When it comes to selling gardening products to millennials, we hear the same things over and over:
1. Millennials didn’t grow up gardening. It’s confusing and intimidating to them. They don’t understand the jargon. They’re afraid they’ll fail. They need a lot of reassurance.
2. They’re busy. They don’t devote hours every week to a single hobby, and prefer projects that they can complete in a weekend, a day, or a few hours.
3. Technology has always been central to their lives. Unlike most of us, they didn’t have to learn mobile technology or social media. They grew up with it. Businesses that don’t embrace technology appear antiquated to them.
4. They’re more price-conscious than brand-conscious. Tough economic times have been with them for most of their adult lives, so saving money is an important consideration.
But what does this mean, in practical terms, for those of us selling plants, seeds, and gardening tools? For an interesting example of one company that’s doing a lot of things right, check out PicaGardi. A clever concept, PicaGardi offers downloadable professional landscape designs — all of them quick projects — aimed at people who haven’t gardened before. You can choose either a simple plan, or full kit that also includes a plant shopping list, landscape fabric with preprinted grid to guide plant placement, video and written instructions, and plant care notes.
Here are a few of the ways PicaGardi has adapted their product and marketing to millennials:
Project-Focused. WithPicaGardi, paint-by-numbers meets horticulture. Product offerings range from simpler designs labeled “takes four hours to complete” to more extensive “Weekend Garden Kits.” Either way, they’re presented as short-term projects, not an ongoing commitment.
Jargon-Free. One thing that makes gardening especially intimidating is that it’s rife with jargon, and many of us in the industry don’t even recognize as such. PicaGardi circumvents that. To order, you choose your country (it’s available in 7), then choose a city near you (no need to explain growing zones), and a plan based on a picture and dimensions (either 5′ or 10′ wide).
Reassurance Abounds. For the non-gardener who worries about failing, there’s plenty of reassurance every step of the way. Kits include everything you need except the plants, and there’s a shopping list for those. The plans were developed by an award-winning landscaper. You can download a sample plan so you can see exactly what you’re getting. How-to videos show you exactly what to do. It’s pretty convincing that experience isn’t a prerequisite for success.
Technology Harnessed. You can download PicaGardi’s plans either on your desktop or via their mobile app. If you want a custom design, they show you how to take a scaled picture. Email the photo to them, and get back personalized recommendations. How cool is that?
Budget-Conscious. Most garden plans alone are just $0.99 each. Full kits, including landscape fabric with placement grid and fixing pegs, design, plant list, and instructions are $29.99. That’s certainly appealing to someone looking for guidance on completing a weekend project quickly and successfully.
With some relatively simple modifications, PicaGardi has created a product and presentation that’s easy for millennials to relate to. Study the principles they used, and you’re sure to discover at least one or two things that will help you market to millennials much more effectively.
Please note: I have no affiliation with PicaGardi; I discovered them from a small writeup in a trade publication. When you visit their site, you’ll see that it’s still a work in progress. You may find a lot to quibble with, but don’t let that distract you from the point. They offer a lot of lessons we all can learn from.