Last year's Royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton may have seemed nothing short of a fairy-tale romance, but celebrating it with a particular floral tribute took timing, teamwork and hard graft. Ball Colegrave had to move fast to seize a fantastic marketing opportunity for itself and customers. The magic date was 28 April 2011 but would tills ring as well as wedding bells?
It was touch-and-go whether garden centres would be celebrating healthy plant sales. The colours red, white and blue were agreed but hitting on a flower with early and prolonged colour to coincide with the flag waving was not so easy. Pansy Panola boasted these attributes but seed would need sowing almost immediately. Without orders, this was risky.
Ball Colegrave committed itself and set in motion a swift campaign over Christmas and the new year. In just two weeks, almost 500,000 plugs had been sown and a Royal Wedding Mix leaflet designed, printed and sent to customers, garden centres and the press. Meanwhile, a dedicated Ball Colegrave web page flagged up the mix and an e-newsletter spread the word.
The Pansy Panola Royal Wedding Mix offered retailers a reliable blend of multiflora pansy for impulse colour sales just when it was needed - all that red, white and blue would be bursting into flower in late April for gardeners to snap up, take home and deck out their beds or pots. Supporting the promotion was a twin-leg or cell-pack label.
The delivery of the 350 Pansy Panola plug was well timed for growers to transplant into their own pack, add their chosen label style and grow on for 10 weeks. Success was complete - all plugs were sold within three weeks of the launch of the offer, ensuring that garden centre managers were crying tears almost as joyful as the happy couple.
Top Up Thursday, Ball Colegrave
Rudolph, Fenmarc Produce