At Saturday’s Oregon Marijuana Business Conference in Ashland, Bixel will present on branding, marketing and packaging. Widely known as an industry leader in creative branding, she sits on the Oregon Liquor Control Commission’s packaging and labeling subcommittee.
- Use the OLCC pre-approval process on labeling and packaging. The OLCC wisely set up a pre-approval process. You can bring in your design and packaging concepts to get the ok before going to print. It’s not a required step, but I encourage everyone to go through pre-approval. It could potentially save a lot of money in the long run. Re-doing packaging is not an inexpensive or simple task.
- Your story is the key to your success. In a crowded market, your story sets your brand apart from the competition. It’s not enough to have a great product — consumers need to know the story behind it, why it matters, and how you created it. You should put as much time and effort into developing your brand and story as you do into developing your product. Engaging with consumers in a meaningful way is how you help them connect to your brand.
- Be careful with cartoons. Cartoon characters are not allowed. The OLCC will reject your label or packaging if they decide your design appeals to children.
- Clarity is king. Your packaging and labeling need to be safe and clear. Does your label clearly explain how to interact with your product, how much to eat, smoke or apply? What’s in it? How it was tested? It needs to.
- Develop your brand ASAP. Ideally, you should develop your product, design, and brand simultaneously. They’re all part of the same package. Getting it right from the start is crucial. I have a creative background, so building the brand and identity for Drip came naturally as I created the product. Then I enlisted a friend who is a killer graphic designer to take it to the next level. There are so many talented, creative people in Oregon who can help you develop your brand’s identity – don’t delay!
- Promote your brand in all sorts of mediums. Good design on the shelf isn’t enough, stories need to be told on multiple platforms. For example, Drip focuses on connecting the creative community to cannabis. We get involved in many local art and design events, and partner with artists to collaborate on projects.
Andi Bixel is a native Oregonian and the founder/CEO of Drip, a cannabis-infused ice cream available at over 50 dispensaries across Oregon. Get a taste of her genius at www.dripicecream.com.