July 10, 2010

Social Media Extravaganza: Tips For You To Do Now

New ideas flew around the room at the four-hour Social Media Workshop, hosted by new media marketer Jeff Korhan (@jeffkorhan). Here’s a few interesting thoughts Korhan shared. – One size fits all does not apply. Try things out. Experiment. It’s the only way to see if it will work for you. – Get comfortable with authenticity. Be real and have conversations with people. – Even if you’re not “on” social media, you are. Use Google Alerts to see who’s talking about you and what they’re saying. – Think of the keywords that your customers will search for, and use those words often on your site, on your blog and in your social media. – Sites that are updated more often are indexed more often by Google, bumping them up in the search rankings. Update often. – Hang in there with blogging. Even if you don’t think you have any followers, […]

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June 29, 2010

VIVA!: 2010 Marketer Of The Year Award Winner

Greenhouse Grower will present its Marketer of the Year award to The Home Depot and Floragem for their successful reinvention and repositioning of the VIVA! brand. Together, the companies have worked with the supply chain to develop a model that rewards innovation in breeding and packaging while delighting consumers at retail. This will be the first time we present our marketing award to a large retailer. Past honorees have been breeders, growers and grower consortiums, as well as industry organizations that promote top-performing varieties (All-America Selections) and even causes (Plant For The Cure). VIVA! is a Home Depot brand that is supported by Floragem, a marketing and product development company founded by Ken and Deena Altman of Altman Plants in Vista, Calif. While the VIVA! brand is exclusive to Home Depot, Floragem is focused on creating new live goods products and coordinating the supply chain to ensure offerings are successful […]

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June 24, 2010

New CostaFarms.com Sets The Bar For Grower Websites

Just as the summer solstice signals a change of seasons, Costa Farms is changing the look of its website to one that is more consumer friendly, engaging and appealing to a broader audience. The industry will now find a redesigned website CostaFarms.com, which is filled with alluring images and the latest interactive tools and technology. “We want to help people be successful and get more from their gardening experiences,” says Jose Smith, president & CEO of Costa Farms. “We’re creating an online community where consumers will come together in one place to share gardening tips and information, as well as learn best practices from our experts.” The homepage features a special feature: “Window Into The World Of Gardening.” There, consumers can experience the changing seasons with seasonal plant suggestions. They’ll also learn from educational and public service campaigns and be guided to events nationwide. “With a simple click, visitors will […]

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June 16, 2010

AIB Named To Associations Advance Honor Roll

America in Bloom (AIB) has been named to the 2010 Associations Advance America (AAA) Honor Roll, a national awards program sponsored by the American Society of Association Executives & The Center for Association Leadership in Washington, D.C. The prestigious awards program recognizes associations that propel America forward with innovative projects in education, skills training, standards setting, business and social innovation, knowledge creation, citizenship and community service. The Associations Advance America Awards are presented year-round to recognize associations that propel America forward–with innovative projects in skills training and development; ethical, technical or professional standards; economic development; business and social innovation; information and knowledge creation; public education and information; civic and community volunteer activities; and citizenship and democracy enhancement. “America in Bloom is honored to be recognized by the American Society of Association Executives & The Center for Association Leadership,” says Marvin Miller, president of the America in Bloom board of directors. […]

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June 15, 2010

NRF: Consumers Hold Back in May

The spur in economic activity hit a small speed bump last month as the latest retail sales report shows evidence of a more timid shopper. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), May retail industry sales – which exclude automobiles, gas stations and restaurants –  decreased 1.4 percent seasonally adjusted over April and increased 2.7percent unadjusted year-over-year.   May retail sales released by the U.S. Commerce Department show total retail sales – which include non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants – decreased 1.2 percent seasonally adjusted over April and increased 6.3 percent unadjusted year-over-year.   “May retail sales results represent a reminder of the uncertainly that still exists in the economy,” says NRF President and CEO Matt Shay. “The road to recovery is paved with caution as consumers remain concerned about key indicators such as employment and housing.”   Adds Rosalind Wells, chief economist for NRF: […]

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June 7, 2010

Study: Consumers Avoiding In-Store Assistance

People strongly prefer to do their own research online instead of speaking to a sales associate at a store, according to the 2010 Social Shopping Study from the e-tailing group and PowerReviews. Study respondents say they like online research better for three reasons: 1) its ability to save time, 2) boost confidence and 3) provide credible information. The research also found online research remains key to consumer shopping behavior, with 50 percent of respondents saying they conduct research online for at least half of their purchases, versus 54 percent in the 2007 Social Shopping Study. The study does not, however, indicate if consumers prefer online research over in-store assistance when shopping for plants or at a garden center. When asked where they’re doing their online research, the majority (57 percent) of survey respondents said they begin with a search engine. The top three places consumers go when researching product information […]

