Breaking the stigma

With the legalization of Cannabis in Washington State, a whole new industry presented to the market place in need of a functional and clear marketing structure, while optimizing the draw to a variety of consumers. Although not lacking in controversy, this category presents opportunity not just for the government agencies, but for the entrepreneurial spirit as well. This is how our client, Empire, presented to us in need of help marketing their new category of Delta-8 THC.

Although once viewed as a gateway substance, Cannabis has broken the stigma, offering medicinal benefits, alternatives to mental health treatments, and to support personal functionality and creativity. CBD has been spreading in popularity, but not many were familiar with Delta-8 THC. This was the driving factor in Empire’s need for a clear and unique design system, which would allow their category to stand out amongst the masses, and offer clear marketing that paints a picture of its offerings.

Can a design system capture an audience at first site?

Delta-8 THC, a component of THC, provides a subtle, clear-minded, feel good experience, with different psychoactive properties than its infamous partner in crime Delta-9 THC, which provides a more psychedelic mental experience.

With the product in mind, and a lack of consumer knowledge and understanding, our design system had to capture interest and peak curiosity. By utilizing the strength of complimentary color hues, partnered with subtle illustrative notes, we were able to capture the essence of this brand extension product line – making a visual promise at first site.

This foundation to the Delta-8 design system allows for flexibility in product evolution in a high-turn industry, offering opportunity to insert visual flavor cues, strain origin, SKU differentiation, and more. This unique chameleon-like foundation was built with the intention of covering multiple sub-categories, all supporting a rainbow list of sub-products.

Key information – straight from the farm

The next key factor in this brand extension was the Empire umbrella design system. This inherited design language instantly communicated key farm features, such as compliancy, pesticide and heavy-metal free farming, strain history, product lab results, and more, claims Empire is truly proud of, and wants the world to know about.

Signature Inverted Delta-8 Lockup & Band – This categories stylistic marketing hero stands tall on all product packaging, calling out the product defining name and communicating what this product is NOT, the more commonly known Delta-9 THC.

Powerful Use of White Space – This feature provides a crisp and clear framework for communicating key product details. Additionally, the nature of the white space is two-fold, offering a two-sided band on the packaging that is visually pleasing when the product is grouped together in a row, as most hanging products are displayed in retail.

Background Design Element – This style element allows flexibility to implement color gradients specific to flavor and origin cues of each product, and add the primary foundation to this categories design system.

Full Spectrum Chart – This educational element provides clarity for each products properties and potency to define expectation of product delivery.

THE RESULTS

Setting the foundation for future success

This full cycle design system covers multiple subcategories, including multiple product SKU’s with 12+ flavor profiles within each. It was built with the intention to set a foundation for many more product lines to follow. This brand extension carried over seamlessly into email marketing, aligned social media campaigns, in-store promotions, and an asset library.

Empire set forth with a goal to break out of the standard Cannabis product line, and optimize on a new, and untapped, market full of potential. Their success of this goal was realized with month-over-month sales growth, contributing to strengthened retail partnerships and extended purchase orders.