Lawler speaks out on brand-building post-Glee

Marketing consultant Jane Lawler, formerly of Bayer Garden and Gardman, says the atmosphere at the Glee trade show was "buoyant" after some "tough recent years".

Lawler, who was promoting Bonnington, Kelkay and Vivagreen, said what made "everyone so optimistic and positive was not visitor numbers because although no figures have been published yet, it was clear to me that whilst busy at peak periods, it wasn’t markedly busier than previous years."

She said "perhaps people’s expectations have changed. The show is all about building business reputation and presenting a menu of retail opportunities. I think the stands and the staff on them are all better for it."

Lawler added: "With a complicated planning process and the organisational headaches involved in putting on a trade exhibition, it’s easy to lose your brand equity management amongst the stand builders, accommodation bookings, transport, deliveries and breakdown teams. You probably appoint a project manager to control all the logistical aspects of the show. My tip is to make sure you have a separate brand champion who keeps the whole event on message."


Lawler's other top tips:

Get your overall brand hierarchy and core brand messages agreed and established well ahead of the show. Make sure you have brand graphics and ‘tone of voice’ clear and consistent so that there’s no debate when you’re in a mad hurry to get to print hours before a deadline.

Train the team so that everyone understands the brand values and business objectives, and make sure they know how to communicate them. Create a business Q&A document and keep it up to date so that everyone is delivering the same consistent answers to customers, the media, competitors.

Keep your core message and your brand identity clear and consistent in all your pre-show activity. Send all your customers an invitation before the show that reinforces your core brand messages.

Take advantage of all the marketing and pr opportunities on offer. Brief the media partners both before the show and every day. Follow up afterwards with them too. Enter the new product awards showcase. Make sure you have great photography available of new products, key people, your stand.

Agree your standards – make sure that visitors to the stand get a great reception from you and your staff. Agree rules for staff breaks, dress code, eating and drinking on the stand, slumping on the furniture, talking on the phone, staring at the laptop, curry the night before?

Have a simple, quick and foolproof way of capturing customer data and actions – the scanning and database technology available is great, but have a paper back up system in case there’s a failure. You’ve invested a lot, make sure you capitalize on every lead.

Follow up every visitor after the show and make sure the style and content remains ‘on brand’.

Debrief thoroughly so that you can improve for next time.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Is garden centre pricing becoming more competitive?

Is garden centre pricing becoming more competitive?

Good sales this year appear to have masked the continuing pressure on pricing strategies this year as online offerings and exchange rates make their presence felt.

Hedging - what are the alternatives to box?

Hedging - what are the alternatives to box?

With box blight and box tree moth both posing problems, Miranda Kimberley looks at alternative planting choices.

What are the benefits to garden retail businesses of multi-channel selling?

What are the benefits to garden retail businesses of multi-channel selling?

Gardening Express has become the latest online operator to buy a bricks-and-mortar garden centre, showing how multi-channel selling is developing fast.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES

Our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover. 

Garden Centre Prices

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles

Neville Stein

Business advice from Neville Stein, MD of business consultancy Ovation
 

Read latest articles