AZUSA, Calif. (March 11, 2008) -- Monrovia is the most considered, purchased and recommended plant brand in the current market, according to a recent survey from Leiberman Research Worldwide*. And Monrovia ranks second in brand awareness and advertising awareness, just slightly behind long-time marketers, Jackson & Perkins "Our branding efforts over the past 10 years have been validated," said Pam Wasson, vice president marketing, who was instrumental in launching Monrovia's branding campaign. "When we began our campaign, aside from Jackson & Perkins, there was virtually no branding in our industry. We were in unchartered territory, but we felt that it was important to position ourselves as a premium product, sold exclusively in independent garden centers, for two reasons: First, to drive traffic to retail and secondly, to educate people why a premium plant will cost more." The first step was to create a consumer-friendly look for the brand. "Our logo had been created in the 1920s and featured a little man smoking a pipe," Wasson recalls. "It was way overdue for a makeover." The result was a simple look, incorporating a flower design, with a modern, friendly look. The signature green pots with the Monrovia logo really helped consumers make the leap from the ads and editorial they saw in national magazines and on television, to the actual plants the were seeing in the garden centers.
Once the look had been defined, the next step was to begin educating consumers about what goes into growing a premium product. High quality soil, hardy stock and environmentally friendly growing techniques were key messages that have built strong associations with the Monrovia brand.
"And it's working. Our research shows that of those who are aware of the Monrovia brand, more than half will consider purchasing Monrovia in the future and more than two-thirds expect to purchase Monrovia plants," Wasson explained. "This is exactly what we want - the more people know about Monrovia the more likely they are to consider us and purchase our plants. And because we sell only in independent garden centers, that's good for the retailers."
Of course the retail environment still tops the list of places gardening consumers turn to for information and inspiration, so an important component of the campaign is carrying the branding throughout the garden centers, with branded displays, posters, consumer brochures, promotions, contests and in-store seminars.
Monrovia has stepped up its branding impact in the garden center environment with its new Boutique concept - a dedicated area in the garden center that is filled with Monrovia plants. The boutique draws attention with colorful banners, posters and garden lifestyle pieces.
Monrovia's website has been important in the branding effort. It is a rich site with thousands of plant photos and extensive details on each of its 2,200 varieties, plus extensive content with ideas and inspiration - even an Ask the Expert feature. In April 2008 a new, improved site will launch, with even more features and interactivity. "Now that so many other growers have followed Monrovia's lead on branding, we see dozens of plant brands in gardening magazines, broadcast, online and at the retail level," Wasson points out. "It has been terrific for the gardening industry and benefited the consumer who now has a wealth of information and inspiration." *Telephone interviews were completed the Fall 2007 of adult homeowners nationwide who had purchased plants within the previous six months. This research, conducted by Leiberman Research Worldwide, was commissioned and paid for by Monrovia.
Background on Monrovia:
Monrovia is one of the world's largest producers of container grown plants, with more than 2,000 different varieties. Since it was founded in 1926 by Harry E. Rosedale, the company has introduced hundreds of patented plants, more than 200 of which are Monrovia exclusives. Monrovia plants are shipped to independent garden centers nationwide from its nurseries in Visalia and Venice Hills, Calif., Dayton, Ore., Springfield, Ohio, LaGrange, N.C. and Cairo, Ga. Throughout its history, Monrovia has pioneered many new technologies and new plant introductions. It remains a family owned entity. To find the nearest garden center that carries Monrovia plants, visit www.monrovia.com