Indiana Summers Case Study
As part of its brand rollout, Delta 8 hemp smokes brand Indiana Summers tasked AE Global with conceptualizing a brand that captures the summer season’s warmth and feel while embracing sustainable measures every step of the way.
With their brand roll out, Indiana Summers aimed to contrast the oft-dark and gloomy global news of the world with a bit of warmth and comfort for its consumers. Think, a summer escape with every inhale.
To do so, the Miami-based producer relied on its existing business infrastructure. Specifically, the client’s parent company, Math Ops LLC, had a large-scale cigarette production and rolling factory already in place by the time they came to AE Global. The company had roughly 2,800 partners across a network of approximately 14,000 US stores as a national distributor.
Sensing the hemp boom, they began to adapt machinery to roll hemp-based cigarettes. Thus, creating a new arm of the company and a need for branding experts to introduce the world to Indiana Summers.
The client brought in AE Global to head up the brand conceptualization for Indiana Summers’ upcoming rollout, beginning work in spring 2021.
Conveying an escapist summer vibe across the delta 8 hemp flower line was essential to the client. Embracing the summer feel was crucial to them, providing a sense of optimism after the pandemic’s effect on our lives in recent years.
At the same time, the company was equally passionate about bucking the norm created by regulations and a desire to save on production costs. Rather than the regular route, they sought to have a line of packaging that was entirely recyclable.
Tasked with creating a sustainable package filled with warm summer vibes, AE Global rose to the occasion, making custom packaging across Indiana Summers’ line, including 3- and 40-pack holders for Original and Menthol Delta 8 hemp flower smokes.
Working with Indiana Summers to create that feeling came with unique benefits. The company’s already in-place infrastructure meant AE Global got to work with an established brand looking to branch out into a new emerging market–a change of pace from the oft-startup cannabis scene.
Creating brands is usually a smoother process than a rebrand. Most of the time, less backtracking and adjustments are needed along the way. An involved client also aids the process. That was certainly the case this time around.
Creating The Summer Feel
First came creating the summer sentiment across the brand. AE Global used three concepts to achieve the look and feel:
A vintage t-shirt-inspired concept played off misregistered screen-printed denim fabric. Warm and cool hues blended to create a cohesive look and feel.
Creating an authentic, laid-back, hand-finished appeal, true to the brand’s nature and product.
Colorful imagery and emotional typefaces to visually represent a contemporary approach to vintage, creating the mood and feeling of Indiana Summers.
Moving Parts Made Easy
Every brand build comes with many moving parts and challenges, from fitting packaging into automation machines to creating a consistent product feel in customers’ hands. Indiana Summers had unique challenges and risks to consider, especially with its machinery.
In this case, the rebrand had to consider the company’s automation processes. A package must look appealing to the consumer and work with the client’s existing production machinery. A box may look appealing, but it won’t work for the client if it isn’t manufacturable and automatable.
Thankfully, we addressed these issues with relative ease this time around. Most important to that winning secret sauce was that both companies are headquartered in Miami.
Working step-by-step through the process, AE Global and Indiana Summers were able to regularly collaborate and discuss creative packaging solutions in a timeline unheard of for most projects. That isn’t to say anyone should attempt to replicate the speed of this project for other projects. Still, it worked with Indiana Summers for various reasons, headlined by a shared central location and regular communication.
Sustainability And Custom Solutions
Sometimes problems are good. That was the case with Indiana Summers’ commitment to sustainability.
Sustainable packaging in cannabis has been a concern that few companies have been willing to take on. Coming in at a higher production cost, many companies aren’t able or willing to pay more for eco-friendly packaging.
Indiana Summers didn’t see the expense as an issue, pushing for its packaging to be 100% recyclable. The commitment presented hurdles that called for unique, custom packaging solutions.
Some solutions included sourcing a recyclable film inside the company’s new bright, sunny packages. Custom art solutions were also on tap, with branding only on the uncoded side of the board to provide a more natural feeling, eco-conscious visual experience. .
The partnership between Indiana Summers and AE Global resulted in an innovative, all-recyclable package hitting the market for a pilot test launch in January 2022.
Working with a hands-on local client proved a world of difference. The client’s proximity allowed typical production concerns to be addressed in short order. The same could be said for the unique hurdles associated with custom sustainable packaging. Even though challenging in moments, our collaboration kept the progress moving right along. This production process ensured that each package type fit Indiana Summers’ automated equipment well before the line rolled out, eliminating any production bottleneck concerns.
Branding Indiana Summers’s Delta 8 hemp line was a thrilling experience filled with great successes and big takeaways. The critical component of our success was efficient communication.
Hands-on clients can provide a world of difference during a branding effort. With Indiana Summers, AE Global could work hand-in-hand during the entire process. Thanks to each of us calling Miami home, the two sides could meet and discuss whenever a question needed to be answered or a decision made. With clear, in-person communication, the production process moved at a largely unheard-of pace, allowing for a seamless market rollout.
Once again, the speed of this project shouldn’t compel clients or companies to replicate the results. Instead, this occasion marked the perfect convergence of two local established market leaders working together. Thanks to location, communication and participation, AE Global integrated the summer into Indiana Summers just as requested.