As an industry, we must change the mindsets of our existing and potential customers. We also need to do some rethinking of our own.
That was the prevailing message of Greenhouse Grower’s second GROW Summit. A group of leading growers (including two Greenhouse Grower Operations of the Year, Bob’s Market and The Perennial Farm), suppliers and allied organizations gathered for two days in October to discuss one of the more pressing issues facing our industry: How do we engage the next generation? And not just the next generation of consumers, but also the next generation of great greenhouse owners and managers.
A number of recurring themes and action items emerged during the two days of roundtable discussions and presentations, including:
• Retain our current customers but also engage the next generation by targeting mothers and children.
• Drive year-round consumption by changing the “plants are forever” mindset of the consumer and create comfort with regularly changing out plants.
• Research changing demographics and create action plans for matching our product mix not just to new generations but also to growing ethnic groups.
• Spread the message that plants are a necessity in our lives and not a luxury.
• Change our focus: Stop selling stuff and sell the experience and success of the consumer.
You’ll be reading about these topics and more in the coming months as the ideas generated during the GROW Summit turn into action, both in Greenhouse Grower and in the industry.
GROW Summit 2013 Participants
Dr. Allan Armitage
Professor Emeritus of Horticulture
University of Georgia
Bob’s Market and Greenhouses
Executive Vice President
Marketing Communications Leader
Ball Horticultural Company
Aquatics, T&O Market Segment Manager
Director of Sales
Griffin Greenhouse Supplies
Today’s Garden Center
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
Chief Financial Officer
Corporate Content Director
Meister Media Worldwide
Senior Editor | Online
The Perennial Farm
Peace Tree Farm
National Director of Sales, Horticultural Division
The John Henry Company
Sales & Marketing Manager
Peace Tree Farm