Lloyd Traven On Retailer Relationships & Marketing Directly To Consumers

Ravin' Traven Rants Again

GG: What are the characteristics of the very best grower-retailer relationships?

LT: We truly believe the grower-retailer relationship needs to be a partnership. The feeling we get from some customers is that (growers) are the enemy; that we’re the adversary trying to steal money from them. What they’re not seeing is that we both work for the same person. And that’s Mrs. Smith.

Retailers don’t understand that we’re 100 percent invested in their success. Because if they don’t sell, then I don’t have any customers. I’m there to help. I want feedback on what you’re looking for. What is it your customers are looking for? Have you actually asked your customer, or are you just seeing what you like?

What we want in return is when we provide very good quality material and the consumer comes in and reacts to it, I expect you to reward our company and buy again. Not look for the next guy who comes around with a cheaper price.

GG: What opportunities are there for growers to market directly to consumers, even when the retailer serves as a “middle man?”

LT: We have a QR code on our new tags. The plan is that the QR code will take you to a video. Depending on what the plant is, we’ll decide who gets to do that little video. If it’s an ornamental edible, maybe [my wife] Candy [Traven] pops up on a screen for 15 to 20 seconds. For me, the video would be something over the top like, “That that’s such a cool plant you picked up.”

We’re saying to our customers: If you’ve bought from us you’re on our website with a location. They can find you on our website – and they love that. But then you have to tell them that means you actually need to buy some material from us. Because if they come into your store and they expect to find our product, they’re not going to be mad at me. They’re going to be mad at you.

That’s how it ties together. They just got to start to understand we’re all working together.

We’re forming a partnership with the consumer, too. Home Depot serves a purpose. And that purpose is to do 80 percent of 20 different items. They are your bread-and-butter, high-volume items. They’re going to do them very well. And they deserve what they get out of it.

Leave a Reply

2 comments on “Lloyd Traven On Retailer Relationships & Marketing Directly To Consumers

  1. Well said Lloyd, I have noticed a division between wholesaler/retailer in the market myself. I consider it my job #1 to bring the two together, to discuss together what we each need to serve the best interests of everyone. It's usually a pretty nice dovetail when everybody gets together. Customer loyalty is always such a tough subject. I'm impressed with the way you and Candy stay relevant and honest and keep your sense of humor. Thanks for sharing your insights and innovations.

  2. A agree with Lloyd and would like to add that this view should also be applied to all business relationships (suppliers, etc.),we are all in this together and without happy consummers none of us will be able to continue in the industry we love. QR codes are a powerful way to share information and knowledge…I am excited to seem them being used in our industry.

More From Grow Initiative...
Gaillardia x grandiflora 'Arizona Apricot'

February 25, 2015

National Garden Bureau Designates 2015 As Year Of The Gaillardia

Gaillardia, also known as the blanket flower, is a member of the sunflower family (Asteraceae) and a long-blooming pollinator plant. It is fitting that the National Garden Bureau has specified 2015 as The Year of the Gaillardia.

Read More
IPPS Sharing Plant Production Knowledge Globally Logo

February 25, 2015

International Plant Propagators Western Region Sets Annual Meeting Date

The annual meet for the International Plant Propagators' Society (IPPS) Western Region has been set for this September. It will take place September 23 to 26 in Modesto, Calif., and will include learning sessions, tours to local nurseries, a research poster display and poster presentations, various networking opportunities and an awards banquet to close the event.

Read More
Evolvulus Blue My Mind

February 24, 2015

Blue Ribbon Bloomers For Greenhouse Production

Grow what consumers want! Surveys show that blue is one of the top preferred colors of today’s consumers. Here are twelve top recommended blue-flowering Proven Winners annuals and perennials to suit your spring production cycle.

Read More
Latest Stories

February 12, 2015

GROW Perspective: What Is It You Do Again?

The industry is very good at talking about what we do and how we do it, but has almost completely lost touch with talking about why this work is important. As an industry, we need to promote our professions as vital to healthier living.

Read More
bee photo

February 11, 2015

26 Ways Growers Improve The Green Industry

In Greenhouse Grower’s annual State Of The Industry Survey, we asked how your operation is living the GROW Initiative’s five pillars: How are you driving consumer success, cultivating new customers, demanding quality, investing in the industry and sharpening business management? Through your candid responses, we learned about some of the ideas you’ve implemented and steps you’re taking for 2015. Here are just a few.

