Ladyjane Branding is…
…quite a few things, as you will read. An exciting project spearheaded by founder Jennifer Whetzel, a brilliant entrepreneur immersed in the blooming cannabis industry. The foresight of Jennifer was awesome, and I do not use that term loosely. Our conversation felt like an expert seminar on cannabis branding. She had her pulse on the struggles, concepts, and strategies necessary to help others succeed in this industry. And that friends, is the keyword: HELP.
But how did this delightful person get here? Jennifer was introduced to cannabis after a series of events that would have put anyone in a negative place. She lost her job, got into a car accident and powered through a divorce all the while dealing with her own health issues. No easy journey for anyone to handle. As she started to spend more time at her caregivers she began to open up to other people using cannabis for their health. More than that she found a support system for those who needed it. A talk. A hug. This was a safe place.
Jennifer started to realize her skills could help many of the inexperienced entrepreneurs who didn’t have the budget to afford services from larger companies. What Ladyjane Branding does is more than just marketing. I have to admit I learned a lot about the differences between branding, marketing and advertising. I never realized how differentiating these concepts can aid in developing your start-up’s philosophy. Developing branding archetypes was a way for Ladyjane Branding to help situate a business philosophy under a creative but simple archetype. This creative outlet helps gear entrepreneurs to develop their brand’s values, philosophy and vision.
What is an Archetype? The Value of Perception
Archetypes are guides or models that help entrepreneurs situate themselves into certain themes that accentuate their own passions and personalities. There are a lot of growers out there, but once cannabis becomes a commodity what do you do to differentiate yourself? A strong brand is what larger companies look for, it is what adds value to a company pass the products created.
When magazines like Forbes create lists of the best brands, what they are looking at is financial strength and company perceptions. The best of the best will thrive in both of these areas. You can find a full breakdown of these metrics here.
By combining the consumer perception of the most valuable brand and the best with consumers, Forbes was able to determine the most valuable brands. Moreover, companies with the most recognizable and trusted brand were highly valued because of the wide disparity in the top 100 companies. In the number one spot, Apple was at 87.1 billion compared to Armani’s 3.1 billion.
By getting their identity ready from the start entrepreneurs can set themselves up for success. Whether it’s recreational, growers, glass retailers, the passionate people at Ladyjane Branding want to help you make your ideas a reality. If you can understand your brand you will be better at explaining your company’s purpose.
Moreover, it will equip you with a sense of what partners align with your business. And this truly makes sense in Jennifer’s case. She is a “Best Friend” archetype. She fights for the little guy, is helpful without being a teacher. She presents herself in a conversational tone and having met her in person is quite sassy. I think and I’m sure many of her clients will attest that these traits are what make her a great partner in the uncertain cannabis industry.
An archetype not only guides a company to make the decisions that align with the company’s philosophy. It also drops clues to your potential customers to help them understand some important aspects about you. People want to do business with people they trust. Smart branding can begin with a simple Brand Archetype quiz.
Ladyjane branding has developed this helpful tool to situate you among the 16 different brand identities they have developed. Tailored specifically for the cannabis industry, I thought it would be fun to try out the quiz myself. I will admit I had my suspicions about my archetype. I was certain I am an explorer and wouldn’t you know it, the quiz proved me right. I want to be on the front line of daring enterprises and love a good adventure. My values are autonomy and independence.
Branding v. Marketing v. Advertising
Understanding yourself is not just a branding philosophy. As the famous proverb goes, “Know Thyself”. If you do not have a set philosophy for your life or business then everyday decisions can make you more anxious than happy. Creating your own identity from scratch can be intimidating, but with Ladyjane Branding you can learn more about yourself, your brand and how understanding this can help you maintain consistency for your cannabis business.
When you know what you stand for, you can trust your employees to make decisions that fit the business. By taking part in their Brand Discovery Process — cannabis entrepreneurs can pin down the themes and principles of their worldview and develop a plan based on these principles. Even in this emerging industry, Jennifer noticed how the terms branding, marketing, and advertising seem to be used interchangeably at the detriment to startups.
In her words, Jennifer views branding as the “Who?” not the more practical questions that seem to burden advertising and marketing. “Who?” is a substantive question where you ask yourself regularly if your decisions and goals align with the person you are or want to be. To put it simply, it is asking yourself thoughtful questions about yourself. Understanding fundamental truths about yourself and your needs help keep you ground and creates an emotional attachment to the project. When this is done your decisions done on behalf of the company will be conducted with intentionality.
When it comes to the practical sides: marketing and advertising, new entrepreneurs may struggle to find a way to convince consumers about why they should buy a product or where to find the business. This goes back to brand identity and how it helps guide you through finding the right partners.
Branding takes on the deep philosophical and emotional questions. It is those answers the will create the foundation of every sustainable company. I get the sense from the tools, resources, and reasonable pricing of their products that Ladyjane Branding truly cares about helping people develop reliable cannabis businesses.
If you would like to reach out to Jennifer and the rest of the Ladyjane Branding team, you can contact them here: Ladyjane Branding
Richard Sanchez is a freelance content creator and strategist for the cannabis industry. He helps others find creative ways to share their brands and ideas. Whether through the written word, podcasts or video, I aim to breathe my personal philosophy into my work. Check out some more of my stuff here: The Kush Chronicle.