Why We Must Drive Consumer Success

Tom Smith

I’ve been thinking a lot about Steve Jobs lately, and I’m sure I’m not alone.

I think about the wonderful products he created that changed our world. I remember him talking about how important it was for his customers to be successful with his products. It’s easy to be successful with Apple products because they’re designed to be that way.

I see my 91-year-old father and my 84-year-old mother easily navigate an iPad. You hear stories of 1-year-olds doing the same. My favorite story is about parents who noticed their baby swiping a page in a book and clearly expecting the picture to change. Does that define making customers successful with a product? We know it does.

Where Our Industry Fails

I also think about how often our industry fails to do what Apple has done. We become overly focused on price and lack focus on how to make our customers successful. What if Steve Jobs made computers and other products that were only easy to operate by technically sophisticated people like himself and his employees? If he had done that, we’d have never heard of him.

But I see that mistake being constantly made in our industry. We strive to provide our customers with the cheapest product possible, and in doing so we fail miserably to understand the obvious. We don’t help our customers or recognize that many of them lack the gardening sophistication
to keep plants alive.

While we all love the idea of people overcoming failure and after great sacrifice achieving success, let’s get real. We’re talking about flowers here. If a customer fails, how many times are they going to try before they give up and go on to something else?

And when they give up, we’ve lost a customer for life. Can we afford to lose one customer this way? How about our customer who buys a few plants with limited expectations of success? What if we could change that expectation? I know our sales would soar. A high tide raises all boats. We’d all do better.

An Approach To Consider

At Four Star Greenhouse, our approach has always been to get the best plants for consumer success. We strive to make things simple and successful for our consumers. We grow the best plants we can find, and our growers deliver them to the point of sale in a healthy, vigorous state. While we focus on controlling costs and optimizing profit for our growers and retailers, we do not sacrifice quality.

We also discovered it’s more than just the plants. To ensure our customer’s success, we invented a creative approach that integrates simple growing instructions, Proven Winners branded potting soil and fertilizer, and Water Wise kits that are easy and fun for our customers to assemble and enjoy.

Our focus is not on being the cheapest; it’s on making our customers happy and successful. A successful customer is a customer who will come back time and time again. They will walk past the cheap plants to confidently replicate their winning formula.

We should thank Steve Jobs for pointing out the obvious: We must make our customers successful. When we can provide products that make our customers happy and successful, they will keep coming back for more.

Tired old marketing strategies lead to predictable and unsatisfactory results.

Remember, there is a reason why people wait outside Apple stores for days to get the newest Apple products. They can’t wait to be successful– a business lesson we can all learn and embrace.

Leave a Reply

More From Grow Initiative...
National Collegiate Landscape Competition Feature

April 27, 2017

Hoffman Nursery Cheers On the Next Generation of Horticulturists

Hoffman Nursery was a sponsor of the recent 41st National Collegiate Landscape Competition, an event that offers several opportunities for companies in the green industry to meet and recruit the next-generation of horticulturists.

Read More
Kaylee South

April 22, 2017

American Floral Endowment Announces Winners of 2017 Paul Ecke, Jr. Scholarship and Altman Family Scholarships

Four students pursuing careers in horticulture now have scholarships to help them along the way, thanks to the American Floral Endowment.

Read More
Basil Planting feature

March 29, 2017

How You Can Embrace Greenhouse Food Production With Confidence

Maintaining balance, learning continuously, and seeking support will help make your transition into producing greenhouse food crops a smooth one.

Read More
Latest Stories
National Collegiate Landscape Competition Feature

April 27, 2017

Hoffman Nursery Cheers On the Next Generation of Hortic…

Hoffman Nursery was a sponsor of the recent 41st National Collegiate Landscape Competition, an event that offers several opportunities for companies in the green industry to meet and recruit the next-generation of horticulturists.

Read More
Kaylee South

April 22, 2017

American Floral Endowment Announces Winners of 2017 Pau…

Four students pursuing careers in horticulture now have scholarships to help them along the way, thanks to the American Floral Endowment.

Read More
Basil Planting feature

March 29, 2017

How You Can Embrace Greenhouse Food Production With Con…

Maintaining balance, learning continuously, and seeking support will help make your transition into producing greenhouse food crops a smooth one.

Read More
If your Wi-Fi is truly secure, your staff can help customers on the sales floor starting today

March 25, 2017

What Marketing Approach Can Attracts the Most Customers…

Inc.com surveyed more than a thousand customers to find out which marketing strategies worked best to entice them to try out a new business

Read More
Greenhouse Loyal Customer

March 16, 2017

How Brand Enthusiasts Can Be Your Most Loyal Customers

A marketing expert shares three core principles that direct-to-consumer companies can follow to create brand enthusiasts.

Read More

February 17, 2017

How to Keep Customers Coming Back With Top-Notch Servic…

A recent article on Forbes.com outlines seven ways organizations can take their customer service from good to great and beyond.

Read More

January 27, 2017

Why Greenhouse Growers Must Know Their Costs to Stay Co…

Tom Dudek, Senior Educator at Michigan State University Extension, says greenhouse growers should evaluate their production costs to determine if they need to make adjustments to stay competitive.

Read More
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