Go Get ‘Em Already!

The question of whether or not floriculture is relevant to consumers has been lingering without a definitive answer for far too long. To you and me, there’s no doubt floriculture is relevant. It’s what drives us out of bed every day to breed the next great plant, grow a top-notch crop or spread the joy of gardening.

Still, is floriculture relevant to consumers? If you take this year’s Seeley Conference into account, three of the last eight conferences have focused on consumers and how consumers perceive us. The 2004 conference was, in fact, directly focused on whether or not floriculture is relevant to consumers, and this year’s homes in on creating consumer mindshare.
The fact we keep asking the question leads me to believe we’re not relevant to consumers, but that doesn’t mean we’re hopeless. I would argue we’re one of the most underappreciated industries out there and that consumers will once and for all embrace us when they experience the rewards of gardening. Before consumers can reap the rewards, though, we have to do a better job communicating exactly what they’re missing.
Is there one giant leap floriculture can take to convey our core messages? Considering the industry can’t settle on a collective national promotion, I doubt it. Growers are too segmented by their respective crops and retail channels to come to a collective agreement, and there’s always the matter of who’s going to pay for such an effort. 

Success Stories

The most logical approach, then, is to think more individually or as small groups and take baby steps to reach consumers. Last year’s Lilytopia event at Longwood Gardens was a collaborative effort between breeders and growers to promote the beautiful lilies Dutch hybridizers are developing. The exhibition drew more than 50,000 people to Longwood–all of them potential lily consumers–and Longwood Executive Director Paul Redman expects a similar showing this May.
Yet another example of people with common interests coming together is an Anthos campaign to invigorate consumer demand for flower bulbs here in North America. Seventeen of Anthos’ members companies are participating in the campaign, and they’ve collectively pitched in $5.7 million over three years to jumpstart the bulb market here.
“Education is important,” says Henk Westerhof, Anthos president. “Consumers know what a flower bulb is, but you have to deal with different climate zones here in the North American market. People don’t know what to do with flower bulbs.”
Yes, both examples involve Dutch companies making tremendous investments together, but there’s no reason others can’t unite. The folks at Suntory Flowers, EuroAmerican Propagators and Armstrong Garden Centers put their minds together for a President’s Day weekend event to promote Senetti pericallis across California. A convoy of about 20 EuroAmerican semis with Senetti splashed across them visited retail locations throughout the state, leaving an Armstrong Garden Center with an escort of four patrol cars and a marching band sendoff. If only we promoted all of our products this way! 
Fortunately, we can. If Dutch hybridizers are drumming up excitement for lilies, if bulb suppliers are spending serious dollars to promote their products and if a breeder, grower and retailer are collaborating with decorative semis and a high school marching band, there’s surely opportunity for you to be part of a bigger idea that can benefit your business.

Leave a Reply

2 comments on “Go Get ‘Em Already!

More From Grow Initiative...
Workplace Trends

January 20, 2017

10 Trends Predicted to Impact the Workplace in 2017

Here are 10 workplace trends that Forbes contributor Dan Schawbel predicts for 2017 that may change the way you do business in the future

Read More

January 10, 2017

Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund Accepting Applications for 2017

The deadline for applications is May 26, and 12 scholarships of $1,500 each will be awarded at the SEGreen Conference in August.

Read More
GROW Logo

December 28, 2016

Greenhouse Grower’s GROW Initiative: A Year In Review

Staying ahead of the competition in today’s world is about remaining in constant motion with innovation. To create a competitive advantage, you must consistently experiment with and learn from new ideas. Greenhouse Grower’s GROW initiative provided cutting-edge ideas and actionable advice.

Read More
Latest Stories
Workplace Trends

January 20, 2017

10 Trends Predicted to Impact the Workplace in 2017

Here are 10 workplace trends that Forbes contributor Dan Schawbel predicts for 2017 that may change the way you do business in the future

Read More

January 10, 2017

Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund Accepting …

The deadline for applications is May 26, and 12 scholarships of $1,500 each will be awarded at the SEGreen Conference in August.

Read More
GROW Logo

December 28, 2016

Greenhouse Grower’s GROW Initiative: A Year In Review

Staying ahead of the competition in today’s world is about remaining in constant motion with innovation. To create a competitive advantage, you must consistently experiment with and learn from new ideas. Greenhouse Grower’s GROW initiative provided cutting-edge ideas and actionable advice.

