Potency is Sherpa’s main partner in design, with whom we share an office, ideas, and the occasional happy hour. Experts at polished branding, packaging, and graphic design, they’ve branded some of the biggest names in cannabis, from Select to Yerba Buena.
We talked to Potency’s CEO and founder Mauria Betts to get an inside look at what it takes to create exceptional brands that stand out in saturated markets.
Potency is a holistic branding agency devoted to working with innovative leaders who are growing and evolving in the cannabis and hemp industries.
At Potency, we view each brand as an extension of the people who power it. That’s why we begin each project with a series of client surveys and interviews to fully understand their personalities and goals for our collaboration.
We research the people behind the company and the company’s values—to determine how our findings relate to the brand’s customers. From an early stage, we want to understand the company’s objectives and also expand our client’s vision of what’s possible.
Brand strategy is a crucial component of the work that Potency develops for our clients. With our client’s brand objectives in mind, we determine who we see as competitors and assess the characteristics of our target audience before we begin creating any verbal or visual assets.
Depending on the project, our next stage may be to present brand name & tagline options, develop the brand’s personality & core values, as well as other elements of the brand voice.
We present three different visual identity options for the client and choose the final direction together. Rather than creating simple logos, we approach each design project by first establishing an identity system that includes different logo variations, typography styles, a color palette, imagery, and other identity assets to represent the organization and connect with desired audiences. Our goal is to equip our clients with a toolbox of visual elements that can be used across all types of platforms.
With brand voice and visual identity guidelines in place, we can further build out the brand with packaging, retail environments, sales collateral merchandise, social media, advertising, and more.
I started working in the cannabis space in 2014 and founded Potency soon after. I was continually getting requests for cannabis-related branding and retail design projects. The design studio I worked with still held the stigma that cannabis is a detriment to society and didn’t have a positive future. At the time, there was only one other dedicated cannabis creative agency, so I saw an incredible opportunity to provide creative services to an industry that was starting to evolve and grow.
My personal goal is for both cannabis and hemp industries to gain widespread acceptance and ultimately reach more people who can benefit from this amazing plant. In the past five years of working closely with this community, we’ve witnessed incredible accounts of people being able to positively alter their health and well-being with cannabis and CBD. It’s also been inspiring to see talented, passionate, and good-hearted partners build incredible businesses from the ground up. It has been exciting to witness the evolution that has taken place in a few short years.
Branding is a strategy to develop how consumers identify your organization, product, or service, and what makes your offering different from competitors. Your brand defines what you stand for, a promise you make, and the personality you convey.
Today’s consumers appreciate authenticity and transparency in a brand. An organization must know what it stands for to decide how to reach an audience and what to say. Define your organization’s core values, write a mission statement, and determine your brand’s personality. These tools guide an organization internally, direct external outreach, and ensure that a brand remains on track to achieve its goals.
At Potency, we believe in growing strong, influential brands. Smart design and strategic communication are at the heart of effective and memorable branding. How we present ourselves to the world matters—and the same is true for brands. Before designing a package, developing a logo, or even creating a name, it is essential to determine your position in the cannabis market. Start by analyzing competitors and pinpoint a target demographic to attract.
Almost every sector of the industry- from distributor to consumer to product producer- has become relatively saturated. Cannabis is consolidating; if you operate in a medical state where you haven’t had much competition until this point, there will be a time in the future when larger, well-funded entities will be your competition.
If you want to have a successful cannabis company with longevity, it is essential to invest in building a brand at an early stage. Having strategic, well-designed, and cohesive visual identity and messaging ensures that you will distinguish yourself from your competitors and engage with your target audiences.