Mile High started out as a logistics and user experience project to deliver cannabis products by drone, with the final deliverable being an investor pitch video. While researching the project, with employees at Leafly, it became evident that drone delivery for cannabis products is still a while out, so we rethought our approach and adapted Mile High to be an app and exclusive line of products. Mile High sets itself apart from competition by allowing members to select their products via the app and skip the line when they arrive at their preferred pot shop for pickup.
The recreational marijuana industry is complex and constantly changing. The retail success and customer base has not grown in the way initially expected, with new customers intrigued but not actually purchasing. While doing research we realized a lot of people do not feel comfortable purchasing recreational cannabis within the existing retail model. Walking into a recreational shop is overwhelming, and while there is a lot of information out there, it is hard to digest and results in decision fatigue.
Create a brand that instills trust and creates a more empowering and comfortable purchasing experience.
Create a business model, branding, and purchasing app that reaches new customers. By allowing members to research and make purchasing decisions outside the overwhelming retail environment. Mile High aims to remove the discomfort of purchasing cannabis products. Additionally, Mile High will offer specialized boxes based on individual user preferences or theme boxes based on holidays or seasonality to create a unique experience, every time.
For packaging, we wanted each variety, whether it be sativa, indica, or hybrid, to have a unique identity. By color coding with either gold, green, or a combination of both, Mile High members are able to quickly identify which high best fits their mood. With illustrations and easy to understand iconography, our packaging rethinks the current marijuana marketplace’s tendency to have one-size-fits-all packaging.
A key component of Mile High's strategy is app based ordering. From the app, you are able to order marijuana flower, joints, cigs, edibles, tinctures, and vape oil and select a local pot shop as a pickup location. Mile High also offers various personalized and theme boxes to make the experience even easier for members just learning about recreational marijuana.
Mile High started as a quick assignment to solve the logistics and user experience of delivering cannabis products by drone. The final product was a presentation and a video. During the research and planning process Tom and I were fascinated with the possibilities and the complexities of working on a project for this quickly changing field and were inspired to take it further.
When considering style for the cannabis industry, we looked at fine chocolates and high end alcohol. Giving a nod to flight we thought about what the brand would look like in a smoke lounge of an airport in the 1960’s. We chose Blanch and Oswald, wanting to balance friendliness with trust. Blanch brings a sense of approachability and fun, and will be used in headlines and advertisements. Oswald rounds the brand off as one that is trustworthy and regulated, it will be used in descriptions and body copy.
One of the biggest challenges with communicating to cannabis users is expressing the experience they will have with each strain. Through talking to researchers at Leafly we discovered that the known system of Sativa, Hybrid, and Indica is mostly inaccurate. The varying experiences of cannabis come from the CBD, THC, and CBN chemical balances, not the strain type. At Leafly they have been trying to create a labeling system that doesn’t rely on the strain type. We decided to continue labeling our packaging with the strain type, but to focus the labeling system around experience. We created this chart that we are calling a pentagraph to represent the different experiences reported by users of each plant. Because the experience can vary between consumers, and one consumer tends to have a few strong experiences per strain we found that this chart was a nice way to express those personal experiences.
Since Mile High is heavily focused on it’s affluent, hesitant users, we created a variety of personas. Our users range from little to no cannabis knowledge, keeping this in mind as we designed the brand, experience and communication was key. After establishing our personas we moved into our customers journey, defining what pain points were, and finding ways to navigate them as well as considering customer retention and loyalty. Creating user flows for purchasing was an important step in making our purchasing process as painless as possible.