Best Themed Promotion - New Hopetoun Gardens - Plants for Wildlife and Gardeners

With the Scottish garden centre market being flat for the past five years, New Hopetoun Gardens decided that if they kept doing the same thing the same way, they would get the same results, so they made some changes to their marketing.

Best Themed Promotion - New Hopetoun Gardens - Plants for Wildlife and Gardeners - image: HW
Best Themed Promotion - New Hopetoun Gardens - Plants for Wildlife and Gardeners - image: HW

The aim of the new marketing plan was to talk to existing customers, have a story and events to capture new and returning customers, and keep the garden centre's profile and reputation up in its marketplace.

Annual themed promotions included grow your own with a potager theme in 2009 and a Tuscan potager theme in 2010. In 2011, New Hopetoun promoted cut your own foliage and flowers. With massive publicity around the plight of bees and the importance of pollinators, this seemed an obvious theme for 2011/12.

Gardening for wildlife has been a consistent theme for New Hopetoun Gardens since its 1996 sponsorship of the Plant for Life Garden with Scottish Natural Heritage at Beechgrove's TV garden. Rejuvenated for 2011/12, the message was that wildlife gardens do not need to be no-go areas for humans; plants must be as good for us as for garden visitors; your garden can be urban or rural; gardens can be of any size and fragrance; year-round interest and low maintenance are all possible.

In 2011/12, New Hopetoun's marketing activities included adopting St Johns Avenue Flowerbed in local town Linlithgow, a makeover of the Garden for Life at Beechgrove that featured on TV and sponsoring the Floral Hall and creating a show feature at June's Gardening Scotland.

Despite awful weather, by the end of June, turnover was up 1.5 per cent for the first eight months of New Hopetoun's financial year and customer numbers were up 3.9 per cent. Garden centre takings in June were up nine per cent and customer numbers up 2.5 per cent.

- Judge's comment

"The heading is broad but I was impressed at the way the garden centre took it to new audiences" - Gavin McEwan

Finalists
Scotsdales - The Diamond Jubilee
Fermoy's - Grow at Home
Endsleigh Garden & Leisure
Marie Curie Cancer Care - The Great Daffodil Appeal

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