5 Ways to Perfect Your Floral Work for Prom
by Joe Barnes, Marketing Manager, Kennicott/Nordlie
Every April May and June, high-school proms deliver a boon to florists across the country. Corsages an
d boutonniere orders flood in, bringing with them much-needed revenue transitioning into the slow, summer months. Prom is hard work for florists, but vital in connecting with future customers.
With Mother’s Day firmly situated in the middle of the action, however, it’s easy to put off advance planning for prom. Being ready for the nuances and curveballs that always accompany the big dance can make the difference between perfection and panic.
Here are 5 considerations that can help grease the wheels of your well-oiled floral prom machine:
1) Pre-Order Your Orchids and Pink/White Roses 5 Weeks Out
Lock in your flowers early, preferably more than a month in advance. Use your previous year’s volume as a benchmark, and give your sales rep notice of what you’ll need.
While you’ll want to plan for all types of designs, the vast majority of prom dates still want the core classics: Dendrobium orchids and Roses. Pink and white hues are the kings and queens of the season year after year, with yellows and peach close behind.
Carnations, alstromeria, freesia and other popular varieties can all be pre-ordered for best quality and value.
2) Use Prom As A Springboard for Social Media Promotion
Today’s teens are locked-in to social media every waking minute. What better chance to plug your brand into their online conversation, especially during prom night?
Before your customer picks up their order, be sure to attach a card asking them to tag your shop on social media. You’ll want to be sure to include your shop’s various Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter info (usually the “@identifier” for each of your accounts will suffice.)
As people tag your shop throughout the big event, you’ll want to have an offer ready for new visitors. Remember, your audience will be on the younger side, so promote your gift arrangements for Mother’s Day, birthdays, and summer offers that are on the horizon.
At prom season, Roses are generally less expensive than around Valentine’s Day or the summer wedding months, so why not re-invest your savings into marketing your business?
3) Keep It Local; Partner with Area Businesses for Prom
With so many online outlets offering one-click ordering of corsages and boutonnieres, just getting kids in the door can be a challenge. Consider approaching area restaurants or limo companies who are also vying for prom-night dollars (and long-term customers.)
Boys and girls often tackle prom in large groups, starting with a shared limousine and dinner out before the big dance. Offering a third-party coupon for group orders could be an easy way to mutually boost in-store traffic from squads looking for a deal.
Early promotion on social media is key, if you’re planning to exploit the local angle. Paid Facebook and Instagram ads require a low spend to geo-target specific age groups within a custom-set range of your store. If you can iron out a deal with local eateries and transportation companies with enough time to promote the offer, you’ll allow yourself more time to get the word out.
4) Make your shop Pinterest-proof
Pinterest is a wonderful breeding-ground for out-of-the-box corsage and boutonniere ideas, but this breeding has led to an overpopulation of options. As a result, prom customers are all too likely to decide on a “funky” before they even walk through the door. But there’s a difference between funky and fashionable. Pinterest makes the end-user feel empowered with many choices, all prior to discussing these options with you, the designer. And some of these choices are bad.
So what happens when a customer walks in, excited about the hideous corsage they printed out from the Pinterest? Florists can prepare for these moments by creating their own menus of designs that are unique, but still fit the quality and feel of their brand.
Creating your own “avant-garde” prom collection and promoting it through online marketing channels may allow you to re-direct your prospects’ attention away from Pinterest, and toward your unique skills.
5) Prepare for Customers with Flower Allergies
Nothing takes the magic out of the big night like an itchy, runny nose or (worse yet) hives on a plunging neckline. Students with allergies to flowers will drop your beautiful creations in the trash faster than Mom can whip out her smartphone for a photo.
Ask about allergies on the front-end, and prepare to offer an alternative. Silk flowers, leaves, ribbon and beads can easily be used to create a stunning corsage or boutonniere that won’t require a pack of tissues to accompany it to the dance.
