New industry, new rules
An ambiguous “what” and “why”
Filigreen came to us months after California passed Prop 64 legalizing the use, growth, and distribution of marijuana across the state. Prop 64 opened up a world of opportunities for marijuana businesses to legitimize themselves, formulate real identities, and broaden their audiences. Many businesses, like Filigreen, had already been preparing for this new era — which had been a long time coming.
As a third-party cannabis distributor, they’re the middlemen. They work with cultivators to run their cannabis products through a strict testing process (via their neighbor, Anresco Labs), and meanwhile, they work with manufacturers and retailers to ensure that these products will reach the shelves having met industry requirements and regulations.
It’s a role that provides a huge service for cannabis brands, essentially shouldering the load of compliance. It’s also a role that hadn’t existed at this scale until now — so education was a big factor.
Filigreen needed help communicating their role as a third-party distributor — articulating how exactly they benefit cannabis brands. The industry still had that new car smell, which meant a lot of regulatory hurdles and fine-print tedium — so their approach was to be a helpful advisor for clients using a model built on compliance. They’d navigate the bureaucratic maze so their clients wouldn’t have to. As the middlemen, they’d make it easier for clients at any stage of the supply chain to reach each other — the end goal being a safe, secure, and efficient process.
We met with the team — a group of friends and colleagues who’d left previous roles to set out as cannabis pioneers. We discussed their identity as a brand (and as individuals), and their challenges, audiences, and goals — and from there, we determined the best way to put Filigreen into words.
Keep it simple
Define a new role within the industry
It was immediately clear that this team had done its research. They’d become experts in cannabis regulation and were already a go-to resource for cannabis brands and other industry partners. So we wanted to position Filigreen as an authority and an ally in a young, nebulous industry. We wanted to reflect who they are in person: the people in the know who’ll assure you that no question is a dumb question.
We began by identifying Filigreen’s belief, purpose, and vision — and used those pillars to steer us through a reworking of their web copy. The next step was to zoom out as far as possible in order to piece together a brand intro and mission statement.
Throughout all of the new messaging, we wanted to communicate their expertise without getting bogged down in regulatory jargon. In order to start the conversation, it was important to simplify the landscape but still acknowledge the pain points that come with regulation. People would have to A) understand what they do, B) understand why it’s necessary, and C) trust them to do it well. We felt that it was possible to express “we’re all in this together” while also solidifying them as impassioned guides who are there to take on the burden of compliance. It was our job to provide cannabis branding that would capture this message.
The final step was a tagline — a small but mighty package. After some iterations, we landed on two: “Moving flower forward” and “Connecting plants and people”. Both felt perfectly suited for the tone of the brand — relaxed and conversational, with an eye toward the future of cannabis and Filigreen’s role in getting it there.