January 3, 2013

Instead Of Flowers [Opinion]

The other night, while watching TV, I was working the remote like a sound mixer at a concert. Volume up, volume down, hit recall channel during commercials … and otherwise driving my wife crazy. As a rule, I mute the most inane commercials; why is driving a truck in the mud so appealing; who buys prescription drugs from a TV ad; how many male enhancement pills are there anyway? However, that evening a Valentine’s Day ad came on blatantly attacking our products. I turned it up. The ad was for a company called InsteadOfFlowers.com and essentially stated that our product is superfluous, does nothing but die and there are far better ways to spend our money than on flowers.    I am so tired of our industry being the fall guy. Every time a drought occurs or might occur, it is our fault for making it worse, and boom, politicians […]

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December 31, 2012

Suntory Announces Consumer Advertising Campaign For 2013

Suntory Flowers announced a new consumer-facing advertising campaign for 2013. By partnering with high-profile home and garden media companies, the breeder expects to generate 122 million impressions in the first six months. “We’re very pleased with how strong our cuttings sales have been this season and are looking forward to generating more sales for growers and retailers,” says Delilah Onofrey, director of Flower Power Marketing for the Suntory Collection. Here’s a breakdown of Suntory Flowers’ advertising plan, according to Onofrey: Better Homes & Gardens: “We will support our print advertorial in the April issue with a three-month, interactive digital package March through May on BHG.com. This includes sponsored content and videos, digital advertising and eNewsletters sent directly to readers.” Southern Living: “In addition to our print advertorial in the March issue, our three-month digital package on SouthernLiving.com includes being the Essential Plant Guide sponsor, run-of-site and garden channel digital ads and […]

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December 11, 2012

Silver Vase Markets Plants For Seasons, Not Holidays

There are certain plants that are so strongly associated with a certain holiday that it’s nearly impossible to separate them — red roses for Valentine’s Day, poinsettias for Christmas, Easter lilies for, of course, Easter. But there are other, more peripheral plants that, while still connected with a holiday, can be positioned in other ways as well. Marcella Lucio-Chinchilla, director of marketing for Silver Vase Orchids and Bromeliads, says Silver Vase is getting away from marketing for specific holidays and taking a whole new approach, looking at colors, accessories and pot textures to evoke feelings. “We’re playing with a lot of different materials and techniques, to come up with the right trend, the right movement, and not being so old school,” Lucio-Chinchilla says. “Instead of ‘here is my orchid for Valentine’s Day,’ it’s ‘here is my orchid for love.’ It’s a little on the artsy side, but that’s how we […]

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November 28, 2012

17 New Regional Greenhouse Growers Join HGTV HOME Plant Collection Team

The HGTV HOME Plant Collection announced its new partnership with 17 regional greenhouse growers for the Collection’s Expressions annuals line. Alex R. Masson, Inc., Bob’s Market and Greenhouses, Inc., Bordine’s Nursery, Ltd., Botany Lane Greenhouse, CF Greenhouses, Color Spot Nurseries, Diefenbacher Greenhouses, Floral Plant Growers, LLC., Harts Nursery of Jefferson, Inc., Janus Gardens, Inc., Masterpiece Flower, Meadowridge, Inc., Neal Mast & Sons Greenhouses, Timbuk Farms, Trail Nursery, Van de Wetering Greenhouses and Walnut Springs Nursery, Inc. have all joined the HGTV HOME Plant Collection grower network. “We are partnering with these exceptional growers based on their strong ability to service their markets with superior products,” says Sarah Hayes, Agricola Management’s marketing manager. “We are always looking for high-quality growers to be a part of this exciting new opportunity.” The new growers join established HGTV HOME Plant Collection sourcing partner for annuals, Dümmen USA. “Dümmen enjoys our strategic sourcing partnership and […]

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November 27, 2012

2013-14 Color Trends

Nothing attracts people like color. It triggers immediate emotional responses and lasting memories. From fashion and food to plants and outdoor living décor, color is a magnet with power to spark final purchasing decisions. Color is one of the influences that triggers purchasing choices people make everyday for their homes, gardens and outdoor living spaces. Why Trends? “Trends shape consumer demand,” says garden trend-spotter Susan McCoy, president of Garden Media Group, a garden marketing and public relations firm in Kennett Square, Pa. Born from multiple disciplines like fashion, art and social ideas, garden trends influence what plants, products and services customers want. According to McCoy, this year’s new color trends reflect a growing consumer demand for plants and products that bring happiness and bliss. Global trends expert Li Edelkoort, founder of the Paris-based trend forecasting company, Trend Union, agrees. When looking at the future of fashion and home décor, she […]

