A national campaign for Women’s Day, March 8 — as a way to fill the sales valley between Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day — earned Sun Valley Floral Farms in Arcata, Calif., the title of Society of American Florists’ Floral Management 2014 Marketer of the Year.
The announcement was made, Friday, Aug. 15, during the Marketing Breakfast at SAF Marco Island 2014.
“This is not about Sun Valley,” President Lane DeVries, AAF, said in his acceptance speech. “This is about the American flower industry.”
Citing data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, DeVries told the audience that the industry’s share of the country’s gross domestic product has decreased by 43 percent in the past 24 years. Even countries with significantly smaller populations, such as Greece, Italy and Slovenia, all dwarf the U.S. in terms of flower consumption, he said.
“Folks, I don’t know about you, but this makes me edgy,” DeVries said. “As a floral community, we need to become less Valentine’s Day- and Mother’s Day-centric and look for more opportunities to drive sales.”
That conviction led DeVries to lead Sun Valley in its effort to build awareness and demand for Women’s Day, a holiday that actually began in 1909 in New York to celebrate women and their resilience in the face of adversity, but it never really took off in the U.S.
DeVries encouraged SAF attendees to jump on the Women’s Day train.
“It’s low hanging fruit,” he said. “Every one can participate because it doesn’t require any particular flower or even color. But the best attribute is that it is for 50 percent of the population, not just for mothers, wives, fiancées or girlfriends.”
In detailing Sun Valley’s Women’s Day campaign, Floral Management Editor-in-Chief Kate Penn said the Marketer of the Year judges were impressed “not only with the success of the campaign for Sun Valley, but the fact that, if it continues to grow, it stands to benefit the entire industry.”
As Marketer of the Year, Sun Valley received a $5,000 check from Design Master Color Tool, Inc., which has been a partner on the award since it began, in 1994. DeVries donated it to the SAF PR Fund with an earmark for Women’s Day promotions.
Source: Society of American Florists