“That’s Hot”

"That's Hot"

That is exactly where Takao Nursery found its inspiration for marketing Garden Bloomers perennials. The brand was added to the young plant grower’s name (Garden Bloomers Takao Nursery) in 2000, when the nursery set out to “create an identity for the nursery that would be both universal and appeal to all, and was also to be used by other growers and retailers to market our product,” says Lisa Takao, creative director and eldest child of co-owners Danny and Renu Takao.

When 27-year-old Lisa and her siblings Emily and Aaron went to their parents and told them they needed to do something different to target up and coming gardeners, Danny and Renu gave them creative liberty to take their ideas to the next level. 

Keeping It Real

The results have been, in a word, fabulous. In 2006, the operation released its first consumer marketing-oriented catalog, distinctly different from any catalog growers might expect to receive from a young plant grower. The catalog, titled “fleur*, the magazine about plant fashion,” used props like expensive handbags and cosmetics in its “Style Guide” to illustrate the color and beauty of plants to inspire growers to think more creatively in marketing plants to young consumers. It also featured gardening and marketing articles to really drive home where Gen Y’s interests lie.

“As a Gen Y’er I know that marketing toward the next generation is something the industry is lacking. The next generation will be the consumers of the future and we need to be able to appeal to them,” Lisa says. “I wanted to create a catalog that would do just that–interest younger viewers while still focusing on plants and showing them how to appreciate and easily incorporate them into their everyday lives. I hope it shows others that it’s okay to step out of the box and that there are all sorts of different ways to showcase plants.”

The 2007-2008 catalog, “Cultivating Life” followed up on the previous year’s success. The title, also the company’s new tagline helps to highlight Garden Bloomers Takao Nursery’s mission to connect with customers through an innovative approach.

“To us, the company is about more than just growing plants; we want to create lasting relationships within and outside of the company because the business is such a big part of our lives,” Lisa says.

The catalog took off on this idea, with Lisa hitting the streets to present random people with plants and then interview each those people about how they felt when presented with the plant and what they planned on doing with it.

“In everything we do, we try to maintain a feeling of lightheartedness and we aim to create a personal connection with the viewer,” Lisa says. “In addition to selling a product, we’re selling an image, an emotion, an idea. We want to evoke a response from the viewer and we want them to feel engaged in the catalog. I think a personal connection is necessary for the next generation of consumers–whether it makes them laugh or smile or annoys them or makes them think twice, it needs to make them react in some way in order to be remembered and to evoke a response.”

Defining Generation Y

– Gen Y is made up of those born between 1977-2002, according to its broadest definition, making this group 70 million strong and growing.
–They are the largest demographic group since the Baby Boomers and will soon also rival it in buying clout.
–Although many in the Y generation are still young, they have an annual income totaling $211 billion.
–This generation spends $172 billion per year and drives many adult purchasing decisions.

Source: “Generation Why?” by Lisa Takao, Garden Bloomers Takao Nursery’s Fleur Fashion catalog, 2006-2007

Moveable, Fashionable, Easy Impulse

So why exactly is a plant propagator so interested in marketing to the end consumer? While Garden Bloomers Takao Nursery is far removed from the retail side of the industry, and doesn’t provide marketing or merchandising materials beyond plant tags, the operation’s plants are sold nationwide and demand has increased over the years. And, well, the folks at Takao would like to see that continue.

“If we don’t begin to work toward the goal of attracting younger buyers, our current target market is going to continue to age and eventually decline,” Lisa says. “We can’t market to the same demographic forever–if we don’t show the next generation the value of plants now, how can we expect them to value them in the future? These are our future consumers and we need to be able to appeal to them.”

Garden Bloomers Takao Nursery, through its catalogs and Web site, www.gardenbloomers.com, is hoping its industry customers will pick up on some of the ideas presented to them and cultivate new gardeners for the good of the industry.

“Gardening to the Gen Y lifestyle needs to be easier, more compact, movable; we should offer more in terms of things like container gardening, self-watering pots and indoor garden options,” Lisa says. “The next generation wants more than a nice plant. We need to show all that a plant can be by selling it in a nice pot or as a combo set or with how-to kits. It should be a very straightforward and easy buy.”

Some ideas she offers are showing consumers how to improve the look (stylish pot) and feel of their offices and homes (cleaner air), and how a plant can be a great gift, too, by selling a low-maintenance plant in a trendy leopard print pot with matching notecards, for instance.

“It’s all about presentation! For the younger generation, a lot of the value is in perception,” Lisa says. “Package it nice and they’ll find the value in it–put the same plant in a plain plastic pot and it will not be as enticing, even if it is priced lower.”

By the same token, playing to Gen Y’s weakness for easy-buy impulse items could really help the industry, Lisa adds.

“Gen Y’ers don’t expect or want things to last forever,” she says. “Younger consumers are always on to new trends and what’s ‘hot.’ What’s popular now could be so ‘played out’ by the end of next week–trends are constantly changing.”

Leave a Reply

More From Marketing...
Petal-it-Forward

October 3, 2017

October 11 is Your Chance to Petal it Forward

The Society of American Florists’ “Petal it Forward” campaign returns in 2017. Learn how you can participate in this day of spreading kindness through flowers.

Read More
Micandy Gardens Team

September 17, 2017

4 Ways Micandy Gardens Greenhouses Reaches Out to Millennials

Micandy leverages social media to get the word out about its products and spread the word about how flowers can make a difference in people’s lives.

Read More
Costa Farms Exotic Angel Idea Book

September 12, 2017

Costa Farms’ New Lookbook Offers Consumers Ideas on Best Plants for the Home

The new “Bring Your Home to Life” lookbook is a curated collection of more than 300 unique plant varieties best suited to grow in homes and offices.

