SNEED'S NURSERY

OVERVIEW

We were asked to come up with a strategy and create a marketing plan for a local nursery called Sneed's in Richmond. When shopping for plants, people prioritized momentary conveniences like price and effort and hence didn't stay loyal to one nursery. The hardest part of the gardening journey, however, was not buying the plant but growing it. In order to build brand loyalty, we suggested that Sneed's captures this space. 

BACKGROUND 

Sneed’s Nursery is a local nursery in the Bon Air region of Richmond, VA. They have been around since 1976. From the Garden Shop to the Flower Shop and landscaping services, they’re passionate about the art of gardening and growing using organic practices. 

 

The management of the nursery was changing and the new manager, Jenny wanted to shore up the business, the brand and the marketing to continue the ongoing success of the business. 

THE ASK 

To develop a brand strategy and marketing plan capable of growing the company.

THE RESEARCH 

The Garden Party 

We attended Sneed's annual holiday party to find out about who it's biggest fans were. 

We noticed that a majority (80%)  of the customers were women above the age of 50. The rest (20%) comprised of young couples and professionals between the age of 28 - 40. 

The Gardening Industry  
  • American households are gardening now more than ever before

  • The Gardening industry revenue has grown to $50.1 billion over the past five years 

  • The proportion of older gardeners is holding steady, but younger households have reached an all-time high 

FACTORS AFFECTING GROWTH

Mintel Lawn and Garden Products, 2018

Home Ownership rate is rising with 36% millennials owning their own home and moving towards the suburbs

91% millennials believe that homegrown vegetable are healthier than those bought from the store ​

​84% millennials say that lawn and garden work helps them relax 

Mintel Lawn and Garden Products, 2018

WHY THIS IS RELEVANT TO SNEED'S 

32%

of Richmond's population is between the age of 25 - 44  

1/3 

 homeowners in Richmond are millennials  

World population review - Richmond 

Virginia Properties survey

 With Richmond becoming a center for 'Hipsturbia', the factors affecting the growth of the gardening industry nationwide, are also relevant to local nurseries like Sneed's

THE AUDIENCE 

David and Emily are in their early 30's and live in Richmond, VA. 

David works for an interior designing firm and Emily is a freelance graphic designer. They recently bought a house together in Henrico county. They have been married for 2 years and have a dog, Arlo. They have a huge backyard where Arlo likes to play around. 

They're health-conscious, start their day with some kale smoothies. They usually shop at Elwood Thompson's grocery store, although they wish they could grow their own herbs and veggies. They're also environmentally conscious and like to compost. They are new to lawn gardening but have always had many house plants in their previous apartment. 

They love DIYing and are always finding new ways to improve their home aesthetic. They show off their home improvement projects on social media. They also like going to community events like paint and sips, pet yoga, etc. 

How they shop for plants

 Although people had a favorite nursery, they were usually not loyal to one nursery. Most of them also shopped at big box stores like Lowe's, Home Depot and Walmart.

THE PROBLEM 

When people shop for plants, they chose momentary conveniences like finding the closest store or one that had better offers.

THE REALIZATION

Most nurseries target consumers at the initial phase of their gardening journey by offering them lower prices, online deliveries, etc. i.e, momentary convenience. 

However, the hardest phase in the gardening journey was not buying the plant but nurturing it. The right kind of guidance and assistance to help grow the plants would make the gardening journey truly convenient.

WHAT SETS SNEED'S APART

Knowledgeable staff who love to share ideas about successful gardening

They go above and beyond and support on the backside of a purchase

It feels like I’m shopping along with the community, instead of strangers.

Sneed's customer survey

Sneed’s offers constant value not only when buying the plant but throughout the entire gardening journey

THE STRATEGY

BRAND TRUTH
CONSUMER TRUTH

Sneed’s offers constant value through the entire gardening journey

I wish growing a plant was as convenient as buying it 

Sneed’s is your fairy godmother on your gardening journey

RECOMMENDATION 1 

What's already working 

Sneed's offers various classes - Flower decorations, wreath making, etc. 

How we can improve 

We found that each person was passionate about a different aspect of gardening. Some people only grew herbs, others loved having flowers, etc. The idea is to have clubs based on people’s gardening interests.

LATE BLOOMERS

A club for beginners to learn the foundation of plants & gardening

HERBALISTS

Discuss the benefits of growing herbs and vegetables at home and have potlucks with food from people's gardens

FLOWER POWER

Celebrate the love of annuals and perennials, all through the year

ECO-WARRIORS

Explores  organic practices, sustainable measures & native plant practices

Why this will work 
  • Increases the frequency of visits by making it part of people's  routine 

  • Chance to check-in with customers post their purchase 

  • Cheaper than paying for classes, so more participation 

  • Opportunity to socialize with like-minded individuals will build brand loyalty

RECOMMENDATION 2 

What's already working 

Their Instagram page features the various plants and garden products available at Sneed's nursery. 

How we can improve 

In addition to featuring plants at Sneed's, the posts can be more informational and engage the audience to participate in the conversation. 

CONTENT BUCKETS

SNEED AID 

Tips, hacks and daily gardening inspiration 

STORIES FROM THE GARDEN

Featuring customer's gardens and the ups and downs of their gardening journey

SLOW DOWN AT SNEED'S 

Content featuring the ambiance at Sneed's, workshops, events etc. 

Why this will work 
  • Proof that with Sneed’s help you will succeed on your gardening journey 

  • More accessible information from a trustable source increases brand loyalty

RECOMMENDATION 3 

Gardening and being one with nature helps people escape the mundane and improve their mental health.

Sneed's unlike most nurseries has a beautiful homely setting and is an oasis for people to slow down from their fast-paced lives.  

The idea is to encourage people to #SlowdownAtSneeds by promoting it as not just a nursery but as a space where people can create art, write, adopt plants, do yoga, etc. 

RECOMMENDATION 4 

What's already working 

We plan. You Plant, a service where a designer looks at pictures of a customer’s yard and gives plant recommendations and designs a layout accordingly.

Although this is a very useful service 35% of customers were not aware of this service. 

How we can improve 

Pinterest is a great way to promote this service. 

We can create personalized Pinterest boards and assign each person with a garden mentor 

This mentor will check-in to see their progress and help them along the way. Once they’re done, they will be featured on our social media page where they can talk about their gardening journey.

RECOMMENDATION 5 

Entering a nursery for the first time can be intimidating for many. Although Sneed's has signposts around, we can make it more convenient for customers by guiding them throughout the process.

Have physical and virtual maps that will seamlessly guide people through the nursery.

WRAP UP

Have a scanning feature on the website that will identify a plant and provide information about it. It could also mention the level of difficulty of growing different plants so that people can make informed decisions when buying one. 

My Role 

Researched the target audience

Visited the nursery and co-wrote the survey 

Co-wrote the strategy line 

Created the content buckets

Best of Times

Working on a small business taught me to think local and come up with effective low-budget ideas 

Dream Team 

Payal Pereira, ST

Charlie Hudson, ST 

Thuraya Al-Wazzan, ST 

Anh Nguyen, CBM 

Leon Brewington, CBM

pereirap@mymail.vcu.edu
 804-709-6981