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To Brand or Not to Brand
Selling name-brand plants can be a game-changer for many retailers. Find out if they’re an ideal fit for your operation.
By Curt Varsogea, Sales Manager
We live in a world of brand-name goods, and many retailers have found great success selling them. Think about it — have you ever shopped for a specific brand-name item, like appliances, cars, cereal, clothing? We all have!
Leading companies invest millions in marketing, advertising, and merchandising – to drive awareness and demand. And retailers know those dollars help build value in the eyes of potential customers – value that justifies premium prices. Retailers also like the fact that they can receive higher profit margins when they sell name-brand products.
Some retailers go a step further and merchandise their high-end brands creatively, using signage, shelving, ‘shops’ within their stores, and other ways of setting premium products apart and drawing customers’ attention. Great examples of these are how Dick’s Sporting Goods groups Nike and Adidas gear in their own sections; Ralph Lauren or Estee Lauder have their own ‘turf’ in department stores; or a grocery store end-cap highlights popular food brands.
Customers Love Variety
Many retailers carry their own in-house brands in order to offer customers variety and price options. They build in different margins on different products – some higher and some lower. As consumers, we expect options and price choices.
So why should it be any different at retail garden centers? In fact, many garden centers have added name-brand plants like Proven Winners® products, and have been pleasantly surprised at the results.
Common Retailer Questions
Some retailers ask me how their operations would change if they added branded plants to the mix. I ask them, “What if it changed very much for the better?” Their questions are often similar, and boil down to these:
1. Will I lose my ‘brand identity’ if I add name-brand plants?
Ask why customers prefer your store — is it selection, prices, expertise? Will any of these reasons change if you add and merchandise a premium line of plants? Will your business suffer if you attract new customers seeking name-brand plants and expertise? Will your bottom line grow if you charge higher margins on premium products?
2. Will I only be perceived as a supplier of the brand and nothing else?
3. My customers may not have confidence in the national brand, but they do in mine. How do I handle that?
If you already sell Proven Winners® plants in your own containers, offer your customers a new option — Proven Winners® branded containers, priced and merchandised at premium. Then compare your sales and margins.
4. How can I be sure my customers want those branded varieties? I’ve had success selling generics for years.
5. What if I invest in the national brand and my local big box store undersells me?
You compete with big box stores by offering something special in terms of convenience, location, expertise, experience, selection or other factors. Why not take advantage of those factors and build a stronger customer bond by offering them premium plants developed to help them succeed at gardening?
We welcome your questions and ideas on selling Proven Winners® products at retail. Our team has many ways to help you introduce these premium products and merchandise them to the max. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 734.654.6420.