The Seed Investor has been keeping an eye on Ionic, a US based Cannabis Vape company that is #1 in Washington State. Ionic's strong branding, high end product with a focus on design, and social engagement strategy could make it a massive player in the overall vape market.
We recommend you read this profile on mgretailer.com by Rob Hill.
Here is an excerpt from the article:
Christian Struzan grew up in a time and place where cannabis use no longer was covert or a sign of rebellion.
Ironically, Hollywood—where cannabis was a part of everyday life—perpetuated the stoner image. So, when he co-founded vape manufacturer Ionic in his hometown in 2012, Struzan set out to change the perception.
“The brand identity for Ionic is simple,” he said. “It was to reinvent cannabis and appeal to the professional, hardworking, respectable, functioning human being with a family and a job who also uses cannabis.”
Coming from the advertising and branding world where he developed campaigns for big Hollywood movies and global beverage alcohol brands Stella Artois, Guinness, and Beck’s, Struzan was well-versed in the art of marketing. He said he was intrigued by the challenge of creating a similar phenomenon in the nascent cannabis industry.
“If we could change people’s minds about cannabis, change their perceptions of people that used it, then we could effect positive change,” he said.
From the outset, Struzan avoided iconography like marijuana leaves and insider jargon such as 420 and dank. “We wanted to step away from all the things that would instantly, even if subliminally, trigger those deeply rooted stigmas and previously associated prejudices,” he said.
In this, Ionic was way ahead of the curve. When the company launched, recreational products were still hiding behind a façade of medical marijuana. “We ran headlong into creating a brand that celebrated recreational use and demanded to be taken seriously,” Struzan said. “We had full intention of reframing the conversation about cannabis and those that discreetly use it. We wanted to bring it out of the dark and reset the bar.”
But he knew the proof had to be in the oil. While the brand image was sophisticated and sexy, the oil had to be the purest, Struzan noted. “A huge majority of our budget is invested in sourcing premium raw materials, equipment, the cleaning of our oils, and pesticide tests on every single batch that leaves our facilities,” he said. “Our products are twice and three times refined, until we feel that they are perfect.”
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