When trying to sell plants, it’s important to know the consumers you’re trying to market to, and why they are motivated to garden. During New England Grows, Jonathan Pedersen, Monrovia’s vice president of business development, discussed four “gardening personas” that garden centers often find in their customers: Zen, Dedicated, Practical and Apprehensive.
“You need to know your audience,” Pedersen said. “Who are the gardeners buying from you? At Monrovia, we don’t go after Apprehensive gardening personas, but instead go for Practical and also the Dedicated and Zen gardening personas.”
As Monrovia discovered through its research, which included an online survey of more than 800 homeowners with a yard and/or garden space and who earn $55,000 or more a year, each of these consumer groups have different reasons for gardening, and there are different factors IGCs can consider when catering to them:
About 23 percent of people fall into this category. Zen Gardeners view gardening as a passion pursuit. Gardening provides them a sense of peace and creative expression. These individuals like to connect with the earth and are passionate about making their gardens beautiful. Sometimes, these are younger consumers. According to Pedersen, this group has grown in the past decade by about 10 percent. On average, they spend $525 a year on plants and related products.
About 21 percent of people fall into this category. They view gardening as a passion pursuit. These are gardening purists who simply love spending time in the garden. These tend to be the most knowledgeable gardeners who are high-information seekers. They enjoy caring for plants of all kinds. These tend to be Baby Boomers. However, Pedersen said this demographic shrunk a little due to age and limitations. On average, they spend $416 a year on plants and related products.
About 44 percent of people fall into this category. These people view gardening as a necessary task. They will garden frequently, but they lack the passion of Zen and Dedicated gardening personas. They have a desire for a beautiful outdoor space, though. They often lack knowledge about gardening, but the idea of it does not overwhelm them. Typically, they want an easy-to-maintain garden. Overall, this group is a split between Baby Boomers and Millennials. They also are high-income individuals. On average, they spend $269 a year on green living and plants.
About 12 percent of people fall into this category. These people view gardening as a necessary task. Unlike the practical gardening personas, they neither have the passion nor the time for gardening. They only garden to have an outdoor space that looks sufficient. Often, these people are inexperienced with gardening, they may fear failure with gardening, so they avoid it. Also, many of them are budget-conscious garden shoppers, so they seldom turn to mom-and-pop garden centers and instead opt for places like Walmart or Lowe’s. On average, they spend $167 a year on green living and plants.
“Each of these folks differ in loyalty levels,” Pedersen said. “However, the greater a person’s passion for gardening, the higher the spending. Also, sometimes Practical gardening personas are more loyal, as they’re looking for easy-to-maintain gardens. At Monrovia, we took all this information and boiled it down to a marketing strategy so we could meet consumers where they were at so they could relate with our brand.”