In August 2022, Canada’s Island Garden (CIG) tasked Insight Studio with branding their new milled cannabis product. The client’s only requirement was emphasizing rich flavours and high THC to stand out in a saturated market.
The target market: Budget-conscious, frequent cannabis users in Canada aged 30-40.
The Challenge: Strict government regulations, unique procurement & distribution regimes across various Canadian markets, and the industry’s competitiveness, with a dominant player enjoying the majority of the market share in the milled category.
Our goal: Capture market share for the new Cannabis Brand.
Extensive research and competitor analysis helped identify market gaps and a niche. The product is used in social settings, and heavy users often look to share their experiences and knowledge with others. We began exploring ways to solve this creative challenge through the social side of consumption.
After considering many party-themed angles, one idea immediately caught fire. The punch bowl is the communal cocktail at any friendly get-together. It’s also the epicentre of new connections or relationships. This was our way in, a brand positioned as the ultimate party host.
We named the product Piper’s Punch, which worked on various levels. Punch is a party drink. It’s also a blended drink which refers to the milled product as a blend, not a singular strain. Punch also referred to the high THC potency, a key differentiator in the market. And, because milled cannabis is often consumed in a pipe, Piper’s Punch made for a logical, catchy name.
Working off this punch bowl theme, we used cheeky plays on cocktail names that evoke a party vibe and callout flavour indicators for the initial blends ‘Tangria’ and ‘Dank ‘N Stormy.’
We crafted a playful and energetic tone of voice and used dynamic, “punchy” copy that played up high THC and knockout flavours. We created the tagline “Pack a Punch” with the brand promise of bringing people together for good times.
We chose vibrant colours, a dynamic font, and a splatter logo referencing punch, THC potency, and implying an explosion of flavour.
These branding elements allowed us to connect with 30 to 40-year-olds, nostalgic for their party days, without alienating other audiences.
The brand was rolled out across social media, a website, product mockups and POS materials that stood out on dispensary selves. We even created a Spotify playlist for users to listen to while enjoying the product that embodied the vibes we were striving for.
We relied on organic social media content to engage with budtenders nationwide, as they would play a crucial role in promoting the product.
Launched in February 2023, we are pleased as punch to say that our branding efforts were a success. In just three months, Piper’s Punch generated nearly $500K in sales and made a notable impact in the industry, with Tangria holding the top spot for milled SKU on PEI for two weeks!
Our brand awareness, social following, and website traffic are growing daily as we continue to be the AOR for Piper’s Punch.