Read More
Latest Stories
Petal-it-Forward

October 3, 2017

October 11 is Your Chance to Petal it Forward

The Society of American Florists’ “Petal it Forward” campaign returns in 2017. Learn how you can participate in this day of spreading kindness through flowers.

Read More
Micandy Gardens Team

September 17, 2017

4 Ways Micandy Gardens Greenhouses Reaches Out to Mill…

Micandy leverages social media to get the word out about its products and spread the word about how flowers can make a difference in people’s lives.

Read More
Costa Farms Exotic Angel Idea Book

September 12, 2017

Costa Farms’ New Lookbook Offers Consumers Ideas on Bes…

The new “Bring Your Home to Life” lookbook is a curated collection of more than 300 unique plant varieties best suited to grow in homes and offices.

Read More
Certified American Grown Flowers

September 5, 2017

Certified American Grown Flowers Names New Third-Party …

The organization’s new partnership with Where Food Comes From Inc., an agriculture-focused certification company with more than 20 years of experience, will be launched via video conference on September 14.

Read More
Container Gardening

September 5, 2017

14 Consumer Gardening Trends That Have Stood the Test o…

In early September, the Garden Media Group will unveil its 2018 Garden Trends report. To whet your appetite, here’s a look back at several trends that remain relevant today.

Read More

August 29, 2017

Know Your Grower: New Platform Brings Consumer Transpar…

The new Follow Your Flower or Plant vignette from MPS allows consumers to learn all about the producers of the plants and flowers they see at retail, and how sustainably their products are grown.

Read More
green-plan-it-gardening-outdoor-nature-explore-classroom

August 29, 2017

First-Of-Its-Kind Federal Grant Designed to Stimulate C…

The National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture has received a USDA grant to help develop strategies and tactics to grow the practice of gardening 20% by 2025.

Read More
Luxfloraflowerrun17

July 20, 2017

Luxflora Attracted Even More Participation to its Secon…

More than 170 runners kicked off Cultivate'16 on Sunday, July 16, with Luxflora's second annual 5k race. It was a great way to start the week, participants said.

Read More
National Garden Bureau 2018 Year of the Calibrachoa

July 15, 2017

National Garden Bureau Announces Featured Plants for it…

Plant classes recognized include bulb crops (tulip), annuals (calibrachoa), vegetables/edibles (beet), and perennials (coreopsis).

Read More
cut flower arrangement

July 5, 2017

Congress Designates July as American Grown Flowers Mont…

Last week, Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-24) introduced a bipartisan resolution designating July as “American Grown Flowers Month.” Co-sponsored by Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler (WA-03), Rep. Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Rep. Duncan Hunter (CA-50), Rep. Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Rep. Don Young (AK-1), Rep. Jared Huffman (CA-02), and Rep. Darrell Issa (CA-49), House Resolution 413 declares July as the month to celebrate the economic and cultural impact of America’s cut flower and greens farmers and demonstrate Congress’ commitment to support America’s flower farming families. Congressman Carbajal spoke from the House Floor, introducing the legislation and encouraging fellow members of Congress to support American Grown Flowers Month. “I have seen firsthand the value the grown flower industry adds to our economy and communities during my visits with our Central Coast growers,” said Rep. Carbajal. “California produces three quarters of all cut flowers grown in the United States. I am committed to recognizing their contribution […]

Read More
PlantHaven Team 2017

July 2, 2017

PlantHaven Wins Medal of Excellence Award for Marketing

After 20 years of making the world a more vibrant, colorful place, PlantHaven wins Greenhouse Grower’s Medal of Excellence Award for Marketing for its groundbreaking ability to connect breeders, growers, and consumers through personable advertising campaigns.

Read More

June 1, 2017

Reimagining a Brand: How Did We Do With Greenhouse Grow…

Changing the design and content strategy of a brand isn't easy, but we think the new Greenhouse Grower will help carry our innovative industry forward and allow us to better serve your information needs.

Read More
NICH Plants Do That infographic feature

April 11, 2017

New Infographic Highlights Economic Impact of Plants

A new report from the National Institute for Consumer Horticulture shows how horticulture positively affects people’s lives wherever they live, work, shop, and play.

Read More
National Garden Bureau New Website

March 22, 2017

National Garden Bureau’s New Website Features Mobile-Fr…

The new site is designed to serve as a home base to drive traffic from NGB’s social media community to one central location.

Read More

March 7, 2017

Local Florists Celebrate Women’s Day and SAF Prom…

Florists across the U.S. are celebrating International Women's Day, March 8, and raising awareness for non-profit organizations. The Society of American Florists is raising its own awareness of what happens when women receive flowers with a new video for International Women's Day.

Read More
Savor New Website

February 16, 2017

Pleasant View Launches Updated Website for its Savor Ed…

The site is designed to offer a friendly and informative vehicle that delivers product information in an easy-to-navigate format.

Read More

January 24, 2017

Beekenkamp Plants B.V. to Take Over Marketing Sunny Ost…

Beekenkamp Plants B.V. will take over Sunny Holland B.V.'s marketing activities as of July 1, 2017, and begin offering Sunny Osteospermum to the supply chain.

Read More
gg-january-2017-cover-arizonaeast-feature

January 5, 2017

Why ArizonaEast Is Expanding Its Succulent Production T…

In Greenhouse Grower's January cover story, learn how Brian and Joe Vitale of ArizonaEast saw a chance to expand and diversify their New Jersey-based succulent operation, and why they jumped at the opportunity.

Read More