Consumer Trends Garden Retailers Can Leverage In 2016

Greenhouse Grower RETAILING‘s editors have looked at the various trends from top publications, from Forbes to House Beautiful to Trendwatching. We’ve noticed there are quite a few ideas retailers can glean from these 2016 predictions. Here are our favorites:

A Different Type Of Status

guerrilla gardening in Glasgow
Guerrilla gardening in Glasgow

Keeping up with the Joneses has a different twist in 2016, according to TrendWatching.com. It’s not as much about what you own as it is about if you deserve what you own. Instead of using brands to declare your worthines, TrendWatching.com says, you prove through your actions that you are worthy of the brand. One of the “loyalty tests” TrendWatching.com presents is how Lee Jeans challenged fans to test the heat retention of its new jeans in extreme conditions.

That kind of role reversal seems to give brands a bit too much credit, but I think they’re onto something here. At the heart of this trend, brands are calling on consumers to demonstrate how their lifestyles is authentically in line with their core image.

If you take this idea one step further, what I think brands are trying to do is show that they are aligned with what the consumer cares about. It tells consumers that there’s an authentic alignment between the brand and themselves. If a brand can spur consumer activity that allows them to show what they care about, that is a powerful step in building loyalty. And that idea has a lot of potential.

For garden stores, there are a lot of ways to tap into a consumers’ desire for an authentic experience. It can be a more sanctioned version of guerrilla gardening, where participants add beauty to neglected public spaces by planting healthy plants. Or it can be adopting elderly homeowners who love gardening but aren’t able to so as much as they want. Authenticity reveals the inner person and purpose. Luckily for plant sellers, plants have a deeply important inner purpose: renewal and growth.

Monthly Clubs

This retail concept has been popular for years, and is most commonly used by fashion and food brands. But it’s now invading decor.

House Beautiful named these e-clubs as one of the biggest trends for 2016. It highlighted Bouqs.com as an example. For a monthly fee, consumers can have “sustainably grown, artful” bouquets of flowers delivered, along with “ethically sourced” imports.

This idea doesn’t have to be limited to online services. Over the past few years, garden shops have offered more and more at-home services, from refreshing container gardens to decorating at Christmas. Imagine all you can do with a monthly-subscription club. It can be as simple as delivering plants or container gardens along a theme — kitchen herbs intended to be consumed within a month, an orchid of the month, patio plants, living centerpieces, and on and on.

Or it could be a at-home activity, such as monthly garden coaching or hosting a make-and-take container class for your customer and up to 10 of her friends.

This idea gives a different slant to garden clubs, doesn’t it?

outdoor office free useWorking From Home

Is having a home office a trend or just a fact of modern life?

Either way, many people struggle to create a space that inspires them to their best work performance. During good weather, an outdoor office fits that bill. Consider creating displays that shows how home commuters can realistically set up a workspace on their patios — stock shades designed for laptops (and umbrellas for the entire desk/table), waterproof pouches designed for phones and laptops in case of unexpected rain showers, and plenty of desk plants to offer a shot of serenity. If you need inspiration for how your customers can use their gardens for work, check out sites like PC World, and The Wire.

Pantone Colors of 2016

Pantone announced that a light pink and a light blue will be the colors of 2016. Creating designs around those colors should be easy to achieve, considering how many flower colors could be called rose quartz and serenity (Pantone’s name for the two shades). Check out Greenhouse Grower’s photo gallery about new plants with those two colors.

Blue and White Pottery

House Beautiful also predicts that blue and white Delft ware will be hot in 2016. If so, begin plotting how to cross merchandise any of your blue and white containers with your other goods. Don’t stop with the obvious cobalt blue and white items, bring in contrasting colors like orange and yellow. And remember this trend when buying inventory over the next few years. Eric Cortina, creative director at Roger’s Gardens, once said that even though a trend is over and he is no longer stocking items that reflect that trend, his customers still have those items at home. And so he makes sure he offers products that will tie in to their home decor.

Our Own Predictions

boy planting vegetables in garden free domainTap into a deep desire to get back outside. After three years of consumer research through the 10% Project, we’ve learned that everyone, no matter their own personal interest levels, want kids to spend more time outside. There’s a growing alarm about kids being too consumed by electronics and not spending time in nature.

The concern is a natural outcome when you consider how popular locally grown food is and how often the romance of being in nature is used to promote brands. And parents desperately want their children to understand where food comes from and to find some unstructured time to simply play.

Garden retailers are the ideal stores to help parents with this goal. Consider making helping parents unplug their kids a major marketing campaign this year. Create classes, videos and social media campaigns around this concept. You can help can do a great deal to lure kids (and their parents) back outdoors.

Offer an anecdote to election-year burnout. Local plant businesses can offer sanity in what is guaranteed to be an ugly year. Off er your customers a way to truly make a difference in the community. Since you are plugged in so deeply in your town, you can identify what the community needs most — food gardens in poor neighborhoods, fundraisers that allow low-income parents access to free child care or any other community-improvement projects you know is needed. Everyone is already tired of all the anger and outrage being generated by politics. You are uniquely positioned to help your town do something positive

 

Leave a Reply

More From Retailing...
Cordyline Candy Cane (Excelsa Gardens, Inc.)

November 14, 2017

Garden-Retailers Pick Their Favorite Products From The Landscape Show

Grower-retailers have once again named their favorite new products, this time as part of the Cool Product Awards at The Landscape Show 2017 in Orlando, FL. Awards were presented to 12 companies, representing 14 products.

