NovemberFest, Danziger's flagship annual event, marks the kick-off of the new season and a chance for industry leaders - growers, retailers, and distributors - to explore the company’s latest genetics and assortment from its R&D facilities in Israel.
This year, NovemberFest 2020 will take place as a virtual event.
“Instead of looking at this as a substitute for the ‘real thing,’ we’re embracing the opportunities created by the new normal to design a more personalized and tailored experience for our global visitors. Now they can discover our blooming assortment and amazing new varieties at their own pace and time zone, through virtual tours of our R&D facility and greenhouses. They will also have the opportunity to get to know our people on a one to one basis,” says Ori Danziger, Deputy CEO.
During NovemberFest 2020, visitors will have the opportunity to take a 360 virtual tour of the R&D facility in Israel and explore Danziger's vast assortment and new genetics for the 2022 season, featuring 66 new varieties, 3 new series, and one brand new crop. Among others, Danziger will present:
CAPELLA - Danziger's flagship series is proud to introduce "Hello Yellow", the perfect Petunia in a perfect yellow color. CAPELLA is quickly becoming a grower favorite. This innovative petunia performs well in propagation, requires minimal PGR and blooms early enough for any petunia program. CAPELLA creates tidy small pots and works well to make combinations that draw the eye at retail and continue to perform in the home garden.
LOLLIES - A new uniform Argyranthemum series comprising of 5 bright colors that gives a treat of color to any retail display and at the end consumer’s garden.
HARMONY COLORFALL - HARMONY®COLORFALL is the first trailing line of NGI on the market, specially selected for hanging baskets. COLORFALL features all the wonderful traits of the HARMONY series, including large flowers and uniform growth, with a unique trailing habit. This innovative New Guinea series was first introduced last season and will have an additional four colors launched at NovemberFest. COLORFALL is perfect for shade hanging baskets, patio pots and combinations.
Dark Matter - A new Salvia nemorosa with a unique deep blue colored flower that re-blooms all summer long.
COLIBRI, EYECONIC & OMBRE- Danziger's Calibrachoa assortment has been renewed over the past few years. The COLIBRI series was selected for small pots and is available in 20 beautiful colors. The EYECONIC lineup has an eye pattern with major flower power for baskets and combos. OMBRE is a series with a beautiful blend of several colors on each plant and controlled semi-trailing habit that is well suited for hanging baskets.
During the event, Danziger’s local Israeli team together with worldwide teams based in Europe, China and North America, will be available to meet and discuss the company’s new genetics, marketing and retail strategies, breeding, product concepts and more via 1:1 streamed video meetings.
On Nov. 2, GrowGeneration Corp announced the signing of an asset purchase agreement to acquire The GrowBiz, the nation’s third-largest chain of hydroponic garden centers, with five stores across California and Oregon. The transaction is expected to close before fiscal year-end 2020. Founded in 2010 by Ross and Ryan Haley, The GrowBiz comes with a team of experienced executives and more than 60 full and part-time employees. Prior to founding The GrowBiz, Ross Haley served as CEO of Hawthorne Gardening Company, a division of Scotts Miracle-Gro, and General Hydroponics, two recognized leaders in the hydroponics industry. Upon close, Ross Haley will become a senior strategic advisor to the Company.
The addition of The GrowBiz is expected to generate annual revenues approaching $50M. The acquisition also brings the total number of GrowGen hydroponic garden centers in California to ten and Oregon to two. The new GrowGen locations include Rocklin, Cotati, Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo, California and Portland, Oregon.
Westerlay Orchids has announced the modernization of its logistics efforts to support the growing demand of e-commerce.
“This is an unprecedented time for business owners,” said Westerlay Orchids owner, Toine Overgaag via press release. “Hotels, florists, nurseries, restaurants, and offices are in great need of community support in order to survive — we want to do our part to help keep the local economy alive and well.”
The company stated it has made it easier for its partners in the floral industry to order orchids directly from their greenhouse. Westerlay has expanded its wholesale presence online through its website, www.westerlay.com in order to better serve customers both large and small.
