Folding cartons are the number one form of secondary packaging. Folding cartons are printed boxes typically single unit and in direct contact with your product or your products primary packaging. Consequently, this the first thing your retail customer will usually see. (Online customers will be exposed to anotherform of secondarypackaging, but that is a whole other article)
Cannabis Dispensary shoppers are extremely interested in the product they are buying. My best comparison to the Cannabis industry would be back when software was on a disk or CD, and there where rows of software boxes at Best Buy &Costco. Customers would pick up the boxes that looked to coolest in thier segment of interest and read front, back, bottom, and sides of the box.There was an intrinsic interest in the product as such in the cannabis industry.
Packaging that holds your customers attention for just a second or two longer can make all the difference. Why do companies pay big bucks for grocery store slotting fees to be at eye level, rather than save a few bucks and be on the top or bottom shelf? Or, why does every SEO company promote to be on Google’s first page and be the first ads or first few organic listings on the top left of the search page?? Because that’s where your eye’s go!
However, complex we think we are as individuals, studies show we are bound to choose from that certain list or that first glance area most of they time. So, if it is a fact buyers typically purchase where their eyes go first, make your packaging the pop, and be the first one seen on the shelf or display.
Listen, if you have a niche in your market for the best thing since sliced bread, awesome, but if it does not grab your customers attention and make them understand your innovation is something they must have, are you missing out on a few sales? Do those few sales mean the difference of making a profit or funding to providing even newer and better sliced bread?
Being in the packaging industry for 20 + years, I have seen many things evolve. From companies that produce the most expensive packaging with, double prints, multiple coatings, hot stamping, and embossing, toocompanies wanting the least expensive box that will fit their product and save them 1/100th of penny on cost. Like most things there is happy medium in price and making your product pop compared to its neighbor on the shelf.
When working on your packaging, keep in mind a few things. First and foremost, it is your brands front line and usually first impression, don’t disregard its power to the consumer.
Second, there are a million ways to make your packaging yours and stand out, don’t over think it. You already did that constructing your logo or working with a design studio on brand when the company started. Packing needs to flow with the brand. Choose design, print, and materials that are cohesive to your brand and companies vision.
Third, use a packaging company that manufactures what you want. Remember packaging has been around for centuries, and there are allot of companies that have been doing it and doing it well for a long time. There is an old saying, “Be wary of a Jack of All Trades and a Master of None”, just do your homework, sometimes a penny saved, turns out to be a big damn headache!
Lastly, a Cannabis-centric problem, finance. The banking industry has made it tough out there for the Cannabis industry. Back in our parents/grandparents era business deals where made with a Martini and a hand shake, not PO’s and a Dunn & Bradstreet number. With industry growth, forward thinking vendors to the Cannabis industry must and will acclimate. There are some out there now willing to shake a few hands. (author included😊)
Justin Finn has 20 years in folding carton industry and is Director of Sales, Northwest & Rocky Mountains, for PM Packaging a manufacturer of folding cartons, litho-lam boxes, and displays.