29 Nov Marketing Your Dispensary: How to Stand Out in Cannabis Retail
There are nearly 10,000 marijuana dispensaries in the United States, with new stores popping up all the time. While some will stand the test of time, many will inevitably be just a footnote in history.
So what makes the difference between them?
Customers use a range of factors to decide which dispensaries to visit- and which to avoid. Lets first talk about one of the biggest factors for any cannabis retailer: social interaction.
The way that customers interact with your employees can be a deciding factor in your company’s longevity. It not only builds familiarity and trust in your brand, but can be a huge driving force in promoting sustainably consistent sales.
Perhaps most importantly, it can be an incredible tool to let people know that your dispensary exists! (Because if people have no idea that you are even an option, how can they choose you?)
A great way to make a positive impact in your community and help gain traction is through community outreach.
It can be as simple as hosting a bbq, or becoming a sponsor of a cannabis conference or event. Some other good options to meet and greet could be to do a canned food drive or even throw a concert.
Through effective and consistent branding, you create a first impression of your dispensary. This sets the tone for the all future interactions with your company and gives the public something other than your name to remember you by.
Branding will also create an expectation of the quality of product or service you provide, and help draw in your target audience. If you need any more reasons to properly brand your dispensary, I suggest reading this list of effects that good branding has on cannabis businesses.
Effective store design- from the layout of the shop to the decor in the lobby- creates a sense of comfortability. It can instantly endear your customers to your dispensary, or it can quickly drive them away.
The color or pattern on the walls, the way the budtenders are dressed, and the cases that display your products all help drive the customer to make a purchase. It can also keep them coming back, even if your store isn’t necessarily the only option.
When deciding on the design for your dispensary, it’s most important to understand the people who make up your local community, because they will be your main customer base.
If the person checking customers in is wearing a three piece suit and tie, the budtenders all are wearing collared shirts in the showroom, and the showroom is brightly lit with glass display cases, your dispensary can end up feeling more like a jewelry store. In a hip location, this look-and-feel might be an effective approach. But if your average customer doesn’t match that demographic, this will be the wrong pitch.
A fantastic example of thoughtful store design is Jayne in Northeast Portland. From the moment you walk into the lobby you feel right at home, thanks to the gentle tones and clean, modern design with a tasteful splash of rustic wood paneling and hip vintage decor. Being situated in a hip neighborhood, these little details are a big part of what makes Jayne’s community feel comfortable.
Promotions and Incentives
So you are getting folks in the door, but how can you keep them coming back for more? With so many choices out there, a great way to stand out is to use promotions and incentives.
Maybe you can offer daily deals like buy one get one half off, spend a certain amount and get a penny pre-roll, or buy a cartridge and get a battery & charger for free. Daily deals will stick out in people’s minds, which will help drive sales through the roof!
Another great way to incentivize is setting up a text club signup that sends your customers a daily SMS message with a promotional deal. This can be incredibly useful in driving sales on specific items and staying at the forefront of your customer’s minds.
Setting up a successful promotional program takes a bit of work, but the payoff will be well worth it!
There is fierce competition between dispensaries for market share. Through branding, design, social interaction, and promotions you can engage and enthrall your target customer, provide an enjoyable experience and establish yourself as a trusted resource and pillar of the community.
Even though some dispensaries do not use this approach and while some still manage to last, most have difficulty building a loyal customer base. If you can’t build a loyal base you are going have a difficult time driving consistent business.
With so much on the line, can you really risk it?