Not your garden variety marketing mix

Global Industry Analysts, Inc. recently put out a report that the world’s garden products market will exceed US $256 billion by 2015. That’s a lot of green! Consumer concerns about the environment, food contamination and gardening growing as a hobby due to the great recession are all contributing to the growth of the garden products market. And if you’re at all like me you might assume that the real food/organic movement was a main contributor to the growth. While organic products are contributing to the growth of the category, product innovations and introductions are contributing more significantly. In addition, the scope of what is included in the garden products category continues to expand as our leisure time activities change with garden furniture, garden accessories (think classy lawn ornaments!) and lawn care products all included. Here are a couple of examples of how companies are trying to take advantage of this growth, some more successfully than others. Organic-Preen A couple of years ago I bought Organic Preen to deal with my home garden weed issues. Let’s think about the name Organic Preen for a moment. Kind of sounds contradictory doesn’t it? I think most people would assume their chemical based weed preventer is unlikely to be given the USDA seal of organic approval. I’ve noticed in recent years the packaging for Organic Preen has been revamped and the Marketing message is much less about organic now. The new packaging includes the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval instead. Large companies typically not in the garden space, like Ryobi, have recently created bridges from their traditional product mix (hard core construction power tools) to capitalize on the growing garden products market. Ryobi now has a singular battery pack that will work on 50+ tools including six garden specific tools. And if online reviews of some of their new garden focused products are any indication, it’s a strategy that’s paying off. Product innovations including floral print sloggers and garden tools in pretty pastels are ripe to appeal to women. But it’s going to be important for Marketers to know their audience and utilize marketing vehicles like social, word-of-mouth and online as part of the marketing mix for not only appealing to these outdoor garden lovers but also growing their brand. With the expected growth in the coming years for the garden products market, it may be worth considering whether this is a category that makes sense for your brand. If it does seem to fit and you want to grow your brand in this direction, make sure you have the right marketing mix. And then water, weed, and repeat.