Optimization Vs. User Experience

To be blunt, cannabis brand marketing is difficult. After working through all of the red tape and strict regulations, the end goal is to understand and appeal to your customers. However, we are all individuals. Not a blue line in Google Analytics.

So, how can we possibly create user accessible, objectively enthralling dispensary marketing, tailored to each customer? Unfortunately, we can’t.

As a cannabis advertising agency this is no secret to us and we combat this by making informed design/optimization decisions based on user trends. This makes sense, right? It absolutely does. But, what about the small group of users who have different needs? Or those who flow through sign-up forms, check out processes or even shop online differently? Sadly, these users are not considered as much as they should be.

Luckily, there is a solution that is not utilized as much as it should be. Let’s talk about user experience. More specifically, let’s talk about user experience in the cannabis brand marketing industry.

User experience is exactly what it sounds like. How a user experiences your product or service. While this term gets thrown around a lot, the UX process is not adhered to by most dispensary marketing teams. There are several nuances and complicated steps involved but we will focus on just one today.

Universal Design

In short, universal design is focused on creating an experience that improves a service or product for a small demographic, but benefits everyone. Let me share my favorite example.

The Curb Cut Effect

In California in the 1960’s a group of students with disabilities started to discuss the civil rights of those with disabilities. It’s not an absolute fact, but it’s said in protest, the students went out to the city streets with sledgehammers and broke away at the curbs they struggled with daily. Within a few years of protest and outcry, these sloped curves became a national requirement via the Americans with disabilities act. Now, let’s look at an intersection today. I bet there’s several universal design features that you don’t notice.

First, Let’s talk about the curb itself. Benefiting those in wheelchairs right? Well, What about those riding bikes? Somebody pushing a stroller?

Have you ever noticed the sounds that play to queue you crossing the street? Beneficial to those with a vision disability, sure. But what about when you’re looking down at your phone?

The lights flashing are great for those who cannot hear the queue. It’s also great for you when you have your headphones in or when you’re talking to a friend.

So, How do we implement universal design into cannabis brand marketing? As I am sure you do not want to read a small novel or a blog, let’s focus on two opportunities I see daily.

Contrast, Contrast, Contrast

This is a glaring issue in cannabis brand marketing in general. I get it. What do you think of when I say cannabis? Probably smoke and the color green. We know this. So, we let you know this ad, website, or product is cannabis based by appealing to that thought. That’s solid marketing. However, when I see dark green text on a dark green background, with smoke covering everything, I can barely read it. So, What about those with a vision disability? What about those who are colorblind? With colors that contrast well together, each individual can read that content and become a loyal customer. Not only does this potentially increase overall traffic and conversions, it establishes brand trust. Those who know you put in the effort to make your service accessible to them.