Hello Kitty Concept Hits The Right Demographic

Hello Kitty display

You name it, Hello Kitty’s got it.

The brand’s got T-shirts and candles and watches and shoes. There are Hello Kitty accessories for your car, toys for your kids and greeting cards for birthdays and other occasions.

So why not plants for Hello Kitty?

That’s a question Top 100 Grower Delray Plants must have asked itself these last few months. Delray, which showcased tropicals in Hello Kitty gift bags and displays at last month’s Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition, is expected to handle Hello Kitty plants here in the United States.

Last week, we posted a photo of a kalanchoe in a Hello Kitty gift bag on Greenhouse Grower’s Facebook page, asking our fans what they thought of the concept. We received a few responses that were mixed, including one from horticultural consultant Tara Herrera.

“It makes me want to barf,” Herrera says, “but it will sell. I know plenty of 35 to 50-year-old women who still buy Hello Kitty everything.”

Meet One Of Those Consumers

Vikki Gamier is one woman who fits perfectly into that demographic. Gamier, 42, is the human resources administrator here at Meister Media Worldwide. Gamier paid a visit earlier this week to my desk, where a few colleagues and I were talking about what Hello Kitty is and who its market is. I was skeptical about the success of a plant program because I wasn’t familiar with Hello Kitty’s audience. But once Gamier caught a glimpse of the Hello Kitty plant literature I brought back from IPM Essen, she entered the full-on “Oh my God, I want that” mode.

“If something has a Hello Kitty logo on it, it gets my attention,” she says. “And it gets the attention of people who know me. People who know me know I love Hello Kitty, and they know I would probably want it.”

When I paid Gamier a visit in her office later in the day, I got a clearer understanding of how passionate Hello Kitty fans are. Four Hello Kitty pens, two stationary pads and a bobblehead are on Gamier’s desk alone – and she has plenty of other Hello Kitty merchandise at home.

“I’ve always liked Hello Kitty,” Gamier says. “She’s fun, she’s cute. She’s a collectible. If you’re prone to collecting things or you like brands, you could equate it to a kid who wants a Diego toy (based on the former Nickelodeon kids show, “Go, Diego, Go!”). Or a kid who wants a Power Ranger.”
Gamier and I then discussed the role Hello Kitty could play in the garden center.

“I think Hello Kitty would be a natural fit for a garden center to include her,” she says. “They already include Vera Bradley. You could look at Hello Kitty and Vera Bradley kind of similarly because of the different things Vera Bradley is involved in.”

Gamier isn’t an avid gardener by any means, but she says Hello Kitty would make her more of one. The Hello Kitty plant concept even got her thinking bigger picture for the garden center.

“Hello Kitty in the garden center could also include garden flags or little garden figurines,” Gamier says. “If I could get a cement Hello Kitty in my garden – that would be really cool. Same goes for garden gloves, garden tools and things like that.”

But why stop at Hello Kitty when there are consumers like Gamier eager to buy plants that simply slap a logo onto packaging? Gamier suggested SpongeBob SquarePants grow kits for kids. I’d suggest someone get in touch with the Paul Frank people to see if there’s an opportunity to reach its fans with plants.


Hello Kitty may seem silly to you – it does to me – but growers like Delray are on to something by connecting their product to a brand that already has a strong connection with one of our industry’s core demographics. Let’s see how Hello Kitty for plants evolves and get ready to pounce on opportunities like this one.

Leave a Reply

2 comments on “Hello Kitty Concept Hits The Right Demographic

  1. I think we even look beyond the Hello Kitty fans and think of this as another way to get the younger generation involved in plants they are our our future shoppers. Have not all us moms dads mamas and papas who love horticulture gotten our children started young. generation after generation have taken over their parents bussinesses because we love plants. Now lets come up with other ways to get the younger generations involved and keep our bussineses growing plants and profit

More From Marketing...

March 26, 2015

10 Greenhouse Products For First-Rate Growing Environments

From coverings to fork-lifts, greenhouse suppliers offer a variety of products to make growing easier. Check out the slideshow to learn more about these, plus several other products that can offer you value, versatility and durability.

Read More
Rose rosette on Knockout rose, April 2012. Photo credit: Alan Windham, University of Tennessee

March 25, 2015

$58 Million In APHIS Farm Bill Funding Will Support Horticulture Priorities

Nearly $58 million as been allocated by the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to support the industry's Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program, under Farm Bill Section 10007. The program will support mitigation efforts for specialty crops, including providing research and other funding to address plant pest and disease priorities for the specialty crop industry, including floriculture and nursery crops.

Read More
AFE scholarship_Ryan Dickson

March 25, 2015

AFE Educational Grant And Scholarship Application Deadlines Approaching

Apply now for American Floral Endowment (AFE) scholarships or educational grants. Applications can be found online. For educational grants for 2015-2016, applications must be submitted no later than June 1. Scholarship applications are due May 1. AFE will award $40,000 in scholarships for 2015.

Read More
Latest Stories
Rose rosette on Knockout rose, April 2012. Photo credit: Alan Windham, University of Tennessee

March 25, 2015

$58 Million In APHIS Farm Bill Funding Will Support Hor…

Nearly $58 million as been allocated by the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to support the industry's Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program, under Farm Bill Section 10007. The program will support mitigation efforts for specialty crops, including providing research and other funding to address plant pest and disease priorities for the specialty crop industry, including floriculture and nursery crops.

