To buy a license to operate a marijuana outlet is no chump change. So, creating an exciting, creative and distinctive outlet should be a foregone conclusion. Not everyone understands how important it is to have eye-catching curb appeal, and to get high-level curb appeal you need an innovative and forward-thinking design team.
An entrepreneur can have the best products around, top class service representatives, a luxurious interior and still fail dismally because, before any of those things can be seen, you need to entice your customer to walk through the door. If the outside of your outlet is dingy and not very welcoming, nothing you do inside will make a difference.
Your curb appeal is akin to the person that answers the phone for your company; if that contact is unappealing, it is almost impossible to get your customer enthused about doing business with you.
Research Supports the Idea
Research undertaken by the University of Cincinnati via their Economics Centre has revealed that 60% of business owners saw at least a 10% increase in sales when they improved the visibility and signage of their outlets.
In a similar research project contracted by FedEx Office to Ketchum Global Research revealed that 80% of consumers polled would choose to enter a shop based on the signage outside. Furthermore, 75% of consumers surveyed discussed the exterior of businesses with their friends and, very tellingly, 60% of consumers polled stated they would not enter a shop if there were no signage.
These statistics are indicative of the way consumers act all over the world and should be a wake-up call to any entrepreneur that is building a retail outlet.
People talk to other people that present themselves well, so it is reasonable to expect that people will feel comfortable in premises that mimics that standard. This applies to the most affluent suburbs as well as those that cater to less affluent segments of society.
Four Factors for Design
Many consumers are trained on what to look for by accessing the Internet. Website design plays a huge part in whether consumers will stay on any website and this transfers directly to the high street. The exterior design of your outlet is the equivalent to the front page of a website and carries the same impact.
The effect of your signage is influenced by four factors; size, contrast, luminescence, and color. Signage should be in line with your company logo and consumers will recognize a sign that reflects your defining icon. Therefore, signage should be part of a holistic design package that includes the packaging of your product, your logo and your company colors.
Generally speaking, contrasting colors work best together, and white and yellow appear the most luminescent to the human eye. Additionally, white and yellow contrast extremely well with black lettering.
Not only must the design team consider the colors and their relationship to one another, but they must also consider who the sign is addressing. Signs that are designed to attract passing foot traffic need to be different to signs that are intended to draw the attention of the driver of a vehicle.
In densely populated areas where there is a lot of foot traffic, a simple sign or sandwich board may work well, but in areas where vehicular traffic passes more quickly, a more significant sign is required. A rule of thumb is that a sign should be one inch high for every 40 feet of visibility needed. This would mean that letters 12 inches tall would be visible from almost 500 feet away.
As cannabis comes from a murky and illegal past, it is wise to ensure that your signage and color schemes do not reflect that undesirable history. It is true that an image of a cannabis leaf will leave customers in no doubt as to what is sold in the shop, but it is not the image that the forward-thinking entrepreneur would like to encourage.
Many states have stringent regulations regarding what can and cannot be shown outside a cannabis retailer so adhering to those regulations while trying to be eye-catching will be a challenge.
Attention must be paid to the color, signage, logo, trim, window dressing, garden (if you have space for one), and any specialty finishes that can give your shop that distinctive look and feel while appearing tasteful.
Not only should your store-front blend into the surrounding area but it should also be unique and appeal to the customer you are attempting to attract.
If your store is located in an area that has a Victorian feel, there is no point in trying to make your shop look futuristic as it will just look out of place and is likely to offend local shops, and their owners. In this case, it would be better to blend in and use the trim and windows to alert the public to the location of your shop.
Rules and Regulations
Your design team must use the regulations as a starting point for their design. If you intend to open a chain of stores, ensure that the rules from all areas are gathered together so your design team can make the correct decisions from the start.
It would be very unpleasant to discover that the colors and design chosen for one area will not work in another because there is already a similar outlet with almost identical signage. Do your homework upfront and make sure that you start out the right way.
Nearly all states ban cannabis outlets from advertising so how do you let people know where you are? You cannot take out an advert in the newspaper or on television so the outside of your outlet will be your banner advert; make sure it is creative and designed to bring customers through the door.