Bailey Nurseries is using texts, social media and even Pandora, an online music streaming station, to better connect with, educate and entertain consumers.
About a year ago, the company introduced customers and the industry to Amy and Luke Oeth, a real-life couple with lots of home improvement experience but not much confidence in the garden. Amy Oeth works for GdB Agency, a PR and advertising firm that represents Bailey Nurseries’ brands, including First Editions Plants. The agency was brainstorming ways that Bailey could encourage customers, especially newbie gardeners, to get over their cultivating fears and get started. The other goal was to teach people how to pair plants in the landscape — another hurdle for the inexperienced.
Videos of real-life people navigating new landscaping projects were pitched, and the agency decided that the Oeths were the perfect couple for the task.
RELATED: 'Turn your blandscape into a landscape:' Bailey Nurseries hopes to encourage new gardeners to tackle projects with its first-timers video campaign.
Now, Bailey has expanded Amy's role, launching “Let’s Ask Amy” under the First Editions Collection, which includes more than 125 premium shrubs, trees and roses. From the basics such as “How much sun does my plant need?” to problems gardeners are looking to solve like, “What are the best low-maintenance ground cover plants for my zone?”, Amy will offer digital assistance to questions submitted through an online form or on social media with #LetsAskAmy.
“We recently conducted a survey that told us 50 percent of [gardeners] turn to friends, family and neighbors as their main source of advice, while the other half cited home improvement sites, YouTube and blogs as resources,” Bailey Nurseries spokesman Ryan McEnaney said. “Amy is a combination of both those options and she’s available 24/7 to help out.”
Users are able to submit questions for Amy to answer on Instagram or Facebook with #LetsAskAmy or through an online form at firsteditionsplants.com/letsaskamy. Amy will reply directly to users questions.
Bailey Nurseries also continues to grow their digital “help desk” by expanding their Endless Summer Hydrangea care text message program to now include a Spanish language version. Separately, the company is also adding a dedicated Easy Elegance Roses text program this year.
Introduced in 2016, The Endless Summer Collection text message program provides users with monthly reminders and tips for their reblooming hydrangeas. Reminders are tailored to specific regions and respective weather patterns.
A recent survey conducted by Bailey Nurseries found that more than 70 percent of respondents experience angst toward planting and caring for their plants, making a text program especially necessary to bring accessibility to the home garden.
In addition to its education-focused campaigns, Bailey Nurseries through its Endless Summer Hydrangeas brand also launched a Pandora station called "Artists Rebloomed" in April.
The artists featured on the station are those who have “rebloomed” and reinvented themselves throughout the years, come back with a new style or are living a second life in their performing career today. Genres vary and include artists like Justin Timberlake, Destiny’s Child, Prince, Aerosmith, Michael Jackson, Adele and Gwen Stefani.
Garden Center magazine recently interviewed Alec Charais, marketing and communications manager for Bailey Nurseries, about these programs and how independent garden centers can utilize the initiatives or ideas for launching their own. Check our podcasts page soon to hear more.