2 Technologies That Keep Consumers Engaged

Laura Drotleff

The Burpee Home Garden Coach

With increasing food prices and a trend toward consumers growing their own vegetables, Ball Horticultural Co. wanted to cultivate the consumer’s success by helping gardeners enjoy the literal fruits of their labor. Through Burpee Home Garden Coach, Ball’s veggie-growing division discovered the secret to winning: constant, consistent management.

“To make today’s gardeners more successful, we can’t abandon them as soon as they purchase the plant,” says Diane Hund, Ball’s director of marketing. “Once we knew that, we simply had to choose the delivery vehicle. We had all of the information online, but that requires the user to sift through pages to find the right data. By knowing a bit about the consumer–where they live, what they planted and when–we can send fairly specific information that will increase their success. Texting is simply the most up-to-date way to deliver the information.”

Burpee debuted its Burpee Home Garden Coach last spring. With hopes to have a few hundred “trainees,” the program ended up with several thousand, sending more than 67,000 tips to the collective group. More than 75 percent of trainees used the program through the whole summer.

Data from the National Gardening Association shows that gardening as a household activity continues to decline. Recognizing a need to continue re-marketing products and solutions in a way that speaks to today’s and tomorrow’s consumer, Hund says Ball is dedicated to the task of growing the next generation of gardeners.

“We think today’s gardener needs information and inspiration to be successful,” Hund says. “Our efforts are tailored to ensure they get these two things at three critical times–before they shop, when they shop and when they are gardening. Our digital, advertising and PR efforts help the consumer know what to buy and where to shop. Once in the store, we have inspirational POP and information-rich QR codes on the tags. The garden coach is just one way to help them once they start to garden.”

BloomIQ.com

SINCE launching BloomIQ.com in 2010, the John Henry Company’s online plant selection and garden design resource has become a go-to gardening website, with plans to expand beyond the U.S. market.

Until recently, it was virtually impossible to fit everything a gardener needs to know onto plant tags. Still, inspiration, design ideas and a gardening knowledge have been lacking where customers need them most–in the garden center.

John Henry recognized the opportunity to provide inspiration, ideas and knowledge with the launch of its QR code program in August 2010. The company partnered with AllRecipes.com as a way to turn plants into ingredients, and ingredients into a meal. John Henry then took this concept to the next level and created a free consumer website, BloomIQ.com, where gardeners can go for inspiration, information and ideas.

The goal with BloomIQ is to inspire gardeners and make them feel more confident about their choices and relaxed about gardening. BloomIQ provides garden collections with simple recipes using six or fewer varieties.

John Henry helps gardeners select companion plants by offering three options for every plant they can look up when they are in the garden center.

BloomIQ regularly surveys gardeners and tailors content to be relevant and responsive to their needs. It leverages site analytics to spot trends in plants, collections and articles, and informs growers of these trends so they can better market their plants around gardening themes or solutions.

Leave a Reply

More From Greenhouse Grower's GROW...
CareerUp

December 27, 2017

How CareerUp Helps Young Professionals Level-Up

The mission of CareerUp is to equip young professionals with the skills to maximize their career potential.

Read More
Nathan-Nordstedt-in-the-Greenhouse-feature

December 26, 2017

Richard T. Meister Scholarship Winner Encourages Industry to Offer Young People New Opportunities

This year’s scholarship winner says young people need experiences that challenge them and allow for creativity and innovation.

Read More
GROW

December 21, 2017

Greenhouse Grower’s GROW Initiative: How You Made a Difference in 2017

To create a competitive advantage, you must consistently experiment with and learn from new ideas. Greenhouse Grower’s GROW initiative provides you with cutting-edge ideas and actionable advice that results in greater profits in everyone’s pocket.

Read More
Latest Stories
CareerUp

December 27, 2017

How CareerUp Helps Young Professionals Level-Up

The mission of CareerUp is to equip young professionals with the skills to maximize their career potential.

Read More
Nathan-Nordstedt-in-the-Greenhouse-feature

December 26, 2017

Richard T. Meister Scholarship Winner Encourages Indust…

This year’s scholarship winner says young people need experiences that challenge them and allow for creativity and innovation.

