Leveraging its expertise in building cannabis and CBD brands, digitally-native branding agency Zero has partnered with two of the cannabis industry’s most respected founders, Dosist’s Matt Seashols and Sunday Goods’ Randy Smith, to launch cannabis company Studio. After years of serving cannabis companies, Studio marks Zero’s transition to becoming equity partners in a cannabis venture — offering a family of creative cannabis brands that prioritize education, accessibility and reliability.
With future plans to expand to other markets across the U.S., Studio initially launches in Arizona, as the state is poised to be one of the most attractive legal cannabis markets in the U.S. with a projected $2.6B in cannabis revenue by 2025. Seeing this opportunity, Seashols, Smith and the Zero team knew they could use their combined wealth of knowledge in retail, content, design, strategy and building trendsetting brands to present something truly special.
“We admired Matt and Randy’s previous brands, both of which really paved the way for the next generation of brands in the space,” says Zero Creative Director Mark Goldwell. “They were eager to launch something different in the cannabis space and, like us, were extremely open to ideas about the best way to get it done. It was an environment of sharing and imagination that just felt right. Particularly for a project where we have equity stake, it just made sense to be involved with Studio for the long haul.”
Studio comprises a series of products designed to appeal to consumers over the lifetime arc of their cannabis use — including Melted, Plant Based, Human Resources, Tell Your Friends, and Session. By carefully researching typical use cases, experiences and needs driving cannabis consumers, Zero developed “brand personas” as the creative and philosophical anchors of the brands and used those personas in creating the products as well as designs and messaging.
The overarching Studio identity, created by Zero, is defined by rich navy and sage tones and bronze and gold metallic foil accents paired with a modern, pin-striped logo, evoking a classic Motown feel and acting as a distinct but not overwhelming canvas for the other Studio brands. As a “Cannabis Collective,” the company’s goal is to rapidly produce targeted brands to meet the market where it’s at, instead of serving the same derivative tropes that generally offer little-to-no emotional appeal.
“Emotionally speaking, successful cannabis brands not only need to create brands that folks co-sign and actively align with their lifestyles but consider and meet them where they are at in terms of experience,”explains Goldwell. “There’s a lot of people who have tried cannabis and had a really bad experience. Empowering them through education in a non-encyclopedic or condescending way about dosage, form factor, onset, and desired effects is wildly important.”
The first new brand released under the Studio umbrella will be Melted, a brand for “The Regular User.” Melted’s voice is bold, monochromatic, and expressive with a singular use of black and white for all branded materials and a range of surreal visuals, including warped, striped and checkered patterns. As a brand for experienced, daily cannabis enthusiasts, potency and innovation are super important, making Melted the ideal initial anchor point for Studio.
Melted will launch with two core product lines; Melted — a standard premium line and Tiger Style — a highly potent premium brand. While the Melted line meets the market with best-in-class products at an affordable price, Tiger Style brand hits new heights of potency through product innovation. It features a dipped pre-roll that’s infused with Rosin and rolled in “sauce and diamonds”. Tiger Style will also feature custom hardware options for vaping that are highly tuned to optimal smoking experiences.
While Melted is the first brand from Studio, Zero has created complete product development roadmaps for each of the five brands for the next 18 months. Like Studio and Melted, all branding and marketing for the brands will be handled by Zero. For Zero, Studio opens up an entirely new relationship to an industry that they feel extremely passionate about. “For so long, cannabis has been trivialized in the media and by the government despite the fact that the healing properties of the plant are so vast and so powerful,” says Mark Goldwell. “From self-exploration to pain and anxiety reduction, there are just so many possibilities. That’s why Studio is the next logical project for us as an agency. Our hope is by working with Matt and Randy to build brands that give people the best products for their lifestyles, we can play a role in making everyone’s lives better through the power of cannabis.”