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Pile-up on Groupon, Coupons, Discounts

They're beginning to pile up

Fenderbender to 20 Car Pileup

You can see it coming as pundits line up to speak out against the excessive discounting being practiced by recession fighting sellers. A 20-car pile-up is about to happen.

People who wrote books and articles about aggressive promotional marketing to drive traffic and build business are seeking to stand out as they speak out against the avalanche of discount oriented advertising that they themselves promoted to fill up our mailboxes and the center of the Sunday paper. All of a sudden it seems that coupons, Groupons, freebies and discounts are ALL bad.

Casting those who provide mindless marketing services such as Groupon, and those who aggressively promote discounting as being stupid is just stupid. Companies that fabricate ridiculous offers that destroy their companies are probably destroying their companies in several other ways. Continue reading

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WHY Do Customers Think of You?

What do customers think of you?

While they probably don’t just sit around and actually think much about the companies they do business with, consumers generally form specific opinions about stores over time and exposure to marketing messages, personal experience, and what they hear from others.

Whatever value equation a company brand has established with a consumer, unless it is a discount brand, it is lowered by constantly promoting deals and discounts on what customers already want to buy. These discounts do more than cost money. They also make it easy for the customer to categorize in their mind what type of retailer each store is to them. And once they’ve chosen the category, it is very difficult to change their perceptions. Continue reading

It Ain’t _ _ _ _ Until It’s Over.

This is addressed mainly to garden centers that are located in the areas that experienced a very strong and warm early spring, a very wet and cool early May, followed by recent high humidity and daytime temperatures. This year that covers most of you.

In the past several days I’ve talked with several garden centers and found all of them to say something to the effect that there was NO WAY they could make up what they’re behind this year. I think they are WRONG. Continue reading

Sampling Sells MORE Stuff

Sampling Sells More Stuff

If Sampling Sells MORE Stuff WHY Don’t We Do More Sampling?

On consultation sessions with clients who sell food of any type I am always disappointed that they are not sampling when I am there. Maybe I’m just hungry? Or is it because I know (and we would all probably agree) that sampling helps sell what you’re selling. Why aren’t they doing it?

Do you sample dips, etc. to help sell herbs, veggies, etc.? I’m not advocating getting into the food business, but if you’re already there get sampling! Being in the food business (any part of it) and sampling go hand in hand.

If you really believe sampling helps sell products then you would surely want to sell more wouldn’t you? The whole idea is to get a customer to try a product in hopes that they’ll like it well enough to become a regular purchaser of it as well as a regular customer in your store. Otherwise you’re just taking what comes your way and not creating a market for your products. Figure out a way to sample consistently well and keep on doing it.

Continue reading

Open Letter to Independent Garden Centers

Read Time: Approximately 5 minutes text, 15 minutes with links and video.

Friends,

Independent garden centers are my future. I am a fortunate person to love what I do and do what I love. I sincerely want that to continue, and I realize it is entirely dependent on the success of my clients.

Today I feel compelled to share with you some information you would probably rather not hear or would rather not consider. Sticking your head in the sand is a possible reaction to this.

Consider carefully how you choose to respond. This could be a decision that changes the course of your business and your life completely within a very few short months.

Is the sky falling? No, it definitely is not, however, just because the sky is staying where it is does not excuse us from examining other things that may be falling. Continue reading

What’s Wrong with this Message?

Enough about the economy stupid.

Yes, we need to be empathetic to the consumer’s need to save, but the problem is amplified and exacerbated when everyone who is marketing has the same basic message across all communication channels. A basic tenet of marketing – differentiation, is lost.

Shouldn’t your brand be all about helping consumers escape the everyday issues of life? Keep in mind that when your advertising messages remind your own brand constituents of the harsh realities of living today, and that they should save money every time they buy you are NOT making them feel like they need to have what you’ve got. Continue reading

The Customer Segmentation Gift

The Gift (multiple)

The Gift of Each Customer Comes in Many Sizes

The gift of today is the customer who finds your company and your products engaging today. They come to you for precise reasons, sometimes precisely different each time they arrive. What is it today?

Continue reading

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