Research and development (R&D) plays a vital role in the cannabis manufacturing process. Not only does cutting corners risk putting out harmful products, but it also jeopardizes the products’ quality and efficacy.
From an ethical standpoint, proper R&D is all about doing things the right way for a better and safer end result. From a business development perspective, R&D gives you insight into your product’s makeup — its shelf life, components, purity, potency, and more — thus strengthening your ability to prove what’s in it.
As experts from RM3 Labs and Nano Labs discussed on Episode #40 of The Higher Enlightenment Cannabis Podcast, giving ample time and attention to R&D helps ensure quality products are manufactured and delivered to consumers. This, in turn, strengthens your business’s sustainability, reputation, and demand generation.
Read on to learn more about cannabis manufacturing R&D and its role in business development.
Sustainable Cannabis Manufacturing
Cannabis manufacturing R&D isn’t just about the product itself but also about getting a sustained ROI and not overspending on a product that doesn’t end up selling like you thought it would.
If you ignore the R&D piece of the cannabis manufacturing process, you may be able to bring a product to market quickly, but you’ll risk being a flash in the pan with a low-quality product that hurts your business in the long run.
For example, if you go all in and spend $300,000 bringing an unproven product to market and consumers don’t respond well, you’re out that $300,000 and you have to start all over again.
However, if you spend $15,000 to test a product in different demographics and use that feedback to improve the product before its official launch, you’ll increase that product’s likelihood of staying in the market. It’s a longer process, but it’s much more sustainable.
Cultivating Brand Reputation
Ultimately, cannabis manufacturing R&D comes down to quality assurance. If you put out untested and unproven products that don’t sell well or that receive negative feedback, you’re not just out a bunch of money — you’ve also tarnished your brand reputation.
One way to avoid backlash is to promote your test product as exactly that: a test, by either marketing it as a test product directly to the market or organizing a small test group to provide feedback. Either way, transparency shows your brand cares about what consumers think and can help you gauge the actual demand for that product.
Today, unlike the old days when the cannabis industry was just starting out, people are presented with a myriad of options for cannabis products. In this market, you need three things to sustain your business:
- Differentiation from all the other cannabusinesses out there
- Repeat customers
- A raving referral base
These are extremely difficult to secure if you don’t pay attention to R&D on the front end of the manufacturing process. You’ll be far less likely to identify and fix problems early on, so if you end up having to make changes later — to either your brand or your product — you may have to start completely over from scratch.
R&D: The Front End of Demand Generation
Beyond the cannabis manufacturing process, another way R&D helps you stand out as a brand is by driving demand generation. At HYC, we’re always thinking about how to create demand. While advertising is a pushy strategy, demand generation creates intrigue and curiosity, pulling people in naturally.
R&D is a crucial first step in the demand generation process. That first engagement you get when you grab the prospective customer’s attention leads directly into the next stage of the demand generation process. There, your efforts become more targeted and customized.
With proper R&D, you’re able to “slow down to go fast,” as our Chief Revenue Officer Anthony Adkins puts it. Instead of racing ahead — and potentially blowing that first chance at engagement — take the time to research exactly what consumers are looking for so you can create it and position yourself as a cutting-edge brand.
Don’t Skip the First Step
Successful cannabis manufacturing and business development relies on a strong R&D foundation to inform and refine both your products and your brand’s strategy. With this vital piece in place, you’ll be able to put out better products with greater efficiency, predictability, and consistency. Looking for more guidance on cannabis manufacturing and business development processes? Book a call with us to discuss your product viability and to get an assessment and strategy for your brand.