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cannabis retail design

How to stand out in the store: brand kiosk design tips from the experts

How does your product stand out among a sea of similar category products on a shelf or in a counter?”  

Brands face this essential question as they navigate relationships with dispensary owners.  The solution is an eye-catching, branded display, that provides a platform to tell a brand story AND ease consumer angst when faced with many similar products. The exciting visual opportunity comes in the footprint and the messaging. 

Cannabis tincture display

As cannabis retail evolves, designers are getting creative with product display options. Products can hang, stack, or stand alone in any configuration that meets the required footprint. But the display option should be attuned to the product type. Even if customers can’t legally touch the product, they want to know what they’re getting. Anchor devices next to their boxes. For edibles, consider a display that will allow consumers to see what the product itself looks like. For flower, jars are typically preferred to showcase the plant, but the platform on which these jars live can create a specific, recognizable identity moment and message. These same principles apply to freestanding floor displays, shelves, and counters.  

Cannabis retail design options

As you contemplate display design, standing out visually is certainly the first goal.  Education and/or messaging moments are a critical second.  

best edibles display

Elevating your products

How do you physically set your product apart? Significant time and money has already been invested in awesome packaging, so the next level game changer is HOW it looks in the retail environment. A specific space for brand messaging is a miss if your product is simply standing next to the competition, on the same crowded level. Elevation (both visually and physically), containment of assortment, and separation from competition are key elements in the brand placement strategy. 

Creating a brand message that is informative and compelling

We’re seeing an increased interest in self shopping and self education vs. always having a 1:1 budtender experience, so the messaging visual “moment” plays an important role in the buying process. How do you set your product apart with messaging? You want to visually communicate the elements that connect your loyalists to your brand. Consider what makes your product unique–is it a formulation, an ingredient, the absence of an undesirable ingredient, sustainability, a community story? Think also about messaging on proper dosing.

Building in flexible messaging potential 

Having the ability to change and update the messaging is another reason to have your products live a bit independently at retail.  Quick change out and flexibility is paramount to execution success, whether done by a field rep or budtender. 

COVID-19 has forever changed the way we have tactile experiences, yet the need for knowledge and brand awareness remains increasingly evident. QR (quick response) codes and NFC (near field technology) are an easy addition to any display and can be changed out or updated remotely. QR codes allow the user to scan the code on their phone via camera or app and receive data in a link format. A replacement physical code is required to update messaging. NFC tags simply require a hover over (touchless) to direct customers to a link, text, file, email, or contact and can be updated remotely and securely.  These codes are an easy addition to the display itself or to changeable messaging and graphics.

Magnifying your brand impact through repetition


Duplication within an environment is also an exciting opportunity, as brand education and recognition can start in the reception or lobby area while consumers wait to shop. A freestanding totem or flexible wall display creates interest upon entry, which gets reinforced once the customer enters the main retail area.  This can be achieved in a singular static display–with or without digital integration where perhaps unpacked but secured product can be casually observed. Branded swag is also an impactful merchandising opportunity and helps create a truly immersive lifestyle brand experience.

Standing out is a simple decision, exploring HOW is where the fun starts!

Check out Green Cloud for more information on dispensary design.

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