Ontario releases new pot store logo

The province has taken the wraps off the logo of the stores that will legally sell recreational marijuana.

The "Ontario Cannabis Store" will be the brand name of Ontario's cannabis agency, including its stores and online channel.

In a release, the province says "the name is designed to convey a safe, simple and approachable environment for consumers, and agency employees, in a clear and easily understood manner."

The release goes on to say "We are confident the brand name and logo will help ensure Ontarians are able to safely and easily identify Ontario Cannabis Stores as the sole legal retailer of non-medical cannabis in Ontario."

The stores will be powered by Canadian commerce platform Shopify, who will  provide a cloud-based retail solution for both on and offline sales, so consumers can have a reliable and integrated shopping experience across desktop, mobile and in-store points-of-sale.

Shopify will also supply the technology to power screens throughout the physical stores that give consumers product and health information which will follow federal guidelines and marketing provisions. The in-store point-of-sale system will operate through iPad hardware.

When it comes to a cost, the LCBO released the following statement:

The development of the brand name and logo was guided by the government priorities of restricting access to youth, protecting public health and addressing the illegal market. The name conveys a safe, simple, open and approachable environment for consumers in a clear and easily understood manner.

The name and logo are only one piece of the overall work from Leo Burnett, which included the development of the overall brand strategy, brand guidelines and, eventually, the development of the logo and brand name.

Overall, LCBO expects the total cost of all brand and marketing from Leo Burnett to be approximately $650,000.

The process of this branding work and development is aligned to regular practice: market research, developing a set of values and purpose, overarching strategies, tone, developing a suite of brand assets including a logo, and brand guidelines for marketing and future use of the brand properties.

We are in the unique position of having to establish a new brand to serve a completely new regulatory environment where many of the proposed marketing provisions and regulations are not yet federal law. To build a broad, province-wide brand that will be recognized as a sole retailer of legal recreational cannabis required thoughtful and strategic brand development strategies, and consultation from a variety of stakeholders.

For context, the LCBO conducted a brand refresh that was rolled out in May 2014 at a value of $500,000. The branding work included advanced research, a new logo, typeface, crest, colour palette, brand guidelines, and a new brand vision of “Let’s Get Together.”