Yes, It’s More Talk About Change…

Are you sick of hearing about it lately – the whole national campaign idea and what not? Well, too bad – you need to hear more of it so it can saturate deep into your brain 🙂 …

Today I thought I’d share some opinions from people other than myself or someone that is related to me (you all read what my dad had to say)…Marc Higaki of Bay City Flower Company in Half Moon Bay sent his thoughts over to my dad after reading his article in Greenhouse Grower:

…I enjoyed reading your article…As a consumer who is a Gen X’er, I rarely purchase plants, and I’m immersed in the industry!  

You hit on some great topics and there is a need for a change in this industry. One particular quote I came across a few years back that has stuck with me – “People do not change because they see the light, they change because they feel the heat.” By reading your article I think you’re one of the few that “sees the light.” 

I don’t think this industry needs to reinvent the wheel, we just need to listen to our customer.  

I’m going to use Apple as an example…Apple (or Steve Jobs) did not invent the computer, the MP3 player, the phone, the tablet pc, or the retail store. But what he did do was make each one of those pieces extremely user friendly – easy to use. In fact those items do not include a user manual, that’s how easy they are to use. 

Apple ( S. Jobs) made them extremely appealing to everyone, not just to the tech geek, but to soccer moms as well.  He turned a boring computer and bland phones into the Mac and iPhone which are “sexy” and simple. And sexy and simple sells in the US – this we all know. 

As I have attended various SAF and OFA events/seminars over the last 6 years, I always hear, “Did you know I am getting the same price for my pointsettias (or insert crop here) as I did 30 years ago!” And my response has been “Well, what are you doing differently now that you did not 30 years ago?” Or “What perceived value have you added to warrant a price increase?” 99.9% of the time, the response I get is, “Well, my costs have increased” 

Considering consumer goods, the trend has been a decrease in price as an item matures (food and clothing are necessities and are not included). CD players, microwaves, and DVD players were all very expensive at one time…

Marc really makes some great points – it’s not about reinventing the wheel, it’s about changing consumer’s perceived value in our products and marketing our plants in a way that will appeal to them. Let’s turn ‘I don’t really need…’ into ‘I really want…’ – how will we do this? I know, I know, it’s easier said then done. We’ll have to touch upon this more later – brainstorm out loud, share ideas, collaborate with one another – let’s talk about it another post to follow.

I’d also like to mention – Art Parkerson of Lancaster Farms in Virginia. Have you heard of his website OpenHort? If you haven’t you need to get on over there asap and check it out. He’s all about trying to change the consumer’s perceived value of our plants and he believes we can achieve that by sharing information and innovating on each other’s ideas. Sounds good to me! Check out his TED post – food for thought!

Marc and Art, just by taking the time to put their thoughts into physical form and share them with someone else – are taking the step towards change, towards helping our industry to transition and evolve to where it must go. If we each contribute something, no matter how small – even by leaving a comment on a blog post or sharing it with someone else…if we each contribute towards the bigger picture, I believe we can get there!



  1. Keith Miner says:

    Here is the conversation going on at the Facebook page of the Independent Garden Center Forum:!/groups/130790867001838/

    Keith A. Miner:
    Are you ready for a change in thinking about how our industry controls the message? No really….are you ready for a change? If you don’t agree with this, try not to just complain, whine and criticize add to the discussion and try to come up with some solutions.

    …sorry everyone…I was just informed all this IGC Facebook forum stuff is supposed to be private, so I’m respecting that and removing the details of this comment…you’ll have to click the link above and see if you can join in on the conversation from there!

    …okay so it looks like that’s not actually the case. The group is by invitation only in order to prevent spammers – so if you’re in the industry feel free to go over and get added to the group! From what was clarified, what is said in that forum is not private, but in order to prevent anyone from getting too upset again, you’ll still have to check out what’s being said over there and not here 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing Keith! It looks like this is a closed forum discussion by members only, but it’s still an interesting read. I’ll relist this is a post and maybe others will want to contribute to the discussion by posting comments.

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