If your cannabis business wants to survive and win the market, the first thing to do is to have amazing branding and then secondly, your packaging has to be on point. Your cannabis packaging will not only need to look great on shelves, but it must also comply with many vital rules and regulations.
Paying attention to packaging regulations is a critical step that startups must adhere to to avoid issues down the road. So before you plan to conquer the market, it's best to make sure you understand as much as possible what is required for your packaging and what you should plan on leaving off of the packaging to avoid state and federal implications.
As you might have now, although the cannabis industry is fast-growing, it’s a typically new market. This means regulations can and will change. The first step would be to find out your state regulations. This can be done by reaching out to your local government and requesting info. You can also utilize online databases such as Fyllo to learn about your state's specific guidelines.
It is important for your user to be able to clearly understand what the dosage is and what the exact ingredient makeup will be for that serving size. Having lab tests available for your customers to view is also a very important element to not only help build trust with your users but to also use as a clear guiding tool to display the contents in your product. Using this information and displaying it on your packaging is required. We have seen some cannabis products fall short with this or even worse, falsify their lab reports to stay compliant which has cost them in the end with lawsuits and eventually having to discontinue sales of that product.
Establishing a cannabis brand is an important step that often gets brushed aside when developing your business budget but it is a vital foundation for everything that your company then displays publicly from your packaging to your website design, it all starts with your branding. You can then dive into a cohesive packaging system which is the first impression your consumers will make of your product. Fall short here and you are likely to not thrive in this growing industry. We understand that budgets exist, we too were a startup and bootstrapped our entire growth. Luckily, there are investors in the cannabis industry who are looking to elevate startups. Not interested in finding an investor? Here are a few levels of budget and what they could help you achieve for your new project:
With limited funding, you may wonder where do you start? Our recommendation would be to invest on your Branding and Brand Messaging. This foundation will be priceless as your grow. It is harder to tackle this down the road, once you have a product on the shelves and a social following since a majority of all the materials out there will then have to be changed to reflect your new brand. This can definitely be tackled down the road but our recommendation would be to start here as your first phase.
With a little more change in your pocket, you can start with the Branding and Brand Messaging but afford to tackle other design materials such as custom packaging and an online website to sell your product. We offer a bundle package for this to help businesses launch and to include important items such as SEO so that your business is found online.
If you are able to invest all in or have an investor or bank loan, having a large budget will propel you even further with your new business. Not only will things like your branding, packaging and web be addressed but you can afford other important items such as product photography, social media strategy/design, website copywriting and the ability to hire an agency on a monthly retainer for all your design needs.
Since you have to choose materials, printing techniques, and additional requirements, the cost for cannabis packaging can be really high. Moreover, the weight of your packaging will affect shipping costs later. So consider meticulously when it comes to packaging since it’s really hard to change once everything is all set.
Each technology and printing material has its advantages and limitations. Therefore you’d want to sit down with your supplier and get to know these features. Spend some more time with them to figure out what works best for your cannabis packaging.
Eco-friendly efforts must be invested in packaging as well. Since most bottles and tubs using for cannabis packaging are made of plastic, this has become a rising concern in the cannabis industry.
In 2020, a study of around 19k consumers illustrated that nearly 70% of those included in the survey said that they value a brand’s dedication to environmental awareness. So when first starting with your cannabis packaging, you’d also want to lean on environmentally friendly materials.
Each brand has a different target customer and a different loyal customers group and even more importantly, each brand should have a Unique Value Proposition. A brand’s values are essential in a new market, in particular, to grow your customer base so find out what makes you unique and allow that uniqueness to shine through not only in your brand but on your packaging. Have fun with your look! We love our clients who come to us and want something completely different from what is trending out there in the design world. Not only do we know this will leverage you higher than your competitors, but it is also fun for us as a design team to create these unique designs. Your brand message is your story, establish that first, and then let everything evolve from there.
Listen to your customer's opinion and ask for reviews as often as you can, these testimonials are gold. It is important to have your website built in a platform that allows for customer reviews as well, we base a lot of our purchasing behavior on what others think so if you have a great product, make sure you have reviews enabled on your site to capture them.
You can also spend some time scrolling the internet to see what others find valuable such as BPA-free packaging, child-resistant design, and eco-friendly materials. Understanding what people are looking for in a product will help you develop one that includes these items.
Cannabis packaging design plays an important role in the growth and development of every brand. It’s certainly a challenge for startups, but it’s an opportunity for you to think outside the box and amaze customers. We strongly believe in an exceptional unboxing experience and could create one, especially for your brand. Read more about our series of cannabis packaging designs right here.