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Invasive Plants?

Invasive Plants?

by Danny Summers

Being "in the industry" we know what this title refers to... In our world, a plant being termed an "Invasive Plant" says it is aggressive, multiplies at will and overtakes space from other plants, and disrupts the careful balance of the native landscape.

But the idea of this message is a positive one and an observation of seeing numerous images of plants making big impressions for products and people outside our industry.

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Be a Regular Guy or Gal

Be a Regular Guy or Gal

by Gail Vanik

This is a tale of two Garden Centers. I’ve owned both of them. The first was a small Garden Center in a rural area in small town America. Although we experienced some success along the way, it seemed like we weren’t able to grow sales the way I had hoped and projected. Since I had simply continued the marketing efforts of the previous owners – newspaper, a paper newsletter that was mailed monthly (sometimes), and a few print ads here and there, the frustration of “why isn’t this working when it worked so well for them” continued for several years. Overwhelmed with all of it, I admit I wasn’t much of a “regular gal” back then.

The second Garden Center was that same small Garden Center a few years later but by now the world had changed. Our sales numbers reflected that the previous owner’s methods were no longer effective. I switched things up, but more importantly, I made a firm commitment to a consistent schedule, even during times that were slow or when we had bad weather. Once I became a “regular gal,” things improved.

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Tea & the Garden

Tea & the Garden 

by Danny Summers

Just the idea of a simmering hot cup of Tea... in The Garden creates an ideal vision for how to begin the day. Maybe we should pause here for 15-20 minutes, grab a cup of Tea (or coffee), and step out to the Garden (or the most peaceful area of the Garden Center will do). Use the time to relax, breathe deeply, perhaps pray, and think about all the wonderful natural world around us. Then, return to this message when finished...

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Visions of Oasis

Visions of Oasis

by Danny Summers

Last week, many of us, along with thousands of other industry pros, were in Ft. Lauderdale for the TPIE show. One word that was introduced during the General Session was WOW! That same word was also used by many as they explored the show itself.

Experiencing such a large expanse of our tropical world in one place creates a feeling of an Oasis. This message can be an important one to your audience.

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Time for the Special Moments

Time for the Special Moments

by Danny Summers

As our families gathered together this past week for the holidays, it is easy to see how quickly the time together goes by. The wonderful smiles, hugs, laughter, food, and gift-sharing we cherish, all seem to go by so quickly and we are left with memories of these Special Moments (and maybe a few extra pounds encouraging us to new resolutions).

Last Thursday, I received the weekly enews from Kerby's Nursery. Joey Bokor's message was "Garden Moments." He begins the message by saying much of our lives we focus on the big events..."Events that transform our lives or that bring us attention and praise." But then Joey turns the focus on the little events or moments that can mean so much. He then leads us into little moments in the garden.

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What a Story to Tell!

What a Story to Tell!

by Danny Summers

Storytelling could be described as both a gift and art. Of course, there are different methods of storytelling. When considering the written form, names like Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, C.S. Lewis, Ernest Hemingway, Beatrix Potter, Mark Twain, Will Rogers, today's JK Rowling, and many others come to mind.

What we may not be considering often enough are the stories about the plants you offer every day. We could be challenged by questions like...

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A View Ahead for 2024

A View Ahead for 2024

by Danny Summers

Looking ahead or forecasting can certainly be tricky. Your crystal ball or binoculars, in this case, can often be "foggy." It seems to work best simply to take in all the indicators you can, lay them on top of a "gut feel" and top it all with years of experience from you and your team. Maybe then what you see will be less "foggy" and closer to what really will happen. And even then, just like Tim Quebedeaux's Dynamic Budget, you will need to be in a position to adjust and adapt mid-season.

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The Colors of Spinach?

The Colors of Spinach?

by Danny Summers

This message is not to introduce us to some new hybrid of our favorite leafy greens. But the idea for this came to me a week or so ago when I read a story by Stanberry Research of Dr. Harry Mitchell Sherman "The Colors of Healing."

Dr. Sherman was an accomplished surgeon in San Francisco in the early 1900s and in 1904, his observations set a new trend in operating rooms and hospitals across the country. Dr. Sherman realized how strained and tired his eyes became while doing surgery in a bright white environment. The white rooms and white cloth were popular back then and reflected the bright lights of the operating room. So he decided to swap out white surgical drapes for black ones, reducing the glare and making it easier to focus on the surgical procedure.

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Reaching Your Audience

Reaching Your Audience

by Danny Summers

Reaching Your Audience has changed... a lot! If we could turn back time about 20 years, we would see Garden Centers reaching their audience in almost completely different ways... such as through direct mail, newspaper ads, a local radio stations, and email was becoming more widely used.

Fast-forward to today and the list has changed... almost completely. There is very limited direct mail being used today, and most of those are postcards and Every Door Delivery (EDD). A few Centers are still using local radio but streaming services such as Spotify and SiriusXM is attracting larger audiences. And a number of social platforms have reached new heights of influence.