Read More
Noble Foundation

February 3, 2015

Lloyd Noble Scholars Program Application Period Now Ope…

The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation is offering college students an opportunity to work side-by-side with the Noble Foundation’s renowned agricultural consultants and researchers through the Lloyd Noble Scholars in Agriculture program, a summer internship that provides students the opportunity to enhance their in-class education with real-world application and experiences.

Read More

January 7, 2015

GROW Summit 2014 Homes In On The Issues That Keep You U…

During Greenhouse Grower’s third annual GROW Summit in December a number of ideas, questions and calls-to-action transpired. Here are a few of the highlights.

Read More

January 6, 2015

Growers Resolve To Educate Public About Their Operation…

See what growers plan to work on for their 2015 business resolutions.

Read More

December 22, 2014

National Garden Bureau Launches Therapeutic Garden Prog…

National Garden Bureau has chosen the Growing Solutions Farm in Chicago as the first beneficiary of its annual fundraising effort "Growing For Futures."

Read More

December 19, 2014

Hydroponic Food Production Course Serves Up Life Lesson…

Students in the new HORT 331X Hydroponic Food Crop Production course at Iowa State University are producing more food than they can eat, so they began donating the vegetables they produce to a local food pantry and free meal program.

Read More

December 8, 2014

“The Cheapest Generation” Will Be Tomorrow&…

Members of the Millennial generation aren’t buying cars and houses the way their parents did, and according to a recent article from The Atlantic titled “The Cheapest Generation,” it might be more than an effect of a bad economy. So what does this mean for horticulture? Industry members weigh in.

Read More
Katie Nickolaus

November 25, 2014

Proven Winners Names 2014 Scholarship Winners

Looking to promote industry leaders of the future, Proven Winners has established a $15,000 scholarship program that awards students in three distinct areas - breeding, marketing and growing.

Read More

November 24, 2014

GROW Perspective: We Need To Think Bigger

Garry Grueber of Cultivaris and Global Breadfruit says the horticulture industry must evolve to help solve the problems of world hunger and food insecurity.

Read More

November 13, 2014

NY SunWorks’ Greenhouse Project Aims To Build 100 Labs …

NY SunWork's Greenhouse Project aims to build 100 labs by 2020. With 15 greenhouse project labs built and 11 more in development, it’s on its way to reaching that goal.

Read More

November 4, 2014

Millennials Rank Gardening Among Top 5 Leisure Activiti…

United Kingdom consumers, aged 25 to 35, have rated gardening as a top five favorite leisure activity.

Read More
Ken Altman

October 27, 2014

GROW Perspective: Why I Give Back To The Industry

Ken Altman of Altman Plants knows a thing or two about the green industry, including the importance of contributing to the industry he loves.

Read More

October 21, 2014

Plants, Gardens Of The Future Will Be Radically Differe…

Over the next 20 to 30 years, Garry Grueber of Cultivaris and Global Breadfruit says the horticulture industry will need to address such issues as population growth, feeding a hungry world, less availability of water and land resources, rampant climate change and increased focus on the environment and sustainability.

Read More

October 13, 2014

Costa Farms Celebrates Indoor Plant Week With A College…

Cost Farms kicks off 2014 Indoor Plant Week by sharing plants with college students amid song and dance.

Read More

October 7, 2014

Ohio State Horticulture Senior Receives Prestigious Shi…

Amy Miller, a senior majoring in horticulture at The Ohio State University, is the recipient of the 2014-15 Shinoda Scholar of the Year award.

Read More

September 2, 2014

Svensson Film Raises Awareness of Global Production Cha…

Anders Ludvigson, Svensson’s executive vice president, is on a mission to raise awareness of the challenge growers have producing more food using fewer resources. To start, he set out with a film crew to explore some of the climates where commercial greenhouse growers use the company’s products.

Read More

September 2, 2014

Six Lessons Learned From LeBron’s Decision 2.0

Die-hard Cavaliers fan and Cleveland native Bill Calkins explains how the headline-making decision LeBron James’ made to leave the Miami Heat and play in his hometown relates to your business.

Read More