Cannabis Packaging Designs Matter

New Ideas We Gathered from Testing 200+ Cannabis Products

The past few years have brought significant growth to the cannabis industry. Small businesses and large corporations have begun to establish themselves – transitioning their audience and products into this developing market. Many celebrities/influencers have launched their own cannabis products or collaborated with existing companies to create luxury cannabis brands.

This boom in the industry has caused a beneficial impact in more ways than one; sales numbers in the global cannabis packaging market are estimated to reach nearly $300 billion USD by 2026. With that projection, various lines of products and packaging designs for cannabis have emerged throughout the years.

The Thriving Potential of the Cannabis Market

More and more states throughout the country have turned to the legalization of medical and recreational cannabis.

Currently, 36 of the 50 states have fully legalized cannabis to be cultivated, packaged, prescribed medically, and distributed to dispensaries. This increased demand has in turn allowed a variety of products to reach diverse audiences, depending on their choice of consumption. Whether we’re talking edibles, topicals, flower, vapes (or cartridges), concentrates, pre-rolls, and everything in between — nowadays it seems there is a product out there that has the potential to match the needs of every consumer.

Today’s most-recognized cannabis companies owe their success to a strong brand identity. Both consistency in branding and positive first impressions from your customers are crucial in a market (such as the cannabis market) that continues to have thriving potential. With all the diverse options for cannabis products that are currently available, the packaging design going into these products certainly plays a powerful role in a company’s branding and target audience.

Branding design in cannabis packaging is important because it is the absolute first impression your customer sees of your project — ultimately defining its quality and value. Amidst a large pool of products crowding dispensary shelves in 2021, it is important to make sure that your packaging design stands out and appeals to your targeted audience. Numerous elements and details go into creating cannabis packages that align with your company’s products and values.

Design Diversity in Cannabis Packaging

While we seem to always hear: “never judge a book by its cover,” packaging undoubtedly plays a vital role in the purchase of products — cannabis included.

Considering the huge strides the cannabis industry has made in such a short amount of time, product packaging design has come a long way. Not too long ago, cannabis products were designed using stark, bland and dull product packaging. However, now that the industry has gained competition, brands are compelled to create unique designs that stand out among the rest.

Successful product packaging is created by first understanding the type of customer you are targeting, and subsequently the unique experience you are marketing to that customer. Many trending cannabis brands have followed different styles and designs to promote their specific product and its intended experience. But, of course it’s not just about the style/design. There are a number of other factors that help elevate the packaging of a cannabis brand, including:

Compliance:

Familiarizing its team with current cannabis laws should be the first step before starting the packaging design of any company.

Appealing to the Right Audience:

This is a ‘no-brainer’, but of course, a company must know their customer base. Gender? Average age? Income level? Knowing who your customers are, will better help you create the perfect product for them.

Sharp Focus on the Effects and Overall Cannabis Experience:

Cannabis (and the terms associated with it) can get confusing, especially to the average person. Thinking carefully about how to describe your product on the packaging will offer customers a clearer idea as to exactly what kind of product is being offered.

Cannabis Product Testing Results:

Obviously, you most likely won’t be able to fit an entire lab report on your design however, most companies have found success by providing a simple QR code on their packaging that customers are able to scan for access to pertinent information — including cannabinoid ratios, terpene profiles, known contaminants, etc. This offers customers transparency regarding the products which they are buying and consuming.

Another important factor to consider is sustainable packaging. In nearly every industry, wasteful packaging is an issue; a cannabis company that strives to provide sustainable solutions will differentiate itself from other companies who fail to embrace sustainable business practices. Also, as the world becomes more environmentally conscious, modern consumers are likely to gravitate towards such a brand — after all, cannabis packaging that is safe for the planet and the people, can only be a good thing.

Luxury Cannabis Brands

Luxury cannabis and CBD brands have created top-quality packaging to match their products, providing an elevated cannabis experience. Chic and minimal design layouts in cannabis packaging promote a sense of quality to ‘luxury’ consumers (who are expecting an exquisite product.) Pre-rolls and high-potency cannabis cultivars/strains tend to dominate the luxury cannabis market, as celebrities and influencers are finding new ways to infuse their creative style with cannabis brand partners.

Colors and Quality in Cannabis Packaging

Two more key factors in cannabis packaging design are minimalism and authenticity. Products with attractive, colorful packaging tend to evoke intense activity in specific areas of the brain – in contrast to those with neutral packaging. It is common for cannabis brands to also show their commitment to sustainability through this type of product design, promoting a company mission of environmental consciousness and sustainable packaging alternatives.

Other types of cannabis packaging are designed solely to promote relief for medical cannabis patients. While qualifying conditions regarding medical cannabis eligibility vary by state, a specific style of branding and design is incorporated into these products to distinguish the benefits and purpose of use. Medical symbols on the packaging clearly mark the meaning of the product design, while clear and concise text is important to describe the details of the product and its risks, before use.

A more neutral design is used for medical cannabis products and packaging in order to distinguish the purpose and quality of the product for the customer. Although these products emphasize effectiveness and relief in their packaging, it is important to consult with a doctor about medical cannabis products to explore what works for you.

The Message of Cannabis

The best cannabis brands you will find today provide a balance of creative design and insightful information in the product packaging. And while the industry grows competitively, a strong brand identity can make a huge impact in the efforts to stand apart from the assorted established brands.

The elements that go into cannabis product packaging design play an important role in the customer’s reaction to the product, especially for beginners. Great packaging design will attract people to feel safer and more confident in the cannabis products they choose, even offering suggestions for use or tips and tricks on how and when to use their product. This is why most medical cannabis companies design products and packaging that clearly describes the benefits of use in order to build a trusting connection with their customer.

With cannabis education, research and legalization constantly growing, it is crucial for consumers to fully understand the product information and purpose. Strong values and quality products compel companies to break the stigma of cannabis through unique and creative approaches to branding. Some brands even collaborate with nonprofit organizations to advocate for cannabis reform in order to help those who have been unjustly impacted by the criminalization of cannabis.

The voice and message behind each cannabis company should promote the product’s branding and packaging design, loud and clear.

Design Matters!

No matter the intent or meaning behind these various cannabis products and brands — design matters. Package design that specifically markets to a targeted audience and accurately portrays the company’s product and mission will be most successful in this competitive industry.

As this industry continues to grow, there is so much potential for cannabis brands and companies to explore the many ways to attract and educate customers.

While products range from trendy and modern, to therapeutic and medicinal, product packaging is essentially the first impression customers will have regarding the product. Considering these elements and strategies in cannabis packaging design will help businesses succeed in their branding.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to cannabis businesses – brand identities and packaging design play major roles in the cannabis market and its specific audience. As mentioned above, many factors go into the branding and packaging of companies, with so many diverse options of cannabis products available for consumers and the conscious creative effort behind each packaged design.

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