Integrating What Your Garden Center Really Does Into Your Marketing

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What’s the story about your business that you’re not telling? Bridget Behe of Michigan State University shared some thoughts on how garden centers can better market themselves to appeal to customers, in store and in the media.

Plants are the biggest manufactures oxygen and take they carbon dioxide out of the air. "Where are we on this? we don’t even mention this. It makes the world a better place. that should be front and center in a lot that we communicate."

Why do we mulch? To save water and prevent weeds from growing.

"When did we stop telling that story?" Behe asked. And saving water is a main point in the sustainability movement. It’s a marketing hook that many garden centers don’t use.

The local and vegetable messages can also be kicked up. Behe says that Bordine’s used in-store signage that labeled vegetables as "Heart Smart," encouraging shoppers to think about the real benefits of vegetable gardening.

And a branding program that labels plants as local means that shoppers are contributing to the local economy, helping local business and also that the plants are already acclimatized for the garden. "We make these choices, but we sometimes forget to tell these stories," Behe says.

Whatever message you share, be sure to share the message digitally, as well. The web allows so much more information compared to what can be printed on a tag or signage.

Sara Tambascio is senior online editor of Greenhouse Grower and Today's Garden Center. You can eMail her at or follower her on Twitter @Sara_GG_TGC.

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