Seed of Difference

Planting Seeds in your Flower Shop Marketing  

Many of the marketing illuminati (Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, Chris Brogan, et al) often talk about seeding your marketing story into your product.  If your product is embedded with a powerful story rich with emotion, then the brand can ride the wave of word of mouth as your message gets spreads. 

What exactly is it like to plant seeds into a product so that it is encoded with a marketing message and a powerful story? I think it starts with deeply understanding why you are doing something and sharing that passion in every communication and interaction with customers. Simon Sinek, in his brilliant book Start with Why, explains this idea with crisp examples from Apple and others. 

A Rose By Any Other Name

The ten flower shops in a mid-sized city, with little exception, all sell the same things. They all buy from the same suppliers and their prices are usually in the same range. 

How can someone differentiate themselves by planting into their marketing why they exist?

If I were advising flower shop # 10, my marketing coaching advice would start with getting answers to these three questions:  

1. Besides making money, why are you in this business?

2. Do you have any personal or passionate connection with growing or arranging flowers?

3, What is it that you feel connects you to this business?

4. Can you think of one reason why you think customers will buy from you versus your competitor if what you sell isn't that different?

 And then the brainstorm begins...

1. Could you donate fresh flowers to a random person in the hospital each week and put a note on each arrangement that you sell and then share a truthful story why you do that?  Call it Random Acts of A Florist. 

2. Is it possible that you could profile the person who grows the flowers so that you can personalize the arrangement? (Think of how local farmers are now getting connected to consumers by sharing the stories of the produce grower)

3. Is it possible that you could find a different way to display your arrangement of flowers that no other florist does in town? Maybe you partner with a potter or glass blower and make custom arrangements that are one of a kind?

4. Can you offer flowers by subscription so that every twelfth day of the month, a husband can deliver fresh flowers to his wife as a reminder of his love?

5. Can you make the ordering process simpler by using better design on your website so that the process is as simple as possible?  Perhaps if you get your website designer and a few customers together in a room, you might be able to learn more about how to make the process simpler and more effective.

6. Can you help me order a year’s worth of flowers by allowing me to provide you with the date and message of flowers I need to send to family members during the year? Maybe I get reminders a week before birthdays or anniversaries so that I just have to confirm the order?

7. What if you hired a copywriter who will customize a card for your customers in words that helps write what is in their heart? Provide this service for free to your best customers.

8. Can you offer a frequent flower club so that if I send flowers often, I get free delivery, or upgrades to bigger bouquets or other valuable messages?

9. Can you find a way to include copies of my old photographs along with the flowers so that the vase of roses is filled with a few pictures that connect my feelings and some special moments from my life with that person?

10. Could you deliver the flowers in a van that gets noticed and remembered by all who see it. (maybe it has an over sized vase like a billboard with a 3-D rose on it).

Tell a different story

When a reporter calls and asks you what makes your flower shop different, you must have an authentic and genuine story to tell them. For example, you might share how that when you were a child and had to go to the hospital, you were amazed at how much the flowers that your mother brought you brightened up your day. The flowers made you feel loved even when you parents went home at night. And you always wanted to do that for others. So once a week, you deliver fresh flowers to some lonely person in a hospital whose room is barren of flowers or people. 

Each of these ideas plants a seed of difference and helps you customer share this story with others. Think about ways that you can cross pollinate your message with every sales and germinate a powerful brand.

Notes: If you enjoy my posts, would you share it with your marketing friends? And check out my new book on Amazon. At $2.99 it is a great value. 21 useful lessons based on my marketing experiences. A paperback version will be published in a few weeks for those who like to hold a book in their hands.

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