Seeing Results from Research

Research is great, but how do you make it really work for you? That’s the question Svensson brought us when NCSU studies showed their FLS reflective screens block 30% more heat than traditional black shade cloth.

To get the word out, we designed an integrated strategy incorporating advertising, digital media, public relations, direct mail, collateral and media relations.

We placed and wrote articles in key publications like Greenhouse Grower and Today’s Garden Center. This included full writing services, from interviews to research and fact gathering to image selection to actual writing and revisions of the pieces.

A direct mail postcard was designed to grab the attention of and quickly make the point to key PANTS attendees.

E-blasts were designed and targeted by operation size and location to reach key grower and retailer customers.

Integrated digital and print advertising conveyed the message effectively across multiple channels and audiences.

A high impact printed trifold brochure enabled Svensson to quickly get their crucial message into the right hands, in a convenient, portable takeaway form ideal for trade shows and meetings.

To ensure captive audiences to share critical points during the busy OFA Short Course, we arranged personal tours for key trade editors to the Svensson booth. Each received media packets with information summaries and contact information, and Svensson personnel had the opportunity to emphasize the research’s importance. This netted a wealth of product mentions, features and research highlights in both print and digital editions.

As the ongoing campaign continues and evolves, sales continue to increase and interest rises in this key product.

– Svensson

Marketing Effective, Economical, Off-Site

When McGregor Plant Sales owner Tom McGregor passed away and new leadership took over, the company needed to reassure current and future customers by maintaining and raising their profile. That meant more marketing, and Pen & Petal provided it, by acting as not just an agency, but a full-service off-site marketing department.

Seamlessly interfacing with the McGregor team for day-to-day goals as well as special projects and promotions, we effectively handled the company’s every marketing, public relations, media relations, communications and advertising need. We began by refreshing the McGregor brand with a new logo and color palette.

The strategy also included designing a fully integrated marketing strategy that featured carefully targeted print and digital ads in key trade media. A monthly e-newsletter integrated with the ads to promote key products and services at critical order times.

Regular press releases ensured the McGregor name was top of mind, and tactical media relations including feature articles and product listings in key publications raised their profile across North America.

We produced a yearly full scale four color comprehensive catalog, managing every aspect from layout and design to photo selection and printing, while working with input from partner companies all over the globe.

As McGregor executives would tell us time and again, having Pen & Petal as their marketing department was the best decision they made, with a seamless integration that fostered a goal-rich environment and made doing business—and marketing—easy.

– McGregor Plant Sales

Putting a Colorful New Spin on Landscapes

We were tasked with introducing Abelia Kaleidoscope not just to the trade, but to the consumer gardening world as well.

Differentiating the new variety was easy—it sells itself with a long-lasting, constantly shifting display of brilliant color plus great habit and tough nature. Plus, it was the longest blooming Abelia on the market.

To launch Kaleidoscope, we designed a multi-pronged launch strategy incorporating trade and consumer media print ads and electronic ads featuring a mix of e-news and web placements.

We were also able to negotiate a number of free product listing placements in multiple publications.

In addition, we employed a targeted, strategic public and media relations campaign integrating carefully timed press releases, product releases and new variety showcases.

Kaleidoscope launched to rave reviews, and sales spiraled to high levels. The variety received a number of industry awards and accolades, including being named one of the best new varieties for consumer magazine Gardening How-To.

– PlantHaven

Marketing Blue Mystique™

Blue Mystique™, the world’s first blue Phalaenopsis orchid, launched at the TPIE show to rave reviews including the Cool New Product award. Since then, its uniqueness has drawn much excitement and admiration, and naturally also some controversy. This will always be the case with a product that redefines convention and stands out from the rest.

In addition, several other factors added to the challenge of marketing this new product. First, confirmation of the product’s availability and readiness for launch didn’t come until less than 8 weeks before TPIE. Second, strict confidentiality contracts bind use of the product, severely restricting the information that can be released on the creation process.

Despite these challenges, Blue Mystique has become a best selling product for Silver Vase throughout the U.S. and Canada, and the company has partnered with other companies for additional expansion of the product.

To accomplish this success, the product and launch were kept “top secret,” and we created a buzz about a revolutionary new product coming, but didn’t reveal the product’s identity until the show itself.

Efforts for launch before TPIE included: name and logo development, show sponsorships and promotions including column wraps, new product displays, web sites, on-site signage, show directory callouts, sponsor ribbons, etc.

A pre-show direct mail before the show featured an oversize design on clear acrylic with a snap off card for people to bring to TPIE booth and enter to win a Blue Mystique branded blue iPod. In addition, pre- and post-show e-blasts reached targeted lists of buyers and media.

Targeted print advertising in key retail florist/supermarket publications included pre-show teaser ads that hinted at product without revealing it as well as post show print and digital ads that introduced the product with a splash. All were tied to the mailer and e-blasts.

A media event prior to TPIE show opening revealed the new product for the first time. Media kits for each member in attendance included sell sheet, basic cultural info, giveaway, tag, ad slick, CD with logo and plant photography and a press release in a branded folder.

We designed distinctly shaped high end literature with metallic ink for maximum attention and positioning as a platinum level product.

A fully designed TPIE booth centered around Blue Mystique, and included a branded iPod drawing and music CD giveaways at the show.

To continue momentum, drive interest and keep everyone talking about Blue Mystique, we designed additional promotion and sponsorships at the International Floriculture Expo (IFE) show including new product displays, web site ads, on-site signage, show directory callouts, etc.

The strategy also included a full range of digital tools integrated with plant tags featuring embedded QR codes or mobile tags (one of the first in the industry to do so).

We developed and designed an all-new company web site with a featured area for Blue Mystique, a full online catalog database, detailed care information, customer testimonials, news stories, press clippings and regular availability updates.

Facebook pages were developed for both Blue Mystique and Silver Vase. The Blue Mystique page employed regular product giveaways, featured photo awards, fan of the week recognition, weekly trivia contests and other promotions to drive interest.

Blue Mystique is the world’s first blue Phalaenopsis orchid, so it didn’t just raise the profile of a category, it created the category. In addition, it started a whole new trend of dye-infused plants. In fact, it was the #1 story for GreenhouseGrower.com.

In addition, it raised awareness for orchids in general and that of flowering potted plants. It has “revived” that category and made it more appealing to the younger generation of consumers.

Since the initial launch, Silver Vase has experienced an exponential sales increase. They have debuted additional colors, and others in the industry have introduced additional dye-infused products.

– Silver Vase