As cannabis retail spaces continue to evolve, the team behind Platinum is exploring branded counters, prominent logos and stylized shelf space reminiscent of brands displayed in department stores.
The cannabis product manufacturer is implementing a “store-within-a-store” retail concept in over a dozen dispensaries in California and Michigan, where its vape cartridges and edibles are sold. Platinum’s products are displayed in brightly colored pink, orange and turquoise kiosks that use strategically positioned lighting, branding and flat-screen TVs to attract customers.
The brand, founded by father-and-son team George and Cody Sadler, launched just over a year ago and is sold in 125 dispensaries in California and 86 in Michigan. Platinum started approaching dispensaries with its store-within-a-store merchandising idea about eight months ago, George said.
“We kind of felt like having the store in a store was going to be the next way to brand yourself without having to actually own a store,” George told Cannabis Dispensary. “We brought up the concept, and the first store that we entered the market with is Golden Bloom [in San Diego].”
Platinum has different layouts for its in-store kiosks, depending on the dispensary, but the concept has been executed in roughly 18 stores in Michigan and 12 in California, George said.
“When we did the first one, as soon as people found out about it, we started getting questions on it, and from there, we started presenting it to stores,” he said. “We do a lot of advertising with stores, and we thought this could be a next-level way to brand.”
Brand building is one of the main ways to find success in the rapidly growing cannabis space, George added, and branding through the store-within-a-store concept allows Platinum more control over its own marketing. While regulations prohibit the kiosks from conducting sales with their own point-of-sale software, Platinum does staff the miniature shops with its own employees.
“It gives you that added security that you can market and sell your products the way that you want to do it,” George said.
And the brightly colored kiosks demonstrate an evolution of the cannabis retail experience, he added. “[It’s] no longer just a green, weed-ridden store with everything being black and green. Now, it’s vibrant. It’s a whole different atmosphere.”
The company has also launched its REACT product line to support causes it believes in. A portion of the proceeds from each REACT product is donated to six major causes: breast cancer, the humane society, a children’s hospital, veterans, hunger and suicide prevention. Platinum showcases the REACT products in six specially marked boxes, one for each of the causes.
“The REACT side will definitely separate us from anyone else in this industry,” Cody said. “No one else has done anything like that.”
Looking ahead, as cannabis becomes more widely accepted and enters the mainstream, new marketing avenues are opening up for brands, George said. Platinum already advertises on billboards and social media, but is now exploring marketing opportunities with sports franchises, as well as considering a television commercial.
“As it becomes more acceptable, our avenues for marketing become so much bigger,” he said.