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Plant Talk

Plant Talk

by Danny Summers

We can take this conversation in so many directions. A very important one is how attached countless new "Plant Parents" are to their new plant-family additions. It doesn't take long when browsing social platforms to see this in full display. In fact, the photo above (minus my title "Plant Talk" added) was found on a blogger's page with the title "DIY - Speech Bubbles for Your Plants" as she shows you how to make your own conversational signs. She related it to having reminders of how a plant needs certain care in order to thrive. Doing a simple search like "Plant Talk" will quickly yield a huge number of discussions like "How to Talk to Your Plants" or even "Is it Normal to Talk to your Pets and Plants?"

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See What a PLANT Can Do

See What a PLANT Can Do

by Danny Summers

The idea of this message came to me when I remembered Darren Abbott (Hallmark) sharing details of their One Million Card giveaway. He explained it began on March 27, 2020, as many of their Gold Crown Stores were closing due to COVID shutdowns and they were getting a large number of requests from people needing ways to connect to loved ones. The program began with the idea of offering 1 million cards to their loyalty members, sent free by mail. The initial announcement said, "Hallmark gives people a way to connect through acts of caring and support during uncertain times." Darren described how their team was able to gather enough cards at their distribution centers (that were almost shuttered as well) and within a few days, they had the program pulled together.

To say the offer was well-received is an understatement for only seven days later Darren said their President and CEO came to him and said, "I don't want you to stop, let's keep going." So, with that Hallmark announced it was adding an additional million cards to the offer. Each responding Hallmark Rewards member received a bundle of 3 cards with a cover page that said the following...

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A Better Traffic Flow = Better Marketing

A Better Traffic Flow = Better Marketing

by Sid Raisch

Part 3 of a Series with the Theme “A Better _______ = Better Marketing”
   [Go to Part 4 - A Better Pricing 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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Plants R Us!

Plants R Us!

by Danny Summers

Not even unpacked yet and they have a plant in the room!

Does this title seem familiar? I first related it to Toys R Us. It came to mind when I was working on a presentation to share at Farwest 2022 a few weeks ago. I was looking for a graphic that represented new first-time young home buyers. Just the weekend before we had been helping our great nephew, Zac, and his wife, paint at their new home they recently purchased. They had not yet moved any furniture in but just inside the front door, next to a window, they already had a new tropical plant sitting there.

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What if...

What If…

By Danny Summers

What If... someday you are busy with your normal routine and... something really magical happens.

Sometimes new ideas that are real innovations come when you least expect them. And maybe even when you're not really even paying attention. Can you imagine having such a new idea that is so innovative that it creates a whole new business or product line? That is exactly what this story is about. And it is TRUE.

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What Recession?

What Recession?

by Sid Raisch

“It’s the ECONOMY!”

Once in a while there’s a phrase that’s quoted and wins an election as this one did. Similarly we are running for election by our customers and other constituents (all the people in our audience) to support if not come into our store every day they go to a store, or could (including online store).

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The Power of Connection

The Power of Connection!

by Danny Summers

I believe the Power of Connection can mean everything! We saw first-hand what all of us being connected through The Group meant during the turbulent weeks in the spring of 2020. And even since then the Power of Connection has shown us much more. It enabled us to quickly pivot to react to the changing retail environment and needs of your Guests. It also provided results from these positive management changes through our Annual P&L Studies for both 2020 and 2021. The fact is your Power of Connection with 130+ peer Centers through The Group offers the unique resources many other Centers do not have.

The Power of Connection could also describe what we have witnessed over the past two years with so many people being drawn to the activity of gardening and having plants in their lives. Last year at The Fall Event 2021 we experienced The Nature Fix story by Florence Williams and why we all need more nature in our lives. This has not changed in 2022, even though sometimes weather restricts our opportunities. The Power of Connection with gardening and plants and their positive benefits should remain one of our primary focuses to share with everyone.

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The Gold Standard - Gold, Hallmark & GMROII

The Gold Standard - Gold, Hallmark & GMROII

by Danny Summers

Gold has been a highly-valued precious metal throughout recorded history. Gold hallmarks originated to show the purity of gold in a piece of gold jewelry and included the mark of the certifying office that guaranteed the purity as well as the fineness or caratage of the gold. Later, trademarks that showed which goldsmith had manufactured the product were added.

Hallmarking gold jewelry was Europe's earliest form of consumer protection, dating back to King Louis IX of France and Edward I of England in the 1200s. As craft guilds sprung up in these two dominant markets during the Middle Ages in Europe, state-appointed assayers examined precious metal goods. Their prescribed mark, and subsequently marks for individual goldsmiths and production dates, became a pre-requisite for gold items offered for public sale.

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The Mark of a Good Mark

The Mark of a Good Mark

by Tom Kegley

Your logo might be the most powerful tool in your marketing kit. Not to be confused with your brand– the sum of your reputation and your customer’s experience with and perception of you. Your logo is the mark of your brand– the salutation and closing signature of all your graphic communication.

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The GREEN Escape

The Great Green Escape

by Danny Summers

Depending on your preference of movie genre (and maybe the number of "seasons") you may recognize the original title here. It takes us back to one of the most iconic war movies, originally released in 1963. It featured a star-studded cast including Steve McQueen along with James Garner, Richard Attenborough, James Donald, Charles Bronson, Donald Pleasence, James Coburn, David McCallum, and many more. But that's not what I was thinking of when this title idea came to mind.

