Now You’ve Gotten Used to QR Codes, What’s Next?

QR Codes are old technology. Over their 20 years of existence, the technology has for the most part stayed the same. Scan the code, get information. So why is this older piece of tech having such a resurgence? 

It’s no secret that the QR code has had quite the year ever since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. 

Old Technology Finally Finds its Calling

Restaurants and bars are a perfect example. People wanted to support their favorite restaurants but were uncomfortable with what eating at a restaurant entails. Close proximity to others was handled with reduced capacity, but menus hold a whole other issue. Plenty of people would be touching the menu every day so a QR code was a perfect touchless solution to this problem. Customers could scan the code and get all the same information in a clean and sanitary way.

People are more comfortable with QR code technology now more than ever largely due to restaurants. This created a great opportunity for companies and brands to provide information to their customers in a quick, and safe way. But imagine your favorite restaurant provided a unique code per table. This could allow the customer to view their menu, get an itemized list of what they ordered, get the server’s details, earn rewards depending on what they ordered, and even pay their bill without having to hand over their card to the server. This is what Lucid Green is doing for the cannabis industry. 

Lucid Green bridges the gap between brands and consumers, modernizing how they can connect with one another. The foundation on which Lucid Green was created was to optimize the cannabis experience across the entire supply chain. We do this by promoting trust and transparency at every step of the production process, from growers to consumers and everyone in between. One Lucid ID can provide the consumer with all product information laid out in an easy-to-understand way, from cannabis veterans to novices, everyone should be able to know what is in their product and whether or not it is authentic. Brands can provide rewards to their customers which can be redeemed in-app. Dosage logs are available through the app so the user can track their dose and know for next time exactly how much they should be taking. The possibilities are endless, but finally, the cannabis industry is beginning to use QR codes as a legitimate tool to provide value to their customers. 

The Technology Doesn’t Matter, User Behavior Does

Technology is just the means by which we communicate with each other. Consumers to the brands, and vice versa. QR codes have been in circulation around the world for 20 years, but really only became popular over the past couple of years. This is clear proof that the technology we use matters far less than the information that we provide. Soon, touchless information will grow and change from what we currently know with QR codes. Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology and other similar technologies are coming. These technological advancements are only useful if marketers continue to provide valuable and meaningful user experiences through the use of this technology. 

Companies such as Lucid Green will continue to adapt to the ever-changing market. The mission of the company is not our Lucid IDs, but the information that our IDs can provide, and the value given to brands, customers, and dispensaries. We care about giving everyone in the cannabis supply chain the power, through our information and data, to optimize everyone’s cannabis experience in a trusted and transparent way. We will continue to deliver value to the entire cannabis industry supply chain - from producers all the way down to consumers.


Edible Purchases Surpassed Industry Growth in 2020: Why is That?

Edibles Have Made a Huge Breakthrough Throughout 2020

For the first time, edible cannabis category growth surged past overall cannabis industry growth year over year. In 2020, edible sales rose by 60%, from $767 million to $1.23 billion (Headset) compared to industry growth, which grew only 54%. And it was not just recreational use. In California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington the surge was seen in both recreational and medical cannabis.  

Why the Explosive Growth?

Many experts believe that COVID-19 has been a major driver for why edibles are growing faster than other categories. Because it is a respiratory illness, some may want to enjoy cannabis this way to reduce the risk of compromising their lungs through inhalation. Cannabis is also often seen as a communal experience and, with increased sanitary protocols, it may be easier to share gummies or pieces of chocolate than a joint, bong, or bowl.  We know that many cannabis consumers, particularly those that fit into an older demographic or have children, are more likely to want a more discreet cannabis experience. With so many new consumers entering the market, it could be the fact that quality edibles are readily available in far more markets now serving that population. But is there another industry change that has helped propel edibles to new heights?

