It can be tricky to gain traction for your own brand when most retail fronts have to supply a multitude of brands to meet the cannabis shopper demand. If and when you decide to vertically source your own line of cannabis products, you should do so carefully. Mastering each piece of the process will ensure your product line maintains a positive brand reputation among customers. If you rush the process of rolling out your own vaporizers, for instance, and the oil isn’t consistent and a fraction of your vapes clog, that poor experience could affect your store’s popularity. When you get to a place where you feel confident expanding your operations, follow these tips to highlight your brand while still respecting the other brands you carry.
High-end packaging is important to consumers when trying a new product, and since it’s your in-house brand, you want it to appear just as professionally as the other items on your shelf. Consider upgrading your product packaging to be reusable, with built-in childproofing and other compliance measures. This will ensure that shoppers will be able to see your branding as you exit the store. Maybe a prospective shopper walking in will think oh, I really like the experience of going to this dispensary, maybe I should try their line out.
A big issue in cannabis packaging for the true earth-loving consumer is the amount of waste it creates. Appeal to eco-friendly shoppers with recycled, hemp, or plant-based packaging. Your brand is so much more than just a name—what do you stand for? Studies show that younger consumers pay close attention to mission statements when vetting brands, so make sure yours is reflective of your values.
Another way you can engage is through in-store displays. Light up your buds and show off your edibles in a secure glass display positioned in the center of your store. Make it hard to miss that you’ve put the time into curating a product that you are proud of, and you want to share it. Consider organizing the contents of the case by desired effect or product type to keep things consistent.
User-generated content refers to any images, videos, text, or audio posted by users on web platforms and social media. From a marketing perspective, it means branded content that customers and visitors post on their own behalf. The most important takeaway for cannabis dispensary owners is the fact that the shopper generates the content. This means that they’re the ones doing the marketing—not you.
It’s no secret that Facebook and Instagram have been targeting cannabis dispensaries and crippling their social media strategies. However, neither platform has placed specific restrictions on users broadcasting their support for local cannabis brands. This means that while you can’t promote your strain-of-the-week variety sale online, your customers can.
These in-store displays can also feature a photo opportunity, a photo booth, or a wall with your branding strategically positioned nearby. This could be inside the dispensary on an entry or exit wall, or a big mural painted on the outside of your building (permitting local regulations, of course).
Not everything has to be strictly business. If your brand sponsors events, works with NGOs, or invests in corporate social responsibility, you can boost brand awareness while advancing a cause secondary to the business itself. Give to the community, and the community will give back. Your local cannabis market involves a large number of individuals and organizations—not just dispensaries and their customers. Word-of-mouth in the cannabis industry goes a long way and has the power to transform your brand into a household name. If you forge relationships with stakeholders, service vendors, political advocates, and other thought leaders, the marketing will take care of itself.
Give yourself a leg up by placing your products at the top of your online menu. Our research shows that shoppers are far more likely to engage with menu items that are featured in your top three. If you have Dutchie Ecommerce, you can easily make this change within the admin dashboard by selecting your in-house brand as a top-ranking, priority brand. This is a simple and effective way to customize your menu without getting too into the weeds. The same strategy can be applied to Dutchie Ecommerce Specials, which let you run deals that will incentivize shoppers to purchase your brand. The goal is not to take attention away from other brands that you carry, but to reposition your own products so they can’t be missed.
Since you took the time to build a diverse team of growers and processors that produce a quality cannabis product in your name, why not do everything to give yourself a competitive edge? How you present your product line, leverage social content, connect with your community, and prioritize your own brand online—can all help shoppers give your brand a go. After all, once a consumer tries it, the word-of-mouth recognition you were looking for will create a ripple effect. So why not play off that?