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Exclusive Round-Up: Hall of Flowers Palm Springs
We’re here to give you a look into Round Two of 2021’s biggest cannabis industry get-togethers, with some big names in attendance.
Hall of Flowers 2021, the Sequel, otherwise known as Palm Springs.
This was an exclusive event with some big names in attendance.
The last cannabis event of the year in sunny Palm Springs did not disappoint. The best and brightest brands and retailers were in attendance and only a limited number of tickets were available for this particular arena.
Fun. Business. Data. Brands met retailers, cultivators met brands - there were some magical moments. Hall of Flowers knows their audience and who they need to meet. In this way, HoF is driving much-needed collaboration in an increasingly fragmented industry.
Now for the unfun disclaimer: everyone attending was vaccinated or had a negative COVID test. Shout out to the HoF organizers for integrating this extra layer of complications to an already massive event.
California Brand Storytelling is on fire
Products. What? How? Why?
Flower, vapes, edibles - each their own context.
Our clients engage with these products. These aspects are only a facet to the entire consumer journey, or the ‘total product’ that retailers offer.
The total product is the combination of the tangible product alongside spatial aesthetics like packaging, marketing materials (e.g. in-store displays and advertising), along with customer service, product education and ease of access.
Together, these elements combine to create an atmosphere. A term that traditionally refers to the feelings and emotions that are brought by the environment around consumers. Hall of Flowers enables brands to create their own atmosphere, within a much larger narrative of cannabis culture in California.
Competition in the edible and beverage category is heating up.
Both edibles and beverages are growing categories in California. We are pleasantly surprised by the amount of innovation, and the collaboration of strong food CPG players entering the space.
Products continue to evolve past classic gummies, bit into more lifestyle and flavour diverse products. This is
just the beginning of cannabis products finally tipping over the edge of many concurrent mainstream industries, like food & beverage and health & beauty.
Particularly interesting is how approachable these categories are. As a way to access a new customer, or build larger basket size, edible and beverage products usually have a different path to purchase. Traditionally used as a basket builder or secondary product, the innovation in this category can position edible beverages to move from a secondary product to a first.
As a category, we are able to rely on flavour as a feature or benefit. Luckily, these flavours come with customer experience. Because of this, in many instances, customers are able to understand the product and its relevance to their life faster.
Re confidently making a purchase decision.
As a category, this tells us a lot about the first time a product is purchased, but repurchasing rates and customer retention become an added level of complexity in these categories. Brands need to not just be interesting one time but access customer purchasing patterns.
Perhaps the first examples of this category evolving are the seasonal edibles available in the market today from Indica? We anticipate to see the same heat enter the Canadian market, as many American brands are planning or currently entering the various markets.
How do we use data?
As competition in both retail and the brand space in California heats up, so does the need for access to great data.
The problem with data is if you don’t know what to do with it, it has no value.
Data can be self-fulfilling. Data is only interesting if you combine it with insights and action. The most data driven cannabis companies understand that human touch remains key to success. Data is more about what we do with the information than relying on it to tell the truth.
In cannabis retail there are so many inputs that have the potential to influence the data. Take the concentrate category. If we only rely on historical sales data, it doesn’t tell us much about the future of the category. Product depth, assortment at retail, customer trends all have the potential to impact the thrush of the historic data,
The data in cannabis is young. It is less about what the stats say, and more about how we deploy these as insights into a strategy.
In cannabis, we are only as powerful as our insights. Data is like a lubricant for good ideas when we are able to remove the noise. What is working in the market, won’t necessarily work for your brand, or retail store.
The lowest hanging data fruit in cannabis is around inventory. Data can help the cannabis industry address its greatest inefficiencies. Brands and retailers can make better decisions about inventory — there is no bad or slow moving product if you made the right quantity decision to start with.
For instance, while flower, and prerolls sell the best, right now, we know that novelty and impulse style products can build basket sizes or draw customers to your brand.
Sometimes, inventory bets end up being smaller than they should have been, and that results in missed revenue. Or a bet is made too confidently and too much inventory is brought in, and results in slow moving products. This is why having an assortment and inventory plan is important. So brands and retailers can make calculated risks.
Because the most common data in the industry is historic, it's important to walk the fine line between data and instinct. Data doesn’t necessarily feed new ideas.
POS data, and players like Headset can enable some of the best insights available in the market today.
RELATIONSHIPS ACROSS VERTICALS REMAIN CRITICALLY IMPORTANT!
The Hall of Flowers show enables retailers to proactively plan their business and make strong vendor relationships to get the product sold together.
In California or across the border here in Canada, relationships between retailers and vendors remain critical. Not only do they enable you to bring incredible promotions that drive traffic and build basket size - it’ll give you that competitive advantage against the masses of new retailers opening up daily in our market.
Hall of Flowers Palm Springs definitely didn’t disappoint and we'd love to see them in Canada soon.
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