New Edibles Users Need Guidance

Many new users have learned that edibles deliver a very different experience than traditional inhalation methods.  They can have an onset of well over an hour, a duration of more than three hours, and depending on the dose can produce a result somewhere between mild relaxation to vivid hallucinations. The long onset is often what throws consumers off.  They don’t feel anything after 45mins, take another gummy, and inadvertently give themselves a wild ride that seems to last forever thanks to that long duration.  Some believe that the proliferation of tools and expert guidance often found right on the packaging, have given consumers comfort in finding their ideal dose and may have paved the way for edibles to see this massive jump in adoption.  Lucid IDs, small QR codes integrated directly on the package, deliver exact product details, dosage recommendations, and allow you to track your own personal dose for the ultimate predictability and safety.

At a minimum, a brand should include dosage guidance on the packaging.  But on-pack Lucid IDs go so much further. A consumer simply points their cell phone camera at the packaging to unlock the most comprehensive product details, dosage guidance and tracking, consumer-friendly test results, and even authenticate purchased products. This is the best way to ensure the user has the best and most predictable experience possible and form the deepest connection to the brand and product.

If the industry wants to grow and open its doors to novice or experienced users wanting to try edibles again, dosing education for all products needs to be top of mind to ensure a great and consistent experience.  For brands, it is a no-brainer to get Lucid IDs on every package right away. It has zero impact on production costs and line time and only costs pennies.  For consumers new to edibles: always look for dosage guidance on-pack and if you See a Lucid ID, Scan a Lucid ID, to have the best and safest experience every time.

 


Red Herring Finalist

Lucid Green Finalist at 2020 Red Herring Top 100 North America

Red Herring Finalist

 

11.13.2020- Lucid Green has been selected as a finalist for Red Herring’s Top 100 North America award, one of the technology industry’s most prestigious prizes.

Finalists for the awards are among the continent’s brightest and most innovative private ventures. Red Herring’s editorial team has chosen their place among North America’s tech elite, during months-long process that takes into account criteria including disruptive impact, proof of concept, financial performance, market footprint and quality of management.

For over two decades Red Herring’s team has seen through the tech sector’s hype to select brands that have become industry benchmarks. Previous Top 100 finalists have included Alibaba, Facebook, Google, Skype, SuperCell, Spotify, Twitter, and YouTube.

The Top 100 North America has become not only a springboard for some of tech’s biggest names, but a valued and trusted tool for venture capitalists, experts and analysts predicting trends at the industry’s sharpest edge.

“Selecting finalists for this year’s Top 100 has proved more difficult than ever,” said Alex Vieux, publisher and chairman of Red Herring. “North America has been tech’s beating heart for years–but never have I seen such an exciting, disruptive and innovative generation as we have in 2020. “

“Lucid Green fully deserves its place among our finalists, and I’ve every confidence it will make a significant impact in the tech world,” added Vieux.

Finalists are invited to present their winning strategies at the Red Herring Top 100 North America conference on Nov 17-18, 2020. The Top 100 winners will be announced after all the presentations at the Top 100 Forum.


Introducing the Touchless COA For Cannabis Brands

Eliminating the administrative burden of COA and Regulatory Label Management, saving time, and removing errors in the process.

Lucid Green’s place in the supply chain puts us in a unique position to identify some key operational efficiencies possible in the current cannabis ecosystem and introduce solutions that not only drive better and more cost-effective processes, but also ensure consumer safety.

For the past 2 years, we’ve been solving the automatic generation of regulatory labels that include our unique LucIDs, and with now almost 5 Million LucIDs in circulation, we’ve ironed out almost all of the challenges! This journey has also led to the realization that our unique and automated systems can eliminate the need for ANY manual data entry of COA data received from labs all the way through the generation and application of the regulatory label on retail products.

How do we do it?

Brand Operation and Production Teams receive digital copies of COA’s (Certificate of Analysis) from participating Test Laboratories that are fully integrated into Lucid Green’s “THE SOURCE.” Once approved by the Brand compliance team, that test result data is stored, managed, and processed by Lucid Green’s THE SOURCE, which transforms it into the inputs required for regulatory label generation. From the Brand’s THE SOURCE  console, a production team member selects the approved SKU and Batch ID, enters a number of units to print, and THE SOURCE generates the complete regulatory label with embedded unique LucIDs and prints them automatically on-premises, ready for use.  There’s no more label template management and editing, manual data entry of test results on the plant floor, and certainly no more mis-types and mistakes made when generating thousands of compliance labels with dozens of numbers that change for each product batch and SKU. Plus, THE SOURCE keeps a digital archive of all approved COAs for future use.

