Success of Geranium 'Rozanne' website prompts new launch

A new website launches next month targeting retailers and consumers after experts found Geranium "Rozanne" - the Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Centenary - was one of the most popular plants on social media with over 73,000 Facebook followers.

Facebook: it is hoped that followers of Rozanne will increase to 125,000 within a year of the website's launch (Pic: Flickr.com)
Facebook: it is hoped that followers of Rozanne will increase to 125,000 within a year of the website's launch (Pic: Flickr.com)

Surging popularity has been credited to the geraniumrozanne.com website, launched two years ago. The new website called RozanneandFriends.com is due to go live in January.

Its aim is to promote a wider range of plants including Geranium Azure Rush, Achillea Little Moonshine, Campanula Blue Waterfall and the new Viola Bonnie Lassie series.

"Geraniumrozanne.com started as an experiment," said head of European sales Alistair Lorimer. "A huge amount has been learnt on promoting plants to consumers through social media.

"It is proving a very cost-effective way to raise awareness. The plan now is to use this formula to broaden the range of plants that are being promoted to both consumers and retailers."

The website will promote Geranium Rozanne and many other varieties in what Lorimer calls "consumer speak" rather than "technical horticulture speak".

The site will be very pictorial to appeal to consumers. "Two years ago we set up geraniumrozanne.com and used a marketing agency that knew nothing of plants. This was deliberate and a good move – we didn't want to get trapped in horticulture speak," explained Lorimer.

"We wanted to really push social-media marketing, and we decided to focus on Facebook.

Facebook "lets you target exactly who you want in terms of hobbies, age groups, locations and genders" added Lorimer who wanted Rozanne to appeal to people who like gardens but not necessarily gardening.

"We spent £12,000 a year on Facebook targeting those people. We put up a range of posts on topics such as quirky quotations, how to look after Rozanne, and the best cocktail to drink in the garden.

"We also ran competitions with prizes including £350 Visa tokens to spend on whatever you wanted – people signing up to our newsletter went into an automatic prize draw for the prizes."

Lorimer hopes Facebook followers will jump from 73,000 to 125,000 within a year of the new website's launch. Popularity of Rozanne will also prompt people to look at other varieties, he hopes.


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