Cannabis is about a lifestyle as much as it’s about consuming the plant. That’s the message from hundreds of new brands that represent a growing contingent of the cannabis marketplace.
But what exactly is a “lifestyle brand” in the context of cannabis?
Traditional lifestyle brands are those which strive to connect with a subculture without irony. They are a reaction to decades of transactional marketing that consumers got sick of and learned to tune out. Winning lifestyle brands sell product on a foundation of audience engagement and an authentic connection to a specific subculture.
So appealing to the “cannabis lifestyle” is easy, right? Yes and no.
Smart marketers know that today’s cannabis consumers are not a homogenous mass. They know that the “cannabis lifestyle” can mean completely different things to different elements within the subculture.
For example, Toronto’s Tokyo Smoke positions itself for “the sophisticated smoker, those who embrace beautiful design along with alternative states of mind.”
Canna skin care specialists Apothecanna “spread the wisdom of traditional plant medicine. [They] believe in the fundamental right of access to the healing powers of nature and promote sustainable interaction with the world around us.”
On a more political (and pioneering) note, Cannabis Culture is “dedicated to liberating marijuana, freeing pot-prisoners around the globe, and bringing an end to the vicious worldwide war on drugs.”
Cannabis lifestyle brands are are here for good and this is just the first wave – think Lycos, InfoSeek, and Excite. By employing authentic storytelling and engaged outreach, cannabis lifestyle brands can win just like traditional lifestyle brands.