Value for Downstream Partners

Creating Digital COA’s and storing them in a centralized system like THE SOURCE allows Distributors, Retailers and Consumers alike to access this data, and enables the Brand to demonstrate the authenticity of their product and the accuracy and precision of the lab analysis that backs up their quality.

We continue to challenge ourselves to help solve the biggest problems and reduce the inefficiencies facing our growing Brand base.


springbig Integrates Direct-to-Consumer Brand Advertising Platform With Lucid Green

Brands utilizing both platforms will have the opportunity to directly offer loyalty rewards through product promotions

BOCA RATON, Fla., July 7th, 2020 — springbig, a leading provider in cannabis CRM and loyalty marketing technology, today announced its advertising and loyalty partnership with Lucid Green, the premier trust and transparency platform developed exclusively for the cannabis industry. Effective immediately, brands that use springbig Brands and Lucid Green’s platform  will be able to directly text consumers about exclusive loyalty rewards, product specials and offers. 

Under this partnership, cannabis brands can boost loyalty points programs tracked through Lucid Green’s consumer app. Brands can tailor these offers to apply to specific products, line of products or across all product offerings. Brand based loyalty rewards generated through Lucid Green are eligible for customer redemption at participating dispensaries and on-line. Brands including 1440 Processing and Green Revolution are already utilizing the features of this program.

Brands and dispensaries alike can leverage Lucid Green’s reach across 26 brands and over 3 million products to create unprecedented retail synergies. Participating brands will have direct access to springbig’s 19 million active customers nationwide and have the opportunity to offer unique promotions to further drive sales and direct consumer connections. Retailers will not only be able to efficiently promote more products and brands, but also facilitate long-term customer loyalty by offering products vetted by Lucid Green’s LUCID ID. This partnership adds unparalleled value to the consumer experience and provides customers with critical product and safety information. 

“springbig was founded to help retailers skillfully bolster their loyalty programs while maximizing ROI, and we are confident that this new program featuring Lucid Green will benefit retailers and brands aiming to distinguish themselves in this competitive market, said Jeffery Harris, Founder and CEO of springbig. “Lucid Green has been a leading provider of product safety and authentication solutions, and their dedication to consumer well-being and improving the overall retail experience will be a boon to the industry at large.”

“We are delighted to work with springbig’s leading-edge advertising platform to bring trust, transparency and value to millions of cannabis customers,” said Larry Levy, CEO of Lucid Green. “Our main priority has always been to empower consumers to make informed decisions, and we are eager to equip even more consumers with our educational tools.”

About springbig

springbig is the leading provider in customer-loyalty and communications solutions for dispensaries and cannabis retailers. Founded in 2017, springbig offers state of the art CRM programs that capture key customer data and seamlessly integrates with existing dispensary POS systems. The platform also develops custom cannabis loyalty software embedded with advanced marketing tools to retain customers and sends targeted and personalized SMS campaigns based on customer interest with a 99% open rate. springbig is helping dispensaries & cannabis retailers keep their clientele connected and engaged while allowing the store owners to track their inevitable success and ROI in real-time. For more information, please visit www.springbig.com.

About Lucid Green

Lucid Green was founded in early 2018 by data veterans Paul Botto and Larry Levy with a singular mission of building a standard for trust and transparency in the cannabis ecosystem. Lucid Green’s revolutionary information platform provides brands a channel to connect directly with both consumers and retail staff; enabling brands, distributors, and retailers to provide the most accurate product information and improve their customers’ experience. Lucid Green's total transparency platform allows consumers to verify product authenticity, understand effects and usage recommendations, view test results, scan reviews, and track their experience – delivering a safe, predictable, and enjoyable experience. For more information, please visit www.lucidgreen.io.

