CBD Branding: Insights & Tips To Build Your Brand

Ashley is a young entrepreneur who wants to take the benefits of CBD to every household. She cares deeply about the wellness sector and believes that her products can make a difference. 

Although it is legal to sell CBD products in many parts of the world, Ashley has bigger challenges in establishing her CBD brand.

CBD is easily one of the most popular and controversial products across world markets today. And new studies, products, and perspectives on CBD are coming to light all the time.

This has made CBD a household topic, and helped broach the taboo surrounding it. But Ashley knows that this is also a potential problem for her CBD brand. 

As in any industry, the path to success here too is reliant on branding. This means carving out a unique niche for your products and forming that loyal community of customers that will have your back. 

Maybe you are like Ashley and want to start a CBD business. Or you want to grow your existing business into a brand. In either case, this blog is exactly what you need to get started.

CBD Branding – Importance and Challenges 

Explaining the legality and chemistry behind CBD is a huge challenge that brands must overcome. Source: Medgadget

The CBD market is getting crowded as new brands enter every day. But that isn’t the only challenge that entrepreneurs in this space have to contend with. There is also an immense volume of information online that can intimidate someone unsure about CBD usage.

As someone in this space you likely have a solid backgrounder on CBD. Feel free to skip ahead if that’s the case. If not, here’s a quick overview: 

Cannabis is a parent plant with more than a hundred compounds called Cannabinoids. CBD is just one of them. The other popular cannabinoid from cannabis is THC, a psychoactive compound that is associated with the intoxicating properties of cannabis.

CBD is not intoxicating and is found to have a favorable result on many physical and mental illnesses. 

But this distinction is lost on much of the general public. Unfortunately, they’ve heard tales of intoxication and stigma around cannabis for far longer than they have heard about the benefits. 

CBD Branding aims to tackle this bias and lack of awareness/education while also weaving your personal story into the mix. Branding helps you paint a positive image of your business and product(s) using strategic design and content in your marketing campaigns. This includes logos, social media pages, websites, brochures, and product packaging.

Kimp’s packaging design for LumiBeauty.

Approaching your branding in this way will help you attract those who are aware of CBD’s benefits. And it’ll attract those who are curious or even unaware too.  

CBD Branding also helps you align yourself with path-breaking innovation and intoxicating compounds that are associated with more stigma. Your branding will help you position your business in a specific category. And that will make it that much more accessible to customers. It will build the trust, visibility, and transparency that consumers have come to value so highly today. 

How to build a CBD Brand that works 

We’ve covered why CBD Branding is absolutely indispensable for your business. So let’s move into implementation mode. 

How can you build a CBD brand that tells customers who you are, what you stand for, and how you figure in their personal lives?

We have a 5-step process for you to do just that. The usual steps that go into building a brand identity, brand awareness, and good reputation in the market work here too. But, as you’ll see below there are certain things that need to be tailored specifically to this niche. 

1) Don’t hide the CBD. 

In the world of CBD, the biggest mistake a brand can make is to treat the issue of CBD with kid gloves. If you tiptoe and assume that too much reference to CBD is taboo, customers will too. 

Instead, you must go all out – publicize the brand and proudly proclaim that your business does deal with CBD products. Providing legitimacy by normalizing the product and the business is the first step in breaking any barriers. Apart from having your product, and the CBD text, clearly displayed, you can also refer to some of the benefits in your copy. And you can even make reference briefly to the product being legal as you highlight the benefits to reinforce why it is.  

2) Understand your market thoroughly 

The CBD market is divided between recreational, wellness, and healthcare-seeking customers. You must understand what a particular demographic or customer set is seeking before targeting them. Are they looking for a fun brand? Or is it a more professional and pharmaceutical-Esque brand that would resonate with them? 

Market research is important in formulating the brand identity of any business, and the same goes for CBD products. 

CBD products have a diverse market and it is important to understand who is using your products and why to establish a brand identity. Source: Organicha
3) Formulate a clear brand identity 

Based on your market research and the best product-market fit you see, the next step is to formalize the brand identity. Everything from your selling process, vision, mission, and values, to how you will interact with customers fits into this category.

From your visual identity to the customer service experience and your USP, it’s important that you build a clear and consistent experience for consumers. 

A consistent brand identity is the only way you can keep your brand top of mind or make it easier to recall when your customers need CBD products like yours. More on this in the following sections. 

4) Craft a unique visual identity 

If you want customers to remember you whenever they think of CBD, and keep coming back to you, your business needs a hook. Human beings are visual creatures, and you must have strong, unique, and easily identifiable elements in your visual identity. This includes everything that a customer will visualize when they think of your brand.

Logos, flyers, brand colors, a mascot, your imagery, and every physical asset has to be carefully designed and tailored to your brand identity. Check out this detailed guide for building a visual identity for your reference. 

5) Consistency across Platforms 

 Consistency in content and posting across social media platforms is something all brands focus on. But, what is equally important is the messaging and the branding guidelines that have to be followed. Each post and listing must be consistent with the brand and identity you want to build in your customers’ minds. 

Tips and Best Practices for CBD Branding

Beyond the basic guidelines of building a CBD Brand, Kimp has some inside tips and best practices to make your brand outshine everyone else in the market.

