I think a few years ago I was asking the same question. We had just recently completed a beautiful redesign of the CCFC’s website and I was extremely pleased with what functionality and opportunity there was for customers, florists, wholesalers, retailers and consumers could find about California’s flower farmers.
It wasn’t too much longer into the job that I realized something important to know about the floral industry; Print is not Dead.
Nope. I can recall a conversation with a florist asking when we were going to put out another flower guide because it really helped her with design ideas when ordering. I remember another florist telling me that she still has one of the Commission’s past print pieces on her desk as reference.
So, when in 2010 the promotion committee started discussing how to drive cost-efficient marketing opportunities for our flower farms, the California Flower Farm Guide was born.
There are no secrets here, this is an age old co-op strategy by which farms that compete work together to get more exposure than they would alone. Case in point, the cost to sponsor a full page in the 2012 Farm Guide is approximately the same price as a full page ad in any of the monthly floral magazine’s in our industry.
What made this publication different is that we focused on our farmers and not just their flowers. Flower farmers are not known for wanting to draw attention to themselves. That’s generally a rule for most farmers I’ve ever met. They like to farm, not PR and marketing. However, we have had to work hard to explain to them that people not only care about the quality of the flowers they grow, but they want to know their farmer! So, you’ll noticed that we’ve made a deliberate effort in this publication to make it a Farm Guide, focused on the family farms producing these flowers, as much as we want people to see and appreciate what they are growing.
Bottom-line, the response to the first edition of the Farm Guide in 2011 was a hit. Florists, Designers, Universities, Wholesalers, Mass Market retailers – they all called for more copies. We saw great distribution and received reports of new business coming to our farms. Great, great results.
So, yesterday I put together a short video that highlights the benefits I see from this Commission publication, which are:
- The Distribution
- The Value
- The Vision
- The Results