The customer as "garden celebrity"

Garden Celebrities I receive Green Profit Magazine, published by Ball Publishing. It's a trade journal for people involved in the garden businesses. The last issue contained a article titled, "Get to Know the Garden Celebrities" in which we are introduced to 6 "personalities". According to Green Profit, "Knowing these garden gurus appearing on television, online, and in books and magazines can help you serve your customers and better meet their needs. Green Profit asked a few for their take on gardening and how the garden centers and gardening personalities can work together."

P. Allen Smith, "garden and lifestyle expert..."sums up the point of the article when asked what retailers can do to harness these personalities powerful brand. " The first step to bridge the gap is for retailers to carry the products and plants that personalities are using and endorsing. Manufacturers and breeders have national marketing programs that retailers can tap into. This gives the retailer the benefit of having a better idea of what is going to be promoted. For instance, my Platinum Collection of plants with Proven Winners is being promoted 24/7 through all of our media platforms."

Interestingly enough an article was written for the same publication in February of this year. Written by Merrideth  Jiles, general manager of The Great Outdoors in Austin Texas it's titled, "The New Trendsetters". In that post Merrideth say's, "Step back five or more years. Close to 100% of the trends in gardening were being set by our industry. National trends were presented on television by the Marthas, Jamies and P. Allens, or maybe an inspired set designed for a TV or movie studio. You could also see them in the latest issue of 'Better Southern Home & Fine Garden Living.'”

He continues, "Today, with tablet ownership estimated at 25% and sometimes even higher (I’m sure it’s higher for our target demographic!), garden trends are coming from all over the place. Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, the list grows every day. And don’t forget all the Garden Bloggers. The biggest difference? It’s not Martha or Jamie or P. Allen out there trending. It’s artists, homemakers and many of the afore-mentioned screwballs that are sharing their ideas and creations for the home and garden with an online community."

So I ask the folks at Green Profit,  which advice do we follow? Follow and do as the "personalities" tell us, or follow and do as our "customers" tell us?