Demonstrating a Structured Approach to Cannabis Product Innovation: MIST, GOLD, and SMALL
As the founder of Profound Cannabis Design and Marketing, a consultancy dedicated to helping cannabis companies create inspired and persuasive cannabis products and marketing communication, I developed three pragmatic product concepts—MIST, GOLD, and SMALL—to showcase the power of a structured and thoughtful approach to product development in the cannabis industry.
My professional journey, which includes experiences with global Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies such as Kellogg's and Kraft, and the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) giant, McDonald's, has underscored the importance of creating a comprehensive product "concept". Such a concept should be compelling and insightful, capable of being tested and validated with consumers prior to initiating costly production processes. It's this strategic approach, grounded in consumer insight, product ideation, and coherent branding and marketing, that I sought to introduce into the cannabis industry.
For each of the three concepts, I developed a comprehensive set of deliverables that demonstrate this process, including a clear articulation of the product idea, consumer insight, brand and product marketing strategy, sell sheet mock-ups, concept ad layouts, and research concepts ready for budtender/enthusiast testing. These deliverables, I believe, represent the level of professionalism, comprehensiveness, and strategic cohesion that the cannabis industry should be operating at today.
Project Mist
The MIST concept was inspired by the rise and accessibility of nano-emulsified cannabis extract. Known for its fast-acting properties, this extract had become a staple in the rapidly growing cannabis beverage market. The idea behind MIST was to harness this extract and present it in a novel, easy-to-use spray format. This format would offer consumers a new way to enjoy the benefits of cannabis, providing a sense of instant gratification and control over their experience similar to that of smoking or vaping, but in a different, potentially more accessible form.
MIST's strategic positioning aimed to tap into this consumer desire for immediacy and control, providing an instant-onset alternative to traditional cannabis consumption methods. This positioning was designed to appeal to both novice and experienced cannabis users, offering a new method of consumption that combined the benefits of ingestible products with the immediate effects traditionally associated with smoking or vaping.
Project Gold
The GOLD concept was born out of a challenge that many cannabis businesses were facing: large inventories of lower potency product that had limited market demand. The idea was to transform what was essentially a valueless commodity into a sought-after product, creating a brand and product portfolio that could turn this obstacle into an opportunity.
Recognizing that many consumers enjoyed the experience of a slow, relaxing cannabis smoke but often found a full joint to be too much, GOLD aimed to cater to this market segment. The strategy was to shift the focus from potency to the overall smoking experience. By selecting cannabis for its aroma rather than its potency and investing extra care into the milling and refining process, GOLD sought to provide a full and satisfying cannabis smoking experience without the risk of overdoing it.
By providing larger formats at good value and taking steps to preserve moisture content for a slower, more even burn, GOLD's strategic positioning aimed to appeal to those who savored the smoking experience. This approach demonstrated how thoughtful branding and product marketing could create value from a product that would otherwise have little demand.
Project Small
The SMALL concept was designed to address a market inefficiency created by regulations. The 10mg max per package regulation meant that any serious edible user requiring a 50mg dose or above would need to consume at least 5 distinct edible products, each with its own excessive packaging and potentially more gummies than needed. This led to an absurd amount of packaging and unnecessary sugar intake just to achieve a desired edible experience.
SMALL took aim at this market dynamic by offering a minimalist approach to edibles. The concept was to reduce packaging to a minimum, maximize potency per unit, and make it practical to buy and transport multiples. This approach not only responded to the needs of high-frequency edible consumers but also demonstrated a thoughtful and efficient use of resources. By focusing on the effects and reducing everything else to a minimum, SMALL offered a straightforward, practical solution to a regulatory-induced problem.
If this case study resonated with you and you'd like to discover how I can bring value to your organization, please don't hesitate to reach out.
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