Excellent brand design can grow your business

As the cannabis industry grows and the category becomes increasingly crowded, packaging design is more important than ever. An impactful and meaningful brand image is key to getting noticed, differentiating yourself from the competition, connecting with consumers and ultimately making the sale. Today’s cannabis labels are more varied than ever. They can be fun or luxurious, contemporary or retro, colorful or simplistic. Many brands are moving beyond traditional cannabis leaves towards more unique, modern and unexpected interpretations of cannabis plants. Others forgo leaf imagery altogether in favor of more evocative graphics, minimal design, or traditional patterns.

While there is no single design for cannabis packaging, there are many regulatory requirements and branding best practices to consider. We’ve outlined some essential things to keep in mind before you start designing your cannabis packaging.

Know your target audience

Understanding who your target audience is is essential for proper design

There are a variety of cannabis users, each with unique needs, interests, and attitudes. Understanding who you are targeting is key to determining the appropriate brand design strategy. Graphics for millennials will be different than for baby boomers. But demographics aren’t the only thing to consider when identifying your target consumer. Euromonitor International has identified several lifestyle and personality driven consumer segments:

  • Seasoned Consumer – Regular, daily consumer who defies stereotypes and often sees himself as a connoisseur.
  • Casual Social – regular but not daily user who uses cannabis as part of their larger lifestyle.
  • Amateur – occasional user who is familiar and comfortable with cannabis, but unlikely to use it regularly.
  • Cannacurious – consumer who is interested in cannabis and demonstrates an openness to using it.

Understanding the motivations of different consumer groups and looking beyond stereotypes or traditional demographics based on age and gender can help reach consumers in a more targeted, authentic, and compelling way.

Have a unique brand personality

Concept shots by the design division of Studio One Eleven

Design is often the first impression of a brand, especially in the cannabis category. The first step in developing a winning packaging design is determining the best design strategy to differentiate yourself from the competition, communicate your brand story and connect with consumers. Start by thinking about the personality that matches your brand, the type of experience you want to create, and the emotions you want to evoke. Do you want to feel healthy and medicinal? Earthy and natural? Sophisticated? Capricious? Each personality inspires different design solutions. Designers at Studio One Eleven, the Design & Innovation division of Berlin Packaging, begin every branding project by developing design platform panels that showcase different ways to communicate brand personality through design, including color, typography, imagery, etc. These platform charts are a great tool to align on the most effective and appropriate design strategy before delving into tactical design approaches. They can also help guide brand design across other touchpoints, including digital, social media and advertising.

Understand regulatory requirements

Packaging in the cannabis and CBD industries is heavily regulated. In addition to attracting consumers, your package must comply with local, state, and federal regulations. Some states require cannabis packaging to be child-friendly – ​​so no cartoon images or graphics that look like familiar candy brands. The FDA prohibits cannabis products from making health-related claims, so it’s essential to carefully evaluate the language used on packaging. Vital information such as ingredients, warnings, health risks, tampering, proper dosage, lot number and more must be included on cannabis labels.

Label material, thickness and texture are tactile elements that can enhance the design experience

These are just a few of the packaging design requirements to consider. Regulations may vary from state to state. It is therefore essential to find a packaging partner who understands the complex and constantly changing rules. Berlin Packaging has been a trusted resource for cannabis packaging since 2014. We are uniquely positioned to help cannabis and CBD businesses of all sizes in the fast-paced and ever-changing cannabis industry.

Consider all aspects of your plan

Beyond graphics, tactile elements can be important to the overall brand design experience. Label material, thickness and texture, embossing and hot stamping, and die-cuts can create a premium print and add visual interest. Structural design can also help differentiate from the competition and create an enhanced user experience. How a package opens and closes, dispenses and doses, and protects and preserves the product inside are all critical considerations. Berlin Packaging has an extensive network of manufacturers with hundreds of bottles, boxes, jars, tubes and closures in stock in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials to choose from, plus custom solutions available through Studio One Eleven .

Understanding your target consumer, identifying and communicating a unique brand personality, complying with all regulatory requirements and taking a holistic approach will lead to impactful packaging that wins with consumers and grows your business.

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