Read More
Ian Baldwin

September 26, 2017

Gardening Industry Not Recovering as Much From Recent Recession as in Past

In his latest blog posting, garden retail industry consultant Ian Baldwin says changing consumer demographics mean that, unlike past indicators, the garden business hasn’t surged after a recession — and it’s not going to under the current model.

Read More
Hydrangea mac. Fire Island (Monrovia Nursery)

September 19, 2017

Grower-Retailers Pick Their Favorites From Farwest 2017

Members of The Garden Center Group once again named their top selections in both live and hard goods for the Retailers’ Choice Awards at Farwest 2017.

Read More
Latest Stories
Cordyline Candy Cane (Excelsa Gardens, Inc.)

November 14, 2017

Garden-Retailers Pick Their Favorite Products From The …

Grower-retailers have once again named their favorite new products, this time as part of the Cool Product Awards at The Landscape Show 2017 in Orlando, FL. Awards were presented to 12 companies, representing 14 products.

Read More
Ian Baldwin

September 26, 2017

Gardening Industry Not Recovering as Much From Recent R…

In his latest blog posting, garden retail industry consultant Ian Baldwin says changing consumer demographics mean that, unlike past indicators, the garden business hasn’t surged after a recession — and it’s not going to under the current model.

Read More
Hydrangea mac. Fire Island (Monrovia Nursery)

September 19, 2017

Grower-Retailers Pick Their Favorites From Farwest 2017

Members of The Garden Center Group once again named their top selections in both live and hard goods for the Retailers’ Choice Awards at Farwest 2017.

Read More
Trends Slide - No Logo

September 12, 2017

Garden Media Group’s 2018 Trends Report Highlights Natu…

This year’s Garden Trends report offers seven trends that you can use to inspire mental wellness. Take a look to see how many trends you’re already using to connect with your customers.

Read More
GCA Bathroom Winner Wingards Market 1

September 8, 2017

Garden Centers of America Announces Best Bathroom Award…

If you’re a grower-retailer, your restroom may end up being the most important part of your customers’ experience. Find out the big winners of this year’s Garden Centers of America’s Best Bathroom Awards.

Read More

August 29, 2017

7 Popular Retail Trends from the 2017 IGC Show

Almost every type of retail garden product imaginable filled the booths on the tradeshow floor at the 2017 IGC Show held in August in Chicago, from pots and containers to garden tools, patio furniture, and decorative items. Here are seven gardening and product trends that stood out at the show.

Read More

August 21, 2017

50 Cool Products on Display at the 2017 IGC Show

Check out these cool products vendors showed off at the 2017 IGC Show on the Navy Pier in Chicago, August 15-17.

Read More
griffin-expo

August 15, 2017

Griffin Becomes Newest Distributor for Master Nursery G…

The agreement allows Griffin to join Master Nursery’s network of more than 150 supplier partners, while giving Master Nursery access to new product and service options for member businesses in the Midwest, Rocky Mountain, and Pacific Northwest regions.

Read More
Decorative Premium Hanging Baskets (Ainong USA)

July 25, 2017

16 Products That Garden Retailers Loved at Cultivate’17

In what has become an annual tradition at Cultivate, a team of garden retailers presented awards for their picks as the best new products (both live goods and hard goods) from Cultivate’17.

Read More

July 11, 2017

Grower-Retailers Invited to Help Pick Their Favorite Pr…

The Garden Center Group is inviting grower-retailers to join them on their quest to highlight the best new retail products on display at Cultivate’17.

Read More
Hort Couture Farm to Table Display

July 7, 2017

New Marketing and Retail Display Ideas to Boost Your P…

Innovative marketing displays and retail concepts at California Spring Trials 2017, inspired by popular consumer trends and the need to encourage consumer success, overflowed with exciting new ways to promote plants.

Read More

June 19, 2017

IGC Show Features Talks on How to Cash in on the Buy Lo…

This year’s event, which takes place Aug. 15-17 in Chicago, also includes a free workshop on what you might do when starting your business over from scratch.

Read More
Robert O'Neill

May 11, 2017

Former SEAL Team Six Leader to Address Attendees at IGC…

Robert O’Neill is a highly decorated combat veterans and the author of the just-published memoir, “The Operator: Firing the Shots That Killed Osama bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior.”

Read More

April 24, 2017

Ian Baldwin Offers Examples From Grower-Retailers on Pr…

In March, Baldwin wrote a blog advising grower-retailers to consider raising their prices this spring. The post inspired a number of creative suggestions.

Read More
Ian Baldwin

March 31, 2017

Ian Baldwin: Aim High With Your Pricing This Spring

In his latest blog posting, the garden retail consultant says consumers are spending more today, which means it’s a good time to consider raising your prices.

Read More
GCA Summer Tour 2017 Andersons Newport Beach

March 23, 2017

Garden Centers of America Unveils Stops on Its Summer T…

Registration for the event, which includes visits to several garden centers each with their own unique highlights, is now open.

Read More
MSU Guide To Attracting Pollinators

March 9, 2017

New Guide on Bee-Friendly Plants Available From Horticu…

The guide is designed to help grower-retailers educate and motivate their customers to purchase and plant pollinator-friendly materials.

Read More
Grapevine Balls, Glass House, and Galvanized Dish Gardens (Flori-Design, Inc.)

March 6, 2017

Cool Product Awards from Garden Retailers Announced at …

This year’s Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition (TPIE) once again served as a great spot for the Cool Product Awards, an annual collaboration between TPIE, Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association, and The Garden Center Group.

Read More