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Part I: Creating Memorable Cannabis Product Displays

According to projections from the Marijuana Business Factbook, U.S. retail sales of medical and recreational cannabis are expected to be more than $15 billion by the end of 2020, representing an increase of approximately 40% over 2019 sales figures. In the United States, 33 states have legalized at least medical use, which is driving sales during the pandemic as tourism related purchases have declined.

Growth is expected to continue, and as demand and popularity increase, so do the product offerings. Whether a cannabis brand offers flower, tinctures, edibles, or products to fit other consumption methods, determining how to best position products on dispensary shelves is top of mind, especially as the industry gets crowded with new entrants. InStore Design Display (IDD) has been working with cannabis brands since early in the industry’s state by state legalization. We have identified several methods that increase brand awareness and drive sales in brick and mortar locations. 

This three-part series shares IDD's top tips on how cannabis brands can drive revenue with effective in-store displays that fit within budget while also delivering the desired brand experience. 

Part I: 4 Tips to Identify the Desired Longevity of Cannabis Product Displays

As you begin to strategize about the intent of your in-store display, we recommend determining the length of time you'd like your display to sit on dispensary shelves. To help you do that, consider these tips to identify the desired longevity of your display.

Tip #1: Consider Your Desired Brand Experience 

Different product offerings may require an extra level of brand experience. For instance, if your products are considered luxury and coincidentally carry a luxury price point, then the in-store brand experience should be premium as well. Higher-end materials, packaging, etc. must reflect the luxury nature of your products. This approach remains compatible with understanding the investment and return on investment (ROI) of your display.

Tip #2: Factor in Brand Fatigue

Your product offerings will predicate the frequency in which your buyers purchase your products. No one knows your brand as you do, so having a deep understanding of how often a “typical” buyer purchases your products is crucial. Suppose they make a weekly trip to their local dispensary, and there are several competitors in your category. In that case, your customers may experience brand fatigue at a higher rate than if they need a new supply once a month. 

Tip #3: Choose a Desired Material (or at least look & feel)

When you understand your desired brand experience, budget, and how often you need to evolve your display to mitigate brand fatigue, you are better equipped to collaborate with your retail display design team to identify the best material to use for your cannabis product display. As a rule of thumb, there are three categories of materials that can be used to create a custom in-store display. 

Corrugate: Very similar to cardboard, corrugate is an inexpensive yet customizable way to highlight your brand. Due to its fragility, a corrugate display will only be viable for up to 1 year.

Plastic: With higher durability and a more refined look, plastics are considered a mid-level material for product displays. This material’s strength will allow it to be viable for 1-2 years, making its higher price point acceptable. 

Metals & Wood: If your brand is in the luxury category or if you have solidified yourself in the market, these high-end materials are a great way to display your products in-store. Metals and wood will have the toughest durability and most elevated look and feel, making them the most pricey of the three options but also the longest lasting.

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Tip #4: Define Your Budget

Before you start designing your display, it is vital to understand the investment you are willing to make to help your product stand out in a dispensary. Understanding the number of products that need to sell to see an ROI for this display is key. Identifying budget doesn’t necessarily mean honing in on a specific dollar amount. Instead, determine a low and high-end amount you are willing to commit. Communicating these boundaries early in the design phase will make conversations with your retail display design company much more effective and efficient. 

Understanding the desired longevity of your product display is just one of the considerations to be made when designing the in-store experience shoppers will have with your product. In Part II of this series, you will learn about ways to reduce the per unit cost of the displays you design for dispensary shelves. 

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