Media Contact

Noah Bethke

MATTIO Communications

springbig@mattio.com


Big Isn’t Always Better - Especially When It Comes To THC

Does the THC arms race even make sense?

Public perception is that both cannabis flower and concentrates that come in below a certain THC percentage are “less desirable” than products that come in higher in THC percentage. This has focused product development on delivering high THC levels with less focus on other, arguably as important, cannabinoids. Cannabis producers dread reading certificate of analysis (COA) results when a large batch of concentrates, flower or distillate comes in below the expected THC ranges. They know they’ll hear all about it from either purchasing managers or customers directly.

According to a study by CU Boulder researchers, higher THC levels are not necessarily the driving factor in how high cannabis users get. And according to this study published in the Journal of Cannabis Theraputics, cannabis is more of a sum of all of its parts vs one major component in THC. If it’s not just about THC strength, then how do brands develop new products? How does the intended effect coincide with the actual consumer experience?

There have been a number of attempts to collect usage data from consumers, but most have been too difficult to scale. The most common technique used by brands has generally been sampling out different variations of new products to staff and gathering feedback based on desired effect, taste profile etc. This results in a very small data set and a new product that is a “winner” in staff testing, might not work out when it rolls out into the general population

One of the most intriguing value propositions for cannabis brands through the utilization of data platforms like Lucid Green, is the opportunity to do true data-driven product development at scale, that directly benefits the user, as well as potentially allowing the Brand to maximize lower THC yielding crops. 

Lucid Green users get to add their dosage and effects as part of their overall experience with that Brand’s product. It’s not an add-on or a separate step they have to remember to take. Allowing users to record their dosage for future reference, as well as providing them with valuable information on the products they’re consuming, makes it more convenient for consumers to provide this feedback. There’s real value in showing consumers that they have a very similar experience when they consume a high strength vs medium-strength THC Sativa dominant products. It’s also really useful to know that consuming products with more than 4mg/g of limonene leaves some consumers with sensitive skin, whereas their skin feels great when dosages are below 4mg/g. As consumers log more usage, they’re able to dial in what works for them and what doesn’t. Ultimately platforms like Lucid Green may help consumers discover the right blend of terpenes and cannabinoids, as they consider their next product purchase. Having both user documented effects and the detailed chemical composition of the product (COA) consumed, yields valuable insights when analyzing the correlation between dosage/effect and full cannabinoid/terpene analysis. These aggregated insights could prove invaluable for a Brand’s future product development.

There’s a promising new data set for brands and consumers alike, that drives home the goal of providing consistent and enjoyable consumer experiences….. even if that means lower THC numbers!


BRANDS - NOW’S THE TIME TO ACQUIRE CUSTOMERS, NOT JUST MAKE SALES


Cannabis digital marketing was pushed into overdrive thanks to the Covid pandemic. Like traditional retail before it, cannabis retail is moving rapidly towards a more digitally integrated experience and consumer behavior is changing along with it. Thankfully for cannabis brands, there’s a tried and tested brand marketing blueprint to follow in order to build out their Direct to Consumer (
DTC) digital strategy.

Traditional Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) marketers used to operate much like cannabis Brands do now - focused on shelf-space and managing retailer relationships, but the internet changed that dynamic. With the accelerating digital shift and where two-thirds of consumers now expect to connect directly to the Brands they buy, CPG companies have turned to building and managing direct customer relationships, taking advantage of the efficiencies of the digital landscape to do so, rather than fighting to hold back the tide.  While strong retailer relationships help drive sales for cannabis Brands, it contributes very little to increasing the Lifetime Value of the Customer (LTV), allowing the fickle consumer (and retailer) to switch Brands with alarming regularity and no easy way for the Brand to intervene.