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November 26, 2012

Marketing Greenhouse Vegetables To Local Restaurants

The local food movement continues to grow, making greenhouse produce an attractive alternative for restaurants in your area, particularly higher-end establishments. It’s a definite opportunity for ornamental growers considering getting into produce. But marketing your crop to an unfamiliar market provides a new set of challenges you should consider. Plantpeddler’s Mike Gooder has had success selling to restaurants, so we asked him to share some tips for other growers thinking about this market. Greenhouse Grower: This isn’t the only place you sell your produce – are restaurants a difficult market to get into compared to other outlets? Gooder: Restaurants can provide a viable opportunity for specialty greenhouse producers with off-season production for several reasons, including, among others: • There are limited producers of locally grown produce during cold seasons • There’s an opportunity for “stable” premium pricing for top quality • Create a market for number-two grade products as prepared […]

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November 26, 2012

Marketing Greenhouse Vegetables To Grocery Stores

Most of you have seen an increase in the marketing of local produce at grocery stores — not just in small, independent groceries but in the big chains as well. It seems like a great opportunity for a greenhouse grower looking for a new market to sell its produce. It can be a very competitive one, however. We asked Water Fresh Farm’s Jeff Barton — who does a nice business with local groceries — how he does it.   Greenhouse Grower: How tough was it for you to get your produce into grocery stores? Is this a difficult market to crack compared to other outlets? Barton: It was certainly more difficult to get into a grocery chain (as opposed to independent grocers) years ago than it is now. I like to think that local is the new organic. Consumers want local because the perceived quality is better compared to nameless agribusiness, and they […]

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November 9, 2012

5 Ways To Improve Your Facebook Return On Investment

Facebook is one of the most widely used social media channels in the world. Since its inception, Facebook has branded itself as the place to connect socially with friends and fans across the globe. And, for the last few years, business owners, managers and their staff members have worked to understand and take advantage of all that Facebook has to offer. There are many benefits, including the ability to create online brand awareness and establish interactive relationships with customers and fellow industry professionals. But, some question its return on investment (ROI). For full impact, Facebook requires time, manpower and consistency, all of which can greatly impact allotted budgets for online and traditional marketing. With many grower and garden center businesses now having Facebook accounts, the next step in the social networking equation is to start evaluating how ROI is defined when applied to social media. ROI is not necessarily based […]

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October 24, 2012

And The Winner Is…

For the last few days, I was in Fayetteville, Ark., at the 2012 America in Bloom annual symposium. Besides experiencing some spectacular weather and one of the best downtown farmers’ markets I’ve seen in a while, there were some pretty enthusiastic cities that congregated for the annual awards program. For those of you who may have been out of the country for the past 11 years, America in Bloom (AIB) is a non-profit 501©(3) organization whose mission is to promote nationwide beautification through education and community involvement by encouraging the use of flowers, plants, trees and other environmental and lifestyle enhancements. Cities and communities that participate in AIB have the opportunity to participate in its friendly competition. In doing so, trained judges come to their town and evaluate it on six criteria: ➊ Floral Displays➋ Landscaped Areas➌ Urban Forestry ➍ Environmental Efforts ➎ Heritage Preservation ➏ Overall Impression Once the […]

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October 23, 2012

Small Business Saturday: Use These Resources To Promote Your Business

Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is the day for consumers to support independently owned businesses, which keep the communities they serve thriving. This year, Small Business Saturday falls on November 24.   Here are some resources and ideas you can use to promote your business this year.  The Small Business Saturday website offers marketing materials, including templates for signage (which can be personalized with company name), eMails and online banners and logos.  The Resource Center at Independent We Stand offers free signage and marketing materials, as well as information on how to create an online presence with social media.  List your company in Independent We Stand’s directory of small businesses to get in front of customers who are eager to buy local on Small Business Saturday. Like the Small Business Saturday and Independent We Stand Facebook pages for updates and ideas you can steal.  Send out an eMail, newsletter or mailer letting your current customers know about your […]

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October 4, 2012

Proven Winners Helps Growers Inspire Their Customers

In today’s retail environment, successful retailers know they need to inspire their customers to increase their sales. Grocery stores give away recipe books, while upscale clothing stores hold designer days. This is the retail model Proven Winners has followed for years when creating their Gardener’s Idea Book, and the goal is simple — to help inspire customers. And best of all, with Proven Winners’ Gardener’s Idea Book mailing program, growers can put these books directly in their customers’ hands at almost no cost. Under the program, Proven Winners will provide the Gardener’s Idea Books at absolutely no cost; employers pay $0.50 to cover the postage to mail each book to the customers on their mailing lists when shipping within the continental U.S. Aside from providing the 32-page, full color books, Proven Winners will also address and mail the books using a mailing list from the grower. Proven Winners also includes […]

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