Olson’s Greenhouse Uses Radio, Text Messages To Market

Olson's Greenhouse teams with Proven Winners to promote container gardening at Home Depots within its region.

The best ideas are sometimes the ones someone else comes up with. But just because the original idea isn’t yours, it doesn’t mean you can’t execute the idea better.

That’s the attitude Brian Lloyd, the vice president of sales and marketing at Olson’s Greenhouses, took when he further developed Containerfest, a one-day Home Depot event across stores in his region. Fred Meyer, a retail supermarket company and a Home Depot competitor, had been hosting a container planting event at its stores for years. Come early April, Fred Meyer customers would ritually line up with pots in hand and buy spring annuals that a grower vendor could plant into a beautiful spring container for them.

Lloyd saw the demand Fred Meyer was creating. His goal was to create the same demand at Home Depot stores where consumers could purchase his plants.

“There was always a long line for this, even if it was a rainy day,” says Lloyd, whose business is based in Utah. “Fred Meyer’s customers came to expect this, and so Fred Meyer had a pretty loyal following.”

Home Depot officially launched a container planting event in 2008, and all stores in the Pacific Northwest are involved in it today. But Lloyd has taken promotion of Containerfest a tad farther for his region, teaming up with Proven Winners to market the event on KSL, a newsradio station in Utah, during its Saturday morning Greenhouse Show the same day Containerfest takes place.

“We promote the event in all stores within earshot of the radio program,” Lloyd says. “So we have employees planting about 30 stores that day in Utah and Boise, [Idaho]. Other vendors do the same thing as far as the planting that takes place in our stores, but we’re the only ones who promote it during the event and during the planting.”

Over the show’s three morning hours, Olson’s Greenhouses and Proven Winners get nine one-minute announcements to discuss anything related to their businesses and brands with host and local garden celebrity Larry Sagers. Sagers takes gardening questions from callers the rest of the show.

“We don’t have a lot of footsteps on the day of the event, but the day we promote it we feel there’s a huge, immeasurable advantage,” Lloyd says. “Even if people don’t come into the store that day, they’re hearing our name, thinking about Home Depot for the gardening season and getting Olson’s and the Home Depot top of mind.”

Taking The Event A Step Further

One element Olson’s Greenhouses weaved into Containerfest last year was a texting campaign. “There’s a company that provides a service for us,” Lloyd says. “We would hand out a little flyer that read, ‘If you text this number, you can receive a free plant by showing us the confirmation the day of our event.”

Lloyd came across the idea when he ran through a drive-thru at a fast food restaurant. An advertisement indicated he could get a free sandwich if he texted a word to a particular number. Once Lloyd texted, he simply had to show his phone at the drive-thru window to get his free sandwich.
Lloyd then took what he learned from the fast food restaurant and applied it to his own business.

“Our card will say text the word ‘spring’ to a certain number right now to receive a free plant,” Lloyd says. “We probably gave away 300 or 400 plants at our container event. We gave away Proven Winners pots because they donated some of the material for it. With the campaign, we captured about 400 phone numbers.”

Now, whenever Lloyd wants to push out a message to those 400, he contacts the company that facilitated the texting campaign.

“We can send out very time-specific advertisements,” he says. “I can send it out to your market area with messages that read, ‘Home Depot just got fresh plants; brave the rain today and get one.’”

Topics:

Leave a Reply

More From Top 100 Growers...
Botany-Lane-Tropical

November 20, 2017

Botany Lane Greenhouses Announces Expansion Into Young Plants

Botany Lane, a producer of finished tropical plants, succulents, and specialty annuals in the Western U.S., recently announced it is expanding to provide young plants for growers and grower-retailers.

Read More
Damarys-Mora-Crawford-Costa-Farms

November 16, 2017

Costa Farms’ New Marketing Director Eager to Tap Into Changing Consumer Needs

In her new position, Damarys Mora Crawford will lead Costa Farms’ marketing team and create and execute strategic marketing initiatives to support continued sales growth for the company’s retail customers.

Read More
Speedling-Environmental-Award

November 9, 2017

Speedling Wins Environmental Leadership Award From Florida Ag Commissioner

Speedling has eight nurseries throughout the country and two in Florida, where moisture levels are carefully analyzed to improve performance and consistency of transplant operations.

Read More
Latest Stories
Botany-Lane-Tropical

November 20, 2017

Botany Lane Greenhouses Announces Expansion Into Young …

Botany Lane, a producer of finished tropical plants, succulents, and specialty annuals in the Western U.S., recently announced it is expanding to provide young plants for growers and grower-retailers.

Read More
Damarys-Mora-Crawford-Costa-Farms

November 16, 2017

Costa Farms’ New Marketing Director Eager to Tap Into C…

In her new position, Damarys Mora Crawford will lead Costa Farms’ marketing team and create and execute strategic marketing initiatives to support continued sales growth for the company’s retail customers.

Read More
Speedling-Environmental-Award

November 9, 2017

Speedling Wins Environmental Leadership Award From Flor…

Speedling has eight nurseries throughout the country and two in Florida, where moisture levels are carefully analyzed to improve performance and consistency of transplant operations.