Read More
Grow Summit 2016 group shot

December 20, 2016

Less Talk, More Action At Greenhouse Grower’s GRO…

Investing in technology, developing new marketing solutions, and recruiting young growers were just a few of the issues covered at GROW Summit 2016.

Read More
Dramm-Echter-Pink-Gerbera-Daisies

November 22, 2016

Dramm & Echter Donates Pink Gerbera Daisies During …

“As a local flower farm, we are honored to show our support by sharing symbolic pink flowers with each participant as they reach the midway point on their amazing journey,” says Bob Echter, Owner of Dramm & Echter.

Read More
deming-pdsa-cycle

November 21, 2016

How The PDSA Cycle Can Help You Improve Your Business

No successful business stays stagnant, which means you should constantly be looking for ways to make improvements to your business and your products. Are you looking for a good model to follow? Try the PDSA Cycle.

Read More
afe-fundraising-dinner

November 17, 2016

AFE Fundraising Dinner Celebrates Success, Raises Almos…

The American Floral Endowment’s biggest fundraising event of the year, the 2016 Annual Fundraising Dinner, did more than just honor industry champions. It also raised nearly $20,000 for the future of floriculture programs.

Read More
hoffman-nursery-owners

November 9, 2016

How Hoffman Nursery Invests In The Future Of The Greenh…

Hoffman Nursery believes in the future leaders of horticulture, and the operation invests in several programs to cultivate young people in their careers.

Read More
2015 GROW Summit_discussion shot

October 28, 2016

How We Can Inspire Millennials To Get Involved In Horti…

By uniting our efforts, we can attract new generations of growers and consumers to the horticulture industry, starting when they are young.

Read More
green-plan-it-gardening-outdoor-nature-explore-classroom

October 22, 2016

Here’s A Great Way To Bring Horticulture And Scho…

The Green Plan It Challenge gives school students in the U.K. the opportunity to participate in a 10-week project where they rethink the role of green space and develop solutions to horticulture-related problems.

Read More
Albert Grimm, Jefferys Greenhouses

October 19, 2016

How Jeffery’s Greenhouse Is Investing In The Indu…

Greenhouse Grower reached out to Albert Grimm, the 2016 Head Grower of the Year and Head Grower of Jeffery’s Greenhouse, to ask what he and his company have done in the last 12 months to invest in the industry. Here is what he had to say.

Read More
Dallas Johnson Greenhouses has significantly reduced the amount of time and labor spent pulling and processing orders, while improving plant quality at retail

October 1, 2016

Political Stalemate On Labor Means Your Opportunity To …

Despite the frustrating nature of our current political climate, now may be the best time for you to address your long-term labor and automation needs.

Read More
Vogel Alcove NGB Therapeutic Grant Winner

September 27, 2016

National Garden Bureau Announces Horticulture Therapy G…

The NGB’s annual grant program, Growing for Futures, recently selected three therapeutic gardens that will receive grants totaling $5,000.

Read More
customer-base

September 21, 2016

6 Creative Ways To Expand Your Business

Marketing experts offer tips to help you catch the attention of new customers and grow your business.

Read More
America In Bloom Project

August 29, 2016

Your Chance To Help America In Bloom As It Celebrates I…

America In Bloom is launching a fundraising campaign to help the group continue its mission of creating beautiful and vibrant communities across the country.

Read More
Next Generation

August 27, 2016

Australia Launches Initiative To Ignite A New Generatio…

Hort Innovation Chief Executive John Lloyd says the goal is to identify and build future industry leaders at all stages of their career through investment in a host of new initiatives.

Read More
Albert Grimm, Jefferys Greenhouses

August 25, 2016

7 Ways Albert Grimm Strives To Be An Effective Leader

Grimm, Greenhouse Grower's 2016 Head Grower Of The Year, tries to live by the "Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People” from author Stephen R. Covey.

Read More
LuxFlora - feature

August 22, 2016

Check Out Luxflora’s International Adventures In Europe

A new, women-led professional organization provides its members the opportunity to gain insight, develop ideas, and build connections on its annual international trip.

Read More