San Rafael '71, a former sales leader, experienced a sustained decline in sales over multiple quarters. The brand lost its authenticity and failed to resonate with heavy users, resulting in a weakened representation of its original 1970s concept. Instead of maintaining its strong identity, the brand had regrettably transformed into a mere imitation of its former self.
Aurora had a unique advantage through its in-house breeding and genetics program. Focusing on this aspect would be far more appealing to heavy users than relying on 1970s puns. To succeed with heavy users, product-centric communication was crucial.
The brand underwent a refresh, launching a refined strategy based on "cannabis with character" - a guiding principle for unique strain offerings and product development. The new visual identity included a strain identity system within the San Rafael '71 "House of Strains," providing distinct personalities for each strain.
My Role
- Identified unique strains as the most ownable point of difference and briefed the creative agency to develop a new San Raf brand idea based on this insight.
- Approved and implemented the "cannabis with character" brand idea.
- Translated the brand strategy into an innovation strategy, driving product innovation focused on "original strains and true-to-strain products."
- Put product at the core of the brand instead of 1970s stereotypes
- Managed the development, execution, and roll-out of the new visual identity, including packaging and label updates.
- The rebrand received a positive response from the cannabis community as modernizing yet "true to brand."
- The brand phase-out was organized and coordinated, minimizing operational and cost impact.
- San Rafael '71 sales decline reversed, achieving the first quarterly growth in over six quarters. Influential cannabis voices praised the brand's revival and improvement.
Wedge (Creative Agency)
Steven Artemiw (Creative Director)
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