If fresh flowers are a must, consider pre-ordering begonias, sunflowers, tulips and certain roses with similarly low allergens.
For more information on pre-ordering flowers for prom, contact us today, or sign up to become an approved customer. All approved customers will automatically start receiving weekly MarketFresh™ and other emailed flower specials after being issued their verified account number.
Checking the MarketFresh™ Flower Pulse Before Valentine’s Day
A Pre-Valentine Flower Farm Report
by Joe Barnes, Marketing Manager, Kennicott/Nordlie
Valentine’s Day 2018 is heating up, and florists across the country are preparing for a busy week ahead of February 14th. The economy is doing well, and consumers are experiencing a nice uptick in discretionary income. Expectations are high for heavy Valentine’s floral purchases, but what can floral businesses expect in terms of overall quality and availability?
Our farm liaison in South America has given us a report on weather conditions, crop notes and postharvest processes to better inform florists on what to expect ahead of receiving their flowers.
Optimal Weather Conditions in Colombia
After visiting 10 farms in different areas of the Savanna of Bogota over a recent 10-day window, our grower-liaison Elena Diaz offered her account of the weather. ”This year we didn’t experience any freezes or extreme hot weather during the first weeks of January,” Diaz reported. “That means head sizes will be large, without crispy petals or extreme blackening.”
Cloudy and chilly conditions in January, with lots of rain and intermittent sunshine has helped growers yield incredibly high-quality roses and other varieties, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Wet conditions do present challenges in keeping diseases (like Botrytis) from flourishing, but quality growers like those screened by Kennicott/Nordlie’s MarketFresh™ program adhere to strict practices to keep such maladies at bay. Avoid heartbreak on Valentine’s Day by sticking to a network of flower farms who take the proper steps to curtail hazards on the front-end of the growing process.
Most of the farms Diaz visited expect the timing of their harvest to occur imminently, ensuring ideal timing for seamless delivery ahead of Valentine’s Day.
Production-wise, a few farms have switched from using soil to hydroponics, a practice that allows for more control over the many stages of the growing process. The hydroponic method, in short, uses a customized solution (instead of soil) to deliver nutrients to the plants. This allows absorption of fertilizer at a constant, calibrated rate - giving a more consistent look and quality across all flowers, as opposed to those grown in soil.
Both methods, if properly executed, produce quality roses, but hydroponic production further perfects nature’s process with more “even” results and timing.
Post Harvest and Head Size
Once your Valentine’s roses are cut, they are packaged in specially-designed boxes to avoid damages in transit. They’re immediately introduced to a closely-monitored cold-chain until they arrive at your local distribution center. From the staging process, through their journey to your shop, your Valentine’s Day flowers are never kept at a temperature deviating from 37.4°F to 39.2°F.
Most MarketFresh™ farms’ roses adhere to a minimum head size 0.5 cm larger than the standard required by Kennicott/Nordlie (one that is already a step-up from the typical flowers available on the market.) This boost in size will allow floral designers (and their customers) to enjoy bigger, better roses for their beloved Valentine’s Day creations this year.
What is MarketFresh™?
Kennicott/Nordlie offers this (and other) special program(s) for its qualified customers as a means to order premium flowers each week from verified growers around the world. Offers are shared via email each Wednesday with a 2-day ordering window. Delivery occurs approximately 10 days later. Amazing value on roses, hydrangeas, callas and many more varieties are shared via the MarketFresh™ specials – all representing the very best products available industrywide.
We add value to the importing and distribution process by leveraging our strong relationships with the world’s best growers, bringing premium flowers to market at the lowest possible price. Kennicott/Nordlie serves 10 states from 16 distribution centers, and are experts in cold-chain logistics, direct-store delivery, and post-harvest processing.
For more information on receiving weekly MarketFresh™ specials, contact us today, or sign up to become an approved customer. All approved customers will automatically start receiving weekly MarketFresh™ and other emailed flower specials after being issued their verified account number.