Editor’s Note: We recently explored video content as an essential branding tool for IGCs in the February 2017 issue. Read “5 steps to boost your garden center’s brand visibility” for more information at

Video displays at Petitti Garden Centers are intended to give customers ideas and tips for their projects at home, like building container gardens.
CONNER HOWARD
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When it comes to branding and reaching out to the modern consumer, there are few media or methods more relevant than video. Social video, whether it is delivered through YouTube or Facebook or other platforms, is changing the game for retail brands around the world — and garden centers are not immune from the growing need for companies to reach out to customers visually.

As a leading garden retail chain in the Cleveland, Ohio area, Petitti Garden Centers has embraced video content as a way to engage its market and educate customers with visual demonstrations and walkthroughs. Noelle Akin, director of communications and education, says the Petitti YouTube channel and video strategy arose from president A.J. Petitti’s frequent television appearances on local news stations.

“We started with a few things in spring and just kept on going with a weekly educational session, with whatever topics were rolling in through social media or media — that’s what we were trying to focus on,” Akin says.

To bring these lessons directly to their customers, Petitti managers are now starting to bring the company’s YouTube experience into the store with video display stands.

We spotted the display above a Petitti-built garden bed near their booth at the 2017 Great Big Home + Garden Show in Cleveland, where it played a variety of Petitti YouTube video tutorials on a loop. The Petitti Youtube tutorials cover a wide variety of topics, including deer-resistant perennials, tips for planting in shade and more. Although the display is a unique piece built specifically for the show, it is similar in function to the mobile video kiosks used in Petitti stores to inspire and inform shoppers.

Tom Trivisonno, graphics manager for Petitti Garden Centers, said both the show model and store model of the video stands were intended to showcase the breadth of gardening topics addressed on the company’s YouTube channel.

“[We] just [give] a basic core experience for the consumer, the new customer. We tried to give a scope,” Trivisonno says. “Usually, at the show, we try to set the tone for the year. That’s the tone for the last couple of years, that we’ve been trying to set — just illuminate where this product comes from and that it’s grown locally, here in northeastern Ohio. That’s where a lot of our YouTube videos are coming from.”

The in-store models of the video displays are intended to be more mobile and adaptable, so Petitti Garden Centers staff can adjust them to fit seasonal themes and store layouts. Trivisonno says the displays will be a big part of Petitti’s marketing throughout the 2017 growing season.

“We left space for the three TVs, we figured out the height of it, and we just put some shelving on it at the very end so we could merchandise it any way we wanted to,” Trivisonno says. “It was almost the perfect vehicle for us to showcase these videos that we’ve been making.”