(Wana Brands is one of the companies featured in The Power of a Brand: Lessons From 20 Top Cannabis Companies, in the June issue of mg Magazine.)
Nancy Whiteman set out to create a health-and-wellness brand with a twist. What developed was a living, breathing entity with a memorable tag line that delivers the brand’s core message: “Wana Brands: Enhance Your Life.”
“When we say, ‘Enhance Your Life,’ what we’re really saying is cannabis doesn’t have to be the center of your universe but it can be one way to augment your life,” said Whiteman, who serves as the company’s chief executive officer. “We chose ‘Enhance Your Life’ because it speaks to what we try to provide to both medical/wellness and recreational users.” The three-word slogan was effective during Colorado’s medical days, but it proved to be a genius move when the state legalized recreational use: Medicinal patients use Wana to enhance their lives through symptom management, and Wana helps adult-use consumers enhance the quality of activities they already enjoy.
From the beginning, Whiteman devoted resources to branding initiatives, many of which support dispensary partners. The company invests in extensive product testing to reassure both dispensaries and consumers its products are safe and will produce consistent effects. “We have found that once customers find a consistent product they like, they are very brand-loyal,” she said. More obvious are the point-of-sale displays, videos, and radio and digital ads that keep Wana’s name in front of consumers. Influencer programs create a sense of community. Eco-friendly packaging with shelf appeal and customized educational materials with consumption advice reinforce the brand’s holistic-health imperative—which applies equally to people and the planet. “Sustainability is one of Wana’s core [corporate social responsibility] priorities,” Whiteman said. “We led the industry by introducing a new package that cut our waste stream by 60 percent and is both recyclable and biodegradable.” The company also adopted a state park in celebration of Earth Day, and staff and their families converged on the area to clean it up. Wana’s commitment to environmental responsibility continues to generate goodwill.
The company’s profile also benefits from the Wana Athletes Program, through which the edibles maker partners with notables including endurance runner Flavie Dokken and yogi Martha Triantafillides. “Together, Wana Brands and its partner athletes work to educate the athletic community and beyond about how cannabis can enhance their experience and allow them to enjoy their passion to the fullest extent,” Whiteman said.
Everything comes back to the tagline: Enhance Your Life. It’s a seemingly little thing, but it packs a punch.