IPM 2020 | 3 Big Floral Industry Trends from a Marketing Perspective
By: Johan van den Haak
OK, all cards on the table: I'm an IPM newby. My second IPM in a row, with so many novelties and highlights that it was sometimes difficult to see the wood from the trees. This made me realize it'd be more interesting to have a look at the extravagance of the IPM and the floral industry from a marketing point of view. And I did notice some interesting things! Here are three things that really caught my attention.
Practice what you preach
Firstly, I noticed that Sustainability is really getting deep roots in our market. Compared to last year, I believe I saw a lot more companies displaying actual sustainable solutions, rather than merely a sustainable corporate ideology. A great development in my opinion. I believe this means Sustainability is moving away from being a mere Unique Selling Point, to becoming a topic that you have to abide to. Claiming you believe in nurturing our planet, but having no Sustainable solutions to offer, is simply ‘not done’ anymore. On the other hand, it also means that really differentiating yourself with Sustainability will become much harder, as a lot of companies around you are also making noise with the same promises.
That’s where I think the difference can still be made in the years to come: products that are actually sustainable. Not just something that sounds sustainable to show off. Especially since customers and consumers are also getting more and more knowledgeable. Practice what you preach!
Screaming in a room full of screaming people
I also noticed that a lot of stands at the IPM were built as high as the ceiling allowed. From one end, you really couldn’t see the other end anymore. Where one company had an even more eye-catching billboard than the other. From clear and large brand signs to flashing LED-screens, anything was used to stand out. The irony is, because everyone is trying to stand out by going BIG, they actually lose that ‘wow’ factor. Because a tenfold of stands are doing the exact same thing. Blocking your sight, basically. Funny enough, I think this somehow relates to what I just said about Sustainability: opportunities in trying to stand out are not to be found in screaming and making the biggest and brightest sign. They’re there where your story actually connects with the products you sell. True ownership in what you believe in. If you do this, you really don’t need large signs to stand out. You stand out because what you believe in actually connects with the market’s needs and perception.
Offline is very much alive!
Finally, I noticed that – even though the entire world is digitizing at an unheard pace – our market still shows plenty of opportunity for offline efforts. Plants and flowers will always remain products that are deeply connected to human emotion, because that is the one thing a computer or robot cannot learn. And guess what? Emotion is still best addressed when you can actually touch and smell a product. So even though all the marketing alarm bells out there are screaming about digitizing your efforts, do make sure to stay innovative offline as well. Stay true to your product and the people you want to connect with!
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