Industry Challenges: How Packaging Can be the Cannabis Industry’s Biggest Differentiator
Competition is fierce in any sector, but this is particularly true of emerging industries that are experiencing rapid growth, and have not yet firmly established who the industry leaders are. The legal market for cannabis is both new and continually expanding, as regulations across the country are gradually loosened, demand for legal cannabis products surges. As this demand increases, many different suppliers are rushing to develop a consumer base, and it’s no wonder – growth in the cannabis industry is expected to exceed $20 billion by 2020, and can be exceptionally lucrative.
Current Challenges Facing the Cannabis Industry
As with any new industry, the market for cannabis products is fraught with complications and unpredictable variables. Despite the potential revenue to be made, cannabis suppliers are still making a risky investment. Some of the factors contributing to their challenges include:
- Exploding Competition. As the demand for cannabis products surges, along with the money to be made within the industry, so does the number of competitors. As one of the most prominent emerging industry currently breaking out, countless enterprising individuals and businesses are popping up every day to get a piece of the profits to be made. This constantly growing field of competition makes it incredibly difficult for any one supplier to develop a strong advantage.
- Innovation of New Product Varieties. Increasing legalization of cannabis products has opened the door for innovation, with the consequence that new products are entering the market every day. Standing out as a brand has never been more difficult, or more important, than it is today.
- Lack of Brand Awareness and Familiarity. As with any new industry, it takes some time for consumers to become aware of, and familiar with, the brands and products available to them. This is true for both patients seeking medical marijuana treatments and consumers interested in cannabis products for recreational use.
How Packaging Can Make All the Difference
With the fiercely competitive landscape in the cannabis market today, suppliers need to be doing all they can to stand apart, and develop a loyal consumer base. Packaging can play a crucial role in addressing the hurdles of the cannabis industry when it is used to:
- Educate Consumers. Many consumers will be new to shopping for cannabis products, and even if they have some experience in the market, they are new to buying these products in this new, highly-competitive environment. Give consumers the information they need to make an informed purchase they feel good about, by using clear, easy-to-read labels with symbols where necessary to convey all important information.
- Establish Your Brand. A crucial step to establishing a base of consumers is conveying a promise of quality and purity of product from your brand. Decide what your branding message will be and make it the focus of your packaging design for quick association and easy recognition.
- Launch New Products. Already having a recognizable brand makes it that much easier to successfully launch a new product. If consumer trust and brand recognition have already been established, then packaging that makes a new product easily identifiable as one of yours will make consumers more willing to try the new product in the first place.
Ready to differentiate your brand? Get in touch with a packaging specialist at JohnsByrne to discuss how packaging can help you drive more sales.