Reaching Retail

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Of the growers I’ve spoken with recently, one problem is standing out among the rest–prices. Everything costs more these days, from the gas that powers my Ford Focus, to the gas that heats greenhouses. And not every retailer is willing to pass along that extra expense to the consumer.

And just when you didn’t want to hear about more spending, along comes our MarketWatch story “Building Legacy.” Conard-Pyle’s Steve Hutton says as growers are getting hip to branding, so are retailers. The message retailers want to get out there is, “Shop at my store,” not “buy this other guy’s plants.” Down the road, retailers may not want to help you brand your products. How do you build buzz about a plant outside of a garden center or retailer? It’s a chicken/egg problem that some strong brands have found a way to work around.

I’ve seen some nursery ads in consumer magazines. That’s not an option for every grower, but use what you’ve got. Go with the iPod factor. I’ve noticed recently a growing number of consumer magazine advertisements–for  clothes, cars, accessories–prominently feature an iPod. Just because iPods are cool. What can you pair your product with? Laurie Scullin’s thinking about it in this month’s Rants And Raves.

Maybe pairing with the retailer, with merchandising that promotes both company names, is a good place to start. And even with all the research that’s been done, the movement towards “plants as a healthy choice” still hasn’t caught on. Won’t people pay more for a product if it looks good and helps with health issues?

On The Road Again

It’s our Super Bowl, our main event–OFA Short Course in Columbus, Ohio. Will you be there? If you’re reading this before attending or during Short Course, make sure you check out the Town Hall Meeting. The topic for this year? Raising Prices – The Achilles Heel Of Our Industry. The town
hall will be held Sunday, July 9 from 5:30 to 7:30 and all show badge holders are invited.

If you’re not attending, not to worry. The September issue of GG will be chock-full of the events, new products, announcements and varieties that you missed. Thanks for reading!



The white earbud headphones,synonymous with the iPod brand, are used to push everything from clothes to cars. What can you use to push your products?

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