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Sharing the Good News

Sharing the Good News

by Danny Summers

Sharing the "Good News" of Joy and Knowledge of Plants and Gardening is a wonderful gift that our Garden Centers do every day. In its very purest form, it is sharing a love for nature.

We all have a favorite teacher we can remember who made a big impact on us growing up and we also have friends and family that influenced us with their talents and interests in hobbies and treasured activities.

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The Possibilities of Plants

The Possibilities of Plants

By Danny Summers

If you were with us at TPIE 2022 last week, you will understand my thoughts in this message today. Let's begin by seeing if you agree with this statement:

"Interest in Plants and Gardening has never been higher."

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The Group Winter Tour - Are You Ready?

The Group Winter Tour - Are You Ready?

by Danny Summers

Are you ready for a Winter Tour of The Group's Garden Centers?

Does this get your attention? I hope so. The Garden Center Group's Winter Tour is very convenient. It can begin on that first cold winter day when you have plenty of time and a hot cup of coffee or tea. It will be time to explore dozen's of fellow Group Centers you have never seen or maybe haven't seen in years.

You can travel on your own schedule. Begin, then decide where to visit and pause when needed. At each stop as you see things you like or want to know more about, you can take a minute and send that Center a quick email.

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Green with Envy!

Green with Envy!

by Danny Summers

It is so obvious. All you have to do is observe advertising trends to see how plants and gardening are being used to capture attention. We see major brands trying to leverage the natural "goodness" of plants and the activity of gardening as they promote whatever they want to sell. Most have nothing to do with plants or gardening.

It must be one of two possible strategies for why they would position their product or services parallel to plants or gardening. First, it might be to just capture the attention of the audience, realizing plants and gardening are one of the top growth categories over the past 18 months. The second possible strategy might be simply trying to absorb some of the positive "greenness" and to it imply they care, their products are wholesome, or good for you or the environment. It's like saying, "Hey our products are just as good as plants or gardening."

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Imagine

Imagine

by Danny Summers

Just imagine... No boundaries. No restrictions. No barriers. Nothing but "blue sky" space to think about things you normally don't. It's like those long summer days when you were a kid and had a world of time to dream big things and make stuff up. Let's open the doors and windows of your mind to just... imagine.

In 2015, The Fall Event was in Orlando and we had the opportunity to have Simon T. Bailey present to The Group. His presentation was based on his then most current book, 'Release Your Brilliance'. Simon said, "Up to the age of 4, most children are operating at a genius (or brilliance) level." He went on to say by the time they reach their early 20's only 20% are there and by their early 30's, only 2% are operating at a genius level. He added, by the time the average child is 17 years of age they have heard the word NO 150,000 times and YES only 5,000 times. Simon has continued on his quest to help everyone find their brilliance. Since then, he has authored five additional books to help encourage his audience's brilliance. You can see them HERE.

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Groupthink

Groupthink

by Sid Raisch

We’re in a group. We might be subject to Groupthink.

From Wikipedia:

Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome. Cohesiveness, or the desire for cohesiveness, in a group may produce a tendency among its members to agree at all costs.[1] This causes the group to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation.[2][3]



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Connecting

Connecting

by Danny Summers

As a Garden Center connecting with your audience is extremely important. It always has been. Connecting happens in a multitude of ways. It certainly happens whenever the customer enters your Center and interacts with your team, and shops for your plants and products.

The other ways of connecting has been changing over the last two decades. More connecting today happens through your messaging or sharing of information through the various channels of communication. At the same time, your audience is slowly changing and the way they want to receive your information may be different than how you are positioned to share information today.

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Counting On Another Boom Year Isn’t A Plan

Counting On Another Boom Year Isn’t A Plan

by Robert Hendrickson

Circumstances no one expected created two great sales and profit years for the garden center industry. Expecting this business boost to become what cliché lovers like to call “the new normal” is short-sighted and risky. Better to spend time and attention on how you plan to spread the word that your company and the products you provide are important to the health and happiness of past, current, and future customers.

Ask almost any garden center owner or the person responsible for the company’s marketing decisions what they have planned for the upcoming year and the typical response will be… “We don’t plan that far ahead.” This usually means when it comes to marketing, they make last-minute decisions based on what’s selling, what’s not selling, or what other garden centers say they should be doing.

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A Culture of WHY

A Culture of WHY

by Danny Summers

Over the past two weeks, we have been experiencing Florence Williams' wonderfully impactful story of 'The Nature Fix.' It is the result of her multi-year work of documenting WHY nature is so important in the health and welfare of every human being.

Many of the details contained in her book support what we all have known for years about the importance of plants and the activity of gardening. We just did not have the science to back up our beliefs... until now.

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Imagination!

Imagination!

by Danny Summers

Kids have "wide-open" creativity skills with no throttles, governors, or constraints that most of us adults have developed. If you look closely at the photo above you will see the titles... "Thinker, Thinking Cap and Idea-O-Meter" depicting the story of how kids don't have the "I Can't" or "It Won't Work" weights holding them back. As we progress through life we encounter many "guardrails" that tend to build upon each other and restrict our creativity. In the following text I found some wonderful words written by Samuel Ullman (1840-1924), an American businessman, poet, humanitarian, and religious leader, born in Hechingen, Germany and died in Birmingham, AL. Here's an interesting introduction I found to Ullman's famous poem 'Youth.'

 

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