It seems in places where both recreational and medical marijuana are legal, there are more dispensaries than coffee shops. As the cannabis industry turns the next page, business owners need to create environments that make consumers feel safe, informed and connected.
The only issue is that many dispensaries are not creating memorable or enjoyable experiences that consumers want and need. The experience can be intimidating and counterproductive, especially when it is someone’s first dispensary visit. As the stigma of cannabis use dissipates and more curious people venture to local dispensaries, it is important to look to major brands that have created unparalleled retail experiences like Apple and Warby Parker (reference video below).
This does not mean that dispensaries need to lose their authenticity. They simply must create an effective brand strategy in order to gain a major edge in an increasingly competitive market like cannabis.
Key Parts Of A Successful Brand:
Brand identity helps establish a relationship between the brand and the customer by generating a value proposition involving functional, emotional or self expressive benefits.
Dispensaries can stay true to their roots and remain authentic, but they must ask themselves “how do i want consumers to perceive my brand?” Once you answer that question, you can start to gain the reputation you seek in the market through marketing, events and strategic partnerships.
Creating a consistent brand begins with the creation of coherent patterns. Patterns are how our brains perceive actions, thoughts, memory, and behavior to ultimately inform belief. Instead of trying to create and maintain one big idea, a brand must create multiple consistent smaller ideas. Embracing small and flexible ideas are a powerful way to navigate the rapidly evolving cannabis industry.
Experiences are central to all great brands, especially for any brand who has a physical retail space. Think the Genius Bar at Apple or the famous customer service at Nordstrom. How do you want consumers to feel when they walk into your store and how do you want them to feel when they leave?
Ongoing education is important for any brand. Especially in the medical marijuana field where certain products will help certain ailments. Educational programs for consumers to help them better understand your business and the products you sell will help you become a trusted and credible source, which creates loyal customers.
Marijuana is a plant, being compared to that of grapes to wine. Much like a Sommelier (a trained and knowledgable wine expert), the cannabis industry needs trusted experts that people to turn to for advice and industry updates.