Best, Ok, & Bad Cannabis Brand Names
Business names tend to fall into one the above categories. There are the best business names that lift the business and the brand. They are easy to remember and customers like them. Think JetBlue, Amazon, Twitter, Under Armor, Restoration Hardware and others. Ok business names don’t help or hurt you. They tend to be family names or just unrelated but common words (Breyer’s, Harvard, Apple). Bad brand names are detrimental or require explanation. They may be difficult to spell or remember–like skincare company Kinerase. Or they may be easily confused with a competitor’s brand: Berkeley College and UC Berkeley. Finally, your company name could be hard to pronounce so your customers might talk about your company less because they don’t know how to say it (Hoegaarden).
1. Resist Green & Leaf Motifs
Listen! The first thing you must do is make your cannabis business look like just your own. Make everything you can look proprietary and custom to you. This starts with your logo not looking just like every other cannabis brand around–with lots of green and marijuana leaves. I know you live and breath your brand but customers are easily confused. Make your brand stand out by not looking like anyone else.
2. Don’t Add “420”
Notice how what was “BP Petroleum” is now just “BP”? The energy business has changed since BP was originally named Anglo-Persian Oil Company in 1909. In 2001 they spent tons trying to show they were more than just oil by shortening their official name to “BP” in their marketing. (Too bad their 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was the largest accidental oil release in history.) The point is! Pick a name that is not dependent on one line of products. You never know where your cannabis business product lines will be in 5 or 50 years.
3. Give Your Cannabis Business Name Room to Expand
Zappos founders chose the Spanish word for shoes instead of Shoes.com because they knew one day their brand would expand to do more than just sell shoes. By choosing a brand name that doesn’t connect you to only one product or vendor, you’ll be able to adapt your business over many years as the market changes.
4. Make It Short
Longer names are harder to remember. Aim for two words or less.
5. Make It Memorable
I know your brand name means a lot to you but your customer may only think about you a few times a year. Make it easy to remember, which more importantly, makes it more likely that they’ll tell their friends.
6. Make It Easy To Spell
Remember that the first way most potential customers are going to look at you is online through your website. If searching for your brand name is hard (because they can’t spell it) you’re going to have to spend more on Google Adwords to make up the web traffic.
7. If You Pick A Local Name, Your Cannabis Business Can’t Move
Denver Dispensary sounds great now but what happens when you want to open a second location in Seattle? There’s a long tradition of boring, location-base company names. Avoid adding the name of your street, neighborhood or town if possible.
What Are Your Cannabis Branding Challenges?
Leave them in the comments or get in touch for a workshop designed just for your cannabis brand team in Manhattan, Denver, or Seattle.