You Can! Be Garden Chic

From: Garden Chic, Best of Show Issue, 2012

You Can! Be Garden Chic
It’s ‘Taste Graph’ Time
A major new trend in the social media-driven marketing landscape is the rise of the “taste graph.” Garden Chic’s Social Media Columnist Kyle Lacy says it’s a way retailers can connect with consumers and connect consumers to each other via their interests and tastes. Kyle explains that, essentially, taste graphs cull data from social sites and create “mash-ups” of consumer opinions. In a way, it is a form of social data mining. Look for Kyle at IGC 2013!

Customer Funding in U.K.
We are sometimes quizzed about our fascination with the U.K. Its healthcare
system aside, those whacky limeys may have better ideas on some things. U.K.-based healthy fast food franchise Leon is raising £1.5 million from its loyal customers (rather than corporate investors) so it can expand and open new locations. Customers investing a minimum of £1,500 for three years receive interest and other non-edible perks in return. Great idea!

Facebook Cool, Websites Not
A significant find from the Garden Writers Association’s June 2012 Garden Trends Research Report is that today’s consumer puts value on your Facebook page and YouTube channel, but not so much your website! Both showed an increase from last year - 5 percent and 3 percent, respectively - as a source for gardening information. Yet company websites are becoming less popular, dropping from 17 percent to 8 percent.

Veggies & Fruits Rank High
Just before this season, 600 gardeners nationwide were asked by Garden Safe about their gardening plans - 75 percent planned to grow vegetables, while 50 percent planned fruits and herbs. Gardeners cited better taste, fun activity and cost savings as the primary reasons to grow their own. Seventy-five percent of respondents believe natural products are at least just as effective as chemical pesticides.

They Still Love Their Yards
You need not have any doubts: the American love affair with the backyard shows no signs of slowing, according to research by the American Society of Landscape Architects. L.A.s specializing in residential design were asked to rate a variety of elements. Almost 95 percent rated gardens and landscape spaces somewhat or very popular. Native plants scored high at 86 percent, as did food/vegetable gardens at 81 percent.

Shout It: Indies Rock!
Choosing a locally owned store generates almost four times more economic benefit for the surrounding region as shopping at a chain, a new study concludes. Research firm Civic Economics found that local retailers return an average of 52 percent of their revenue to the local economy, compared with just 14 percent for chain retailers. This is important stuff! Make the point to customers and local officials that indies like you rock!

‘I’ve Been Cash Mobbed!’
It was a rainy afternoon outside Chicago, and much to the surprise of the owner of The Pure Gardener in Geneva, IL, more than 50 shoppers poured in to show their support for the locally owned independent. Other occurrences are starting to be reported nationwide among garden centers. These random acts of support started a few years ago in Buffalo, NY, with an outpouring at a local wine shop. Great to see the public showing their support of indies!

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