Solving The Marketing Mystery

Solving The Marketing Mystery

Greenhouse Grower asked several label, tag and marketing companies their thoughts on what it takes for growers to get attention for their products, both from retailers and consumers. Here’s what they said:

Finding The Trends

by Bob Lovejoy

Horticultural Identification Products

Horticultural Identification Products (HIP) is proud to be the supplier of three environmentally-conscious horticultural tags — Repel, EcoTag and BioTag. As a marketing innovator, HIP is at the forefront of the “green” revolution in the Green Industry. We identified a need for environmentally friendly packaging

Repel is an innovative paper substrate containing 30 percent post-consumer waste, making it an environmentally responsible choice. The Repel product exceeds expectations of traditional paper labels by resisting curling and fading when exposed to water and sunlight. Compared to traditional, high-density polyethylene substrates, the Repel product with post-consumer content reduces the energy inputs of trees, water and fuel, while reducing the waste outputs of solid waste, wastewater and air pollutants.

EcoTag is a degradable alternative to traditional plastic tags. Manufactured using wind power as one energy source, EcoTag is environmentally friendly from beginning to end with plenty of consumer appeal during its useful life. These rigid tags retain their integrity until buried in compost or disposed of in a landfill. The buried tags disintegrate in one to five years.

BioTag is a first-of-its-kind tag made of biodegradable plastic. The BioTag material is produced using a state-of-the-art polymer technology that relies on bio-based products, such as corn and soybeans, rather than fossil fuel-based resins. The end-product has a natural composition that is totally biodegradable. The degradation process takes approximately one year.

Repel, EcoTag and BioTag can contribute to a brand image not only enhancing the look of plant products, but also conveying a corporate commitment to environmental awareness and the conservation of natural resources.

We believe our “earth-friendly” products, when combined with the innovative “green” product offerings coming out of the container manufacturers, provide both growers and retailers with an opportunity to satisfy consumer demands with a profitable, premium product combination. 

Keep The Consumer In Mind

by Jack Davis

Horticultural Marketing And Printing 

Always design tags and labels with the end consumer in mind. At the end of the day, they make the decision on whether your product grabs their attention and meets their wants and needs. Utilize consumer research not only to design tags, but to create a compelling value proposition that is truly relevant and important to the end consumer.

Research tells us that 65 to 70 percent of plant purchases are made on impulse rather than planned. Some consumers know they want a plant, but don’t know what kind, while others just come to browse and make a purchase if something catches their eye.

Research also tells us that unique, high-profile packaging (tags) and well executed point of sale (signs) do attract consumers and increase the chances of your product going home with the customer. Growers are in the consumer products business and all the rules and laws governing consumer products apply to plant consumer products as well.

Tags that generate impulse sales and a higher perceived product value at the same time are by far the best. To be truly distinctive, the graphics and shape of the tag need to be unique. Commonly used tombstone tags, even with custom graphic treatments, generally do not stand out in a crowd. In a very busy garden center, you need every advantage to stand out and grab the customer’s attention. Higher perceived values lead to greater margins for both the grower and retailer.

Graphics should play to the female consumer, since they are the primary purchaser and effectively communicate the product’s value proposition. Why should I purchase this plant? Promotion of the plant’s value proposition is the most often missing element on plant tags today.

Finally and often overlooked, is information about the plant and long term care. This is the information that helps mitigate the fear of failure and promotes the promise of success. Call it consumer confidence. Yesterday’s armchair horticulturist generation is giving way to today’s “tell me how to do it” XY generations. We cannot take it for granted that the consumer knows anything about how to use or care for our products. The plant tag is the owner’s manual.

Printed pots and point-of-sale signs also can help create impulse sales for your product. However, the plant tag has proven to be by far the most powerful and effective marketing tool. If you have a limited budget, start with the tag. Today, plant tags are the No. 1 attention grabber at retail and consumer’s No. 1 source of gardening information. 

It’s Not Just The Tag

by Brenda Vaughn

John Henry Company 

It’s not just about the tag anymore. It’s about the package, the merchandising, the eye appeal–the experience.

From my more than 30 years experience in retail, just like Revlon, Almay and Maybelline compete in the drug store and Budweiser, Coors and Miller compete in the grocery store, your plant brand may be following in those footsteps. Not only does the female consumer these days want it now and instant gratification, she is used to looking at different brands. How are your plants going to get her attention? For decades we’ve been introducing new plants and putting them alphabetically in the mix and merchandising and packaging the same old way. It’s time to think differently and have your customer think of you all year instead of just spring and Christmas. Gift giving, outdoor decorating, shopping as a hobby and “buying things for yourself just ’cause you deserve it” are all great reasons for your new customer to shop your store all year long.

