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What’s on your Cannabis Box?

What’s on your Cannabis Box?

What does the data say about your cannabis packaging?

We take custom packaging seriously and so do you (but not too seriously we hope). You deserve the best information, so we’re rolling out a series of twice monthly updates on best in class research and trends in the packaging industry.

We’re reading, interpreting, and presenting the last 50 years of studies to give you the edge when it comes to cannabis packaging.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the quality of your custom packaging and art influences buying behaviors. But what does the data say?

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Lesson 1: What’s on your box?

Your Packaging is a CUE about what is inside of the box.

What the research agrees upon (study HERE for reference), is that the external cues on your packaging help first time consumers make important buying decisions outside of your brand and price point. (More on that in coming weeks.)

That is, when someone walks into a dispensary or peruses deals on Weedmaps, your packaging is pivotally important to helping them differentiate both the quality and effect of your product. 

The packaging and design is what lets them know what your product tastes like, and how it should make them feel.

So the important question stands, how do I make my packaging as appealing and informative as possible, while operating within all necessary legal frameworks?





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Yes, a picture is worth 1,000 words.

When it comes to young cannabis companies who are building their brands, giving MORE information to a prospective buyer is better (see above study). And the best way to convey more information is to use rich visual content. This content may include your logo, colors, packaging quality and any imagery present.

As the research says regarding photos:

“An additional advantage of pictorial information may be its ability to elicit imagery processing (Pavio, 1986), which MacInnis and Price (1987) define as the representation of sensory information in working memory. Thus a consumer viewing a product picture on a package is more likely (than with a pictureless package) to spontaneously imagine aspects of how a product looks, tastes, feels, smells, or sounds.”


What’s the point? What about laws?

Back to the research:

“Based on our results, managers of product categories with high experiential benefits [that means cannabis] should design and test packages that include a picture, as long as the product can be made to appear aesthetically pleasing. This is particularly important if the brand is a less familiar national brand or private label, but seems likely to generalize to new national brand offerings that are unfamiliar to the consumer as well.”

The data suggests that for young brands, experimenting with imagery is a worthy pursuit. But what do the laws say about this?

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Above you see a few of the packaging provisions for the state of Oregon, and while every state is different, the general legal consensus is an avoidance of appealing to minors and any claims about effects or feelings of being ‘high’.

This leaves us with a few interesting options regarding use of photos/imagery on packaging, and how early brands can convert as many folks to regular buyers as possible.

A few of our thoughts (More on them in later messages.):

  • Be extremely focused on high quality logo design to lay a groundwork of familiarity.
  • Choose your brand image very carefully. Because of the limits on what you can say, you want to avoid appealing to minors at all costs.
  • Consider how colors and shapes can convey the soft feel of your brand.

That’s all for this episode everyone. In coming weeks we’ll be deep diving on topics such as package material, the importance of color, and even how the size of your packaging influences buying behaviors! If you ever want to hop on the phone with one of our packaging gurus, feel free to book a time HERE.

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