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The Power of Cannabis Product Naming Conventions Will Help You Unlock Profits

inventory Jul 07, 2024

In the Wild West of cannabis retail, where new strains and products seem to sprout daily, one crucial element often gets overlooked: naming conventions. Believe it or not, the name you choose for your Purple Kush pre-rolls or your Sativa Strawberry Gummies can make a world of difference. A killer name can grab customer attention and boost sales. A well-defined naming strategy can streamline your operations and unlock valuable data insights.  

Ready to avoid confusing product names and cultivate a winning brand identity? We're about to dig into the importance of establishing a naming strategy for your cannabis products, exploring the benefits, common pitfalls, and best practices to ensure your brand is blazing a trail to success.


What is a Product Naming Convention?

A product naming convention is a set of established guidelines that determine how products within a specific category are named. These guidelines ensure consistency and clarity in product identification, making it easier for customers and retailers to navigate the ever-growing selection of cannabis products.

Here's where it's important to differentiate between naming conventions and two other related concepts:

  • Naming Strategies: A broader approach that encompasses your product line's overall goals and target audience. Naming conventions are one element within this strategy.
  • Naming Architecture: This refers to the specific structure of your product names. For example, a cannabis naming architecture might involve listing the product category (edibles), strain (Blue Dream), and format (gummies) in a particular order.


Examples Of Product Naming Conventions

Here are some examples of product naming conventions in action specific to cannabis retail:

  • Strain-centric naming: This approach emphasizes the specific cannabis strain used in the product. For example, "Sour Diesel Cartridge" or "Blue Dream Flower (3.5g)."
  • Effect-based naming: The name reflects the expected effect of the product, such as "Uplift Sativa Gummies" or "Relax Indica Tincture." 
  • Flavour-focused naming: Names highlight the product's Flavour profile, like "Mango Kush Vape Pen" or "Blueberry Cheesecake Edibles."
  • Brand-focused naming: The brand name takes center stage, with the product type following. For example, "Happy Valley OG (Indica flower)" or "Baked Goods Co. Chocolate Chip Cookies (edibles)."


Creating A Naming Strategy

As a cannabis retailer, a well-defined naming strategy goes beyond creating a cohesive brand identity or standing out in a crowded marketplace. Taking the time to develop a strategy is crucial to your business, and here’s why:

  • The Need for Creating a Naming Strategy:
    • Consistency: A defined strategy ensures uniformity in naming across your product line, making your brand easily recognizable.
    • Clarity: Clear and descriptive names help customers understand what the product is and its potential effects.
    • Compliance: Regulations often dictate what can and cannot be included in product names. A strategy helps navigate these restrictions.
    • Brand Identity: A well-developed naming strategy contributes to building a strong and memorable brand identity.
  • The Benefits of Creating a Naming Strategy:
    • Improved Customer Experience: Clear and informative names simplify the buying process for consumers.
    • Streamlined Operations: Standardized naming conventions facilitate data collection, inventory management, and reporting.
    • Increased Sales: Effective name choices can attract customers and influence purchasing decisions.

Developing your strategy should involve thorough market research and consumer testing. 

Market research helps you understand your audience's preferences and competitor naming practices. Consumer testing allows you to gauge how well different names resonate with your potential customers. 

Consider regional variations. Cannabis regulations and consumer preferences can vary by state. If you operate in multiple states, consider specific market research to ensure your naming strategy aligns with local trends and existing products.


Avoiding Naming Mistakes

Here are some common pitfalls to avoid when developing your cannabis product naming strategy:

  • Inconsistent naming: Non-uniform naming conventions create confusion for both customers and staff.
  • Unclear or misleading names: Names that don't accurately reflect the product's potential effects can lead to customer dissatisfaction and regulatory issues.
  • Offensively named products: Disparaging or insensitive names can erode your brand reputation and turn away potential customers.
  • Legally restricted terms: Research and adhere to all local and federal regulations regarding cannabis product naming.


Importance Of Naming Conventions in Cannabis Retail

Beyond brand identity and customer experience, consistent naming conventions offer several important benefits in cannabis retail:

  • Data Cleanliness for Reporting: Standardized names make data collection and reporting much more efficient. Imagine trying to analyze sales trends when your product names are inconsistent. ("Dried Flower 3.5g Blue Dream" vs "Brand Name 3.5g Flower Blue Dream"). You'll waste time switching between the two, trying to get clear.
  • Ensures consistency and accessibility of your data: Clean and organized data is fundamental for informed business decisions. Standardizing product names saves time and resources that would otherwise be spent cleaning data.
  • Identifying trends through correct categorization: Establishing a clear hierarchy for naming can help identify key sales trends. This might involve categories like "Inventory" (sub-categorized by product type), "Strain," "Product Size," and "Product Format." This categorization structure allows for efficient sales analysis.


Naming conventions also play a role in promotional strategies. 

Cannabis dispensaries should consider how a poorly worded promotion, such as "Buy 2 or more edibles, get 15% off," might inadvertently influence customers to buy only 2 edibles, even if they typically purchase more. 

A clear and concise promotional naming that aligns with your product naming conventions is crucial.

A Better Promo:
Gummy Bonanza! Buy 2 edibles and get 10% off; buy 3+ and get 15% off!

Influencing the customer through naming:

  • Familiarity when introducing new products: Brand names can leverage familiar elements from existing products within your line. This recognition creates a sense of trust and encourages customers to try something new.
  • Flavours: Leveraging descriptive terms associated with Flavour profiles can be highly effective. However, be mindful of regional variations in Flavour terminology. Conducting market research can help ensure your chosen Flavour names resonate with your target audience.
  • Strain naming: Strain names often have established recognition among cannabis consumers. Building on the popularity of existing strain names can be a good strategy, but ensure your product accurately reflects the strain it claims to be.


Communicating with consumers through naming:

  • Descriptive names: These names tell the customer what the product is and its function. Examples include "Big Pete's Treats" (Edibles/Baked Goods) or "Vapin' Ape" (Vapes). While straightforward, descriptive names may lack the emotional connection some brands strive for.
  • Evocative names: These names aim to create an emotional connection with the customer.
    • Suggestive names: These subtly hint at the product's benefits or features, such as "Uplift" gummies or "Relax" bath soak.
    • Evocative imagery: Names that evoke a specific image or feeling can be powerful. For example, a brand selling high-quality cannabis flower might name their product "Mountain Majesty" to create a sense of luxury and potency.


Get Organized. Watch Profits Soar.

Is the cannabis industry still in its wild west phase? Yes. But that doesn't mean your cannabis inventory has to feel chaotic. Developing a well-defined product naming strategy is an investment that will pay off in the long run.

By establishing uniform and systematic naming conventions, you can build a strong brand identity, streamline operations, improve customer experience, and gain indispensable insights through data analysis. Remember, your product names are potent tools for communication and can significantly impact your success in the competitive cannabis retail landscape.

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