Read More
Costa Farms Owners

August 1, 2017

Costa Farms Will Maintain Operations “the Costa Way” Wi…

The Miami, FL-based, Top 100 Grower operation announced an agreement for Markel to acquire a majority interest in Costa Farms and its related companies. But the operation will continue to be run by current leadership, with the partnership Markel offers to allow it to continue to grow.

Read More
ISO Cutting Machine

May 16, 2017

The Top 100 Growers are Investing in More Technology to…

Labor has traditionally been among growers’ most significant costs, but the continued rising costs and lack of available labor are currently two very heavy burdens that growers have to bear. As the labor supply dwindles, the Top 100 Growers discuss their next steps toward investing in technology to streamline efficiency at their respective operations.

Read More

May 16, 2017

The Top 100 Growers Speak Out on Changes Needed in Immi…

Opinions about the new administration’s approach to immigration reform vary widely among Greenhouse Grower‘s Top 100 Growers. Many say they are “very concerned” about the potential impact on agriculture’s guestworker programs. Others say the entire guestworker program needs to be overhauled to be simpler and easier to use for growers, and hope that this will be part of the reform efforts. And some seem to be generally in favor of the current methods. “I am in favor of securing the borders but want a simple system for legal residency.” — Dale Buist, Countryside Greenhouse and Farm Market “All this talk has made huge waves in the migrant labor workforce. Continuing this path will create an even greater shortage of employees willing to do our type of work.” — Mark Worley, Speedling, Inc. “[Trump] is only enforcing and not reforming. We will lose a lot of our best employees if this […]

Read More
2016 Top 100 Growers List

May 12, 2017

How the Top 100 Greenhouse Growers Tackle Managing Cost…

The country’s largest growers continue to strive to maintain a balance with price and costs while making sure they stand out from the competition.

Read More

May 8, 2017

Greenhouse Grower Top 100 Behind the Scenes: How (and W…

It’s more important than ever to have good data that allows us to accurately measure the size and scope of our industry.

Read More
2016 Top 100 Growers List

May 8, 2017

2017 Greenhouse Grower Top 100 Growers: The Complete Li…

Growth signifies a healthy industry, and indeed, several of Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Growers expanded their operations significantly between 2016 and 2017.

Read More

April 11, 2017

Jerry Halamuda of Color Spot Nurseries Retires

The co-founder of Color Spot Nurseries has retired, effective immediately, and has named a replacement.

Read More
2016 Top 100 Growers List

February 18, 2017

Top 100 Growers Survey for 2017 Is Now Open!

Operations with more than 400,000 square feet of environmentally controlled production are eligible to take the survey, which only takes a few minutes to complete.

Read More
Dan and Jerrys Greenhouse 1

February 17, 2017

Dan and Jerry’s Greenhouse Buys Iowa-Based DeJong Green…

The acquisition will allow Dan and Jerry’s, a bedding plant grower headquartered in Minnesota, to extend its seasonal product offerings and service a new customer base with local distribution.

Read More
Dallas Johnson

January 17, 2017

Dallas Johnson Greenhouses Owner Passes Away at 78

Dallas G. Johnson, who started the company in 1985, is survived by his wife, Kay, and two children.

Read More
Top 100 Breakfast Panel for 2016

July 19, 2016

Top 100 Growers Talk Labor, Automation, And Sustainabil…

More than 60 growers got up with the sun at Cultivate’16 to hear a four-person panel discuss hot topics such as labor, automation, and sustainability at Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Growers Breakfast, sponsored by BASF.

Read More
Costa Farms won International Grower of the Year. Representing the operation, (left to right) were Chuck Zala, Michael Vera, Menachem Ganon, Jose Costa, and Mike Rimland

May 24, 2016

AIPH Seeking Entries For Its International Grower of th…

The International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) is inviting ornamental growers from all around the world to enter the AIPH International Grower of the Year Awards (IGOTY) for 2017. Last year’s big winner was Florida-based Costa Farms.

Read More
Top 100 Drone Image Feature

May 16, 2016

Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Growers Talk Technolo…

The Top 100 Growers are already by nature some of the most technologically advanced greenhouse operations, due to their sheer size and need for efficiency. Many of the largest growers also serve big box merchandisers and home improvement chains, where prices are dictated, so producing plants at the lowest possible cost is essential to growers not only staying in business, but also profiting and expanding their operations. This year’s survey focused on the automation and technology the Top 100 Growers are investing in, and how these advancements have improved their operations, as well as how they have affected growers’ labor issues. We also asked growers about how they’re solving labor issues, where they’re recruiting new hires, and how they’re keeping their people committed. Lean management programs and sustainability certifications have become higher priorities in the past several years, due to growers’ needs to run efficiently and focus attention on sustainable […]

Read More
2016 Top 100 Growers With Drone

May 10, 2016

Reading The 2016 Greenhouse Grower Top 100 Ranki…

Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Growers survey reveals continued growth among the nation’s largest operations.

Read More
2016 Top 100 Growers List

May 10, 2016

2016 Greenhouse Grower Top 100 Growers: The Comp…

Check out the full list of Greenhouse Grower's 2016 Top 100 Growers, which includes nine newcomers and more growth in square footage at the top.

Read More