Some businesses are seasonal by nature, like ski resorts and tax services. Others are seasonal by virtue of customer habit, like nurseries: people tend to garden in the spring and summer, when the sun comes out. Yet houseplants grow year-round. Watson’s, which has been serving gardeners in south Puget Sound for thirty-five years, had long taken the winter sales slump for granted. Its annual winter houseplant sale saw meager returns; green thumbs just don’t associate “houseplants” with their favorite activity. But might they?
The annual houseplant sale is critical to keeping Watson’s revenues in the black during winter months, but getting outdoor gardeners excited about buying plants in the winter had always proven difficult. Watson’s believes houseplants are part of a well-rounded gardening education. A good gardener thinks about their indoor spaces as landscapes.
Fair-weather customers needed to know what they were missing, but how do you change perceptions about a seasonal industry?
We repositioned the sale by changing the name from “houseplant sale” to “indoor garden sale” to better align it with the Watson’s brand and messaging (“For garden. For home. For living”). Houseplants were no longer a passive product category but an integral part of the complete year-round gardening experience. We created educational content for the Watson’s blog, designing it to be easily repurposed and shared on social media.
In 2019, Watson’s saw a 47% increase in sales during the three week sale period.
Working with Watson’s expert staff, we chose topics that would inform customers about plant selection and care so they would feel confident in their purchase. Long-form posts were shared on Watson’s blog and then emailed as a newsletter to the entire customer list leading up to the sale.
We promoted the sale on Facebook and Instagram with boosted advertisements to a targeted regional audience. We repurposed several of the blog posts into short, informative videos that could be quickly digested and shared.