Kiva Cannabis Confections
The cannabis industry has arrived at a crossroads. After a long journey through prohibition, medicalization, and pseudo-legalization, cannabis companies are officially being recognized as essential businesses, and consumers are so close to the promised land that they can finally taste it.
10 years ago, Kiva set out to make a precise, premium cannabis-infused chocolate bar for legal medical and recreational consumers. Since then, their obsession with quality and consistency have made them the #1 edibles brand in the country.
As an established leader in this competitive category, Kiva has led the charge on a range of issues, from social causes like decriminalization and female representation to innovative trends like microdosing, clean extraction, and product testing. This commitment to the community, along with a diehard dedication to deliciousness, has created a level of brand loyalty that is unprecedented in the cannabis industry, and thus must be proactively protected.
In 2020, cannabis is legal in various ways in 47 states, and new edibles brands pop up every day to vie for a slice of the popularity pie. It’s a critical moment for Kiva to shore up its market share and reinforce its role at the top by once again setting a high bar for others to aspire to. But in a post-pandemic, digital-driven economy, their old website could no longer carry the load.
The job of the website
Kiva’s new site had three ambitious priorities that varied in complexity.
First, it had to serve as a digital marketing platform that would define and differentiate the parent and sub brands, showcase the quality of the products, and facilitate consumer discovery. Second, it needed to provide real value to the visitor via educational content and map functionality. And finally, it had to comply with a complex web of often-contradictory state laws and federal regulations.
A consumer insight led us to a sweet solve: after decades in the shadows, cannabis shoppers are now hungry for transparency. They want to understand the product- its ingredients, its purpose, its effect. They want to hold it in their hands to get a feel for its quality, its portability, its discreetness, its deliciousness. And, at long last, they just want an easy, enjoyable edibles experience.
Our approach was to design Kiva’s site as the first-ever digital cannabis candy store. The entire site invokes memories of walking into a small sweets shop and seeing jars of colorful candies in neat rows, waiting to be admired. A combination of texture, color, movement, and rich descriptions create an inviting, fluid experience that inspires exploration and offers education every step of the way.
But what’s a candy store without someone helpful behind the counter? We empowered customers to make informed choices by developing a Virtual Budtender search feature that recommends products based on specific situations and desired effects, while also creating cross-merchandising opportunities across Kiva’s family of brands.
Launching the site during the COVID-19 pandemic meant that the product photography would be a top priority for adapting to the rapid rise in home cannabis deliveries. By capturing the intimate design details of the product packaging and allowing a look at the mouth-watering formats inside, we offer a taste of a more familiar, tangible trip to the dispensary. And finally, and perhaps most importantly, we made it simple to seek and find the ideal edible, and cannabis experience, that you’ve always been looking for. Photography by: Eva Kolenko
Turns out, it’s not lonely at the top. Kiva built their cannabis business around a consumer need for transparency and quality, and now must defend their hard-earned customer loyalty in a highly competitive category.
In the same way that premium products and packaging elevate Kiva above the old stoner tropes, their website reinforces their top-shelf status by infusing every moment with beauty, clarity, and flawless functionality.
Because in today’s modern cannabis marketplace, the perfect edible experience begins before you ever take a bite.
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