Custom and branded plant pots, printed with colorful designs and useful information for today’s gardeners, are growing in popularity across North America. Their popularity can be attributed to the knowledge growers, retailers, and gardeners have adopted regarding the importance of branding and how it influences purchasing and, in turn, sales.
BrandingMag.com states, “Branding helps to identify a product and distinguish it from other products and services.”
But for growers cultivating for residential consumers, offering plants in black plastic containers – just as every other grower you’re competing with – does little to distinguish your plants in an already crowded and increasingly competitive market. The inability to distinguish your plants from the competition categorizes your product as a commodity in the market.
Business writer Eric Bank states, “Many industries sell products that are essentially identical to those sold by competitors. These products are commodities – they are interchangeable with products from other companies and compete for customers mainly on price. An industry is not commodity-based simply because companies within the industry buy commodity-type raw materials such as oil, steel, or rubber. Rather, the ability to differentiate products from those of competitors defines whether the industry is commodity-based.”
For the commodity grower, brand loyalty (and the benefits that come along with it) are almost impossible to achieve when consumers continuously shop around garden centers and big-box stores searching for the best available prices from a plethora of options, all selling in the same black plastic containers. Moreover, with tight profit margins, the grower must achieve economies of scale (advantages reaped by companies when production becomes efficient) and keep costs low in a brutal market to compete.
Suddenly, the ability to differentiate your plants from others has become a necessity in the green industry today, and custom and branded plant pots are the solution.
Marshall Dirks, the Director of Marketing for Proven Winners®, says, “For Proven Winners, this began in 2001. We saw the need to better create a consumer package than just providing a plant tag only. I believe that some other companies were also using branded containers around this time, but this was largely retailers or growers trying to do their own branding. Proven Winners was arguably the first to incorporate true consumer messaging behind a branded package.”
Why Brands Matter
“Consumers increasingly value brands. Branding was very limited 100 years ago but is becoming more prevalent today. Generic products suggest inferiority,” adds Dirks. “Branded packaging is by far more important when a brand has meaning to consumers. Building consumer value takes a significant amount of time, money, and effort.”
While online shopping now dominates the retail marketplace, and giants like Amazon are selling live plant goods to the younger generation who prefers to do all their shopping over the internet, it’s crucial to understand how consumers shop at brick-and-mortar locations when it comes to planting materials.
When purchasing trees, ornamental shrubs, herbs, and flowers, consumers want to see and touch the merchandise before making a purchase – which can’t be done with internet retailers. Adding plant materials to an outdoor landscape is a very personal and emotional process, so garden centers and retailers can still successfully draw in consumers in droves.
Overall, it’s easier to be brand loyal to a physical location. Local garden centers and retailers see some of the highest repeat business and consumer loyalty from those who appreciate their varied, zone-appropriate assortment, product knowledge, and consistent customer service.
72% of American consumers say their purchasing decision is influenced by the packaging design they see. The container your plant is grown in (“packaged”) and how your brand is presented, help subliminally communicate to consumers that your product is different and of greater quality and value.
An article on Inc.com states, “Remember, your product’s packaging is meant to communicate a purpose: what your brand stands for and what it means for your customer. Don’t miss this opportunity to create a lasting impression on the shelf and in the minds of your customers.” Custom and branded plant pots allow growers to do just that at retail.
Why Consumers Are Loyal to Brands?
According to a report by MarketingLand , when asked, “What is the primary reason you are loyal to a brand?” the response provided by 55% of respondents was, “I love the product(s).” Here are some additional reasons, further highlighting the need for custom and branded plant pots in your growing operation.
- Brands tend to provide peace of mind, especially if they provide consistent results and a positive experience – allowing consumers to conclude the brand is trustworthy.
- Brands save time when deciding by reducing the clutter and helping consumers find what they’re looking for in a crowded field.
- Brands offer safety by eliminating a consumer’s chances of being disappointed. In addition, brands provide a reason to share by allowing consumers to become brand advocates based on a consistent, positive brand experience.
But Dirks reminds us that “The product also needs to be a quality plant. That said, branded containers can help dress up a product or make it seem more valuable. However, the message that the packaging conveys – and retailers’ ability to capitalize on this – must be backed up by the broader context of the value that the brand provides. Putting a plant in a branded container is the easy part and can help differentiate a plant from one in a black pot – but value creation is the hard part.”
How Custom and Branded Plant Pots Can Help
Custom and branded plant pots are the most impactful marketing differentiator for your business. They can have colorful designs that support your branding standards and often influences consumer purchasing with a perception that your products are far superior to others on the market for an increased perceived value.
Custom and branded plant pots further support and expand your brand’s reach when seen out in the community, as residential homeowners adorn front yards and decorative planters or commercial properties line walkways and perimeters. Furthermore, they afford an opportunity to provide education and information directly on the container – solidifying your brand’s stance as an industry expert.
Branding consultant and author Alina Wheeler says, “Brand identity fuels recognition, amplifies differentiation, and makes big ideas and meaning accessible. Brands are messengers of trust. Customers are reassured by brands that are recognizable and familiar. A great brand strategy is a basic building block of a good business strategy. We build industry-leading brands with coherent and authentic messages. We utilize cohesive branding tools, connecting with your customers in a clear and impactful way.”
The HC Companies