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BRANDING BUD

“It’s not about the prototypical stoner. We wanted to build a brand for the contemporary urban citizen—it’s clean and elegant, which signals quality and transformation.”

TokyoSmoke flagship location in Tortonto.

Alan Gertner, Tokyo Smoke, Co-Founder

L U X U R I O U S , U P S C A L E & N OT YO U R T Y P I C A L S TO N E R Tokyo Smoke’s commitment to refined design drives this approach in the cannabis space. They believe cannabis is an emotive experience, and the product should match the needs and desires of the consumer. Tokyo Smoke is emblematic of the larger move toward luxury brands and marketers to recast cannabis as more of a lifestyle and luxury product. But Tokyo Smoke’s strategy doesn’t end with packaging or products: it’s about connecting the dots to communicate how its cannabis will make a person feel. Instead of using the names of cannabis strains, which aren’t familiar to everyone, Tokyo Smoke structures its products around four experiences—Go, Relax, Balance and Relief—and relates them to industries with strong cultures like coffee and fashion.

“There’s a limited nomenclature to understand the experiences around cannabis,” Founder Alan Gertner says. “By creating a design-oriented brand, we can build a language.” For example, Go is described as, “An energizing, awakening sativa,” and compared to drinking an espresso shot. Relax is an indica strain, and consuming it is compared to drinking decaf or the feeling of being wrapped in a soft cashmere sweater. The Van der Pop brand takes a similar perspective, but with a slightly different approach. Designed for the modern day woman, Van der Pop structures its canisters (and future strains) to evoke the feeling or affect of the strain(s). Rather than typical cannabis strain names, Van der Pop has coined Forget, Laugh, Clean, Party, Sex, Focus, Relax and Sleep—keeping life (as well as strain selection and storage) simple.

Van der Pop’s “Focus” Jar

Profile for DOPE Magazine

Dope Magazine - November 2016 - The Food Issue - Oregon  

Featuring Eddie Huang

Dope Magazine - November 2016 - The Food Issue - Oregon  

Featuring Eddie Huang

Profile for dopemag