Tipping the (Plant Life) Balance in your favour

By Gabrielle Stannus

By now, you have probably heard a little about Plant Life Balance. This program has been racking up media attention, with its augmented reality app recently named the Best Lifestyle Mobile Site and App, and Peoples’ Voice winner, in the 22nd annual Webby Awards. This app makes understanding plant science easy for nursery customers. Retail nurseries can benefit too as the free Plant Life Balance accreditation program provides a very valuable marketing tool.

Peter Vaughan, CEO of Nursery & Garden Industry Australia (NGIA) explains that Plant Life Balance was created to bring a new audience into retail nurseries, to help increase their confidence with greening small spaces and to educate individuals on the health and well-being benefits of plants. In 2017 the Plant Life Balance brand was licensed to Hort Innovation for use in partnership with Republic of Everyone (ROE), the company responsible for the delivery of 202020 Vision and Plant Life Balance.

Plant Life Balance accredited nurseries receive exclusive access to communication materials developed by the team at ROE. Once accredited, a nursery is invited to attend webinars to learn how to leverage its Plant Life Balance accreditation status to increase in-store sales. In addition, these nurseries receive a regularly updated and refreshed digital collateral kit of all the campaign images, social media tiles and logos to use across communications and social media, a boon for busy nurseries struggling to create content to stay relevant online.

By becoming accredited in the Plant Life Balance program, nurseries are letting their customers know that they are across the latest science on the health and wellbeing benefits of plants. “We have had really positive feedback from the nurseries that are involved, customers who are coming in to store after finding the nursery on the accredited list, people arepurchasing more plants after learning about the benefits and they are using digital kit to fill their social media feeds with beautiful greenery focused imagery” says Ben Peacock, founder and current partner at Republic of Everyone..

Ben says that whilst sales data from participating nurseries is unavailable, anecdotal evidence suggests that customers are entering Plant Life Balance nurseries looking to purchase one plant. However, after seeing the Plant Life Balance design “looks” on display and understanding the plant science, these customers are often walking out with multiple plants and pots.

Andrew and Angela Clark, owner/directors of Harmony Garden Centre & Florist in Lauderdale, Tasmania concur with Ben. “We have found that the sales of our indoor plants has really been one of our growth areas, as people are becoming interested bringing the outdoors in. The Plant Life Balance marketing has reinforced the benefits and feel good factor which is encouraging new customers into the market, which of course reflects on our sales” says Angela.

Angela continues: “We love the growing resurgence in indoor plants and seeing so many younger people getting into gardening. As well as the aesthetics of indoor plants we want to educate people in the health benefits. The Plant Life Balance program is not only a wonderful inspirational tool but an educational one. So we see it as a long term investment into the future generation of gardeners. We consider ourselves expert in the field and the Plant Life Balance accreditation helps to strengthen this image”.

Angela has found the Plant Life Balance merchandising adds visual appeal to Harmony Garden Centre’s in-store displays.

“We have had fantastic feedback from our customers from our displays; they feel inspired and actually comment on the "feel" of the store. This is something that is not a tangible thing but what, we as gardeners have always known, that gardening is all about the 'feel good' factor and the rewards from watching something you nurture grow and the emotional rewards” Angela explains.

Angela highly recommends the Plant Life Balance program to other NGIA members: “The marketing and social media is great, the styling and presentation is very much on trend and professionally presented”.

Over 45,000 people have downloaded the Plant Life Balance app from the App Store and Google Play, and 87 retail nurseries have become Plant Life Balance accredited.

So what are you waiting for? Do yourself a favour and get on board. As Ben says “The science is simple, the looks are right on trend and the appcreates a fun way to engage your customers in greening their home”. The accreditation process is easy and convenient, taking around ten minutes. Best of all, it is entirely free. So hop online and check it out now:

1. Visit www.plantlifebalance.com.au/accreditation

2. Read the simple science PDF booklet on the health and wellbeing benefits of plants

3. Fill out the twenty-question multiple choice quiz.

Voila! There you have it. Once you have done that, you have tipped the (Plant Life) Balance in your favour. Good luck!