Cannabis Brand Guidelines: What are they, & Why are they Important?
So you’re looking into branding your cannabis business, or you’ve already started the process. You know you need the basics- a logo, colors, fonts- and that’s it right?
Not quite! You’ve probably noticed that every branding agency is suggesting something else: brand guidelines.
You don’t know it yet, but brand guidelines are the most important part of your cannabis branding!
Cannabis Brand Guidelines Explained: A Brief Intro
Let’s say that you’ve already finished branding your cannabis dispensary (farm, lab, law firm, etc), without any brand guidelines. You have a logo you love, an awesome color scheme, cohesive typography- the works.
You decide after a couple months that you’d like some marketing materials. Nothing crazy, just some business cards and a brochure, maybe a banner for a booth.
The designer(s) that created your cannabis brand are booked out for a few months, and you can’t wait that long. So you hire a different agency that you’ve never worked with before.
The preview for your materials comes back and… the result is less than perfect.
It’s not that the design is bad, it just doesn’t seem to fit with your brand. The right colors and fonts are there, but somehow the new team completely missed the mark!
Now you and the designers have to go back to the drawing board, and that isn’t always cheap.
More importantly, there still isn’t any guarantee that the design team will get closer to your cannabis brand the next time around!
Defining Cannabis Brand Guidelines
In short, branding guidelines are a rulebook on how to replicate the “look and feel” of your brand.
They’re an important tool that teaches designers about the fundamental structure of your brand design. They cover all the visual elements of your business, showing exactly how they work together to create a complete identity.
You may need to add more rules and examples to your brand guidelines as your business evolves. But to start, your guidelines should include:
Your main logo file, along with any acceptable (and unacceptable) variations
A series of specific color codes, and any rules on how to apply them together
Primary and secondary fonts, their relative sizing and purpose
The examples above were taken from our demo brand Irresistibowl. Other examples of cannabis brand guidelines can be found in our portfolio as well!
What’s the Real Value of Cannabis Brand Guidelines?
1. Save Time
Time really is money, so many designers and developers bill based on the time it takes them to complete a project.
If your design goes back to the creative team many times, there’s a good chance that your bill will be much higher than you anticipated.
Also, the sooner a project is complete, the sooner you’ll have your deliverables! This can make or break your chance at printing those marketing materials and landing a big sale/partnership at a trade show (for example).
Having clear and concise brand guidelines will make sure that no one’s time gets wasted.
2. Provide Consistency
Branding is 100% about consistency. So using, following, and sharing your brand guidelines is the only way to avoid your brand getting lost in a design.
Whether you need a 10 foot banner or a 10 page website, your design agency will always have a visual foundation to work from.
Your materials will end up looking like they came from your cannabis brand, no matter how many different designers worked to create them!
3. Build Your Brand’s Perceived Value
At the end of the day, both your employees and your customers are going to have more respect for your brand if they see you taking it seriously as well.
With consistency, they will come to expect a certain level of quality from your products and your company. You want people to think about how awesome your brand is when they encounter it, right?
4. Improve Brand Longevity
By using cannabis branding guidelines properly, the quality of your materials will stay constant for a longer period of time. This also ensures that your brand design will keep its appeal for longer.
The longer your brand design stays attractive to your target market, the longer you can wait to rebrand your cannabis business!
Yes, You Need Brand Guidelines!
The goal of every brand is to last as long as possible.
Great brands can take years to build up, but steady growth only occurs with a solid foundation. For your company to grow smoothly and efficiently, it’s necessary to have a standard set of cannabis brand guidelines in place.
Be one of the brands that stands the test of time, and focus on a perfect brand design the first time around!