The post on the left has been circulating on LinkedIn from a variety of sources and it got us thinking: Is Covid-19 to thank for the momentum in cannabis digitization? The silver lining here is these safety measures for online ordering, curbside, and BOPIS (Buy Online, Pickup Instore) have forced cannabis retailers and brands to consider their digital presence now, solving the current pandemic dilemma and also finally setting themselves up to turn the typical cannabis branding challenges they’ve faced for years to their advantage.

Why is this such an important evolution for the cannabis industry?  In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Nike, the sportswear giant, was able to increase digital orders 36% to drive global sales up 5.1% to $10.10 billion because they doubled down on their digital practice, knew who their customers were, and how to reach them.  Read more at the WSJ (subscription required).  Is there a cannabis brand that is not jealous of that flexibility?   But for some, it is already an essential part of their cannabis branding and consumer experience.

HOW TO START DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION NOW: STEP 1: BRAND ASSET MANAGEMENT

This foundational step is often why brands can’t even get their digital practice off the ground. You cannot deliver a quality digital experience if the live menus, POS systems, and content providers have outdated brand and product images, made-up, incorrect, or incomplete product descriptions. Frankly, no one has the time to reach out to hundreds of content providers every time you make a change. The SOURCE powers the Lucid Green interactive packaging experience and brands also use it to distribute all their digital assets effortlessly to all digital content partners with the free SOURCE API – live menus, POS systems…you name it, instantly updated with the latest product shots, newly written descriptions, or newly launched SKU details the minute you enter them in.  Digital consistency and efficiency.

 

STEP 2: CREATING A BRAND “VIRTUAL BUDTENDER” AND NEW DTC CHANNEL

Trust and transparency have always been important, but now without the typical in-store experience and often buying from retailers online without any budtender/caregiver consultation, it has become an essential part of the brand and consumer relationship. Brands lay the railroad tracks for their digital practice by creating a brand-new DTC channel right off their own packaging using unique, unit-level LUCID IDs integrated elegantly into their regulatory labels with zero operational cost. The “virtual budtender” experience enabled by LUCID IDs allows consumers to simply point their cell phone camera at the package to instantly access all the knowledge they need to have the safest, most predictable, and most enjoyable experience with that product, even accessing batch-level COAs and specific product dosage guidance – all without needing to download an app or sign up for anything at all. Brands like Papa & Barkley, Green Revolution, Mary’s Medicinals and Foria are engaging directly with their consumers this way, creating a rich branding and product experience online or in-store.

STEP 3: CAPTURE USERS AND DRIVE ACTIVITY

How do the top brands build a true relationship with those consumers? The final component to get to know the consumers and build that relationship. Consumers are encouraged in Lucid Green to register upon scan to verify product authenticity, giving brands the most effective tool to fight against counterfeit and black-market operators who are taking advantage of the out-of-store trend, giving consumers peace-of-mind and helping pave the way to pulling those consumers into the brand’s CRM. To sweeten the pull and gamify on-going interactions, brands light up Lucid Green’s built-in brand loyalty platform. Consumers earn “Bud tokens” (points) upon scan that can be redeemed later for branded swag or discounted products.  Users also track dosage, create favorites, share their favorites with friends and a host of other features – key data for a brand.  Bhang, Nuvata, Gold Flora, and Green Revolution have been using this gamified digital channel to remain top-of-mind campaigns, push new SKUs to an already receptive audience, drive online purchases, and supercharge in-store activity.

One brand that’s enjoyed a head-start on using this technology is ROVE Brand, based in CA. They have amassed 10s of thousands of registered users in less than a year, adding 100’s more every day.  ROVE has activated this channel to dramatic results, running digital campaigns that can drive higher than 20% scan rates.  So while other brands suffered through the vape-scare or scramble amidst Covid-19 pressures, Rove routinely activates their DTC channel to gain market share and drive consumer engagement without the need to rely solely on unscalable in-store promotions, elusive cannabis retailer support, and the maddening tangle of cannabis advertising regulations.

Brands need to solve the Covid-19 challenges now and catch their digital practice up to match the new retail cannabis landscape. LUCID ID’s and THE SOURCE offers an incredibly deep and nearly instantaneous way to jumpstart a brand’s digital practice with minimal investment and upfront effort.

Contact Lucid Green at info@lucidgreen.io for more information and to get started today.