Europe: Calluna season starts off with a bang

The calluna (heather) season is about to take off and for German calluna breeder Heidezüchtung Kurt Kramer, it is the time of the year to promote their brand Gardengirls directly to the consumer and present their new varieties for the next growing season.

Promotion to consumers
Now six years in the row, Heidezüchtung Kurt Kramer will run a radio campaign, and for the second time it will be broadcasted all the way from North to South Germany. "In the highly populated state of Northrhine-Westphalia and Northern Germany, the spots will be broadcasted in the weeks 37-40 on Friday and Saturday right on time for the weekend shoppers. The more southern states of Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate will start in week 38 to accommodate those customers returning from their summer vacation", explains Rudolf Sterkel, the Sales and Marketing Manager for the brand.

In addition, they will run their advertising campaign in print as well; in several professional magazines as well as garden- and lifestyle periodicals. According to Sterkel, this marketing towards the consumer is costly, but pays off. "We commissioned two GfK-studies, in 2012 and now in autumn of 2017. In comparison to five years ago we increased the brand awareness and brand popularity from 4.3 to 6.2 %. This is a very good value for plants. At the same time, the buyers get younger. The group of the 30-39 year age increased from 8 % to 11 %."

The professional wholesalers can benefit strongly from this marketing, stresses Sterkel. "Important is the right purchase time and the correct signage at the POS. Only then the consumer can recognize the quality brand supported by marketing. Our slogan is: The original since 1974 – with the magenta logo."

And next to showcasing their products by radio and on paper, they do it in real life as well, at several exhibitions. This year, they will be exhibiting at three shows; Plantarium in Boskoop, the Netherlands (August 22-24), SPOGA/GAFA in Cologne/Germany (September 2-4) and Garden and Zoo of Sagaflor in Kassel (September 29-30).

Clockwise: Logo garden girls, Martina (With bright shining red buds), and Rote Janina (with dense bud population on trailing stems), and Calluna vulgaris 'Betty' (With large, white buds; part of Summer Line)

At the Plantarium, they will introduce new varieties including Martinga, Rote Janina and Calluna vulgaris 'Betty. Also their breeding colleague Johannes van Leuven in Geldern-Lüllingen will show three of his new Daboecia cantabrica cultivars. These varieties of the Irish Bell Heather flowers from July to the time Gardengirls will be available in the garden markets. "This species is an important pollen and nectar source for bumble bees."

The three new varieties of Johannes van Leuven; f.l.t.r.: Annika (pink bell-shaped flowers), Ramona (violet bell-shaped flowers), and Tina (red bell-shaped flowers).

Also and at the SPOGA/GAFA Exhibition they will showcase the assortment of Gardengirls. "It takes place early September, marking the beginning of the full fledged heather season, so the exhibits will be picked freshly from the production field right before the show starts." Also during this exhibition, new variety Martina will be baptized on September 2 2018 at 16:20 at the Garden café near their booth (B 004).

On top of that, Heidezüchtung Kurt Kramer started to promote the Gardengirls brand more actively online. Gardengirls has a fresh new web site, making the assortment of over 60 varieties more understandable and transparent, and is now also active on Facebook and Instagram available in German and English. "We see the new design as modern tools to support the long running marketing for the brand Gardengirls. By using social media like Facebook and Instagram, we hope to reach new customers and hopefully can continue to encourage younger people to buy heather".

For more information
Heidezüchtung Kurt Kramer
Edammer Straße 26
26188 Edewecht, Germany

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