Dispensary branding is something that many entrepreneurs go about all wrong. This crucial aspect of starting your retail cannabis business will make or break your success in the industry. It can be easy to assume that you know how best to brand and position your storefront.
But, there are a lot of factors at play here, including your customer demographic, what nearby dispensaries are doing, and the image you as the business owner want to portray.
I’ll explain in depth why this is such an important area of your business, and then I’ll show you some examples of the best branding in the cannabis industry today.
What is branding?
Let’s quickly define “branding” in general.
Branding is the act of shaping your brand. It is what you represent, your values, and who you guys are as a company. Lots of things go into your branding, including:
- Store name
- Brand logo
- Store design
- Voice on social media
- How you conduct business (your marketing)
Your branding is what makes you, you. It’s what separates your dispensary from the dispensary down the street. Without branding, every store would look the same, and sell to the same demographic. Now, let’s discuss the importance of dispensary branding.
Why does dispensary branding matter so much?
Dispensary branding just as important as branding any other type of business. You need to be congruent with your branding at every level of your business. This means that your online presence/marketing, your dispensary design, and the interactions between you and your employees with your customers all need to be congruent.
One of the biggest reasons I preach branding so much is because you can get really specific with who you are talking to in your advertising and messaging. If you want your brand to represent young, social, hip people, you can communicate in their language and gear towards their interests. Or, if you want to speak to an older, more professional demographic, you can take that stance. It’s all about resonating with your market.
Know your market in the cannabis industry!
Let me paint a picture for you.
Let’s say there are two dispensaries near you.
One is called “The Pot Shop”, and you walk in to be greeted by loud Rastafarian music, and graffiti-covered walls. The employees are grungy, and appear to have no sort of dress code.
The other dispensary is called “Patient Care Collective”. You walk into a quiet, neatly designed building that is indistinguishable from a medical office. The employees greet you, and they are neatly dressed in matching uniforms that are consistent with the rest of the shop. The dispensary is well lit, and has a very modern look.
Which one are you more likely to go to?
The answer likely varies based on what type of customer you are. If you are a college student looking for cheap cannabis, you probably would prefer the more chill, laid back store.
But, if you are an older medical patient with a serious illness looking for legitimate care, you’ll choose the more professional setting.
That is why it’s important for you to do your research when branding your dispensary.
Use your branding to stand out in crowded cities
Think about the shops near you. If they are all geared towards the “stoner stereotype” you can really set yourself apart and resonate with a whole different market by entering as the “professional medical care” facility.
You need to do your research to figure out what type of cannabis users are going to be shopping with you and cater to their preferences. If you are in a small college town with tons of retail cannabis stores geared towards the “college crowd”, you can really set yourself apart by branding your dispensary to a different crowd.
Need help defining your brand?
If you are struggling with branding your dispensary, or any other aspect of starting or running a retail cannabis shop, let’s chat. My name is Rob Hendrix, and I am the owner of Cannabis Central, my licensed storefront in Washington State. We have been profitable, and more importantly, violation-free, for over five years. I started Cannabis Consulting Nationwide because I know how frustrating it can be on this wild journey. I help other entrepreneurs in this industry get their stores up and running, and keep them running!
If you have any questions about any part of the industry, please, don’t hesitate to reach out. I am happy to spend an hour on the phone with you for free, just learning about your business and figuring out a way to help you reach your potential. You can contact me here. Look forward to hearing from you!