Paint Suppliers lead the way in Garden Marketing

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Paint Suppliers lead the way in Garden Marketing

by John Stanley If I had suggested that paint suppliers were leading the way in horticultural marketing a few years ago, you wouldn’t have taken me seriously, but times change. Monrovia Nurseries, the leading plant brand in the USA now has a marketing director who originates from the paint industry and garden centres are now considering selling tins of paint as one of their categories, so what has changed? The paint industry has always been at the forefront of marketing. The realized many years ago that they were not in the industry of selling tins of paint, infact Plascon, the South African paint company, actually has retail outlets that do not have a tin of paint in the store. Paint manufacturers are in the industry of selling colour combinations and are now the leaders in setting colour trends, whether it be in clothing, interior home decorating or the latest colour combinations in a garden. The Pantone Colour Institute is looked on as the key trend forecaster in colour trends in the world, with all the major western culture industries related to fashion following their colour predictions. How are Paint Suppliers leading the way in Gardening? Gardens are now the outdoor living rooms and as a result the consumer wants to dress them in the latest fashion colour. Horticultural retailers need to reflect these colour trends when displaying product if they are to be seen as being in-tune with their customers. This means walls, and displaying dividers and props need to be painted in fashion colours that compliment the products being displayed. A paint spray area, out the back of the garden centre is now an essential part of a boutique garden centre. Merchandising like a paint retailer Paint has been sold based on colour for many years and plant retailers are also finding this to be the best strategy to move plants. The latin name category system does not help the retailer provide solutions and ideas for the consumer. Plants still need to be categorized based on light requirements, but after that, placing them in colour blocks seems to be the most profitable approach and the one preferred by many consumers. I have clients who have got rid of the rose category and incorporated roses into the general plant merchandise system with red roses in the red category, yellow roses in the yellow category and so on. They believe this is a far better way of selling the plants. Companies such as Bunnings in Australia are even taking the paint retail thinking to the plant label. In their partnership with Plant Growers Australia they are colour themeing on the label with the aim of making it easier for the consumer to purchase plants. Marketing Trends It is worth reviewing how the paint industry promotes itself to the consumer. It often uses a parallel to the garden sector. Can this technique be used by garden centres. There are examples of where this has proved to be successful. John Stanley is an internationally recognised conference speaker and retail consultant with over 25 years experience in 18 countries. He has authored several successful marketing and retail books including the best seller Just About Everything a Retail Manager Needs to Know. John’s retail experience covers hands-on retailing in supermarkets, hardware stores, garden centres, farmers markets and drug stores. For more information John Stanley and his services visit his website www.johnstanley.cc