Cannabis Adult Use: Branding and Demographic Focus for the Green Revolution

April 2021

Beyond the haze of hype and dramatic share price fluctuations, the cannabis industry is shifting into the realms of fast-moving consumer goods through the adoption of innovative formats, design sophistication and evolving language and semiotics. As it sheds its mantle of illicit associations, branding through lifestyle cues and positioning, retailing strategy and demographic breakdowns will shape its future and its transition from novelty to an industry that has come of age.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key Findings

Cannabis through an FMCG lens

As the cannabis industry sheds its mantle of illicit associations, branding through positioning, lifestyle cues, retailing strategy and demographic breakdowns will shape its future and its transition from novelty to an industry that has come of age.

Deciphering green branding

Pricing segmentation, craft positioning, pioneering new occasions, ancillary branding initiatives and symbiotic marketing campaigns will be the key drivers in this journey.

Normalisation, pop culture, counterculture and evolving beyond stereotypes

From music-driven collaborations to fashion tie-ins and from celebrity endorsements to streaming content, cannabis has and will continue to capitalise on its historic associations, semantics and creative outlets. However, reaching out to dabblers and the canna-curious will require players to go above and beyond stereotypes.

Experiencing more

Experiential retailing concepts, the first steps in the long road towards the establishment of an on-trade presence, the opportunities provided by canna-tourism and the momentum built on the back of delivery platforms will all be key in formulating the cannabis landscape.

Consumer segmentation, identifying key audiences and tailoring offerings

Cannabis and its consumers are not mono-dimensional and a one-size-fits-all approach would likely lead to strategic failure. From the seasoned consumer to the canna-curious and from dabblers to naysayers, using the right tools and pressure points to target different occasions and need states will be the fuel for driving the industry into the future.

Key findings
Beyond the fumes of illegality: cannabis as an FMCG industry
Back to basics: affordability, equity and the black market
High aspirations and green luxury
Beyond bling: premiumisation through a craft lens
Identifying new occasions
Intoxicating beauty?
Ancillary branding: from convenience to aspiration
Symbiotic marketing: green cross-pollination
Canna-culture: from back alleys to storefronts
The sound of cannabis? celebrity buzz…
… and indie notes with a twist
Beyond branded gear: the rise of smokewear ?
Cannabis goes mainstream and learnings from the Mad Men effect
Corporate responsibility; soothing the prohibitionary hangover
Experiential retailing and breaking the mould of copycats
The rise of the on-trade: a key pillar of normalisation
Canna tourism and green experiences
Delivery platforms and the Uber- fication of cannabis
Five shades of green: identifying key demographics
Facilitating the consumer journey: from naysayers to seasoned
Connecting the green dots: key tools for key segments
Catering for the “neo smoker”


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