“As florists work to serve their community by creating beautiful arrangements for their customers, we want to support them by taking the hassle out of sourcing and shipping high-quality wholesale orchids,” said Overgaag. Visit www.Westerlay.com to learn more about the third-generation, family-run company.
Katie Elzer-Peters, owner of The Garden of Words, shares how to attract customers with a strong online presence.
Katie Elzer-Peters describes herself as “a copywriter specializing in plants, paddle boarding, dabbling in coffee cake and organic pet food, ghost-editing books about how to grow pot hydroponically, and producer of shiny and colorful five-fold brochures.”
Along with that, she’s an author of eight books and owner of The Garden of Words, a digital marketing agency that specializes in horticulture.
For 12 years, Elzer-Peters has used her education in public horticulture to help garden centers with web development, email marketing, digital strategy, implementation planning and so forth. “It’s kind of a gamut of marketing for the green industry,” she says.
One web search show that marketing agencies have grown popular over the years, but Elzer-Peters was somewhat ahead of the trend. While The Garden of Words is an agency now, she began as a contractor in 2007 after working at a botanical garden, and dabbling in custom printing and embroidery. Her inspiration for freelancing? Filling the need she once had.
“When I worked in botanical gardens, I was chronically in need of an extra set of hands,” she says. “And so I thought, ‘Well, if I can be that extra set of hands for somebody else, that would be great.”
While an extra set of hands is helpful, Elzer-Peters says hands that have experience in the green industry is even better.
“One of the limiting factors about working in the green industry is finding people who have green knowledge. When you’re hiring outside people to do marketing, design, anything, it’s helpful if people know something about plants, the seasonality and everything in general. There’s just a lot of nuances and prior knowledge makes things easier.”
She compares gardening to cooking: “If people mess up a few dishes, they assume they’re bad cooks. If a few plants die, people freak out and assume they have a brown thumb. This is why it’s important to know how to help the target audience.”
Marketing vs Branding
While some use marketing and branding as a singular expression, Elzer-Peters says they are indeed, different.
She defines branding as “a set of expectations that’s communicated through fonts, colors choices, the brand voice and whether you’re formal or casual.” Marketing, however, is the communication route regarding a company’s products and services; how they are positioned in the consumer eye.
Marketing during COVID-19
The most important thing right now is communicating, Elzer-Peters says. While people are growing more accustomed to the pandemic, it’s still important to “create comfort in your stores through the online experience, and make sure that onsite experience matches what you promised them.”
According to her, customer disappointment occurs when expectations aren't met and in this case, it's comfort.
This is essential because it creates a sense of safety, which she mentions is a basic role in the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. “If people don’t feel safe, they don’t move to the next level — the next part of the pyramid, which is your store.”
While Elzer-Peters says she sees “tons” of marketing mistakes, the most common is missed opportunities to engage with customers.
“I feel like I’m beating a dead horse, but I don’t think people understand how important social media is for businesses,” she says. “Influencers are doing it really well, there are businesses that run almost entirely on Instagram and garden centers can join them.”
According to her, personal interactions create stronger bonds with customers, even if it stems from a comment post or like. By doing this, companies are letting customers know they are seen. In a world full of “loneliness,” Elzer-Peters says this goes a long way.
Another mistake she sees often is the need for new design and technology. With a new generation becoming the audience, Elzer-Peters says there’s a huge need for “modernization.” This includes the way consumers are reached, talked to and invited.
“The marketplace is huge and we’re competing with so many places now,” she says. “Etsy is a huge plant marketplace and so are big-box stores. Customers now want to be talked to in their language. Catchy hashtags and slogans bring people in. The whole ‘plant mom, plant parent’ thing has created fun around plants and garden centers should incorporate quirky-corny more.”
While Elzer-Peters understands how tiring it is to run a business, she says owners must find time to create a strong brand voice. Most importantly, they must make time to market that voice through a solid digital presence.
Her response to those who aren’t as social media or tech savvy? “Learn or hire someone who is. Whether people want to embrace it or not, change is coming so it’s good to have things in place.”