By Alex Fechner, Advertiser’s Printing | MoCannTrade member | Cannabis Afficionado
As the cannabis industry continues to grow, so will the competition for market share, especially if recreational use passes this November…. So, while everyone is scrambling for a piece of this historic green rush, how is your business going to stand out? I can tell you right now, the secret to success doesn’t just grow on trees …or does it?
In this impersonal, digital and now post-COVID time, we have all gotten a little complacent. Instead of being with family and friends, we zoom. Instead of restaurants, we get delivery. And for the most part, we are waking up from digital fatigue. Right now, you might be asking yourself, what the hell is this guy talking about? In this digital age, one thing many businesses are missing is providing a sensory & memorable experience for prospects, patients, and customers alike…
When thinking about brands you are loyal to, why are you loyal to them? Is it price? Quality? Consistency? Convenience? Chances are, the answer is one or a combination of the previous questions asked. And what are those questions tied directly to? Experience… and when it comes to Cannabis, experience is everything.
So how do you create an experience that will differentiate your brand while also keeping it top of mind? The first step is looking at all communication mediums you are using to ensure your customers have an all-encompassing experience. Today, many businesses are overlooking one channel that lives in the physical world with them. A piece that can result in an immediate sale, a future online order, and quite possibly a store visit. Can you guess what it is yet? Hint: this missing piece comes from a plant just like cannabis.
Ladies and gentlemen, the piece that often gets overlooked is print collateral. Did you know adding print can increase ROI up to 240%? And much like its popular cousin rolling paper, print collateral also creates a multi-sensory, memorable experience which creates a higher emotional impact. Consumers can see the vibrant colors, feel the texture of the paper, hear the pages as they are flipped or folded. Considering the cannabis industry is on the verge of becoming “legit” nationwide, guess what communication consumers find to be the most legitimate & trustworthy? Printing is one of the oldest & proven methods of communication. Print fills a gap digital cannot which is why when used together in a coordinated communication strategy, ROI can increase in a big way.
Please understand, I am not knocking digital mediums as they are extremely relevant in our world today. But when coupled with print, they complement each other well. Print drives prospects to the physical location AND the website. Print increases digital traffic while also increasing in store traffic. Digital communication lasts 7-15 seconds on average. Print has an average life of 17 days or more. It is not lost in cyberspace with the other 2,800 digital messages we see daily. Print is either reviewed right away, tossed on the coffee table, kitchen counter or place in a drawer where we know we can reference later on… or it is hopefully recycled. Either way, print MUST be physically touched before it is discarded.
While on recycling, let's talk about sustainability…some of you might be asking, “doesn’t using print mean trees are being cut down?” Not necessarily as many papers today are either partially or fully recycled & here is another fun fact, There are more trees on earth today than there were 100 years ago. The point is, the printing industry is rebuilding our forests so print is a form of communication you can feel good about. You can invest in print collateral knowing the industry is doing its part in reforestation and sustainability. If you want to learn how to print more sustainably, I know a guy.
For those of you already using print, Bravo! You are making an investment many competitors won’t. But how can you make your collateral stand out when placed next to the competition’s? That sensory experience I mentioned earlier can be magnified by adding print embellishments. Some examples: soft touch lamination will give your collateral a soft and silky feel. Spot coating makes logos & images pop. Foiling could be the shimmer that makes someone shoot straight towards your product.
When adding print embellishments… your product instantly become more appealing. Many retail marketers believe the packaging sells the product, not the actual product itself. While this may not be true in all cases, imagine this: one product is packaged in a “plain-Jane”, dull box next to the same product is in a sleek, shiny and silky box… the consumer might wonder which product is better. The point is, make them wonder. Adding embellishments could be the differentiator needed to stand out against competition.
In today’s market, those going the extra mile will be noticed first. Making print part of your communication strategy will help you stand out. The more memorable the experience, the greater chance you will have at gaining new customers and keeping loyal ones. While I cannot be certain the secret to success grows on trees, I think we all know success is tied to those who are willing to do what others won’t and not everyone is willing to put that on paper. Now roll that up and smoke it!
For more info or to talk to Alex directly, email Alex Fechner