Getting Your Products Onto Retail Shelves
You’ve got a fantastic line of cannabis products, but now you’re faced with a dilemma. Despite the fact that about $25 billion is spent on cannabis products each year, and dispensaries are popping up everywhere, it can be a struggle to get your products onto these retail shelves. How do you get the attention of retailers and get your products into dispensaries? We have some tips to help you build your brand and occupy some prime dispensary real estate.
Tips for Placing Your Products In Dispensaries
- Hone your narrative. Don’t underestimate the power of a good backstory. In order to sell your products, learn to captivate potential distributers with the products’ history. People don’t just want to buy a product; they want to buy the potential of a better version of themselves. Remembering that, practice telling the story, explaining all that makes your product unique and interesting. Don’t just explain details about your product, but take the time to describe why your product is something that meets a certain need, crafting a compelling backstory and brand narrative. Before you meet with any dispensaries, write a draft, test it on some colleagues, analyze it, edit it, and perfect it. A great story is an effective way to get a foot in the door.
- Make connections. There are a few different ways to go about this. You can make cold calls, reaching out to the product managers of the dispensaries directly. Cold calling is an art, though, and if you aren’t skilled at getting someone’s attention within the first 15 seconds of a call, you might want to go another route. Finding a distribution partner who already has an “in” is an easier path to take. When you partner with someone who has already established relationships with product managers, you will have a go-between who can vouch for your product and connect you with the right product managers.
- Offer free samples. Just as there are dispensaries popping up everywhere, there are countless cannabis producers trying to get into the game. Cannabis is not going to be purchased regardless of price and quality, but if you allow the product managers to sample your wares, you’ll have a leg up on the competition. Be wise about sending your samples, though. Don’t send to large businesses, where they’re likely to go unnoticed, and with small businesses, do some homework before you offer free product. What do they already have in their inventory? What can you offer that will make their shop more well-rounded? Make sure your sample fills a need, and you’ll be more likely to get their business.
- Keep in touch. While you don’t want to overload the product managers with calls and emails, you do want to make sure they have your contact information. A weekly email with your updated inventory will keep you in retailers’ minds without overwhelming them. It’s fine to follow your emails with a quick phone call after a few days, but don’t do much more than that, or you’ll risk becoming a pest.
- Optimize your branding. Your product has a backstory: make sure your branding conveys it. From your website to your packaging and label, everything needs to be cohesive to make a good impression on retailers and consumers. Your website needs to be educational, your copy needs to tell the story of your brand, and your packaging needs to be finished and look professional. Don’t be afraid to use humor, if it makes your brand stand out from the crowd.
- Make the most of social media. Part of building a compelling brand is engaging with your customers, and social media gives you the perfect opportunity to do this. Especially when you’re starting out and your product isn’t yet in dispensaries, showcasing it online can help you build a strong following. Look for niche groups where your target audience hangs out, post consistently and purposefully, and collaborate with influencers to strengthen your brand.
- Take time to listen. While you’re pitching to retailers, don’t forget to listen to what they have to say. Product managers know what customers want and can predict how trends are changing. If you are willing to listen, you will be in a good position to anticipate your customers’ needs and wants.
- Do things the right way. Compliance is one of the most important aspects of the cannabis industry, so don’t set foot in a cannabis dispensary until you know your product meets all the requirements of your state’s regulatory bodies. Mak sure the packaging and labeling abides by the rules, too, and never try to sell cannabis across state lines.
Find a Partner with Experience
When you’ve got cannabis products to sell, it makes sense to partner with an experienced distributor. Since 2017, RUKLI has been licensed and operating as a cannabis distributor in California. Now that we’re experienced veterans, we have a vast distribution network that serves both Southern and Northern California, and we operate out of facilities in both regions. Coordinating product intake using a precise “Track & Trace” system, we manage inventory, make compliance testing arrangements, and take on picking and packing in time to ensure next-day deliveries. We handle invoicing and collection, as well as tax payments and filings. We service some of the top brands, but we do not have our own brands or compete against our customers. To learn more about how RUKLI can you get your products into cannabis dispensaries, call (909) 494-1076, contact us through the website, or schedule an appointment.