July 10, 2011

Refreshing The Bulb Market With Dig. Drop. Done.

Marcy represents the harried mother with lots of responsibilities and little time. Juliana is a young, urban fashionista without a yard and Evelyn is an empty nester with plenty of gardening experience. Are you a Marcy, a Juliana or an Evelyn? The Dig. Drop. Done. marketing campaign hopes that consumers will relate to these three personalities, which have been created as part of the campaign to promote the North American flowering bulb market. The Dig.Drop.Done. marketing campaign will hit consumers this summer. “Dig.Drop.Done signifies the need for simplicity in consumers’ lives,” says Henk Westerhof, chairman of Anthos, the Royal Trade Association for Nursery Stock and Flower Bulbs, headquartered in Hillegom, the Netherlands. “Expanding this market will require that we fit into their busy lives as they currently exist, not as we want them to be.” The campaign is sponsored by the Dig.Drop.Done Foundation (affiliates of Anthos), the International Flower Bulb […]

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June 30, 2011

Suds Leads Live Goods At Home Depot

Midwest buyer Bob “Suds” Sedlatschek just got promoted to Divisional Merchandise Manager, the top position directing live goods sales. He replaces Don Blume, who is moving to Home Depot’s building materials division, a large category which covers roofing, drywall, concrete, ladders, gutters and more. Sedlatschek has been very popular with growers and influential as he has risen through Home Depot’s ranks. He is the one who really got behind the Proven Winners brand in his region, which led to it becoming a national premium program for Home Depot. He also represented large retailers on our Medal of Excellence panel in 2009.

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June 17, 2011

Reader Reaction: Box Stores Taking Page Out Of IGC Playbook

Readers respond to Editor Delilah Onofrey’s latest column: Delilah, your observation is dead on. Full support is not in IGCs for the effort it takes for breeders and growers to bring plant and market innovations to the marketplace. Producers spent the last decade trying to find a home for new product at IGCs. It does seem the logical route. Meantime, the chains realized what they were missing and have jumped on the bandwagon.  The pendulum has certainly shifted. Thanks for your insights and straight talk though it may fall on some defensive ears. – Tom Kegley, Kegley Communications Delilah, your article on box stores and IGCs was brilliant and a very good assessment of what is going on out there. At least this is what we are seeing.   – Maureen Needham, PlantHaven

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June 15, 2011

A Tale Of Nearly 200 Cities

The 10-year milestone of the America In Bloom (AIB) program takes me back to when industry leaders came together through OFA to take a leap of faith. We agreed to launch a collective marketing program focused on making plantings more visible by beautifying cities and towns. Canada’s successful Communities In Bloom was our model and we had a pilot program with four U.S. cities paired with four mentoring Canadian cities in their national program in 2001. The moment of truth came that fall, when it was time to launch a full AIB competition in the United States in 2002. Would enough cities participate? In Ohio, I approached Westlake, where I live, and Willoughby, where I work, and was thrilled both mayors agreed to enter. But what has been even better is the “flower power” or multiplier effect I’ve seen since. The quality of the plantings just get better as they […]

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June 15, 2011

Mystifying Marketing

I was driving down the road recently when I heard a radio ad from one of the box stores–Lowe’s, I think–and its newly arrived shipment of colorful hibiscus. The ad was the same old, same old, but what struck me as particularly ludicrous was the come-on: “Come into Lowe’s garden store, where we just received a delivery of 10-inch hibiscus plants with colorful blooms … the greatest thing since sliced bread … yada, yada.” Personally, I understand the message. But I wondered if others listening would be a little perplexed. So I asked my daughter Laura what she thought about the ad. She hit on the confusion right away. “Dad, are they annual or perennial?” She had seen many perennial hibiscus in landscapes, as well as beautiful gift hibiscus in hospital shops and florists. I told her I didn’t know, but I expect they were the gift ones. Then she […]

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June 14, 2011

Spring Meadow Hires Marketing Specialist

Spring Meadow Nursery, the developers of the Proven Winners ColorChoice brand of flowering shrubs, has hired Stacey Hirvela as marketing specialist. Hirvela was previously senior associate garden editor for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. “We are excited to add Stacey to our marketing team,” says Tim Wood, product development and marketing manager. “Her experience working for a major consumer media outlet will be helpful in our efforts to better connect the brand with consumers.” In her new position, Hirvela will be leading the creation of “likeable” content to share within the brand’s social networks. She will also be moderating the Proven Winners ColorChoice Facebook page, which has grown to 17,100 fans. “Every plant we sell has a story behind it, and I can’t wait to share that with gardeners everywhere,” Hirvela says. “I’m also excited to lead the Invincibelle Spirit Campaign toward our goal of $1 million raised for breast cancer […]

