ABOUT THE PROJECT
Objectives/Unique Selling Proposition
Denver’s preferred medical marijuana dispensary. Akimbo is owned and operated by marijuana industry experts and cannabis advocates, they believe that their customers are best-served with product knowledge that exceeds industry standards and patient care that sets Akimbo apart from their competition. Their mission is simple: improve the health and enhance the lifestyle of their customers.
Akimbo’s ability to achieve these goals comes from their team members. From their grow staff to their budtenders, every person involved in the larger customer experience takes genuine pride in servicing medical marijuana patients in the Denver area and Colorado as a whole.
The objective concerned Akimbo’s need to redefine themselves, communicate a consistent message to an audience that were self-medicating a legitimate, serious health concern like cancer or chronic pain to those lifestyle marijuana users who simply appreciate the enhanced effects and lower price point that medicinal products offer. Not to mention, they wanted to be able to speak to their brand and company in a simple, cohesive way in case they were to be in an eventual position to sell.
Akimbo’s unique selling proposition included many facets, but at the end of the day we found that it boiled down to “The Akimbo High” that customers know they will leave with. Instead of just another trip to the dispensary, going to Standing Akimbo feels like hanging out with your buddy – that is, your buddy who has more knowledge and information about the industry than anyone else.
We began by conducting a thorough review of Akimbo’s marketing activities and existing assets. We wanted to understand where they were starting from, and have a clear sense of the direction we were moving.
To further elevate their brand value and create awareness for the revamped brand, we sat down with leaders from Akimbo for our proprietary one-day enciteful™ Session – an opportunity to cultivate strategic, meaningful ideas all in the name of enhancing the brand. The session not only allowed us to immerse ourselves in the existing Akimbo culture, but also helped us to understand their overall business goals, key competitors, and strategic platform for the future.
After the session, we developed a Brand Brief consisting of a complete SWOT Analysis, Industry Report, Experiential Mapping Report, Customer Profiles, Brand Vision, Brand Position, Brand Difference, Brand Benefit and Brand Promise.
The knowledge and insights that we gained during this process helped us to come to the conclusion that shortening the company name from Standing Akimbo to just Akimbo helped to simplify the brand while also driving home the fact that they are well-known enough in the space to make this shift. Once we had made that decision, we took on the logo. We were able to create visual metaphors through word transformation of the strategy’s “cannaspeak” language, made the “cannalogo” ideation feel more brand consistent, cohesive and congruent. A few of the main descriptors we felt described the brand were “Cannassieurs”, “Cannaunity”, “Cannavated” and “Cannamazing”.
We also helped to facilitate existing marketing efforts like ads pushing weekly specials and features in local publications. We worked on developing these various marketing tools, all leveraging the overarching message that Akimbo knows what’s going on in the medicinal marijuana industry – and they’re going to do it better than their competition.
Regardless of what gets them in the door, the typical Akimbo customer is someone who relies on (quality) marijuana products as a daily part of their life.
On a deeper level, people value the community that Akimbo offers. It allows customers to share in the knowledge that the rest of the “family” brings to the table, and drives home the idea that Akimbo is bigger than any one employee, customer or sale. It’s a larger mission to make marijuana accessible and approachable for the people who need it.
We developed various customer profiles for Akimbo highlighting just a few of the people we think would make ideal repeat customers.
The first of those was Sam, a retiree between the ages of 60 and 70. He might have slowed down a bit over the years, but now he enjoys spending his days reading, gardening and spending time with his two dogs. He was recently diagnosed with cancer, and is battling pain as a result of his disease – and because of his health status, he’s more concerned with quality than the average customer.
Then, there’s Jamie. She’s a millennial, between the ages of 30 and 40. She’s very in-tune with her physical and mental health and is looking to find joy and inspiration in her daily life. As she gets older, she has noticed that she’s drinking less and turning to other means of relaxation more – whether that’s going for a run or taking an edible or two at the end of a long work day.
Finally, Michael. The youngest of our group, Michael is between 20 and 30. He’s single, lives in downtown Denver, and is enjoying having a little bit more disposable income than he did when he first moved to the city. He started smoking weed in high school and it’s been a pretty big part of his life ever since. He wants a dispensary that can be his go-to and has a friendly atmosphere and approachable bud tenders that will feel more like college buddies than salespeople.
Work for Akimbo was a success and received a lot of positive feedback from employees and the general public alike. After unveiling the new brand identity and applying it across the company’s communication touch points, Akimbo engagement with both potential and returning customers grew by a wide margin.
Additionally, Akimbo’s first quarter sales grew by a rate of 7% – from just under $1 million to more than $1.5 million. According to results from just a few months ago, growth was continuous and significant in the following quarters as well, and annual sales equaled around $15 million!
While we can’t take all the credit for these numbers, the sales tools and revamped brand identity we developed for the Akimbo brand throughout our work with them (including the ideal client personas, messaging toolbox, and various marketing materials) were undeniably effective when correctly employed by salespeople, and led to a significant increase in brand awareness, engagement, revenues and relationships.
Please note: In addition to graphic design, branding, and copywriting, our
marketing agency in Denver, Colorado also offers: strategic planning, social
media marketing and optimization, internet marketing services, public relations,
media planning and buying, and event marketing.