Tuesday, 14 October 2014


Recently, while browsing the internet for content relevant to the brief I found a useful article which evidences the fact that there is currently a large gap in the market which most retailers have done nothing to exploit. The information is very applicable to my project which looks to brand a company looking to exploit the lack of a contemporary indoor plant company that appeals to a younger, lifestyle conscious audience. 

Additionally, as well as discussing the current gap in the market the article also features a ten point list of ways houseplant retailers can sell more plants, information which is also directly relevant to the theme of the brief. 


  • House plant sales are up and have the potential for further growth so simple techniques can boost turnover. 
  • Over the past few decades the houseplant sector has been a cash cow and most retailers have done little or nothing to market plants other than displaying them on benches. 
  • For every houseplant sold in the UK this year, a consumer in Denmark, Norway and Switzerland is likely to buy five. So the potential to grow this market in the UK is huge.
  • At a recent British Ornamental Plant Producers technical conference, delegates heard JZ Flowers commercial manager Joanne Plant say sales of indoor plants are growing, with a 7.2 per cent increase in value and 1.2 per cent in volume over the past year. "Indoor plants are what's driving the market," she added.
  • Many garden centres have a highly subjective and often negative view of houseplants, not least because these can represent as little as 2.5 to five per cent of turnover.

  • Sell houseplants as gifts - HPW Architects & Designers, which has been instrumental in the design and layout of plant retail areas for more than 20 years (clients include Ikea in Germany), says: "Houseplant customers are different from the general run of visitors to a garden centre because they aren't necessarily gardeners. They're buying a gift - for themselves or for someone else."

  • Promote houseplants as easy - Dr David Hessayon, the author of the world's best-selling book on the subject (The House Plant Expert, Transworld Publishers, 1991), points out: "Anyone can grow the more popular varieties and make them look attractive. Exciting displays are not difficult to make."

  • Sadly, too many garden centres seem happy to display their houseplants in rows, all neatly lined up, facing outwards like good little soldiers. These have a strong "walk-past" factor. The plants need to shout "I'm here, look at me" and they need to emotionally engage with the customer.

  • Houseplants are heavy so relatively expensive to trade over distances. It is surprising, therefore, that so many plants are imported from Holland, Belgium, Denmark and Italy. About half the indoor plants sold in the UK are homegrown and most UK-grown plants are flowering types. Customers are aware more than ever of "plant miles", so you could save on shipping costs and score a few environmental points as well by announcing that your plants, or a range of them, are UK-grown.

  • Point-of-sale posters, cards and boards should be displayed to emphasise the health-giving merits of houseplants.

  • If you think of houseplants as dated - Victorian parlour palms and potted aspidistra being the main culprits here - tell your customers to treat indoor plants as a contemporary statement in the home. This will raise the perceived value of the plants that you are selling.


The article was directly relevant to brief one and detailed many useful points that will help to inform my response to the brief. One of the most important aspects of the article was the evidencing of current market traits and the identification of a gap in the market, as there is a current demand for the indoor pants the company has a reason to exist. Additionally, many more relevant points where made in the article which will help to influence how company is represented and how the products are marketed. 

The information detailed in the article which will be used to inform my response is listed below; 
  • Sell houseplants as gifts, customers aren't usually horticulturists.
  • Promote houseplants as easy to grow and keep healthy.
  • Plants are often currently marketed uninteresting ways, businesses looking to exploit the gap in the market should use engaging visuals.
  • House plant miles - use UK based retailers to source plants form, helps business be more sustainable.
  • Promote the health benefits of having houseplants.
  • Promote the contemporary aspect of houseplants, this will raise the perceived value of the products sold. 

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