EBD is located in Colorado, so our feature for April is one of our clients in the Cannabis and CBD industry. We’ve worked in consumer goods and retail for over a decade, so when two independently successful retail entrepreneurs, Amanda & Matt Shifrin, came to us to talk about their new vertically integrated business model, including cultivation, a new dispensary operation and product lines serving both the current and the third wave cannabis markets, we agreed that there was a lot of opportunity in the space. Their concept was a cool, welcoming and sophisticated dispensary that was higher-end, experiential and that improved innovation and quality standards in the cannabis industry. Amanda explored the category extensively in graduate school through an independent study, and Matt had ample experience bringing products and brick and mortar to fruition. Together, they found a mentor and retail partner, Brett Blundy, and LOVA Canna Co. was born.
EBD in-house cannabis branding studio, Tinnie & Smalls, began with defining the competition, target audience and developing buyer profiles. We also did a national competitive audit of the saturated market. Once we had established where the brand needed to go, we worked on creating a brand identity that was rock and roll but with a soft, chic edge. It spoke to the small-batch and handcrafted nature of the product, as well as the day-to-day of a dispensary which appeals to a broad audience.
The brand identity is grounded in black and white photography and supplemented with large swaths of color, creating a strong, sophisticated yet approachable presence. The results are an identity that can be expanded for both cannabis and CBD uses, elegant packaging across multiple products, and several custom textures and patterns which create a flexible system that speaks to both men and women at all buying levels.
“EBD was instrumental in helping to develop the foundation for LOVA by creating a cohesive brand system that took the consumer from experience to product to purchase.” – Amanda Shifrin
“EBD were fantastic partners for LOVA, helping to bring our ambitions and vision to reality. With their creative talents and market foresight, we were able to bring today and tomorrow’s cannabis consumer the retail experience they deserve.” – Matthew Shifrin
Next up was expanding the brand identity into the retail environment. LOVA’s vision was to improve the retail experience by delivering personalized, best-in-class customer service in a stylish retail environment that serviced existing clientele, but wasn’t intimidating to visitors or customers new to the market. The LOVA team is genuinely passionate about creating a community and lifestyle around LOVA, learning and improving on innovation as they go. In our competitive audit, we studied retail spaces both in Colorado and across the nation, noting what worked – and what didn’t – when shopping for cannabis. This included imagery which would inform the look and feel of the future LOVA stores. We creative directed the interiors, fabricated custom signage and wall coverings using the brand patterns and large-scale graphics.
The new brand and retail space have more than doubled the sales from the year before.
The results? Currently with five operational retail locations in Colorado and the intent to open eight more in 2021, it’s fair to say LOVA’s business is growing and the brand is resonating with customers. The new brand and retail space have doubled sales from the year before. And the lessons learned? Investing resources into design and branding, defining your target demographics, and building a flexible brand system that appeals to a wide range of users equals successful brand performance and overall growth.