One of the most-talked about products unveiled at last week's Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition (TPIE) was Silver Vase's blue orchid, 'Blue Mystique.' You've probably seen 'Blue Mystique' by now and cast a hate-it or love-it judgement. Personally, I think it's interesting. It's not something I'd buy for myself -- no, I'm not much of an orchid lover -- but at least a few growers seem to be casting 'Blue Mystique' aside as "the next painted poinsettia," or a product that's going to taint an otherwise healthy, existing market.
If you're a blooming potted grower, the more appropriate question than "what do you think of 'Blue Mystique,'" is whether or not there is indeed a market for it. Put aside your personal feelings and consider whether or not consumers would buy into blue. I've already heard one potential marketing approach for 'Blue Mystique' in "It's a boy!" Surely, there are other possibilities blue can build on.
My point is growers sometimes base their buying decisions on their own preferences when they should be basing them on the consumer's. I remember having at least a few conversations with greenhouse industry folks -- Marshall Dirks, Proven Winners' director of marketing & public relations, certainly is one -- who point out the backward decision-making that takes place in our industry at times.
Arguably 95 percent of the people doing the growing (a.k.a. product selection) are men, while arguably 95 percent of the people doing the purchasing are women. Wouldn't it make sense, then, to keep the consumer in mind? And buy based on the consumer's preferences rather than your own?
Most growers, I'm sure, keep the consumer in mind when they select product. It just makes me wonder if enough are dismissing new, much-talked-about products without having a rational conversation about that product's potential for their business.
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