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June 2, 2010

Much Ado About Knock Out

The week before the California Spring Trials, we learned The Conard-Pyle Co. is reining in the production and distribution of rooted young plants for its Knock Out roses. Effective July 1, Syngenta Horticultural Services and Star Roses will be the exclusive brokers and Greenheart Farms and Northwest Horticulture will be the exclusive young plant producers. Star Roses is Conard-Pyle’s sales and marketing arm. Introduced 10 years ago, the Knock Outs have revolutionized the shrub rose category the way Waves revolutionized petunias. Although it’s fairly normal for new products to be introduced on an exclusive or limited basis, it’s rare to see an established product that’s a runaway success get reined in 10 years later. A few of the brokers and licensees who are losing access feel a great, money-making product is being taken away. Conard-Pyle did receive backlash from at least two of Syngenta’s competitors. This took the rose breeder […]

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June 1, 2010

Market Observations From The Buyers

A buyers panel featuring representatives from Delaware Valley Wholesale Florist, Whole Foods and Winn-Dixie discussed an assortment of topics May 24 at the Lilytopia Grower Symposium, including today’s lily market, favorite varieties, where cut lilies sold in the United States are sourced, a consumer trend from cut lilies to pot lilies and more. Cindy Hanauer of Winn-Dixie, a supermarket chain with 500-plus stores across the United States, says Winn-Dixie sold 100,000 Easter lilies in a 10-day span this year. Hanauer says Easter lily sales were up 12 percent this year over last year, and considering the economy, Winn-Dixie is pleased with the growth. Whole Foods, on the other hand, was in a different sales situation over the last year. Sandy Pilgrim of Whole Foods says all floral sales were down 20 percent last year. Whole Foods is just now seeing an upswing in the floral sales, and it’s seeing the […]

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May 18, 2010

Seeley Focus Is Global Warming, Climate Change & You

Only a few seats remain for the 25th annual Seeley Conference in Ithaca, N.Y., where industry leaders will discuss floriculture’s environmental footprint as a consumer opportunity. The 25th annual Seeley conference is only seven weeks away and there are a few seats left. The think-tank conference is June 26-29, in Ithaca, N.Y., where this year’s theme is: “Floriculture’s Environmental Footprint: An Inconvenient Truth Or Consumer Opportunity?” For several years, we’ve heard about global warming and climate change as issues we need to address. Of course, the real issues revolve around what it means for the bottom line for our individual businesses. How will the outcomes of the current legislative debate impact us? Are there modifications we need to make to stay in business once the debate ends and the laws are enacted? Will our businesses be able to remain financially solvent or will regulations force us out of business? These […]

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May 18, 2010

Montgomery Retail Report: New York

Marketing consultant Jerry Montgomery visited 109 retail garden center locations in the New York area around Mother’s Day. Below is his New York regional retail report: The weather was really erratic over the five days touring retailers on Long Island and the boroughs of New York City, Northern New Jersey and suburbs north of New York up to Norwalk, Conn.–making for a very interesting tour. The weather was fairly nice until Mother’s Day (May 9) when the wind reached up to 50 miles per hour, but it was surprising how much traffic was in the stores. There is no doubt the consumer wants to buy green goods, as I witnessed great traffic flow in most retail locations on the 6th (Thursday), 7th (Friday) and 8th (Saturday). Edibles, of course, were one category that stood out, as evidenced by the number of shopping carts containing vegetables and herbs. This has to […]

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May 18, 2010

Burpee Home Gardens Providing Consumers Help

Burpee Home Gardens is offering retailers and their customers a little support for the answers to vegetable gardening questions. Available in print or online is “Garden Fresh,” a free gardening guide booklet. Also, Burpee Home Gardens can connect with home gardeners via dedicated online social media interaction (Facebook and Twitter), which also aids in getting the word out about Burpee’s new 2010 garden-ready plant program. “As more home gardeners look to plant vegetables and herbs this spring, their search for advice, discussion and overall gardening information grows as well,” says Jessie Atchison, brand manager for Burpee Home Gardens. “The Burpee Home Gardens team has positioned itself to help its core consumer–new and novice home vegetable gardeners–with the answers they need in the formats they prefer.” “Garden Fresh” is a four-color, 32-page booklet from Burpee Home Gardens that contains information on virtually every aspect of how to start, maintain and build a […]

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April 28, 2010

Metrolina Market Report

Marketing consultant Jerry Montgomery spent the weekend in Charlotte visiting the Lowe’s and Walmart garden centers Metrolina Greenhouses serves, among other garden centers in the Charlotte area. Below are his findings from the April 24-25 weekend. On Saturday (April 24), retail traffic was heavy and consumers were buying like there would be no plants available tomorrow. Vegetables, as usual, were getting a lot of attention with the Bonnie displays being pillaged, especially at Lowe’s, which ran a buy-one, get-one free on 5-inch SKUs. I observed many hanging baskets and potted annuals in the larger patio containers seemed to be a little sluggish at retail. On Sunday, after a huge overnight storm, it was overcast and threatening rain until about 2 p.m. when the sun appeared. Most of the day was slow at retail until the sun came out. Then the pace picked up but nowhere near Saturday’s pace. It is […]

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