Niche Marketing of Native Plants
Dennis P. Niemeyer
Marketing of native plants by a mail-order nursery necessitates a different approach than a traditional nursery or garden center. Native plants are either "unknown" or thought of as "weeds" to the uninformed gardener. Extensive customer education is needed in order to make the customer aware of the features and benefits of native plants. We must also address the negative image of natives as "weeds" or untidy plants in the landscape.
Being a mail-order nursery does not allow very much one-on-one communication with the customer. This means we must be clean and concise on the message we present. The use of multiple media is necessary to reach the broad audience we are targeting.
Our marketing philosophy is summed up by two slogans which we use: "We-Du Natives" and "If you can find it in a garden center, we probably don't grow it!"
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