Read More
GROW

December 21, 2017

Greenhouse Grower’s GROW Initiative: How You Made…

To create a competitive advantage, you must consistently experiment with and learn from new ideas. Greenhouse Grower’s GROW initiative provides you with cutting-edge ideas and actionable advice that results in greater profits in everyone’s pocket.

Read More

December 15, 2017

Your AFE Donations Will Be Matched Between Now and the …

Between now and December 1, any donations made to the American Floral Endowment will be matched up to $20,000.

Read More
HortScholars

December 8, 2017

HortScholars Program Now Accepting Applications for 201…

Do you know any college students currently in a horticulture-related program? This unique program gives them a chance to connect with industry leaders and make new connections at Cultivate.

Read More
GROW-Summit-2017-Group-Photo

December 5, 2017

GROW Summit 2017 Tackles Marketing and Business Managem…

This year’s think-tank style event brought together leaders from across the green industry to deliberate on topics such as disruptive marketing, cost accounting, and Millennials, to name a few.

Read More
Photo-with-Endless-Summer-Hydrangea

November 27, 2017

Why It’s Important to Get to Know Consumers at th…

One way to learn about consumer behavior is to get boots on the ground and engage with them.

Read More
Seed-Your-Future-feature

November 9, 2017

Dümmen Orange Throws Support Behind Seed Your Future In…

Dümmen Orange has announced it will pledge $450,000 over the next three years to Seed Your Future, the non-profit organization whose mission is to promote horticulture in the U.S. and inspire people to pursue careers working with plants.

Read More

November 1, 2017

Thanks to the 2018 GROW Sponsors

There are a number of industry organizations that help make Greenhouse Grower’s GROW Initiative a success.

Read More
Marshall Dirks, Proven Winners

October 28, 2017

5 Rules for Creating a Lifetime of Outdoor Garden Memor…

Many customers are time starved. Their most important asset is time, not money, so be realistic about the investment of both when they are buying plants.

Read More
Living Umbrellas

October 25, 2017

Why Living Umbrellas May Have a Bright Future

Sometimes innovation strikes by chance. Such was the case with David Tilley, developer of the “Living Umbrella.”

Read More
Luxflora Paris Trip

October 20, 2017

Luxflora Paris Trip Offers Insights on Trends Shaping H…

Each year, Luxflora hosts an international trip that allows participants to gain insights on trends and gather inspiration that ultimately will shape and support our industry in many ways. This year’s event took the group to Maison & Objet and Design Week in the City of Lights – Paris, France.

Read More
Steve Garvey, Dallas Johnson Greenhouses

September 23, 2017

Producing Quality Plants in the Greenhouse Starts From …

It's common for growers to make mistakes. What you learn from those mistakes is what sets you apart as a grower and where quality starts.

Read More
Quality in the Greenhouse

September 21, 2017

Two Head Growers and a Retail Live Goods Buyer Talk Bes…

Ultimately, the quality of the plants you grow will be responsible for the success of the consumer, and consumer success will ideally translate to repeat sales. That’s why quality must be a top priority for all growers, according to Brad Julian, a Live Goods Buyer for Lowe’s Home Improvement, and Head Growers Dennis Crum of Four Star Greenhouse and Joe Moore of Lucas Greenhouses.

Read More
Jan Gulley, Gulley Greenhouses

August 25, 2017

Why It’s Important to Educate and Engage the New Hortic…

Young adults entering the workforce have more professional choices than ever before, and many want to work in environments in which their work has a clear purpose for both the organization and society at large.

Read More
Seed Your Future feature

July 26, 2017

Seed Your Future Aims to Inspire Careers in Plants

Who will be the next generation of horticulturists? The answer lies in helping to change the perception of horticulture and using contemporary new language to tell our stories.

Read More
Albert Grimm, Jefferys Greenhouses

July 8, 2017

How You Can Use Lifestyle Marketing to Sell Plants

Should we be trying to educate consumers into loving what we like to produce, or should we allow consumers to educate us into producing what they love?

Read More
Metrolina Make a Wish Greenhouse

July 7, 2017

Metrolina Builds, Decorates Greenhouse for Young Cancer…

When Michael VanWingerden and his wife Courtney heard through their work with the Make-A-Wish foundation that 11-year-old Jason wanted a greenhouse to grow vegetables in, they knew Metrolina Greenhouses could help.

Read More