Humans are creatures of habit. We buy the same laundry detergent for decades, we’re fiercely loyal to our favorite coffee brewer and we know exactly what we are getting when we drive thru the golden arches. It is impossible to quantify just how big of a role brand recognition plays in consumer purchasing decisions, but most marketers will agree that it is monumental.    

Providing consumers with convenient access to a popular product is all that needs to happen for it to sell, right? After all, marijuana prohibition never really stopped people from seeking it out. The truth is that popular products actually need more branding effort, because the market is more likely to become saturated.  

Branding is how repeat customers are made, and repeat customers are how brands make money. In fact, Nielsen reports that sixty percent of customers prefer to make purchases from a familiar brand, rather than switch brands to something unknown. Right now, the legal cannabis market is so new that it is anyone’s market to take. With no existing industry giants or recognizable brand names, the playing field is far more level than for any other product in today’s market. 

Unfortunately, many cannabis producers are missing out on the opportunity to build their brand in one of the most valuable and inexpensive places imaginable, directly on the package. What once was a difficult product to procure is now showcased in retail displays for legal purchase. With dozens of strains and types of cannabis products available, the choices are almost too many. How does the consumer decide? 

The answer is simple, and it’s the same way he chooses every other product – brand recognition. A brand speaks to who the consumer is, how he feels and what he wants to believe about himself and portray to the world. Cannabis products that hit the shelves with eye catching, memorable brands will speak to consumer’s emotions the same way popular brands lure customers in the aisles of the supermarket.  

In exploding cannabis industry, it is anyone’s guess as to who will be the next Coca-Cola of Cannabis, but one thing is for sure, they won’t be selling their product in unmarked baggies.