Unlocking a latent, powerful marketing channel Brands never knew they had

What if Brands could change all that by creating their OWN marketing channel using their existing widely distributed packaging?  The digitization of cannabis Brand packaging, which requires a tiny footprint, but creates a highly engaging experience right off of every package, gives that power to the Brand almost instantaneously.  Want to deliver a deep branding experience along with all the knowledge required to have the best, most predictable, and enjoyable Brand experience on every product?  Consumers simply point their camera at the packaging.  No app to download, no registration required, no typing, just point-and-click.  Within one production cycle, a Brand can
create a DTC channel, start building a relationship with those consumers, and drive Brand affinity, loyalty, and ultimately repurchase behavior. 

Building a relationship with consumers is not easy, but this is where it gets really interesting.  An integral part of that same, simple packaging interaction is to deliver a call to action for things like product authentication, Brand loyalty, dosage and product tracking, which, of course, requires consumer registration.  When the consumer signs in to access these details, they connect directly with that Brand.  Successful cannabis Brands adopting this digital strategy have amassed tens of thousands of consumers and add hundreds more every day. They integrate their social media, web site, sales collateral into campaigns that both drive higher sales volume AND capture consumers on their digital platform.

There’s no disputing that digitizing cannabis brand packaging works, but how do you, as a Brand, know how much to spend on these tools, loyalty, and promotion?  This is where many young Brands get stuck, but successful traditional brand marketers have already figured this out.

To LTV or Not to LTV - That is the question

Lifetime Value vs Customer Acquisition Costs.  This simple ratio breaks down the complicated consumer journey by accounting for what you spend to acquire a consumer and what they are worth to you.  Simply stated, a 1:1 LTV:CAC ratio would mean you only earned what you spent over the lifetime of a customer - a questionable strategy. The best marketers figured out the “ideal ratio” of 3:1, which means you sell 3x what you spend to acquire each consumer - that’s Brand-building gold!

This is where digitally integrated cannabis packaging really shines. Brands are regularly seeing LTV:CAC ratios of 10:1 or more, even when accounting for the cost of a digitally integrated packaging platform like Lucid Green and the cost of the loyalty program.

The digital trends in cannabis may seem daunting in a new industry with so many aspects of the business still evolving, but one thing is clear, the post Covid retail landscape has changed consumer behavior forever, leaving it impossible for Brands to ignore digital marketing.  This no-brainer first foray into digital marketing allows Brands to gain an enormous advantage from that direct consumer connection, allowing Brands to take control of their brand affinity, loyalty, and drive up that all important LTV ratio.

If you want to see how these numbers play out with your own assumptions, email info@lucidgreen.io to contact your Lucid Green representative, who’ll help calculate your LTV:CAC ratio.  

 


Greenlane Launches Consumer-Facing Product Verification Program G-Verify Powered by Lucid Green

Greenlane Holdings, Inc. (“Greenlane” or “the Company”) (Nasdaq: GNLN), one of the largest global sellers of premium cannabis accessories, child-resistant packaging, and specialty vaporization products, today unveiled G-Verify, a consumer-facing, scannable verification program that allows brands to communicate product information directly to consumers. Powered by Lucid Green’s Lucid ID platform, G-Verify can be used by brands to confirm product authenticity, share manufacturing certifications, child-resistant compliance details, reviews, dosage, and educational content through unique QR codes.

G-Verify harnesses the power of Lucid Green’s 36,000 registered users and up to 600 daily scans per brand to provide reliable product, safety, and educational information directly to consumers and retailers. Each G-Verify Lucid ID is conveniently printed on product packaging and can be easily scanned with any smartphone camera. Greenlane’s latest offering in partnership with Lucid Green assures consumers that every aspect of their favorite products, from the packaging to the hardware or cannabis itself, is verified and compliant, and provides critical information regarding lab testing and safety.

BRANDS
Greenlane brands that opt into G-Verify will have direct-to-consumer control over their own brand narrative. Each G-Verify brand landing page provides real-time updates regarding product information, compliance testing results, marketing assets, and brand messaging. G-Verify Lucid ID codes seamlessly integrate into existing compliance labeling machinery and easily prints directly within existing compliance labels. In addition, brands will receive monthly consumer data reports that can be leveraged to update marketing content and drive sales. Most importantly, G-Verify proactively verifies that a product is authentic, protecting brands from intellectual property theft.