1) Logos

The logo of a CBD brand is important because more often than not it serves as an ice breaker. For someone with a bias towards your industry, your logo must do more than represent the business. It must attract the customer and make them willing to pick up the package. 

Human minds inherently have some perceived notions on logos and what they mean. Straight lines and edged logos like squares, triangles, or rectangles convey practicality, while curves such as circles, ovals, and ellipses connect with people emotionally. They bring out the feeling of community, friendship, and harmony in them.

You can use these shapes, and the preconceived notions they come with, to signify your values and tailor them to the market you are targeting. All this said, it’s important to remember that logo design is a complicated and abstract process. For best results, we recommend working with professionals who have worked with CBD brands before. 

A logo concept by Kimp for a CBD brand preparing to launch.
2) Color palettes

Color psychology theory is quite popular in marketing and branding circles. Even in daily life, people choose the color of their outfits based on how they are feeling that day. This is why xpressions like feeling blue, or seeing red are everyday phrases. 

A good branding and graphic designer will tell you that color is a strong tool in controlling your image and your customers’ reaction to it.  Green is a color that most people associate with CBD products but the sky’s the limit if you want to be creative. 

Designers will also tell you how a particular color will look in print, on your labels, packaging, and the web. We did a guide on it (RGB vs. Pantone vs. CMYK) if you want to know more. 

All these little things go a long way to build a brand that does all the right things. 

Think outside the box! Here’s an example of a non-green CBD branding color palette that is still attractive and unique. 
3) Typography 

Like your logo design and the color palette is an essential part of your brand story, so is the typography. The font you choose speaks of your sensibilities as friendly, casual, or professional. 

However, the minimalism route is seen to be helpful in CBD industries where customers like information about their products to be detailed out in sensible and professional fonts. Essentially the goal is to make your branding and marketing content as easy to read and engage with as possible. 

Navigating all these different aspects of building a brand can be overwhelming. Talk to a Kimp team member to learn more about how we can help you develop your CBD branding. 

4) Packaging

Packaging is a huge deal in the CBD industry. There is a lot to incorporate on your product labels. After you’ve added in everything from legal disclaimers to product details, it can feel like you’re left with no room for creative options here.

However, you can still display your brand identity without affecting the legal requirements put out by your government. The right design will make room for both: transparent, honest, and legally sound packaging design that enforces their trust in you. 

A user-friendly and print-friendly packaging design can help you earn brownie points with the customer. Packaging in CBD is an ocean waiting to be explored; all you need is an open mind and a talented designer. 

Below is an example of product specific CBD packaging design which still retains a unified brand identity and style. 

5) Social Media 

With more than 50% of the world being active social media users, it is obvious that this is a domain you want to ace. Even if it seems a bit daunting. In addition to achieving a unique brand identity on social media, you have some additional challenges to keep in mind. CBD companies have the added responsibility of aligning with industry standards and legal requirements.

Your brand identity must be visible in all forms such as content and images. Organic growth is vital for CBD brands as most digital platforms limit them in advertising efforts. So the look and feel of your social media profiles go a long way in your branding and sales efforts. 

Social media profile design, cover image, profile picture, and graphics used are key components of your organic reach across platforms. 

The brand above incorporates its color palette and style in its posts, story highlights, and profile picture for a strong visual identity. 

6) Website Design 

Social media is great, but companies are still wary of CBD content and can end up censoring most of it. So, if you want a touchpoint where customers can always reach you and retain control over the content you put out there, you need a website.

And because you are going to be generating traffic and advertising this digital asset of yours, this is a place where the branding has to shine. Right from the banner to the landing page and all your product pages, the design has to match your values, visual identity, and brand vision.

Websites are also a great way to build your email lists, so the landing page must be designed immaculately to ensure people get interested in what you have and subscribe to hear more. 

See our guide on landing pages and understand the value they hold in your interactions.

7) Offline Advertising Models 

Besides packaging design, a CBD brand has to spend a lot of effort reaching out to offline customers too. Many of those who will benefit from CBD products are part of older demographics that aren’t active online. Or in the cases where they are, may not trust what they are seeing online as much. 

Given these obstacles, one of the best ways to reach out to them is to build a brand via offline marketing/advertising models. This means investing in well-designed print ads like billboards, flyers, and brochures. You can use them to generate brand awareness and also build credibility for, and bring in traffic to, your online platforms. 

While the formats may vary, your online identities and offline identities should not clash with each other. They need to be visually consistent to ensure that no matter how a customer comes across you, they feel connected to your brand at every touch point.

So how do you achieve all this? Choose a designer that has expertise in both designs for best results. For instance, Kimp has worked with many CBD businesses for their online and offline marketing efforts. We understand the nuances and the connection between both these models to bring out the best results. 

An Innovative Design Partner for your CBD Brand 

CBD businesses are challenging enough with the legal aspects, social stigma, and varied customer demographics to navigate. As a brand owner, it can be overwhelming to deal with branding too. 

So take design off your to-do list. Try working with a partner like Kimp, which has a unique understanding of branding for niche businesses, and a deep passion for design.

Kimp focuses on bringing out your values via design to communicate them to your customers and crack the first impression barrier.

Whether you need help with designing a logo, a brand style guide, some social media templates, or all of the above and more, our flat-rate design subscriptions can get you everything you need. Including source files.  

Sign up for a free trial and see for yourself how Kimp can help you build your CBD branding.