5 Rules for Creating a Lifetime of Outdoor Garden Memories

Marshall Dirks, Proven Winners
Marshall Dirks, Proven Winners

According to a Google Consumer Survey, more than half of the Americans (54.7%) took fewer than five vacation days in 2016. As a result, Americans are spending more time at home and want to get more out of their outdoor living areas. We’ve witnessed an explosion of outdoor kitchens, patio gardens, fire pits, and expanded-seating areas. The power of suggestion, inspiration, and ideas will continue to drive this growing trend, which will help our customers create enjoyable gardens and memorable gardening experiences.

Here are a few simple rules to help attract customers to the products and services you offer to create these gardening experiences and locations.

Rule No. 1: Be Realistic

Customers most important asset is time, not money, so be realistic about the investment of both. Offer two price categories — do-it-yourself or done. Many customers lack either the time or the expertise to create their spaces. A pricing structure for installed or ready-to-go items, including plants, not just patios and grills, is needed for many products as time and experiences are more important to aging customers and new ones alike.

Rule No. 2: Demonstrate Inspiration

There is a reason Crate & Barrel sets the tables in its stores. It’s not that its customers are unaware of how to set a table; rather it gives Crate & Barrel the opportunity to sell other items. Make a list of all the items you can offer to consumers to help create space for memorable gardening moments. This could be products such as flowers, water timers, or self-watering containers.

Rule No. 3: Keep It Simple

You can establish simplicity through the replication of a plant type, container style, color, or material (e.g., metal, wood, plastic, brick, cement). Helping a time-strapped customer choose their style — French country, rustic, retro, repurposed, etc. — along with their favorite flower/foliage color, will begin to narrow the immense number of options available to them.

Every year Pantone announces a Color of the Year and complementary color palette. Lucky for all of us, the 2018 Color of the Year is a purple hue. Purple has been the No. 1 flower color with consumers for the past 18 years. That’s an easy place to start creating trendy displays, especially since Pantone colors can provide you with fresh inspiration each season.

Rule No. 4: Define Scope

New projects can be overwhelming, and many consumers are not able to visualize or afford an entire transformation. Just helping a customer get started is a huge accomplishment. Making your customers aware of your experts and advertising your services in the store lets them know you’re ready to meet their needs.

Rule No. 5: Mutual Understanding

Customers have a different style and purpose for their gardens. Whatever your customer wants to create, you have the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and acknowledge their style and purpose as they seek to create memories in the garden.

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