DISPENSARIES
G-Verify acts as a virtual brand ambassador that can be easily utilized by budtenders to provide product expertise at point-of-sale. In addition to enhancing in-store customer experiences, G-Verify provides comprehensive employee training and guidelines regarding best practices and ongoing product education. G-Verify brands seamlessly integrate with existing retailer POS systems, which allows retailers to verify product authenticity, certifications, and compliance, and even review product testing results in real-time. Upon registration, retailers will gain access to brand marketing assets which can be used to drive sales and customer engagement.

CONSUMERS
Any consumer with a smartphone can access critical product information including dosage recommendations, reviews, ingredient breakdowns, batch information, and certifications. Consumers can even track their personal experience with products without downloading additional applications. G-Verify’s landing page also allows consumers to explore verified customer reviews, industry articles, and related blogs about participating products or brands. Unlike other compliance solutions, the G-Verify platform also acts as a digital wallet that tracks purchases and rewards points, allowing consumers to redeem exclusive gifts and offers.

“The legal cannabis retail environment is still challenging space for consumers, brands, and dispensaries to navigate,” said Aaron LoCascio, Co-Founder and CEO of Greenlane. “The illicit market is actively competing with legal companies for customers, which is a serious threat to consumer safety. G-Verify’s partnership with Lucid Green delivers a vital platform that allows cannabis enthusiasts to buy and sell consumption products with peace of mind.”

About Greenlane Holdings, Inc.
Greenlane (NASDAQ: GNLN) is the leading global platform for the development and distribution of premium cannabis accessories and lifestyle products. The company operates as a powerful house of brands, third-party brand accelerator, and omni-channel distribution platform. Greenlane serves the global markets with an expansive customer base of more than 11,000 retail locations, including licensed cannabis dispensaries, smoke shops, and specialty retailers. Greenlane’s world-class team provides services including product development, go-to-market strategy, sales and marketing support, customer service, direct-to-consumer fulfillment, supply chain management, and distribution. As a pioneer in the cannabis space, Greenlane is the partner of choice for many of the industry’s leading brands, including PAX Labs, Storz & Bickel (Canopy-owned), Cookies, Grenco Science, and DaVinci. Greenlane also proudly owns and operates a diverse brand portfolio including packaging innovator Pollen Gear™, the K.Haring Glass Collection by Higher Standards, Marley Natural™, and VIBES™ rolling papers. Higher Standards, Greenlane’s flagship brand, offers both a high-end product line and immersive retail experience with groundbreaking stores in both New York City’s Chelsea Market and Malibu, California. Greenlane also owns and operates both Vapor.com and VapoShop.com, two industry-leading, direct-to-consumer e-commerce platforms in North America and Europe respectively. For additional information, please visit: https://gnln.com/.

About Lucid Green Inc.
Lucid Green was founded in early 2018 by data veterans Paul Botto and Larry Levy with a singular mission of building a standard for trust and transparency in the cannabis ecosystem. Lucid Green’s revolutionary information platform provides brands a channel to connect directly with both consumers and retail staff; enabling brands, distributors, and retailers to provide the most accurate product information and improve their customers’ experience. Lucid Green's total transparency platform allows consumers to verify product authenticity, understand effects and usage recommendations, view test results, scan reviews, and track their experience – delivering a safe, predictable, and enjoyable experience.


ONE CODE, ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES FOR CANNABIS BRANDS AND RETAILERS

It’s not often that you get the opportunity to have your cake and eat it too…. and it gets better. For very little upfront effort, Cannabis Brands can unlock a host of operational, sales and marketing opportunities.  All from this tiny pattern of dots on a regulatory label!

 

ENTER THE FUNGIBLE CODE

The “fungible” on-pack code, meaning a single code can be used for many different functions and by many different users, allows for incredible flexibility and efficiency for Brands.

