In the competitive dispensary market where consumers have dozens of nearby choices, cannabis retail operators must prioritize design in order to stand out from their competition to garner customer loyalty. Let’s take a look at what the term design really means, how to develop a thoughtful design strategy, and some examples of excellent design concepts in the cannabis industry.
These are just a few clever ways companies have implemented unique design concepts to make their brands so easily recognizable, we automatically remember them.
From McDonald’s famous golden arches, to Nike’s Swoosh, to a catchy jingle stuck in your head like State Farm’s “Like a Good Neighbor State Farm is there” if it wasn’t stuck in your head before, it definitely is now!
So, what is Design?
The term ‘design’ is often simplified to mean logos and color schemes, and while those components play an important role in the development of a successful brand, true design work is far more strategic and encompasses far more than colors and typography choices. At its core, design is truly a problem-solving technique. Designers use different elements “to construct messages that attract attention, cause us to think about their meaning, and stay in our memories over time,” according to the Professional Association for Design.
Examples of Design Efforts in a Cannabis Retail Business
Creating a comfortable customer experience and developing a memorable brand impression depends upon careful assessment of the following aspects of a dispensary.
- Mapping how customers will walk through the dispensary
- Determining the long-term sustainability of the store layout and design features
- Selecting a color scheme that will positively affect mood and emotion
- Visually arranging merchandise to facilitate an easy shopping experience
- Creating brand messaging and assets with versatile applications
How can design be helpful to my business?
In a study conducted by McKinsey & Company, companies with a high design-focus experienced greater sales and customer recognition than companies that did not prioritize design. Strong design efforts lead to the development of unique and distinctive brands. Branding includes the way your company looks to the public eye and the type of story you plan to tell. Companies that have a strong, definitive brand succeed because they are memorable and clear.
An example of branding for BootHeel by Point7
The relationship between design and the cannabis industry
Legal cannabis is a relatively new industry that is highly regulated and can be sometimes difficult to navigate. But there is a hidden treasure in the fact that the industry is so new. There is so much opportunity to explore and experiment with design and the creation of a brand. Cannabis businesses can range from delivery services with proprietary technology to high-end recreational retailers. The product may be the same, but brand identity can range drastically from company to company. A unique brand can make a business recognizable, memorable and personal to the target audience.
Point7’s Design Process
Our wonderful and very talented Senior Creative Director, Chelsea Bernardo, has spearheaded Point7’s collaborative design efforts for an array of cannabis clients. Bernardo has created beautiful and unique designs to fit each client’s individual needs.
Phase 1 – Exploring
We gather details and insights about you, your brand and your goals for your dispensary, and explore your existing assets (blueprints, floor plans, etc.). Ultimately we develop a keen understanding of your brand, the dispensary’s physical assets and its influencing aesthetics and architecture.
Phase 2 – Strategizing and Planning
We specifically define how we can collectively roll up our sleeves and get to work. During this phase we’ll co-design the plan — a roadmap that details the approved dispensary design projects, associated deliverables, timelines and benchmarks. The customized plan ensures Point7 delivers quality client service and output, hitting every milestone, every time.
Phase 3: Executing
We focus on flawless execution. We are passionate about bringing plans to life and thrive on contributing to the turn-key process of designing floor plans, renderings, and inspired interior design recommendations.
Phase 4: Sustaining
Retail owners know branding is sustained beyond the dispensary’s physical design. Point7 is often retained to extend its design expertise to creating wearables and other branded
merchandise, product labels and packaging, consumer education and promotional collateral, in-store signage, and engaging point of sale installations.
Part of Point7’s dispensary design process involves collaborating with architects and facility builders local to the client’s place of business, and our contribution to those collaborative partnerships stems from the depth and breadth of our regulated cannabis knowledge. Everything we know, from compliance to creativity, comes to bear throughout a retail dispensary design project’s life cycle; and, having drilled deep into every aspect of the respective state’s rules and regulations lets us apply that foresight to creating holistically compliant, smartly integrated and optimized, and right-the-first-time dispensary design and build-out plans.
Here are a few examples to showcase Point7’s ability to balance the practical and creative demands of this highly-regulated, high-touch retail shopping experience with some words from Chelsea herself.
The Source Sales Room Rendering
Point7 brought in elements from mid-century modern and apothecary styles and combined them with an urban, street art-inspired look to create the unique interior design of this dispensary. Local artists will be commissioned to paint murals throughout the interior to truly incorporate the culture and style of the local community. The challenge with this project was to create a design bold enough to catch peoples’ eye driving along the main interstate where the facility is located, while still blending in with the surrounding community.
CPC Dispensary Renderings
This original facility design, in a city known for its old-world charm and local community feeling, is an excellent example of the overall Point Seven Group dispensary design philosophy. In every market, the local community wants to know that cannabis operators are aware of the impact they have on the community, and are going to be good stewards of the local business operators’ values.
The proposed interior designs aim to showcase creativity and innovative twists to reﬂect the historic architectural traditions, culture, and character of the city. A welcoming color scheme was chosen consisting of olive, forest green, blush, peach and yellow shades, complemented by natural tones in the furnishings and fixtures. Navy and magenta accents were chosen to add a pop of color and a modern twist. Together, these elements create a calm, comfortable atmosphere for customers.
After studying existing architecture throughout this SoCal city, Point7 developed an original design mirroring existing structures in the surrounding neighborhood. The storefront was inspired by an eclectic mix of Art Deco, Spanish, modern, and Victorian architectural elements seen throughout the city. The property was designed to reflect the historical significance of the era of construction and retained its original character, in alignment with the city’s Design Guidelines for Historic Districts.
Point7 worked closely with the Bootheel team to not only design a beautiful dispensary facility, but also to develop the Company’s brand, including a compelling brand story, a set of logos, and promotional merchandise. We pulled inspiration from many sources, but we found nature to be the driving force for our design choices. An inspiration that kept popping up was the natural healing process for trees. When a tree is damaged other trees around it will extend their roots to help the damaged tree. The roots in this logo represents Bootheel’s dedication to serving and giving back to the community of New Madrid, MO through their treatments and care. We wanted the colors to be calming and inviting, which led us to soft pink and teal. The branding message is Bootheel Dispensary provides medical cannabis products to patients through a neighborly experience, with an understanding voice, helping patients feel at home through genuine, friendly interaction.
If you are interested in learning more about design and how important it is to your cannabis business, please contact the Point Seven Group. We have an extremely talented group of people ready to make your business beautiful!
Download Point7’s Marketing and Design Case Study.
Connect with Point7 here.
How can Point Seven Group Help?
The team of cannabis consultants and professionals at Point Seven Group have worked extensively in the U.S. and international cannabis markets and are familiar with the unique challenges of the cannabis industry. Follow us on social media to stay up to date with more cannabis industry updates!