11 October 2021
Are you looking for new garden centre marketing ideas? At Garden Connect, we’ve been visiting garden centres around the world and will share our most unique and surprising garden centre marketing ideas with you in this post.
You can apply these garden centre marketing ideas to your own centre. If you do, share your post with us on Instagram or LinkedIn: we love to hear from you!
1. Grow your own pizza
Seen in Prague at Chladek and a great way to make kids enthusiastic to do some gardening. Instead of promoting herbs, they decided to promote the “Grow Your Own Pizza”, which definitely helped to attract the attention of pizza-loving kids. And as you know: if the kids love it, the mums like it so this will definitely help you to boost your herbs-sales next spring. It’s also good clickbait on social media.
You’ll understand it only works for veggie-pizza but you can extend your range of home-grown fast food to tacos and Thai curries. Needless to say, if you have a farm shop on-site you can use this opportunity to do some great cross-selling by promoting cheese and meat as well.
2. Miniature gardening as a team-building tool
Found at Coal Drops Yard in London: a miniature gardening workshop for companies. There are two positive angles on this one: first of all, colleagues will get to know each other better by spending some time creating their own miniature garden. It’s always good to have some social interaction among co-workers.
Secondly, the miniature garden will be taken back to the office after the workshop adding some green vibes to the workplace. Especially useful in the London-City.
The Botanical Boys, who run this little gem, are not native to the garden industry so it’s refreshing to see how they connect plants with people. It might not work in the countryside, but if you’re in an urban area: definitely worth trying out!
3. The losers box
More and more customers are looking for sustainable products and some Dutch centres and webshops figured out they could sell plants that are a bit less perfect in a so-called losers box.
The idea is to give customers a box of plants that aren't in perfect shape anymore. However, with some love and attention, they can cheer up a home office or balcony for months. Usually, centres mix plants they have so the customer doesn't know the exact varieties they'll get. In return, the price is only a fraction of the regular retail price.
The losers box with plants works well online but also in-store.
4. Plant some dahlias
A tradition at Ayletts Nurseries: the dahlia garden. Business is quiet at most garden centres between Summer & Christmas so Ayletts decide to use a plot of land to plant a huge amount of dahlias. During the first weeks of September, their dahlia festival opens up to the public who can enjoy over 50 varieties.
During the festival, visitors can vote for their favourite dahlia, enjoy a break in the tea pavilion or enjoy the butterfly garden. Plenty to do at Ayletts during the quiet September month!
In case you don’t like dahlias: you can create your own rose, Bromelia, orchid or any-other-flowering-plant festival.
The photo above is taken at Ayletts during the 2019 IGCA Congress in the UK.
5. Birthday parties
If you’re looking for garden centre marketing ideas, kids birthday parties can’t be left out. Leurs in Venlo has been doing this for years and offers a wide range of birthday parties for children in their garden centre. Whether kids want to paint on their own plant containers or do a real BBQ workshop, Leurs is the place to be!
This might not be a great marketing idea for a Saturday afternoon during the Spring, but kids tend to celebrate birthday parties all year long so you can generate footfall on quiet days. It also allows you to tap into a new audience: young families looking for a place to have a memorable birthday party. Happy birthday!
6. Sell planted containers
Imagine you have a store of only 1.500m2 and 3 parking places. What would you do? Sheridan Nurseries in Toronto started to sell planted containers and is currently generating over €6.000.000 of revenue per year. Yes, with only 3 parking places they need a local police officer handling their traffic during peak hours to avoid traffic jams (and no, we’re not exaggerating).
This photo was taken during the IGCA 2017 tour in Niagara Falls.
At Sheridan, a team of 3 container plant designers are working every day to create bespoke plant containers. To make clear it’s not just a container they’re creating but a real plant-art, the designers put their name on every container. Some customers have a favourite designer. They love to have a Prada coat and a Mary container plant.
Perhaps you should give this a try to boost your own revenue per square meter?
7. Go all-the-way
After garden centre marketing ideas from Czech, Canada, the UK and Netherlands we shouldn’t forget to share our final tip, straight from the City of Blues: Memphis. After visiting Graceland and many blues bars, a visit to the famous Bass Pro Shop Pyramid has to be on your bucket list.
The landmark building hosts a Bass Pro Shop flagship store, a 103-bedroom hotel, various restaurants, an indoor swamp (yes, an indoor swamp), a bowling alley, a rooftop observatory and an event centre. Amazon can surely sell things better than Bass Pro, but why would you buy online if you could visit this hotspot in Memphis? Just have a look at the video below to get an impression. And in case you’re getting bored, you can always have some fun at the shooting alley. Yes, that’s me aiming at a virtual can:
Here you go, 7 garden centre marketing ideas you can use to improve your own garden centre. Join us on LinkedIn to stay up to date and to find more inspiration. You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter to get all the inspiration delivered to your email automatically.
This article is written by:Edwin Meijer
Co-founder & CMO
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