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June 14, 2011

MasterTag Launching Consumer Website

MasterTag is launching a new consumer website called MyGardenInsider.com and introducing it at the upcoming OFA Short Course in Columbus, Ohio. Created by industry professionals, MyGardenInsider.com will provide an insider’s perspective on the horticulture industry with clear instructional information, inspiring projects, beautiful images and a searchable library. MyGardenInsider.com is rich in content, taking plant care information far beyond what can be found on a typical horticulture tag. The website is designed to have a dialogue with gardeners through social media and consumer surveys. The site is mobile ready and can be accessed with a smartphone to provide instantaneous information at the retail store, or on the web in the comfort of a home. MasterTag will be conducting demonstrations at booth No. 1821 at the OFA tradeshow July 10-12. Learn more about MasterTag online at MasterTag.com.

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May 27, 2011

America in Bloom Partners With Lamp’l

America in Bloom (AIB) judges will be scouting for potential filming locations for the 2012 season of the award-winning TV show, “Growing a Greener World,” while visiting American cities from coast to coast this summer. “Our judging team is the best ever and they’re looking forward to sharing this exciting opportunity with our participating towns and cities,” says Jack Clasen, AIB board member and judging chair. The show was founded by executive producer and host Joe Lamp’l, otherwise known as Joe Gardner. Lamp’l has hosted “Fresh from the Garden” on DIY Network and Garden Smart on Public Television. He is also a popular author on the speaking circuit, engaging in the public in person and online through his social media platforms. “I am very excited to have AIB’s keen sense of discernment as they travel the country seeking the best of what America has to offer,” Lamp’l says. “They already […]

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May 27, 2011

Lead Seeley Conference Speaker Announced

Mary Brett Whitfield, the senior vice president at Kantar Retail and the director of Shopper Insights, will be the lead speaker at this year’s Seeley Conference at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. Whitfield will speak about consumer attitudes and their effect on retail trends and buying behaviors. Check out video of Whitfield in action on YouTube. Following Whitfield’s Seeley Conference presentation, Bob Williams of Smithers Oasis will address how the floral industry can respond to changing trends and behaviors in terms. Stan Pohmer will also have a speaking role at Seeley. He’ll be discussing the mass market and supermarket channels. The Seeley Conference will be held June 27-29 this year. Registration begins the evening of June 26. Complete conference details and online registration are available at: www.hort.cornell.edu/seeleyconference/

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May 6, 2011

Stepables Redesign To Simplifying Consumer Purchasing

Under A Foot redesigned its Stepables foot-shaped tags this spring for easier consumer comprehension. In addition to all-new text and a new layout on the tag back, each tag front now has up to six colored dots that indicate which landscape applications best fits that particular plant. The consumer simply looks at the tag to check and see if the dot category fulfills their landscaping needs. To make things even easier, a visual display sign was created to guide consumers using color-coded picture boxes. These boxes also include the matching color-coded dot and show which plant category matches the colored dot, pushing past any language barrier that might stop a novice, non-speaking consumer from making a purchase. Additionally, a new color brochure guides consumers through each colored dot category and ultimately how to pick the right plants for the right spot. Stepables.com has also been transformed into a 400-plus page […]

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May 3, 2011

LiveRoof Adds Sales Rep in Florida

LiveRoof has named Paul D. Spirou as its regional sales representative in Florida for the LiveRoof hybrid green roof system. “Our sales process is technical and consultative,” says Dave MacKenzie, horticulturalist and president of LiveRoof. “That’s why our process for recruiting and evaluating sales representatives is so rigorous. We are confident that with his background in construction and knowledge of green building, Paul will be a first-rate resource for our customers.” An accredited Green Roof Professional (GRP), Spirou has nine years experience as a project manager and quality control manager in the construction industry, including positions with Opus South Contractors in Tampa, Fla., and The Haskell Company in Jacksonville, Fla. Spirou holds a bachelor’s of science degree in building construction management from the University of North Florida and earned his master’s of business administration at the University of Miami. He is currently pursuing a graduate certificate in sustainable construction from […]

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April 28, 2011

What’s Behind The 2D Tag?

Lots of consumer-facing brands are using the new 2D bar code technologies (QR codes and Microsoft’s MS tags), which is a great way to offer more information than a print piece can offer, but what’s the best way to use them?  The number one mistake I see is content behind QR and MS Tags that isn’t mobile friendly. Keep in mind when you create a tag that users will be viewing it on a mobile phone screen. That means light on text. Let’s see what’s behind these 2D tags. Bare Minerals QR Code or MS Tag: MS Tag The 2D bar code appears on: A BareMinerals print magazine ad The hook: To learn more about what bareMinerals Skincare can do for you, scan this tag and watch our video. When I click thru, I get: A well-produced YouTube video commercial on the benefits of the product. Aesthetically, I like it. The video is less than […]

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