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Taking a Cannabis Startup from Pre-revenue to Launch

Cannabis branding and marketing strategy

Explore how branding and marketing strategy helped Custom Cannabis secure funding and launch successfully.

The Client

Custom Cannabis is a Canadian medicinal cannabis producer growing cannabis for the world in Claresholm, Alberta. Custom’s purpose-built greenhouses are designed to take advantage of nature’s elements for natural cannabis production. The result is the highest quality medical cannabis for the empowerment of patients on their journey toward wellness.

Major Deliverables

Branding (Logo, Identity, and Messaging), Marketing Strategy, Web Design, Investor Campaign

The Challenge

As with any new business trying to get off the ground, the ability to be nimble and adapt to ongoing changes was critical. Custom’s needs were centred around building a foundation and attracting investors, which meant a branding and marketing strategy that focused on current and potential investors was a critical focus.

The Strategy

During our initial discovery session with Jeff Nielsen and Robyn Wytinck, Founders of Custom Cannabis, it was clear that we were working with people passionate about making a meaningful difference in the lives of others. Starting with their personal story behind the business, we learned about the purpose behind Custom Cannabis and how its success would positively impact patients across Alberta and hopefully across the world.

Taking all of our learnings from the discovery session, we worked with them to develop a cannabis branding and marketing strategy that would meet their immediate and long-term needs. We spoke at length about the importance of positivity in a patient’s journey towards wellness and how it was not Custom’s place to promise or deliver positivity as something that could be created or manufactured, but instead, act as a beacon for positivity. Their job was to embody that positivity so that every patient who interacts with them has the opportunity to find positivity in themselves. This conversation informed their brand identity.

Jeff and Robyn wanted the logo to capture the idea of acting as a beacon and speak to their Canadian roots. The arch in the logo is inspired by the sun rising, a beacon of hope on the horizon, and references the arch of their greenhouse. The leaf in the center speaks to the cannabis plant and is positioned in such a way as a reference to the maple leaf of the Canadian flag.

For their brand messaging, we began by putting words to their purpose, approach, and delivery.


Hope lives here

Supporting Statement: In many patients, there is a need to break the bonds of pain and discomfort and a desire to heal and feel whole again. You deserve hope and comfort and a source of inspiration that helps you find positivity and empowers you to continue your journey towards wellness.


We’re all human

Supporting Statement: Human connection and genuine kindness can empower patients on their path to wellness. When you’re part of Custom, you’re part of a strong, reliable community working together toward a common goal.


High-quality medicinal cannabis and information from a licensed producer that empowers you to choose a custom, natural path to wellness.

Supporting Statement: There is no “one path” to the feeling of wellness, and all patients should feel empowered through education, kindness, and access to high-quality medicine to choose a custom path that feels true to them. As a medicinal cannabis producer proudly growing cannabis for the world in Claresholm, Alberta, that is our belief.

The purpose, approach, and delivery act as the foundation for the brand messaging. From here, everything connects. They act as a true representation of why Custom Cannabis exists, how they do business, and what they deliver.

From there, we developed the rest of the brand messaging, including voice and tone, brand values, target audience and services profiles, and their elevator pitch. Words like accessible, friendly, open, honest, and humble came up repeatedly, balanced by a focus on their high level of scientific and technical knowledge and their ability to communicate that information in a way that is easy to understand and digest.

Focusing on investors and licensing

As we helped Custom Cannabis develop their brand and create a marketing strategy to appeal to local, Canadian, and global markets, needs began to shift, and we increased our focus on investors and shareholders and helped to support Custom Cannabis through the licensing process where possible. During the course of any partnership, needs can and do change. Our marketing strategies are built to align with business strategies and help business owners achieve their goals, so as those business strategies or goals change, so too do our strategy and our points of focus.

Providing investors and shareholders with high-quality and transparent communication had been a part of our work from the beginning. To that end, we set up a landing page specifically for investors and provided them with logins, allowing Custom’s stakeholders to access timely updates on the progress of the greenhouse, financial updates, market updates, and personal messages from Jeff and Robyn. We decided on this approach over a newsletter or email to ensure investors and shareholders had easy, private access to detailed information that was of high value to them.

To support Custom’s investment push, we created an investor deck that they could use when presenting offers to potential investors, complete with financial highlights and technical and scientific proof points showcasing the value and expertise of Custom Cannabis. We also built a campaign, messaging, and design to support an investment opportunity, ensuring the information was clear, and the presentation was appealing to potential investors.

While most of the videography we produce is done so with a marketing intent, Health Canada required a non-narrative video capturing different aspects of the Custom Cannabis greenhouse to aid in the licensing process. Despite this being outside the scope of conventional marketing, when the people we partner with need our help we’ll always help, which was the case here, or at least direct them to someone who can. This allowed Custom to continue through the licensing process without having to contract out separate work for the video.

The Results.

Investor drives and the licensing process have both been positive for Custom Cannabis. All necessary funding has been achieved, and initial licenses granted as they move towards licensing for direct-to-consumer sales. Today, they are a full team working in a fully functioning and state-of-the-art greenhouse, actively producing medicinal cannabis for sale. The next stage of their journey is exciting, and we can’t wait to see where they go from here.