Sep 22, 2020
Proven Winners Presents Retail Marketing Trends from the Road

Proven Winners retail account managers Jessica DeGraaf and Meghan Owens shared in a recent webinar trends they have spotted this year and what’s coming up in 2021. Here are some highlights:

Color and Gardening Trends

Pantone’s Color of the Year is yet to be announced, but Meghan said that there’s been a lot of chatter about “AI (Artificial Intelligence) Aqua” being selected, as it has a peaceful, meditative quality.

IGCs can latch on to trending colors by highlighting plants on hand that reflect the color.

Garden Media Group’s annual trends report offers a peek into what will be trending in horticulture in 2021 and beyond. Houseplants are among the trends that keep on trending, and for good reason. People are home more and have more time to devote to their plants. What’s more, Meghan pointed out that people who are working from home have to consider their “Zoom Room” and how it expresses their personality. Having a houseplant or two in the background can show personal style — and provide a topic of conversation.

Proven Winners webinar AI Aqua color trend
AI Aqua.

The Pinterest 100 is an annual report showing what’s next across categories including food, home, style, beauty, health, travel and family. According to the site, these insights show that, more than ever, people are thinking and acting globally and sustainably. They’re staying home to work, entertain or be entertained, and then heading outdoors to be reacquainted with nature, look for adventure, and travel responsibly.

Topics that would pique IGCs’ interest include “garden rooms,” which are up 104; “microgreens growing indoor,” which grew 223%; “indoor water fountains,” up 917%; outdoor kitchen bars,” which skyrocketed up 2,795%; “outdoor play areas,” which rose 550%; and “bring outdoors inside,” which jumped 108%.

New Gardeners

We have 16 million new gardeners due to COVID — so how do we keep them as customers? Proven Winners hopes to retain 30 to 50%. They suggested considering marketing efforts to make these newbies feel less newbie-ish and more welcome.

“It’s our responsibility as an industry to make sure we’re nurturing those new gardeners and ensuring their success,” Meghan said.

One way to do this might be through your signage. Providing details on signs throughout the store can answer some of those questions that new gardeners might not want to ask for fear of it being a “dumb question.”

Being Social

Maintaining a strong social media presence will continue to trend into the new year. As the pandemic took hold, customers got used to receiving frequent communication from their local garden center — so don’t stop now! While your message might not be all about the precautions that you’re taking to keep you customers (and staff) safe, it’s still worth mentioning — as are some of the actions you’re taking in the community, such as fundraisers, and events or new product arrivals in store.

The Proven Winners IGC Connect Facebook group is a valuable resource for IGCs to ask questions, share ideas and connect with peers in a closed environment.

For more information or to sign up to attend the webinar series, visit


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