The Arizona Nursery Association (ANA) has been very active the past two years creating a new plant marketing campaign called “Plant Something”. After building the promotion in our own state, this January, the ANA Board decided to test the waters to see if this promotion could go national. Since then, five nursery associations have joined Arizona and nearly every day, a new state inquires about how they can get their association involved. (Current members are: Colorado, Idaho, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Washington). A prime component of the marketing campaign is the call to action “Don’t Just Stand There, Plant Something!” and the best news - it is catching on!
The campaign centers around a traditional looking plant stake logo, which is in the final public comment stage after which Arizona will hold the national trademark on the phrase and logo artwork. The program has been featured this year at the ANLA Management Clinic in Louisville, KY, the Nursery & Landscape Association Executives yearly meeting in San Antonio, TX and will play a role at the OFA Short Course in July in Columbus, OH. The goal of presenting the promotion at these meetings is to attract attention to the brand and bring on additional nursery associations to the program.
Credit for the development of this program must be given to the USDA Farm Bill Specialty Crop Block Grant program. Without the assistance of these funds, which to date total nearly $300,000 in AZ, this campaign would not have been possible. The idea behind the initial grant was the Arizona Nursery Association’s desire to help boost their members’ sales in the height of the economic downturn.
As almost all members of this industry understand, when an association decides to spend promotional dollars, the challenge is creating a campaign that helps bedding plant and tree growers alike. In the initial grant, there were dollars allocated to hire a professional advertising agency as this was a project outside the expertise of our board members. Phoenix based advertising agency, Park & Co., was a natural choice because of their experience with the “Water - Use it Wisely” campaign which started in Arizona and went national as well. (www.wateruseitwisely.org
). Park & Co. developed the slogan, logo, website and other promotional materials after several lengthy meetings with ANA members to determine our market segment, primary competition and tone of the desired campaign. As far as ANA is concerned, Park & Co. hit this one out of the park! (pun intended)
Our next phase, sharing the program with other state nursery associations, is now in full swing. At this point, only state nursery and landscape associations are being solicited to join and they, in-turn, deliver the campaign to their members. The www.plant-something.org
splash page is the primary component for the states to link to their specific state’s consumer website, which can either be an existing site with Plant Something artwork added (as Minnesota has done) or a full Plant Something website (like Massachusetts).
One of the most popular reasons for a nursery association to join is the artwork expense savings provided by this partnership. All promotional materials created by Arizona, and all other participating states, is saved in a website which member associations can access as they wish. They then just modify existing artwork to suit their needs and they are ready to develop promotional materials customized to their state. At this time, artwork is available for brochures, plant tags, plant stakes, buttons, posters and flags. Soon to be added are magazine ads and newspaper banners. On the audio side, a :30 and :60 radio ad is already available (you just need to modify the ending tag-line) and in the next couple of months, a full :30 digital television-quality video suitable for a Public Service Announcement, or a video to add to your website, will be available.
ANA hopes this just might be the promotional campaign to increase consumer’s awareness of the monetary, health and environmental benefits of planting and landscaping…so much so, that this year, we are allocating many more grant funds to get this message out.
If your state nursery association is interesting in joining us, please contact me at email@example.com. Now, don’t just sit there reading this…..Plant Something!