Branding agency Zero has teamed up with Dosist and Sunday Goods to develop a new suite of product lines that will begin with the launch of "Melted" in the Arizona cannabis market—under the umbrella brand Studio. The core idea is to use engaging design to capture the attention of specific segments of the growing consumer base.
Mark Goldwell, Zero co-founder and creative director, points to Dosist and Sunday Goods’ teams as being very tuned into the power of communicating with people through brand opportunities. This is a strategic pillar of the cannabis business, and it’s not something to overlook.
The brand lineup includes: Melted, Plant Based, Human Resources, Tell Your Friends, and Session, with each product line appealing to a specific type of consumer and a specific lifestyle (and bearing a design scheme that conveys such a message).
Studio is launching Melted first in Arizona, directed at experienced users. For them, cannabis is a major part of their personal identity in most cases. It’s a chance to develop a brand niche that doesn’t shy away from stoner imagery or cultural resonance. Bold graphics and stark, psychedelic black-and-white patterns help tell this story.
“This is for your everyday user,” Goldwell says. “This is for folks that are into tastes, strains, innovation, potency, those sorts of pieces. Coming out the gate with Melted, I think, was really wise, and it's doing really, really well. It feels very different than anything that's in the market, especially in Arizona from a brand standpoint. We’re going to be quickly following up in 2022 with a number of other brands that are different in their emotional value proposition and in how the brand looks and feels.”
On the other side of the brand personal spectrum from everyday consumers are consumers who may be more homeopathic- or holistic-minded with their wellness products, including cannabis. For them, Studio will offer Plant Based. The more millennial-driven, aspirational brand for consumers hoping to replace alcohol consumption with something else will be Tell Your Friends. Those other brands will soon be introduced in other markets outside of Arizona.
The key to all of that is the engagement with consumers. It’s not enough simply to land your cannabis products on store shelves anymore. The market is growing more sophisticated by the day—in Arizona and anywhere else—and brand development is critical to distinguishing what it is you’re placing in front of people.
“I think, in the past, to win is just being available, because there's high demand,” Goldwell says. “But it's also just having a really consistent product. I think that that's historically why brand necessarily hasn't been super important. … Now, I think it's everything. I don't think it's going to be enough to just say, ‘Hey, we have a product,’ and then secondly, say, ‘Hey, we have a product that's consistent.’ You have to tell some sort of story. This is an emotional matter, and people see themselves in these products, just like any other consumer-packaged good.”