Branding, Design, Marketing, Social, Strategy, Web

Building a buzz in the Garden City

Garden City Cannabis Co. has been a huge hit in Niagara’s cannabis scene and it’s been our pleasure to help them get rolling.

Garden City Cannabis

The Ask

Cut through the haze.

With plans to launch several locations across the Niagara Region, Garden City Cannabis Co. approached us to help build and grow their brand from the ground up. Our primary goal was to make GCCC stand out while selecting the appropriate channels and messaging for the brand to be marketed effectively - and legally - in this highly competitive category. Despite the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada, the stigma persists. We knew that shifting the narrative within our community and successfully growing Niagara’s newest dispensary meant positioning GCCC as a distinct, trustworthy and polished brand, eager to educate and eliminate misconceptions surrounding the use of cannabis.

Brand Identity

Stamping out the stigma.

Built on the backbone of an entrepreneurial family with a longstanding connection to Niagara, we knew that GCCC’s brand identity had to pay homage to the sightlines of the city we know and love. Drawing on the landscape and city lights and with an eye for environmental design, signage, and digital placements, we developed an identity that would translate seamlessly into the customized bricks-and-mortar stores. The dark undertone, pop of neon, and playful type helped connect the grassroots endeavour to the city’s adopted name.

Environmental Design

Blazing the retail trail.

Working hand-in-hand with one of the nation’s top retail outfitters, we applied the newly formed brand to a custom-designed retail space to create a unique, creative and functional in-store experience. With a mindful eye toward strict AGCO retail cannabis guidelines, we consulted on applying the GCCC treatment to everything from customer flow, product sightlines and digital checkout experiences to lighting temperature, material finishes and custom fixtures. Meticulous planning and design went into the bricks-and-mortar project to make sure the space was unique and memorable while at the same time extensible for on-brand, plug-and-play installation of future locations.

Photography

Shooting the pre-roll(s).

We applied the sophisticated, moody identity to the product and environmental photography that showcased GCCC’s extensive selection and unique retail space. Every photoshoot was consistently planned to produce imagery that can be universally used across all digital marketing platforms, social media, print, and web design.

Website

Stashing the cookies.

No new business should be without a web presence, especially in retail. Like every fledgling brand, GCCC needed a home base that worked for them 24/7. When entering a new category, impressions are everything and adopting the identity and culture of GCCC in the initial build was imperative. The site started as a standalone landing page while the GCCC team built out the first retail location. It has since grown to house LP brands, an online store, a thought leadership blog, and bricks-and-mortar information.

Brand Collateral

Grinding the goods.

The intense amount of collateral required for a new brand looking to make a splash in the market can be overwhelming. We worked with GCCC every step of the way to ensure they made educated decisions on the right pieces to employ. Basics like stationery are a given, but we also had to take advantage of GCCC’s extensive calendar of events and in-store activations. Merchandise and swag, flags and banners, out-of-home advertising, digital menu boards, retail signage, 3D backlit exterior signage, laser cut acrylics, and more have all helped elevate the brand’s presence at every touchpoint.

Marketing

Channelling the vibe.

Since most marketing platforms impose significant restrictions on cannabis promotion, the initial steps in building the marketing strategy involved selecting the most effective and appropriate digital and analog outlets for GCCC. With a comedic tone and sharp wit in full effect, the plan focused heavily on education and culture while aiming to spark conversation in this newly legislated category and encouraging curious dabblers to reach out without hesitation. Social media, email marketing, mail drops, lead-gen campaigns, online contests and IRL events have helped us build a following of ambassadors for GCCC that join the conversation, spread the word, and drive sales.

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