Fischer/Goldsmith Partnership Gets Fishy
If you were lucky enough to attend the 2004 OFA Short Course this past July 10-13 then you may have noticed the cartoon-like fish at the Fischer USA booth, on its advertisements and other marketing materials. The little swimmer that you were looking at is the symbol for the new Goldfisch marketing program.
Fischer USA introduced the Goldfisch product line at the Short Course on a 10- x 14-foot projector screen featuring the animated Goldfisch swimming around the “world’s best vegetative genetics.” Goldfisch, which combines the names Goldsmith and Fischer, represents high-quality varieties that are now available to customers through the long-term strategic partnership between Fischer and Goldsmith Plants announced in March. The partnership made Fischer the exclusive production, distribution, marketing and sales channel for all Goldsmith vegetative varieties in North America, Europe and Asia.
The Goldfisch product line encompasses more than 200 plants, including Goldsmith geraniums and spring annuals and Fischer geraniums and New Guinea impatiens.
According to Gary Falkenstein, co-president of Fischer USA, “Karl Trellinger (co-president of Fischer USA), Harvey Lang (technical advisor of Fischer USA) and I were sitting around the conference table at our agency shortly after all of the Goldsmith vegetative material got added to our basket. Our business had changed dramatically — overnight. We were all trying to get our hands around a lot of issues, among them catalogs, production and the who's who of the varieties: ‘That one is bred by Goldsmith…that one by Fischer…no that one is not Fischer, it is Goldsmith’. This went on for some time, then from somewhere Goldfisch came out in the mix of conversations. We used Goldfisch, internally for a few weeks and it worked, but we still had difficulty communicating the product line and the business externally. We tested the concept with some customers and sales reps and it was well received — why not? Besides, the little Goldfisch is fun.”
According to Fischer, Goldfisch stands for Fischer’s commitment to continually better serve its customers with:
- The highest quality genetics delivered through the best production, distribution and marketing in the industry;
- Proven reliability in production with all of Goldsmith geraniums being produced at Fischer’s 32-acre, Ralstonia-free, certified production facilities in China and Israel;
- Friendly and knowledgeable customer service that has a proven record of quick response time and offering immediate solutions;
- Fast, reliable technical advice from a customer-oriented team with more than 80 years of combined worldwide experience;
- Real-time availability through its new Web site, www.fischerusa.com, which was designed with the grower and broker in mind and also features cultural information, diagnostics, growing guidelines and more; and
- Ease of doing business through simplified ordering of a broad range of varieties from a single source.
When asked if this program would affect anything under The Flower Fields marketing partnership, Falkenstein stated, “Goldfisch is not a marketing program to the retailer or to the consumer. It is a marketing program to the industry — to the grower and to the broker sales representatives. Goldfisch is about the products of the two companies and about the reliability, customer service and after-sales service the growers and broker sales reps have come to expect from Fischer.” He added by saying, “We are keeping everything in The Flower Fields. The Flower Fields is an alliance — very much like the Star Alliance of the airlines. There is a lot of cooperation; there is also healthy competition. Fischer will support any and all Flower Fields-branded programs with The Flower Fields tags. The non-Flower Fields programs will all get Fischer tags with a little GoldFisch and a big name for the variety.”
In some final words from Falkenstein, “We are concentrating on the ‘Nuts and Bolts’ of running a great business here at Fischer. As in the book Good to Great our hedgehog principle, is to be the best in grower/broker support! We can do this because we have great genetics, the best people and state-of-the-art systems to support their efforts. This is what we want the industry to think of when they see the GoldFisch.”