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|European Flower Bulbs Evaluation Agency Brief
Koninklijke Handelsbond voor Boomkwekerij- en Bolproducten (Royal Anthos) is the Dutch Royal trade association for traders in flower bulbs and nursery stock products. The companies affiliated with Royal Anthos represent more than 85% of the world trade in flower bulbs and are responsible for more than 80% of the total export of flower bulbs to the United States. Royal Anthos' mission is to represent the common interests of the trading companies in the flower bulb and nursery stock industry and to act as their general representative at home and abroad. One of these interests concerns the development and financing of worldwide promotion campaigns to support the sale of flower bulbs. Royal Anthos has a lot of experience with the development and implementation of these campaigns.
This project focuses on the promotion of European flower bulbs in the United States of America. Flower bulbs allow for an easy way of growing high quality flowers in many different settings. They can be used in private or public gardens and can also be used to produce bulb flowers for resale. The worldwide flower bulb market had a value of € 906 million in 2017. The European Union is the largest player on the flower bulb market and supplies around 70-75% of the world's production of flower bulbs. Of the bulbs produced in Europe about 55% is exported outside the Union. The U.S. is one the largest flower bulb importers in the world and the largest importer of European flower bulbs. In 2017 the total value of the U.S. flower bulb market amounted to $143 million (€ 120 million), of which 88% came from the EU. Unfortunately, figures of recent years show a significant decline in the import value of flower bulbs by the U.S. (10% decline over 2013-2017).
The initiative to start a new promotion campaign was initiated by the flower bulb trading companies that export to the United States. Available market information shows that the unfamiliarity with flower bulbs and its use is large, which is partly encouraged by the seasonal nature of the product. Fortunately, data shows that participation in lawn and garden activities and spending is now at an all-time high in the U.S. Households want to spend time and money on their garden and with the right promotion European flower bulbs can become the center piece in this trend. Therefore, there lies an opportunity to appeal to a large potential group of households (users and non-users) by making them aware and knowledgeable about flower bulbs, and by promoting the positive image of flower bulbs for which the starting point hip, healthy and surprising can be used.
There are three objectives of this campaign. Firstly, to increase the number of households that are aware of European flower bulbs. To turn gardeners into flower bulb users, they must first be made aware of the existence of flower bulbs. Secondly, to increase the number of households that are educated about European flower bulbs. Once households are made aware of flower bulbs the next step towards inducing them to purchase bulbs is to educate them about all the different aspects of flower bulbs. Thirdly, the main economic objective of the promotion campaign is to increase the export of European flower bulbs to the U.S. This is done by reverting the trend of declining exports to the United States over the course of this project to eventually create a small increase in the export value of flower bulbs from Europe.
These objectives will be completed by a set of four activities that will be continued for each year of the campaign. Two media campaigns will be set up. One is focused on increasing awareness while the other focuses on improving the education of households. Besides these campaigns, a yearly event and press trips will be organised. The awareness campaign is focused on creating awareness about flower bulbs from Europe. It focuses on superficial messaging designed to communicate the right season for bulbs and to entice households to learn more about flower bulbs. There are several elements to this campaign: online display ads, radio ads, sponsored social media posts, and press statements to leverage news media.
The educational campaign focuses on reaching households to remove any knowledge-related barriers to their use of flower bulbs. The campaign consists of several elements: online ads, co-produced videos and articles, webpage posts, and newsletters. To obtain high quality media coverage, press trips will be organized yearly for small groups of journalists to be taken on day trips to local plant nurseries to show them the production process for flower bulbs and bulb flowers. Every year, at the start of the flower bulb season a large PR event will be hosted. The event is promoted through press releases and will very likely be featured on TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, and online platforms. Attendees to the event will be educated about flower bulbs and can pick their own bouquet.
The aim of the "Flower Bulbs from Europe make you bloom" campaign is to bring the right time to purchase to the attention of the consumer, as well as to stimulate the level of knowledge about planting bulbs and the use of bulb flowers. This will breathe new life into the U.S. flower bulb market and will convert decreasing sales numbers into a healthy sales growth.
|12 December 2019
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