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Women’s Day growth as a floral holiday: Engage, execute to see rewards

James Cash Penney, founder of J.C. Penney, said, “Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” On Wednesday, March 8, we celebrate Women’s Day and building this day as a floral holiday has been an ongoing effort by a diverse group of flower growers, flower retailers and flower advocacy organizations. The foundation has been laid over the last several years, and the stage has been set.

Looking across the industry, promoting Women’s Day is no longer something new. In fact, it has blossomed into an established event, with many mass market retailers planning ahead to promote Women’s Day leading up to March 8. The evidence of this is found in the Sun Valley sales office, where historically we were talking to retailers about Women’s Day and leading the conversation about the holiday. Yet this year as I write these words, five national chains have already called us to ask, “What’s available for Women’s Day?”

SVFG-WOMENS-DAYBuilding Women’s Day as a floral holiday has been an ongoing effort by a very diverse group of flower growers, flower retailers and flower advocacy organizations.Liane Mast, marketing and floral director at Stater Bros., a 168-store grocery retailer based in San Bernardino, CA, said, “Stater Bros. will again feature a themed International Women’s Day ad in the floral department featuring a tulip bouquet.”

What is your organization doing for Women’s Day? The legwork has been done and now it is easier than ever for a retailer to plug into marketing Women’s Day to help drive floral sales in early March. Like most opportunities though, you need to engage and execute to see any reward. There are many resources available, not only from our farm, but other farms and groups such as the Society of American Florists.

The greatest journey starts with a single step, so how about doing some social media posting to create awareness and gauge interest from your customers? How about a blog post highlighting your women team members or leaders? This is an inexpensive way to do a little market research. Sharing the history and significance of Women’s Day with your floral department is also a key way to build Women’s Day in your own organization. The Wednesday after Valentine’s Day is the day to start.

The last several years have shown that this flower-giving occasion is easy to assimilate into your current marketing, and since it doesn’t rely on a particular flower or color scheme, your floral department already has the proper product mix.

The themes of honor and respect for all women are appropriate for both men and women to buy flowers for the women in their lives, including daughters, elders and co-workers. Have you ever seen someone receive flowers and not be happy?

The success of Women’s Day is based on its ubiquity, and though the message has spread nationwide, it still needs your store or your floral department to keep building, expanding and reaching more consumers with a positive message in 2017.

Bill Prescott is the marketing communications associate at the Sun Valley Group in Arcata, CA. He can be contacted at bprescott@tsvg.com.

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