A unique code, automatically included on every item, allows brands to unlock a wish list of capabilities: from inventory check-in optimization for their retailers, real-time sell-through data for brands, to product authentication, product safety, recalls, usage guidance, budtender training and incentives, and even fully featured consumer loyalty.  Consumers and retailers alike don’t even need to download an app to access this rich set of functionality. 

 

SO HOW DO YOU DO IT?

A simple modification to the regulatory label that takes only an hour or so to implement, puts the code on each and every package without any further effort required. Set it and forget it. Once implemented, most brands see efficiency improvements over their standard label printing process, eliminating the need to hand-transfer information from the COA or reformat the label every time a batch changes.

The key to a fungible code’s flexibility is it’s fidelity.  By using serialized, unique codes at the unit-level, Brands are able to deliver and gather data on every interaction with that individual package. 

 

DO IT RIGHT….. DO IT RIGHT AWAY!

These item level codes called Lucid ID’s,  giving cannabis Brands control of their message, opening up a direct to consumer and budtender channel, deliver visibility on inventory, and allow Brands to be dynamic, supportive partners to their retailers, budtenders, and consumers alike.  Operationally, Lucid ID’s costs mere pennies and are 280E friendly, making them one of the most cost-effective, impactful improvements to ops, sales, and marketing available to Brands today. If building a direct to consumer (DTC) channel for a fraction of what it would ordinarily cost OR deriving significant ROI from operational efficiencies into your supply chain is important to you, then get them integrated right away, there is no better time than now.


2020: The Year of the Virtual Budtender

THE WORLD HAS CHANGED

As the cannabis industry rolled into 2020, markets were already seeing a steady increase in online ordering and digital engagement, even as many brands still had nascent digital strategies in place to address this growing channel. BOPIS (Buy Online, Pickup In-Store) purchasing was saving consumers and retailers major queue time and markets like CO finally passed laws to allow the slow rollout of home delivery in the state.  But the global Covid-19 pandemic threw gasoline on that fire, and overnight, twenty-four states including Florida, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New Mexico, permitted curbside pickup outside of dispensaries.  Nevada made drastic moves to enforce cannabis by home delivery-only, statewide. 

This presented unique challenges for brands who were accustomed to in-store activity and budtender relationships delivering the bulk of their consumer messaging.  But it also gave brands a huge opportunity to connect directly with consumers.

 

ENTER: THE VIRTUAL BUDTENDER

If a budtender recommendation figures into 80% of all purchases (Brown, ElevatedInsights 2018), delivering the knowledge a budtender or in-store experience might deliver, and much more, presents unique challenges in this new digital cannabis economy.  Enter the virtual budtender, who can deliver product authentication, full product descriptions, dosage guidance, processing standards, and actual COAs for the product the consumer is holding in their hand.  As importantly, it paves the way for a true digital connection with consumers, providing information for brands to understand how consumers are using the brand’s products, channel-building tools to activate the digital direct to consumer (DTC) channel, and other features to allow brands to cultivate true brand affinity and loyalty.  Better yet, the seamless integration of this capability on-pack has made ROI nearly automatic –  just pennies per package and virtually no additional operational overhead.

 

HOW TECHNOLOGY ENABLED THIS TRANSFORMATION 

The first tech challenge was operational:  How can we get the codes on every package at scale, without disrupting production?  Innovations in digital print management and identity management allow brands to integrate serialized QR codes into the regulatory labels they already place on products.

The second tech challenge, and probably most importantly, was the poor user experience of forcing a consumer to download an app in order to engage with digital packaging.  But by 2019, all iOS and Android phones had native QR code reading built into the camera itself which is 99.6% of smartphones.  Anyone that knows how to pull up their camera and click a link can now engage directly with the brand and product in their hand.  

It no longer matters if the consumer had a brief encounter in-store, home delivery, picked up curbside, or simply forgot everything their budtender told them. The guidance is always easy to access, accurate, and consistent because it is coming straight from the brand for an exceptional product experience – every time.  Brands are taking this digital shift as an opportunity to connect directly with the consumer, joining the leaders of other industries in taking control of their brand and product communication.