Industry-Wide Grassroots Marketing Initiative

Two industry members have sparked a new interest in an industry-wide marketing initiative, this time on a grassroots level. A meeting at OFA Short Course drew an invited crowd of about 40 people from all different aspects of the floriculture industry to gauge interest in a basic, comprehensive marketing message that would cover everything from garden retailers (big box and independent) and growers to florists and landscapers.

The message would be in addition to any branding efforts and could appear alongside a retailer or grower brand.

The industry members, Frank Zaunscherb of ZMI Marketing in Canada and Laurie Scullin of The New Product Group marketing company who’s also a Greenhouse Grower contributor, led the discussion. The discussion included creating a simple message and building a website and marketing campaign behind it.

The goal is to build interest in floriculture by communicating directly with consumers. Scullin says there hasn’t been any decisions about how funding would occur, just that it would be voluntary and not forced through a promotion order as has been discussed in the past. He estimated about $250,000 to $300,000 would need to be raised to pay for the program, which would include a website with general plant information and viral marketing tactics through social media (like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace), as well as voluntary inclusion on point-of-purchase materials, retail marketing materials, employee shirts, etc.

Scullin says he’d like to get more feedback from the industry about what a marketing initiative could look like and how many people would be interested in supporting it. To give us your feedback and continue the discussion, go to Fresh Air Forum and let us know what you think.

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8 comments on “Industry-Wide Grassroots Marketing Initiative

  1. Anonymous

    I grew up in the dairy business and if you wanted to sell Grade A milk a certain percent of your milk check was automatically taken out to fund the national”Milk Is Good For You Campaign”Remenber the little kids and the pretty models with their white mustach promoting the health of drinking milk.I have often wondered why this industry can’ or at least hasn’t come with a marketing program to promote Americas number 1 Hobby “GARDENING”. Visualize the dollors that could be raised if the plastic companies would all agree to add one penny to every pot they produce and that penny would go into the National Marketing Fund.It wouldn’t change there competitiveness but would get the participation all across the Floriculture industry.I have been told that the plastic companies would never work together on a program like this and I say why wouldn’t they.It’s nothing out of their pocket and would only increase their business as the industry grows.

  2. Anonymous

    The milk moustache campaign is always brought up as an example when this kind of initiative is spoken about. Are there any sales reports available for both before and after the campaign? I can also think of pork (the other white meat), beef (it’s what’s for dinner) and something with eggs, but what are the effects or results of these, in comparison to the costs?

  3. Anonymous

    The GOT MILK?® advertising campaign was launched in 1994 and by 1996 it had achieved a 91 percent awareness rating.

    Since then, it has leveled off at about 90 percent. They spent a lot of money. They did a lot of work. The Board expected that kind of success rate and they were right to expect it.

    Reaching a 91 percent awareness rate was not really the big accomplishment. When the Board hired the PR firm, milk consumption was declining by about two to three percent per year due to the proliferation of beverage products on the market and a tremendous surge of out-of-home eating. The GOT MILK?® advertising campaigned kicked into gear in 1994 and, as expected, the rate of consumption leveled off. If it had continued to decrease at two to three percent per year, demand would have gone down cumulatively by hundreds of millions of gallons. So, the campaign didn’t drive sales up. What it did was stop the hemorrhaging in the face of competition from Coke, Pepsi, Snapple, Gatorade, Evian – a whole slew of competitors with deeper pockets.

    The magic of GOT MILK?® is that it became part of the vernacular of this country. It has evolved far beyond an advertising campaign. Folks treat GOT MILK?® as a brand, just like Wells Fargo, Nike or Coca-Cola. The expression of GOT MILK?® will change over time, but it’s not longer a jingle or a campaign. It is the dairy industry’s brand.

    People don’t buy name brand milk. If you ask the average person what brand of milk he buys, he’ll say “two percent”. So to that extent, GOT MILK?® has become the brand name for milk in the United States.

    [comments above from another website]

    A lot has changed since 1996.

    Consider this:
    We are on the verge of a ‘Mobile Media’ explosion.

    Steve

  4. Anonymous

    The public already knew how to drink milk. They knew all the utensils needed to properly consume the beverage. Before the GOT MILK campaign there wasn’t a direction label on the side of a gallon jug nor do we have one now.

