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The Importance of Product Branding & Packaging

Updated: Mar 7, 2023


A high level rack holding lots of individually wrapped packages

We all know the excitement of buying something new. Whether it is nondescript package left at your doorstep or a labeled box you picked up at the store, that "new stuff" feeling is always good. Here’s the thing: the excitement only amplifies when the latest stuff you bought comes in a beautifully wrapped and thoughtfully designed package.


This is a crucial part of branding. Branding helps shape your brand identity so it can become recognizable to consumers. Regarding packaging, branding instantly tells your story, helps build emotional connections, and augments brand confidence (Cantor, 2019).


When shopping, consumers often account for packaging when choosing what to buy (Cristea, 2021). Some enjoy using a package for other uses, like saving food containers for leftovers down the line, while others enjoy positive feelings from opening the products themselves, like when people open boxes to be greeted with colorful tissue paper or a free reusable bag. Some companies focus on the angles of their packages, proportioning every part so that when opened, the perfectly placed accessories create a simple, engaging experience for consumers (Swedbrand, 2017).


This is especially important to keep in mind with cannabis. Illinois law allows marijuana advertising on the airwaves, but its federally illegal status makes it difficult to advertise on a large scale (McCoppin, 2020). Perfect product packaging is one way to advertise consistently.


White and black objects organized in a visually satisfying way

Separately but equally crucial is how your packaging affects your product. Light exposure and air oxidation drastically decrease cannabis potency (Reason et al., 2022), as well as temperature and humidity. Check out Steep Hill’s blog about terpene degradation for more information.


Although Illinois has strict guidelines for labeling cannabis products, there is still wiggle room for your product’s packaging to have a robust and centralized voice. According to 410 ILCS 705/55-21, Illinois state law says that all cannabis products must include a legible label, be packaged safely, present accurate information, and give warning statements, among other things (n.d.). Packaging can take creative forms that properly present your brand to the consumer as long as everything is adhered to.


Daisy Cabral, a writer for Forbes Business Council, advises some key things to keep in mind when crafting the perfect package for your product (2020). Colors are super important because they elicit emotional responses (Cabral, 2020). That is why most fast-food restaurants have red in their logos – red is thought to make people hungry (Harrington, 2015). Another thing to consider is your package’s general shape and form (Cabral, 2020). Cabral writes that products aimed at adults often employ subtle measures depending on their goal; slim, narrow products give the feeling of health, while squat, narrow products come off as sturdy (2020).


Cannabutter and cannabis buds next to a wrapped package

Similarly, the packaging materials themselves can make a statement. Cabral notes that cardboard boxes often reflect affordable products, while higher-end products are often packaged in things like plastic, metal, or wooden containers (2020). The texture and complexity of your package likewise sends messages all their own (Cabral, 2020), which is why it’s important to choose your materials thoughtfully.


Cabral finishes with arguably the most essential thing for getting messages across: typography (2020). The way individual letters look within the words they spell out, where the words sit on your package and what words you choose all work together to craft a particular, identifying message about your product. “The psychology behind font design and choice plays a huge part in the subtle psychology of product and package design,” Cabral writes (2020).


Marijuana companies must showcase the product inside and follow the current design trends, among other things (Maravelias et al., 2022). Likewise, 21% of cannabis users go out of their way to buy eco-friendly products (Maravelias et al., 2022), which is why it’s essential to know your target demographics when creating your packaging.


Overall, there’s a lot to consider when packaging your cannabis product. As a cannabis testing lab, Steep Hill Illinois, located in Aurora, Illinois, knows the importance of reliable, accurate information regarding cannabis distribution and consumption. We are dedicated to meeting consumer safety standards through rigorous testing practices, refined testing methodologies, and outstanding customer service. Contact us today for all your cannabis testing needs.



References:


(410 ILCS 705/55-21) Sec. 55-21. Cannabis product packaging and labeling. 410 ILCS 705/55-21. (n.d.). Retrieved September 28, 2022, from https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/041007050K55-21.htm


Cabral, D. (2020, July 9). Council post: Taking advantage of psychology with product packaging. Forbes. Retrieved September 28, 2022, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2020/07/10/taking-advantage-of-psychology-with-product-packaging/?sh=1798ef093ee3


Cantor, A. M. (2019). The importance of branding: Why branding matters - 99designs. The importance of branding: why branding matters. Retrieved September 28, 2022, from https://99designs.com/blog/logo-branding/importance-of-branding/


Cristea, M.-A. (2021, November 29). The importance of good product packaging for your business. Business Review. Retrieved September 28, 2022, from https://business-review.eu/business/the-importance-of-good-product-packaging-for-your-business-225394


Harrington, R. (2015, September 30). Here's why all fast-food signs are red. Business Insider. Retrieved September 28, 2022, from https://www.businessinsider.com/why-are-fast-food-signs-red-2015-9


How Apple's packaging gives buyers a sensory experience that strengthens the brand – swedbrand group. Swedbrand. (2017, August 3). Retrieved September 28, 2022, from https://www.swedbrand-group.com/blog/how-apples-packaging-gives-buyers-a-sensory-experience-that-strengthens-the-brand/


Maravelias, P., Israel, S., Casacchia, C., & Robertson, K. (2022, August 30). How packaging can help cannabis brands gain a competitive edge. MJBizDaily. Retrieved September 28, 2022, from https://mjbizdaily.com/how-packaging-can-help-cannabis-brands-gain-a-competitive-edge/


McCoppin, R. (2020, October 7). Marijuana ads are here and largely unregulated, as the industry acts to set own guidelines. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 28, 2022, from https://www.chicagotribune.com/marijuana/illinois/ct-illinois-marijuana-advertising-20201007-axrenrsbnbg6tjf64rxmi6v4z4-story.html


Reason, D. A., Grainger, M. N. C., & Lane, J. R. (2022, September). Optimal Storage Conditions of Commercial Cannabis Crops. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research. Retrieved September 28, 2022, from https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.iecr.2c02071

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