BRAT Branding Checklist for Cannabis Brands

BRAT – Branding Checklist for Cannabis Brands

In branding by Nicole Flanigan

As a business owner, odds are you spent some time at your business’s inception developing a brand document. Whenever we get started with new clients, we like to ask if they have this document handy so we can look through it and determine what direction we should take with our marketing efforts. Normally, the business in question does have a brand document, and it’s usually a pretty good one covered with beautiful words and rational thought, but are altogether uninspiring, meaningless, and incapable of being acted upon.

The more we go through this, the more we recognize that these brand documents are just intellectual exercises that don’t light a fire in your heart and are ultimately just a waste of time. In order to bring some passion into the most important part of marketing, we’ve developed a better way, known as the BRAT checklist.

The fact of the matter is that a brand document absolutely has to be passionate, which is why we developed BRAT. By using this checklist, we hope we can help you give life to your brand by identifying and leveraging that spark or that passion within your company and your consumers.

This method helps you bring your original vision to life – and it’s all about your vision. The same reason you started your company in the first place. This is where your brand’s true power lies. And your final brand document will serve as the fuse that powers your brand to long-term success.

Here’s our BRAT checklist that will help you create that spark:

B: What is your brand’s key (b)enefit?

Too often, we find that cannabis companies all have the same benefit: highest quality, or, most effective. However, research trends are showing that these generic statements with nothing behind them are completely meaningless to the average consumer. Every brand claims it’s the best. You have to make sure you’re being specific, and don’t be afraid that specifying will somehow limit your brand. A clearly articulated benefit is the root of brand meaning, and it speaks to today’s empowered buyer.

R: What (r)easons support your key benefit?

What things do you offer or provide as proof points to back up your key benefit and make it believable? All of the reasons that support your key benefit are what make your benefit believable and trustworthy. Collectively, they also act as a storyline for your cannabis brand, which helps your marketing team by giving it some direction!

A: What are your brand’s (a)ttributes?

The best brands take on a human persona that acts as an emotional link to your consumers. Try developing a list of 5 key personality traits that you want people to associate with your brand and then prioritize them. Your marketing team can translate these attributes into verbal and visual touch points that will act as the emotional core of your cannabis brand.

T: What is your brand’s alignmen(t)?

There are two parts to your brands alignment: internal and external. Internal alignment is essential to the company and bringing to life your beliefs and what you stand for. In a lot of cases in the cannabis industry, internal team members are on a different page than executives. Keep that in mind when running down the BRAT checklist with new hires and employees to ensure that every staff member is on the same page. Ensure that all voices are heard and feel like they are part of this process as you align on key brand issues.

External alignment involves finding out what your customers truly want and identify with. Find out what they’re missing from other brands in your category and determine how your brand can best meet their needs. Then, if you find you need to revise your internal statement to better reflect your consumer reality, make sure it’s still authentic to who you are and what you do.

We at Team MaryJane believe that if you follow our BRAT checklist, you will be able to better set in motion the full effect of a cannabis brand designed for long-term success. As always, our marketing experts are a simple phone call or email away if you need help.