Decorative pots, not just large combination planters, but those 4- and 6-inch pots to drop a gerbera in and go. Handles on large six-pack trays to make it convenient for her to grab and go and do the plant selection for her. Signs that are fun and show consumers that having plants is cool and they add beauty to their surroundings. Changing the language of tags to be more about the experience. For example, our Bellissimo tags, “Party To Patio,” have party tips on the back. We need to start thinking more home owner/decorator and less horticulturally. From tags to pots to signage, it’s a complete package. Tags are important for the consumer to be successful, but merchandising is key to get her to notice your plants. Plants are beautiful on their own, but the consumer wants more, and she doesn’t have much time anymore! 

Point Of Sale Is Key

by Joe Fox

MasterTag

Wal-Mart reports more than 120 million customer store visits per week. Given the extreme fragmentation of media channels over the years, many consumer products goods companies have refocused their attention on point of sale. These efforts have proven themselves with “sales lift” on promoted products, but it is also now being viewed as the most effective way to build brand equity.

Many consumer studies reinforce that more than 75 percent of purchase decisions are made at the point of sale. Combine this with the measurable foot traffic at many major retailers and this is the “moment of truth” in a marketing campaign.

So how do you capture the eye of the consumer in the garden center when many of the products are in striking color? Relevancy!

We can’t simply tell the consumer what it is, but tell them how it can be used and why it fits for them personally.

You can have a retail display of groundcovers, but a consumer may not understand that this is the solution to finally fixing that area under a shade tree where they can’t get grass to grow. Show them the vision and illustrate the end benefits.

We can provide a great selection of 4-inch annuals that perform well in containers, but this generally requires a fair amount of work at the retail center, for the consumer to determine what will thrive together, what looks good together, how many plants are needed, etc. Consumers shy away from garden activities that require work.

Consumer research shows that consumers garden for the following reasons:

- 31 percent of consumers say they garden to create a better home environment.

- One third say gardening and related activities stimulate better mental health, improved nutrition habits and promote physical fitness.

- A similar proportion say they garden to increase curb appeal and the value of their property. (Garden Writers Association late spring survey 2007)

Do we display our products with messages that address these reasons to garden? These responses are our keys to establishing relevancy with today’s consumer. Our research indicates the retailer that can provide solutions and make gardening easy will become the destination of choice. Purchasing products for the outdoors is a planned activity. When consumers arrive at the retail site, they will react with impulse buys, like they do in any other department in the store. But to establish your site as the destination with ideas and information is powerful.

Apply your relevant theme or message to your packaging–plant labels and containers. Communicate effectively with consumers at the point of sale as your setting allows: signs, posters, banners, etc.

1) The display works from a distance.

2) The consumer-relevant theme triggers a closer look.

3) The quality product and the take-home message on the package reinforces the buying decision.

Listening to the consumer and providing relevant solutions is the key to consistent growth

Leave a Reply

More From Marketing...

March 4, 2015

Nexus Corporation’s Cheryl Longtin Encourages Women To Seek Volunteer Leadership Opportunities

When Cheryl Longtin came to the horticulture business in 1994, she applied her experience in the automotive industry to promote the adoption of more technology in greenhouse production. Longtin says horticulture, with its rich family tradition, has long promoted women in the industry compared to other industries, but women in horticulture must continue to seek out opportunities to provide volunteer leadership in organizations that shape the future of the business.

Read More

March 4, 2015

Second Annual GreenhouseConnect Will Bring Growers and Suppliers Together in San Diego This October

Following a successful inaugural event in Tampa last fall, Greenhouse Grower has announced the dates of its second annual GreenhouseConnect: October 26-29, 2015. Representatives of an expected two dozen leading greenhouse operations from across the U.S. will join senior-level suppliers at Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego for several days of one-on-one strategic meetings, a growers-only roundtable, informational sessions and a variety of networking events.

Read More
cultivate'15 logo

March 4, 2015

Cultivate’15: AmericanHort Announces What’s New

In an industry that has seen major changes occurring at a fast pace, many industry professionals leave Cultivate with their heads spinning and no clear idea of how to regroup and strategize. Cultivate’15 is “Changing the Game.” As this year’s focus, Changing the Game will call your attention to the ways in which our industry has changed and your opportunities to compete successfully.

Read More
Latest Stories

February 18, 2015

Range Of Nursery Inspections To Protect Patented Plants…

Plant patents are under protection, and breeders are fighting for their rights to keep growers from illegally propagating protected varieties. It's something you don't want to take a chance on, because the risk is far higher than the reward. More than 300 inspections were carried out last year from New York to British Columbia and from Ontario to Florida to protect plant patents, Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR) and branded programs.

Read More

February 4, 2015

TPIE 2015: An Electrified Industry Vibe Boosts Cool New…

The general feeling at the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association's 2015 Tropical Industry Exhibition (TPIE) was upbeat and positive. Attendees were inspired by exciting new products and varieties, as well as creative new displays and innovative ideas and left energized for the season ahead.