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Riding the Wave

Riding the Wave

by Danny Summers

We have talked before about the trend of seeing Plants and the activity of Gardening being leveraged while promoting non-related products or services. This is Riding the Wave of the growing popularity of what your Center offers... every day. Here's another example...

I was standing in the checkout line last week at our neighborhood Publix grocery store. I glanced at the magazines on display as I waited my turn. One publication slapped me in the face instantly. The title:

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A Nature Store?

A Nature Store?

by Danny Summers

Have you ever considered calling your Garden Center... A Nature Store?

I'm not suggesting changing your Center's name, but just in describing what you do, what you offer... A Nature Store.

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The Wellness Connection

The Wellness Connection

by Danny Summers

In recent weeks I have seen more than one article expounding on the growing consumer trend of prioritizing Wellness. A quick search or simply being alert to watching messaging in almost any media and you will see this first hand.

I know there was a growing awareness or interest in Wellness prior, but I am confident the Covid era has accelerated it even more today. One such article I saw a week or so ago was from AdAge magazine where they were promoting a day-long conference called "The Wellness Revolution Conference" where they will spotlight the intersection of health and marketing. They included several major brands bringing Wellness to the forefront of their marketing campaigns in the coming months. In the same announcement, they quoted a report from McKinsey & Company from last fall. McKinsey & Company is a global business consulting (and research) firm. The title of that report was...

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Making the Connection

Making the Connection

By Danny Summers

While the vast majority of Super Bowl 2023 ads are now a very distant memory, I thought a few are noteworthy. That's pretty amazing when you consider the reported costs were $6-7 MILLION for a 30-second spot and there were enough of them, if you string them all together, to be over 1 hour long. So, in doing a totally non-scientific research review, here are three I want to bring back for seeing one more time.


 

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Happiness

Happiness

by Danny Summers

The search for happiness is as old as time itself. It's easy to see how some people search for their happiness in the way they spend their time, attention, and of course their money.

In last week's blog message from Sid Raisch titled SHIFTing, Sid referenced a video that Tom Kegley shared with us. It is an insightful presentation by J. Walker Smith, a marketing and futures expert with the international market research and consulting firm, Kantar. During this 34-minute presentation, Walker includes the highlights from an Oracle survey results released last July. Here's the Report headline and some noted data:

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A Better Brand Execution = Better Marketing

A Better Brand Execution = Better Marketing

by Sid Raisch

Part 6 of a Series with the Theme “A Better _______ = Better Marketing”

Marketing is an important part of the job of everyone in a company. It’s everything a company and everyone in it does within, outside, around, and beyond. In this series of articles, we’ll be discussing how different views of marketing make a huge difference in choosing, taking, and owning our position now and in the future. 

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Just Imagine...

Just Imagine...

by Danny Summers

Imagination is a wonderful gift that we all have. I believe we all have the same level of imagination when we are born. You can see so much of this gift in the eyes of children. I see this in our grandchildren's eyes now. You may remember a photo I shared a little over a year ago of our oldest grandson when he was just about 3 and he stood in front of Georgia Aquarium's largest tank, Ocean Voyager.

Here's the photo I shared then. Try to imagine what this 3-year-old was thinking at the time.

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A Better Recession Effort = Better Marketing

A Better Recession Effort = Better Marketing

by Sid Raisch

Part 5 of a Series with the Theme “A Better _______ = Better Marketing”
   [Go to Part 6 "A Better Brand Execution = Better Marketing" - HERE]

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Health + Time

Health + Time

by Danny Summers

To continue on the message from last week – A Recipe for What Matters (or we might say What Matters Most), I included a tease of sorts on some thoughts for additional ideas...

Health and Time.

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A Recipe for What Matters

A Recipe for What Matters

by Danny Summers

Each of us sees numerous ads every day. They come at us from all directions and it seems to only increase in methods of how or where we see them. Certainly, TV, radio, internet, and of course every social media page we interact with is pushing products. Even some gas stations are pushing ads at the pump. Most are very promotional and the worse ones seem like they were designed by ex-used car salesmen (no offense if you have friends or family in that tough business). But you know what I mean. It's all about price and how low they can go.

If you have been in The Group any length of time, you know we began early on hearing from The Group founder, Robert Hendrickson, how you should focus on a different type of message – telling a story. One that connects with the audience, and speaks to their needs or interests in a real and caring way all while sharing the enjoyment and benefits of the garden and gardening activity. Robert would challenge us to think... if you come across as just selling something, you are most likely on the wrong path. This is a great time to quote a famous person from Hannibal Missouri (where Robert and Wendy now live)...

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A Better Pricing Effort = Better Marketing

A Better Pricing Effort = Better Marketing

by Sid Raisch

Part 4 of a Series with the Theme “A Better _______ = Better Marketing”
   [Go to Part 5 "A Better Recession Effort = Better Marketing" - HERE]

Marketing is an important part of the job of everyone in a company. It’s everything a company and everyone in it does within, outside, around, and beyond. In this series of articles, we’ll be discussing how different views of marketing make a huge difference in choosing, taking, and owning our position now and in the future.

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