Read More
National Floriculture Forum 2015 029

March 18, 2015

2015 National Floriculture Forum Focuses On Marketing I…

The 2015 National Floriculture Forum, held March 6 to 7 in Minneapolis, Minn., zeroed in on the topic of marketing in horticulture and included visits to Gertens Greenhouses and Garden Center, Bailey Nurseries, Bachman’s Floral, Home and Garden and Tangletown Gardens. The annual meeting allows greenhouse and floriculture faculty, graduate students and industry partners to meet and share updates on current research, issues and initiatives.

Read More

February 18, 2015

Range Of Nursery Inspections To Protect Patented Plants…

Plant patents are under protection, and breeders are fighting for their rights to keep growers from illegally propagating protected varieties. It's something you don't want to take a chance on, because the risk is far higher than the reward. More than 300 inspections were carried out last year from New York to British Columbia and from Ontario to Florida to protect plant patents, Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR) and branded programs.

Read More

February 4, 2015

TPIE 2015: An Electrified Industry Vibe Boosts Cool New…

The general feeling at the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association's 2015 Tropical Industry Exhibition (TPIE) was upbeat and positive. Attendees were inspired by exciting new products and varieties, as well as creative new displays and innovative ideas and left energized for the season ahead.

Read More
Costa Farms Website

January 21, 2015

Costa Farms’ Launches New Interactive Website

Costa Farms is making efforts to educate consumers while pushing horticultural digital marketing forward with the re-design of its website. The new website features a fresh design and improved navigation, as well as a plant finder that gives gardeners easy access to plant information.

Read More

January 5, 2015

Growers Are Successfully Marketing The Benefits Of Pla…

Growers who are already marketing plant benefits and gardening as a lifestyle say they think this could be the best angle for the floriculture industry to promote our products.

Read More

January 5, 2015

Plants Love You Campaign Raises Plant Benefits To Foref…

Plants make us feel good. It’s a no-brainer, backed by numerous studies, but there’s more to the story. And it’s one the Canadian Ornamental Horticulture Alliance (COHA) hopes its Plants Love You campaign will tell in such a way that it will inspire people to make plants a part of their life, and on a bigger scale. COHA is an alliance between the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA), the Fédération Interdisciplinaire De L’Horticulture Ornementqale Du Québec (FIHOQ) and Flowers Canada Growers (FCG). Inspiration for The Plants Love You campaign came from COHA’s research, which revealed that 96 percent of consumers surveyed have a favorable attitude toward plants. When COHA delved deeper into the numbers, one thing stood out loud and clear. “It quickly became apparent that while consumers like plants because they are pretty and make them feel good, few understood the environmental and health benefits plants offer.” says Frank […]

Read More

December 9, 2014

New Website For PanAmerican Seed

PanAmerican Seed's new website is mobile-friendly and has a fresh look and enhanced navigation.

Read More
What’s a pumpulent? It’s a pumpkin planted with succulents, and it’s also one of the ways Altum’s is catching customers’ attention with new products and modern marketing.

December 1, 2014

9 Digital Marketing Resolutions For 2015

Whatever your experience with digital marketing, here’s some advice for keeping your business progressing into the new year.

Read More

November 25, 2014

Conley’s Launches New Website

Conley’s Manufacturing and Sales recently launched its newly designed website, which was redesigned to create a user-friendly digital environment for customers to explore Conley's products.

Read More

November 17, 2014

Canada’s Plants Love You Campaign Educates Consum…

In a cooperative effort to promote the benefits of plants to consumers, the Canadian Ornamental Horticulture Alliance (COHA) recently launched its Plants Love You campaign to make consumers more aware of the health, environmental and economic benefits of plants.

Read More
Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum™ Petunia from Proven Winners

November 11, 2014

Plantbid Offers New Tool For Growers, Plant Buyers

Plantbid is touted as a revolutionary new tool that allows plant buyers to purchase their whole plant list at one time, from growers who provide their complete availability online. According to the company, this new offering could change the way growers and landscapers do business.

Read More
Dahlia Dahlinova Temptation Lavender from Dummen Fides Oro

November 10, 2014

Bas Pellenaars Takes On New Role As Brand Manager For D…

Dümmen group announces the transition of Bas Pellenaars from area manager to brand manager.

Read More

October 28, 2014

Zombie Adventures Are Back: GGS Releases Premiere Of Ne…

What's good for plants, but bad for zombies? GGS structures. The company released a new promotional video to get growers in the spirit of Halloween. GGS Structures ran a series of zombie movies last year, and this year, something new was released October 24.

Read More
Suzanne McKee

October 27, 2014

Use Your Data To Make Smarter Marketing Decisions

Learn which marketing metrics are important to your business, measure successes and learn where changes are needed.

Read More
Sara Tambascio

October 2, 2014

How To Measure The Success Of Your Digital Marketing

Take a look at these metrics in your digital marketing to see if you’re connecting with your audience or just adding to the clutter.

Read More

September 26, 2014

How To Get The Digital Generation Into The Garden: Gard…

Capture millennials’ gardening interests with these marketing tips.

Read More
The Joseph Shinoda Memorial Scholarship Foundation

September 9, 2014

Shinoda Foundation Contributes Nearly $15,000 In Schola…

Based in California, the Joseph Shinoda Memorial Foundation's mission is to encourage educational opportunities for young people interested in entering the industry. Since 1965, the foundation has awarded $790,000 to more than 660 undergraduate floriculture students.

Read More