New & Improved: Old-Fashioned Buzzwords Still Motivate Consumers

New verbena for 2017 from Selecta FEATURE
New verbena for 2017 from Selecta

Connecting with today’s time-starved consumer can be challenging. More things are competing for people’s time, attention and income than ever before. How can you break through all of these distractions to drive sales in your store?

The answer may be surprising. It’s simple, it doesn’t cost much in time or money, and the results can contribute significantly to your bottom line. It’s two little words: “new” and “improved.”

In a recent Greenhouse Grower column, Dr. Allan Armitage wrote, “’New’ is our lifeline. We had better understand that newness is the horse under our saddle. If it stops moving, so do we.”

The idea may seem old-fashioned, but we shouldn’t turn our backs on the power of the words “new” and “improved” in our selling strategies. Even in today’s market, the consumer has a love affair with these important words. Look at Apple, and the platform they’ve built with each next-generation model of the iPhone: Each public launch seems to exceed expectations. The public craves the latest and greatest!

Here are four questions to consider as you look for ways to make “new” work for you:

Are you actively seeking out what’s new?

From plants to products, something new or improved is hitting the lawn-and-garden market every season. Plant breeders introduce hundreds of new varieties each year. Manufacturers bring new items and upgraded designs to market, to make the gardening experience easier, more efficient or more enjoyable.

When reviewing your product mix each season, take the time to consider some of these new plants and products. Today’s introduction could become tomorrow’s top seller!

How are you promoting the “next big thing” to your customers?

In-store signage is one of the most important tools in your promotional arsenal. Marketing experts have said that simple, new signage on a product can not only raise awareness for consumers, but provoke unplanned purchases at a higher margin, too!

In my travels over many years, I’ve seen the difference in sales between a patio set with a dangled price tag versus one with a placard sign introducing the set as new, describing benefits and offering some type of incentive or call to action. Good signage and retail communication skills are critical to driving interest and, ultimately, sales.

Are you taking advantage of the mobile-friendly tools available to you?

According to Nielsen’s Digital Consumer Report for 2014, retail locators are used by 75 percent of smartphone users. If you sell a product from a vendor who has an online dealer locator, make every effort to ensure your business is listed there. It’s free advertising!

Does your team have the gift of gab?

After seeing the California Spring Trials, I wondered how retailers would convey the benefits of new cultivars and how they perform in different regions. The stores who excel at promoting their new varieties utilize signage and other tools, sure, but they also engage their customers with good conversation! The most successful teams collaborated in planning, communicating and executing at the point of decision with regard to what was new in their store. The messages went far beyond the signage — and the price! These teams were promoting the “brand” which, in reality, is the store itself. This is where and how repeat customers are made.

As you head into the next selling season, take some time to review your purchases and consider what’s new in your offering. By utilizing the tools and tactics outlined here, you can show some love to both those products and your customers! You’ll be rewarded with a loyal customer who keeps coming back in search of what’s new. You may also be surprised to see that deep discounts weren’t necessary to seal the deal. Good selling!

John Johnston is Retail Education Manager at Griffin. He can be reached at jjohnston@griffinmail.com.

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