The Flower Fields Alive and Kicking

March 4, 2005 - 13:45

A major direction change for the Flower Fields program of Yoder Bothers and the Ecke Ranch was announced recently, in anticipation of the upcoming Pack Trials in April. Bill Rasbach, president of Yoder Bothers, and Paul Ecke, CEO of the Ecke Ranch, have outlined how the Flower Fields program has refocused on supporting grower and retailer brands.

“The biggest change is we have stopped talking about us and our ability to have our program influence consumer purchase; the reality is the true brands are happening with growers and with retailers,” said Rasbach. “We feel the role of the Flower Fields is to support those programs; we are the brand behind the brand!”

Ecke added, “We have always been supportive of using our trademark and tag support with other programs. We are now making this brand support the major part of our market push. I feel strongly that the retailer is the brand, that our Flower Fields will best serve retailers and growers by supporting the programs offered by innovative businesses. To us,” Ecke added, “this is really a B-to-B or Business to Business strategy; consumers are influenced by the retailer first and foremost, so let us help the retailer and their support of growers.”

Changes to the Flower Fields program include the more active support of using Flower Fields products and trademarks on existing labeling programs in addition to using the program as a stand-alone presence. All tags and POP material may be ordered separately and may be customized with retailer or grower brands. Christine Kelleher, marketing manager for Yoder went into detail, “I like to think of the Flower Fields as an a la carte menu, you can order plant tags and support signage in a wide range of choices; use our images and logos or not; we will support whatever is best for the customer.”

Kelleher continued, “Plant packaging works - if you wrap a plant in a logo pot, use a large informative tag and support it with POP, you sell plants faster and for more profit. Our Flower Fields program offers off-the-shelf support with our tags and signage, and now we are pushing to do more co-branding and better support other programs. I see this as a classic win-win”

The Flower Fields offers three levels of POP support:

  • Off the Shelf - ready-to-use signs, tags and support. Using the Flower Fields existing program is good for retailers and growers too busy to customize signs.
  • The Flower Fields will add your logo to their signs to customize the look.
  • Do-it-Yourself - for growers and retailers who can drive their own programs, the Flower Fields is flexible enough to live in the background.

On the topic of plant material, the Flower Fields continues to have a wide assortment of top-selling annual and perennials. Between the collections of Ecke and Yoder there are more than 1,000 cultivars with genetics suitable for any region of the country. This April, the two companies will introduce more than 100 new items to support growers and retailers who are looking for an advantage in the marketplace. According to Kelleher, “What has shifted the past few years is that we now look at the combination of genetics, plant quality and product package all equaling the consumer product. For the Flower Fields to really help we need to offer a flexible product offering as well as simple customizable packaging. If we do that we can truly be the brand behind the brand!”

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