    If I ever had to sell my wholesale greenhouse operation, it would be a long tough endeavor to find a buyer. Basically because our industry requires a lot of hard and dedicated energy. Much more than the majority of people are willing to invest for their return. Someones own garden is much of the same way. We don’t need a Las Vegas glitter show to have the public buying more plants. Our product can sell itself. The main issue is people don’t know how to properly use our products. In the past, the end user has invested hard earned money only to have their plantings fail. They plant in the wrong location or environment. Fail to amend planting beds. No one likes to fail and ultimately you will quit hitting yourself in the head with a hammer and keep your money in your pocket. A tiny tag in a pot can not begin to explain on how to properly use the product. Not to mention when to introduce the plants into the environments. What we need is more personal interaction with the end purchaser. Educate the customer. All we can do, as sellers of product, is give the end user the best chance to succeed. Remove their fear of purchasing and restore their confidence. If you don’t take care of the core issue first you can not make gardening work more attractive. Then think about your flower mustache campaign.

  5. Anonymous

    I grew up in the dairy business and if you wanted to sell Grade A milk a certain percent of your milk check was automatically taken out to fund the national”Milk Is Good For You Campaign”Remenber the little kids and the pretty models with their white mustach promoting the health of drinking milk.I have often wondered why this industry can’ or at least hasn’t come with a marketing program to promote Americas number 1 Hobby “GARDENING”. Visualize the dollors that could be raised if the plastic companies would all agree to add one penny to every pot they produce and that penny would go into the National Marketing Fund.It wouldn’t change there competitiveness but would get the participation all across the Floriculture industry.I have been told that the plastic companies would never work together on a program like this and I say why wouldn’t they.It’s nothing out of their pocket and would only increase their business as the industry grows.

  6. Anonymous

    The milk moustache campaign is always brought up as an example when this kind of initiative is spoken about. Are there any sales reports available for both before and after the campaign? I can also think of pork (the other white meat), beef (it’s what’s for dinner) and something with eggs, but what are the effects or results of these, in comparison to the costs?

  7. Anonymous

    The GOT MILK?® advertising campaign was launched in 1994 and by 1996 it had achieved a 91 percent awareness rating.

    Since then, it has leveled off at about 90 percent. They spent a lot of money. They did a lot of work. The Board expected that kind of success rate and they were right to expect it.

    Reaching a 91 percent awareness rate was not really the big accomplishment. When the Board hired the PR firm, milk consumption was declining by about two to three percent per year due to the proliferation of beverage products on the market and a tremendous surge of out-of-home eating. The GOT MILK?® advertising campaigned kicked into gear in 1994 and, as expected, the rate of consumption leveled off. If it had continued to decrease at two to three percent per year, demand would have gone down cumulatively by hundreds of millions of gallons. So, the campaign didn’t drive sales up. What it did was stop the hemorrhaging in the face of competition from Coke, Pepsi, Snapple, Gatorade, Evian – a whole slew of competitors with deeper pockets.

    The magic of GOT MILK?® is that it became part of the vernacular of this country. It has evolved far beyond an advertising campaign. Folks treat GOT MILK?® as a brand, just like Wells Fargo, Nike or Coca-Cola. The expression of GOT MILK?® will change over time, but it’s not longer a jingle or a campaign. It is the dairy industry’s brand.

    People don’t buy name brand milk. If you ask the average person what brand of milk he buys, he’ll say “two percent”. So to that extent, GOT MILK?® has become the brand name for milk in the United States.

    [comments above from another website]

    A lot has changed since 1996.

    Consider this:
    We are on the verge of a ‘Mobile Media’ explosion.

    Steve

  8. Anonymous

    The public already knew how to drink milk. They knew all the utensils needed to properly consume the beverage. Before the GOT MILK campaign there wasn’t a direction label on the side of a gallon jug nor do we have one now.

    If I ever had to sell my wholesale greenhouse operation, it would be a long tough endeavor to find a buyer. Basically because our industry requires a lot of hard and dedicated energy. Much more than the majority of people are willing to invest for their return. Someones own garden is much of the same way. We don’t need a Las Vegas glitter show to have the public buying more plants. Our product can sell itself. The main issue is people don’t know how to properly use our products. In the past, the end user has invested hard earned money only to have their plantings fail. They plant in the wrong location or environment. Fail to amend planting beds. No one likes to fail and ultimately you will quit hitting yourself in the head with a hammer and keep your money in your pocket. A tiny tag in a pot can not begin to explain on how to properly use the product. Not to mention when to introduce the plants into the environments. What we need is more personal interaction with the end purchaser. Educate the customer. All we can do, as sellers of product, is give the end user the best chance to succeed. Remove their fear of purchasing and restore their confidence. If you don’t take care of the core issue first you can not make gardening work more attractive. Then think about your flower mustache campaign.