmas that have been weighing cannabis down for decades. One thing the majority of cannabis industry workers do to fight that is to refer to cannabis as cannabis, instead of “street” names, like weed or pot. The report, though, shows that your average users are most likely to call cannabis weed, with 69% of users saying that is what they call it. Marijuana, pot, and bud follow with 39%, 38%, and 37%, respectively. Recreational users are most likely to refer to it as weed, with 76% of recreational users reporting they call it weed.
If users would change how they present cannabis to others, especially those in the recreational setting, it could potentially generate great waves of change.