Kick Off Your New Year’s Resolutions!

It’s a new year and a great time to set all your lofty aspirations and resolutions for a better you in 2012! And to help you kick your butt into gear, why not a little motivation?!

Over the holiday break I stumbled upon some marketing insight from Jay Abraham and I’ve been absorbing it and making notes as to how I can apply this into our marketing plan – and I use the word “plan” very loosely here! 🙂 (Hey, I’m a creative – we create, not plan well!)

Take a peek at it for yourself! I know there’s got to be a few things you can take from it too! Let me know how it goes!


Growing Happiness


So I was on Pinterest the other night and I came across an image of a lovely garden scene pinned by someone I follow (actually a babysitter we had previously hired for Gwen). The picture was nice, but nothing amazingly wonderful that I had to write about – but what I did notice was the title she had named her board – ‘Growing Happiness’. Doesn’t that just sum it all up?!

Maybe that’s the sort of message we should promote – ‘Growing Happiness’! That way it applies to everyone. No arguing over why indoor plants aren’t represented or why landscape shrubs aren’t being shown. It’s basically what we’re trying to say anyways right? Aren’t we trying to show consumers why they should want and need plants in their lives? – happiness and well being seems to summarize the long list of psychological benefits of plants. 

Or maybe our marketing could somehow indirectly imply that plants are necessary to complete your lifestyle, your home, your office…a room just isn’t complete without a little (green) life in it. Just like how young women homeowners like myself automatically feel like a dining room just isn’t complete without a chandelier in the center of it as a focal point. Perhaps one day it will be that a dining room just isn’t complete without a living centerpiece at the center of the table…you get the idea!

I just hope that whatever we do, it doesn’t end up looking like the the same old, same old that we’ve been putting out for years. Some of it is nice (others not so much), but all of it is nothing exciting or anything that would grab your attention – especially if our goal is to reach the main stream consumer.

I’m just throwing out my thoughts…

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!

Be You, No Really Just Be You

Coke Ad CopycatEeee, yikes!

When we see someone we admire, we want to be just like them, right? If you walk like them and talk like them you’ll get to be as happy/successful/prestigious/insert your own desires here…as they are.

But you’re you. You’re not them. And that’s okay, it’s just as great to be you!

You want to be the best you, you can be. And trust me, that’s far more intriguing than some second rate version of someone else. When you try to imitate you’ll just end up looking like the cheaper version of the original. All you will accomplish is gaining duplication status, instead of having people admire you for the unique person/company that you are.

Don’t be afraid to be different. Don’t be afraid to stand out. That’s what makes life interesting after all.

(image via)

This is The Cultivate Project.

The purpose behind it is to stir up a stagnant way of thinking in the horticulture industry in the hopes of cultivating new ideas and bonds between its members in an effort to benefit us all…

Recently, I was asked to speak to about marketing and it’s really forced me to sit down and organize my thoughts – which are usually all over the place – bouncing around in my mind and scattered throughout numerous notebooks and random sheets of scrap paper.

This will be my place where I can compile my thoughts and voice my opinions about how we can help this industry to evolve and I encourage you to do the same and leave your comments behind. Change is good and if enough of us get on board it can happen.

Brush aside your fears…of looking bad…of being wrong…of the unknown…and get on board with change.

Now for a little something I found that seems to summarize it up so nicely:

Remember that even if you’re thinking big, it’s the small things you do every day that make a difference.

…It’s the small things that create the possibility for huge change…it’s not just having your eyes on the future…Because it’s right here, right now. That change is possible. It’s this moment that we must live in.

That’s where transformation culminates.

It’s in this moment that the revolution takes place.

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