Readers React To PlantLife As National Promotion

Greenhouse Grower columnist Laurie Scullin wrote his November column, “Now Is The Time For National Promotion,” about his grassroots national marketing promotion idea: PlantLife. Now, Greenhouse Grower readers chime in with their thoughts about the idea:

From Jim Berry, J. Berry Nursery:

I missed the presentation of your idea when we were at OFA (Short Course). I heard about it and today read the column in Greenhouse Grower about the same idea. I like the idea. I would find a place to print the right slogan on my printed materials–trucks, tags, website, etc.

Spending a few minutes thinking about this, the best I could come up with is: “Plants Make Life Great!” Thanks for the suggestion, and we will see what others think.

From Scott Titus, Windy Meadow Nursery
:

You have hit on a very good concept. It brings to mind the current debate over healthcare. For those of us who have put blood, sweat and tears–not to mention time and money into our own branding and promotion programs–another program is not at the top of our list of priorities.

That being said, anything to get people outside a little more like a National Eat Outside week might help. What’s better than eating a fresh salad from the garden while eating on the lawn?

From Mark Gilson, Gilson Gardens:

I enjoyed your ‘rant’ in Greenhouse Grower magazine. I’ve been harping about a national marketing campaign idea almost like yours for a couple years! You read my mind! 
 
Back in November 2007, we brought Dr. Charlie Hall in for one of our local nursery association meetings (Nursery Growers of Lake County Ohio, Inc). That was the first time I heard the “Got Milk” suggestion. Also, Charlie’s “mature market” discussion emphasized the need for national generic cooperative marketing. 

As I talked to our membership about it, I learned our national leadership had been burned in the past when the industry as a whole failed to jump on board. That’s the beauty of your idea. There are no giant hoops to jump through or “check-off” programs to set up.

My idea for a grassroots by-the-bootstraps program was a little different: We “vet” a few dozen of the positive environmental/sociological messages associated with horticulture. There are tons of them available already, and all we would do is bring them together into one forum–from reducing the carbon footprint of our homes to decreasing the amount of ‘road rage–and put them out to our industry for them to incorporate into their own marketing programs. Maybe we build a schedule for the different messages so we hit the marketplace with some consistent themes. 

But I like your idea better: a common theme, a nationally recognized slogan or maybe, eventually, a combination of the two.
 
I read somewhere only about one in 10 of the households in America are serious about gardening. I bring this up a lot at nursery meetings and point out if only we could increase that to two in 10, we would all have more business than we knew what to do with. This tremendous opportunity is right at our doorstep.

PlantLife is the best slogan I’ve heard so far. I just ran it by my wife, who runs our garden center and she loves it. One of our problems is bringing together our various constituents–nurseries, greenhouses, landscape/design, turf people–and this moniker does it.

We’re a small nursery with a small garden center, but we would be willing to incorporate something like this in our ads by next spring. Last year, we began working with four other local garden centers in a Passport-to-Plants marketing program, and I imagine they would pick up on it. Maybe we could get Angelo Petitti to participate with his chain of high-end locations around Cleveland.

And that’s just one market region. Dr. Hall and our ANLA leadership would be proponents on the national level

Let’s do this. Let’s have it in place by Spring 2010.

John W. Story, Meadowbrook Farm:

Regarding the recent article in the November issue of Greenhouse Grower: I couldn’t agree more with your initiative to get a national promotional effort started. I have always thought the horticultural industry is too fractured and wastes a lot of time and energy to compete and beat the competition. We are all on the same side.

Having said that, the (Greenhouse Grower Editor) Delilah (Onofrey’s November column) proposes more effort be put into a program already in place: America In Bloom (AIB). I think both the AIB program and your idea for a national promotional program should be supported because each will feed off the other. Both have different but complimentary target audiences.

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10 comments on “Readers React To PlantLife As National Promotion

  1. Anonymous

    There is no doubt that if we all put in a little to grow the pie instead of fighting over the existing or shrinking pie we will have more pie for everyone. With a small operation we cannot afford to create the market alone. If everyone helps create a larger marketplace everyone benefits at every level.

  2. Anonymous

    AIB is nice but it costs an already strapped municipality money to get involved. Make the slogan “Fun” and bouncy. Something to remember not something that blends into a already saturated market place or is politically correct, today. Sustainability is needed for the long term. I also should be exercising and eating right. When we laugh and smile it makes us feel better and momentarily forget life’s demands. Be creative with a slogan and “Plant a Smile” on someone. Customers will remember places, or events, that make them feel happy or at ease, especially if you can make it happen on multiple sensory perceptions.

  3. Anonymous

    America in Bloom has amazing success stories in more than 170 towns and cities in 38 states. In each participating town, sales of horticultural products increased. In one town, both Wal-Mamrt and Lowes sold out of plants COMPLETELY. Mayors of towns have said that the evaluations they receive from America in Bloom judges are better than those from expensive consultants. And, once a town has jumped on the beautification bandwagon, it becomes a lifestyle they don’t readily want to change, in fact, they want to increase participation every year. America in Bloom gets an entire town involved in real, visible improvements that cross the municipal, commercial and residential sectors. Help your town be part of it and see what it does for your business.

  4. Anonymous

    There is no doubt that if we all put in a little to grow the pie instead of fighting over the existing or shrinking pie we will have more pie for everyone. With a small operation we cannot afford to create the market alone. If everyone helps create a larger marketplace everyone benefits at every level.

  5. Anonymous

    AIB is nice but it costs an already strapped municipality money to get involved. Make the slogan “Fun” and bouncy. Something to remember not something that blends into a already saturated market place or is politically correct, today. Sustainability is needed for the long term. I also should be exercising and eating right. When we laugh and smile it makes us feel better and momentarily forget life’s demands. Be creative with a slogan and “Plant a Smile” on someone. Customers will remember places, or events, that make them feel happy or at ease, especially if you can make it happen on multiple sensory perceptions.

  6. Anonymous

    Just wondering— would this program involve the BIG BOX stores? If so how could it possibly help the independents?

  7. Anonymous

    America in Bloom has amazing success stories in more than 170 towns and cities in 38 states. In each participating town, sales of horticultural products increased. In one town, both Wal-Mamrt and Lowes sold out of plants COMPLETELY. Mayors of towns have said that the evaluations they receive from America in Bloom judges are better than those from expensive consultants. And, once a town has jumped on the beautification bandwagon, it becomes a lifestyle they don’t readily want to change, in fact, they want to increase participation every year. America in Bloom gets an entire town involved in real, visible improvements that cross the municipal, commercial and residential sectors. Help your town be part of it and see what it does for your business.