Once upon a time growers could be successful just by growing the best quality crops possible. Today consumers have so many choices that producers must find a niche to set themselves apart. Being distinctive means you have to know your consumer and this requires knowledge of consumer trends.
Aleia Roses, a Spanish rose nursery, sells its Red Naomi’s at Royal FloraHolland in Aalsmeer. Will Zuiderwijk, Aleia’s Dutch Sales Director, wants to know more about his clients and eventually about their customers. Therefore, he works together with trend and consumer expert Francine van Wijk of The Floral Agency (BureauSierteelt.nl) who supports the company in marketing and communications in several European countries.
Francine defines consumer trends as “a combination of relevant developments within society that influence consumer behaviour. Some say that consumer trends are makeable. I think trendsetters are inspired by what happens in society, too. Nevertheless good marketing can help companies in creating trends (or rather, strengthening them). You can define trends on three levels: mega-trends (10-30 years), maxi-trends (5-10 years) and micro-trends (1-5 years). In the current decade, nature and greening your environment are considered important which can also be explained as the time spirit. Look at urban and rooftop farming, for example.
Trend-wise, consumers can be separated into innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards. Innovators start a trend, laggards end it. In this world of social media, trends tend to develop faster than they did twenty years ago as online networks spread news much faster.”
“Our aim at Aleia Roses is to grow the world’s best Red Naomi roses,” says Will. “We started recently and we want to get in touch with clients, trade professionals and consumers. We want to know what they want and what they expect from our product. A rose is not just a rose, it is a story, it is about emotions. We can inspire people by communicating about it, thus targeting the product to the needs of people buying it. Trends come into focus in this targeting. To understand your consumers you have to understand the trends that inspire them. Not necessarily the exact picture that is popular at a certain moment, but the way of thinking on which this picture is based.”
“In order to understand trends and be able to adapt to them, you must watch the time spirit,” says Francine. “For me, the trend insights given by the Flower Council of Holland are useful. They help us present products (for instance, Red Naomi roses) in pictures and text thus reaching our target group. Besides that, you must always bear in mind that it is important to know the customer journey of your product or service. If you follow your customer’s activities and preferences you will find out what their motivation is. And when you know that, you can reach them more effectively. If the consumer I want to reach appears to visit festivals we’ll focus on festivals. If they buy online, we’ll go online. Be where the customer is!”
For Will Zuiderwijk this helps in creating a top-of-mind position for Aleia’s Red Naomi roses. “Quality is the basis of all, that on which we built our marketing, aiming to be distinctive for wholesalers, retailers, florists and consumers. Be good and express it. It’s Aleia Roses ambition to create a brand in which the word Aleia stand for the best red roses money can buy, like Bentley or Moët et Chandon. Knowledge about preferences and social trends help us give our roses the look and feel that matches our product.”
Read more about Aleia Roses at www.aleiaroses.com