How Should my Company Package its Cannabis?

This is actually a multipronged question with a multipronged answer. The correct way to package your products will differ from company to company. The best answer, “Is packaging that coincides with your brands identity and product quality.” Now you might still be saying what the hell does that mean?

Let me explain. The old Lamborghini salesman is sweatpants scenario comes into play here. If you are not familiar, it is in essence to portray your brand in line with the quality of your product. For instance if you were going to buy a Lamborghini and the salesman is wearing stained sweatpants, no matter how much you want the car you will most likely consider taking your business somewhere else. As you are afraid to make a purchase of that kind with a poor upfront presentation. Well, I’m here to say that the same goes for cannabis packaging. Let’s discuss a scenario with two companies. Company A and Company B. You are company A, say you think you have the best live resin cartridge on the market, you have a great product and it tests well. You spend a good amount of money on refining your product and can command top dollar for said product. Now is where many companies run into the dilemma of not wanting to add any other major additional costs.  You decided to package it in a plastic blister pack with a paper insert that’s printed at staples. It makes it way into the shop, you get a few very enthusiastic and educated connoisseurs that rave about the product. But being sold as a high-end product, its shelf appeal is not apparent in the cheaper packaging. At a first glance customers will think it is just an over priced lower end product. If you get it in people’s hands it can speak for itself, but often getting it in the right hands or enough hands, can be the hardest part.

Now lets take the example of the someone with a middle of the road product, Company B. It is not bottom of the barrel nor is it being sold that way. But you have packaged it in a magnetic box with foil and sharp colors. The type of box someone would hold on to after the purchase. Some of the high-end customers buy It based on the packaging. The true connoisseurs or not fooled by the packaging and appreciate Company A’s product more despite the $15 cost difference. A few of the lower end customers buy it as a special purchase. But as company B you have now found your sweat spot in the middle. The everyday consumer loves that it’s a quality product for the price, and love that it looks higher end. Company B despite having a lower cost product, ends up taking a much larger percentage of the market share and continues to grow faster.

You might be saying so what company A has crap packaging, the product is better, the customers must be sheep. Well that might be the case but as this market continues to grow, consumers will be less and less informed and packaging will make more and more of a difference. They will lean on the brands they like and that jump out at them. Again if you have a great product you will most likely always have a core following. But if you want to take that next step in growth, your packaging needs to coincide with your brand.

Last comparison we will make is a cost vs selling price analysis. Company A sells their carts for $80 – they have a $50 profit margin and it costs them .30 per package. They sell 1000 the first 3 months, netting them: $49,700… (minus all the fees, etc etc – we know we know – this is an example!)

Now lets look at Company B. Company B sells there carts for $65 each – they have a $40 profit margin and go all out and spend $2 per package. But with the packaging appeal they sell 1750 units in the first three months, netting them: $66,500.

You can see that despite having a profit margin of nearly $15 more and a better product, Company A limited their reach by cheaping out on packaging. There core customer group will grow exponentially slower and although they still have a good reputation, there sales are not on par with it.

Lastly, this isn’t a pitch to say sell SHITTY PRODUCT IN EXPENSIVE PACKAGING. If that’s what you took from this, then you have missed the point. At the end of the day a products quality will speak for itself regardless of the packaging and you will have a level of success or failure based on this and this ALONE. But packaging is the second piece of the puzzle. If you have a terrible product in a nice package in an attempt to charge more, customers will eventually see through it. Then word of mouth of your overpriced and poor-quality product will eventually bury you in due time. Customers might over pay the first time, but will not be fooled again and again by the tricks!