Southern ease

Elevating brands with exceptional quality.

Asterra Labs, a Nashville, North Carolina based wholesale CBD and hemp manufacturer, wanted to expand its offering by creating a direct to consumer brand. The senior leadership challenged their CMO to conduct a national search. The two criteria given was to find a full-service digital experience with deep CBD and cannabis experience—and one that could help build a brand worthy of the company’s rich southern heritage.

Insight

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.

After our initial consultation, it was very apparent that the senior leadership team were former big Pharma operators and scientists and had no marketing experience. We were excited by the fact we would be given a clean slate to build this brand from scratch, including naming, identity, messaging as well as the packaging, photography, and building a custom Shopify website.

Lastly, the company wanted to launch the new brand by the end of year.

The Name

A brand name should be the reflection of a lifestyle.

In order to reach the company’s aggressive launch date, we knew we would have various teams working on multiple deliverables simultaneously.

But first we needed a name.

We wanted all the naming conventions for the products to have Southern roots and explored creating a name for the parent company that reflected their proud Southern heritage, but names for each of the family of products the client would be manufacturing such as their alcohol flavored D9 gummies, D8 pre-rolls and vaporizers.

The Logo

Great design should be a force of nature.

Having selected the name Southern Ease Trading Co., we felt compelled to explore a mid-19th turn of the century logo. Not only did the design reflect that but also the color palette.

Logo Concepts

Great design doesn’t date.

Having selected the name Southern Ease Trading Co., we felt compelled to explore a series of mid-19th turn of the century logos. Not only did the design reflect that but also the color palette.

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The Brand

Living for the small moments.

After the client selected their favorite logo and color palette, it was time to focus on the brand story—the heart and soul of the brand. At WUNDERWORX we believe building trust without believable branding is like trying to make friends without a personality. For Southern Ease we played to the spirit of their proud Southern heritage.

Packaging

Packaging… the silent salesman.

After many discussions with the client about their future product roadmap beyond the initial alcohol flavored D9 gummies, we wanted to create a design convention that would allow us to design packaging for CBD gummies, pet treats, vaporizers and pre-rolls.

Experiential

Design isn’t finished until somebody is using it.

We couldn’t agree more with the former CEO of Jaguar Land Rover when he famously said, “If you think good designs is expensive, you should look at the post of bad design.”

That is why we encouraged the Southern Ease executive team to embrace the user experience by going the extra step with respect to how their clients would interact with their brand once they unboxed their shipment.

Attention to detail from custom shipping boxes, tissue, packing tape and a series of postcards and customer SWAG to be included in the shipping box.

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The Website

If you think math is hard, try web design.

The plan was to design a complementary eCommerce shopping experience that introduced the consumer to the Southern Ease Trading Co. brand. At its core, Southern Ease represents a way of life that values God, country and pickup trucks. Life is what you make it, and life is good.

The Trade Show

The other kind of exhibitionist.

After attending this year’s MJBizCon in Las Vegas, the senior leadership team were ready to start attending trade shows and wanted a both that would introduce the Southern Ease brand but also its parent company, Asterra Labs.

Social Media

No captions required.

Knowing that the client had limited resources we were tasked to manage the client’s Meta, Instagram and Spotify social media accounts until an internal resource could be hired.

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Go-To-Market Strategy

Making customers the hero of the stories.

Knowing that the client had limited resources and budget for marketing, we proposed a strategy that was strictly focused on creating brand awareness.

The strategy was a true partnership between both organizations. The client’s team would be pounding the pavement to develop a B2B strategy of placing their product line in brick and mortar retailers, while WUNDERWORX focused on a combination of organic and paid strategies.

The strategy relied on a combination of cold email marketing, paid social advertising on Meta and Instagram as well as a Google paid search campaign.

Cold Email Marketing

Paid Social Ads
Savvy Data

Brands have lots of data but are starved for insights.

Marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed, we integrated SAVVY DATA, an AI-based website visitor identification platform to Southern Ease’s website.

Identifying upwards of 35% of online visitors gave us valuable insights. For example, the average age demographic was older than expected, allowing us to pivot the imagery of the email and paid social ads to reflect Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers.

Online Conversion

If content is king, then online conversion is queen.

According to recent surveys, the national average of eCommerce conversion rates are only 2% to 3%. Our strategy was to empower Southern Ease all the advantages possible by incorporating best practice nurturing emails for their customers who purchase their products, but also the latest AI-based technology to identify those visitors who didn’t convert.

The Numbers
Klaviyo Customer Nurturing Emails
The Numbers
Co-branded Pitch Deck

Pitching the vision.

One of strategies the executive team at Southern Ease wanted to explore was co-branding their newest line of hemp vaporizers and pre-rolls. The idea was to find to a music artist whose own identity capsulated the ideals of the company’s proud southern heritage.

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