Read More
Costa Farms Website

January 21, 2015

Costa Farms’ Launches New Interactive Website

Costa Farms is making efforts to educate consumers while pushing horticultural digital marketing forward with the re-design of its website. The new website features a fresh design and improved navigation, as well as a plant finder that gives gardeners easy access to plant information.

Read More

January 5, 2015

Growers Are Successfully Marketing The Benefits Of Pla…

Growers who are already marketing plant benefits and gardening as a lifestyle say they think this could be the best angle for the floriculture industry to promote our products.

Read More

January 5, 2015

Plants Love You Campaign Raises Plant Benefits To Foref…

Plants make us feel good. It’s a no-brainer, backed by numerous studies, but there’s more to the story. And it’s one the Canadian Ornamental Horticulture Alliance (COHA) hopes its Plants Love You campaign will tell in such a way that it will inspire people to make plants a part of their life, and on a bigger scale. COHA is an alliance between the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA), the Fédération Interdisciplinaire De L’Horticulture Ornementqale Du Québec (FIHOQ) and Flowers Canada Growers (FCG). Inspiration for The Plants Love You campaign came from COHA’s research, which revealed that 96 percent of consumers surveyed have a favorable attitude toward plants. When COHA delved deeper into the numbers, one thing stood out loud and clear. “It quickly became apparent that while consumers like plants because they are pretty and make them feel good, few understood the environmental and health benefits plants offer.” says Frank […]

Read More

December 9, 2014

New Website For PanAmerican Seed

PanAmerican Seed's new website is mobile-friendly and has a fresh look and enhanced navigation.

Read More
What’s a pumpulent? It’s a pumpkin planted with succulents, and it’s also one of the ways Altum’s is catching customers’ attention with new products and modern marketing.

December 1, 2014

9 Digital Marketing Resolutions For 2015

Whatever your experience with digital marketing, here’s some advice for keeping your business progressing into the new year.

Read More

November 25, 2014

Conley’s Launches New Website

Conley’s Manufacturing and Sales recently launched its newly designed website, which was redesigned to create a user-friendly digital environment for customers to explore Conley's products.

Read More

November 17, 2014

Canada’s Plants Love You Campaign Educates Consum…

In a cooperative effort to promote the benefits of plants to consumers, the Canadian Ornamental Horticulture Alliance (COHA) recently launched its Plants Love You campaign to make consumers more aware of the health, environmental and economic benefits of plants.

Read More
Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum™ Petunia from Proven Winners

November 11, 2014

Plantbid Offers New Tool For Growers, Plant Buyers

Plantbid is touted as a revolutionary new tool that allows plant buyers to purchase their whole plant list at one time, from growers who provide their complete availability online. According to the company, this new offering could change the way growers and landscapers do business.

Read More
Dahlia Dahlinova Temptation Lavender from Dummen Fides Oro

November 10, 2014

Bas Pellenaars Takes On New Role As Brand Manager For D…

Dümmen group announces the transition of Bas Pellenaars from area manager to brand manager.

Read More

October 28, 2014

Zombie Adventures Are Back: GGS Releases Premiere Of Ne…

What's good for plants, but bad for zombies? GGS structures. The company released a new promotional video to get growers in the spirit of Halloween. GGS Structures ran a series of zombie movies last year, and this year, something new was released October 24.

Read More
Suzanne McKee

October 27, 2014

Use Your Data To Make Smarter Marketing Decisions

Learn which marketing metrics are important to your business, measure successes and learn where changes are needed.

Read More
Sara Tambascio

October 2, 2014

How To Measure The Success Of Your Digital Marketing

Take a look at these metrics in your digital marketing to see if you’re connecting with your audience or just adding to the clutter.

Read More

September 26, 2014

How To Get The Digital Generation Into The Garden: Gard…

Capture millennials’ gardening interests with these marketing tips.

Read More
The Joseph Shinoda Memorial Scholarship Foundation

September 9, 2014

Shinoda Foundation Contributes Nearly $15,000 In Schola…

Based in California, the Joseph Shinoda Memorial Foundation's mission is to encourage educational opportunities for young people interested in entering the industry. Since 1965, the foundation has awarded $790,000 to more than 660 undergraduate floriculture students.

Read More
Salvia 'Playin the Blues' from Proven Winners

September 9, 2014

Grand Gardening Show On Mackinac Island Draws Huge Audi…

Dates are already set for Proven Winners' 2015 Grand Garden Show after the great response the 2014 show received in late August.

Read More

August 27, 2014

New Gardening App GrowIt Connects Community Of Gardener…

Thanks to Ball Horticultural Co.’s Mason Day and Seth Reed, gardeners can now share photos of their plants, interact with other growers and learn about what grows best in their area with the duos new app, GrowIt!

Read More