ALEXANDRIA, USA: A 70-year-old flower shop that needed to recapture a little of its sizzle — and provide better, more high tech service to customers while increasing walk-in traffic and average sales numbers — is the winner of Floral Management magazine’s 23rd Annual Marketer of the Year award. Sandy Nielsen Baumann, co-owner of Nielsen’s Florist and Garden Shop in Darien, Connecticut, accepted the award, during SAF Maui 2016.
The Nielsen’s story, chronicled in the October 2016 issue of Floral Management, centers on the development of a unique store app and loyalty program. In the first year alone, nearly 1,400 customers have signed on to use the app, and the top users are shopping more — and spending more — on each transaction.
When explaining Nielsen’s campaign to SAF Maui 2016 attendees, SAF Chief Content and Publishing Officer Kate Penn said that judges were impressed with the fact that Nielsen’s developed the app to “showcase their knowledge and expertise” and drive in-store purchases. “What Nielsen’s did struck a nerve [with the judges],” Penn said. “Their goal was simple – to create lifelong customers who come back week after week – yet for so many, this sort of brand loyalty is elusive.”
The development of the technology and the marketing efforts surrounding its promotion speak to a broader trend in the industry, Baumann told the crowd in Maui: the need to constantly challenge each other to do things better than the ever-expanding competition.
“We’ve got to figure out new and different ways to meaningfully stand apart from the competition, the interrupters,” she said. “I think it’s got to start with our relationships and why people want to come to us for help. They can buy flowers anywhere, at a supermarket, online. We need to figure new and better ways to develop relationships and help our customers.”
The shop’s office manager and marketing coordinator Raya Ward agreed, adding that Baumann has helped create a culture of creativity and empowerment among the team at Nielsen’s. “They just really give people a chance to blossom,” said Ward.
Marketer of the Year honors include a $5,000 cash award, courtesy of Design Master color tool, inc.
The Society of American Florists is the leading organization representing all segments of the floral industry. SAF is proud to provide marketing, business and government services to its members, including growers, wholesalers, retailers, suppliers, importers, educators, designers and allied organizations. The association was chartered by an act of Congress in 1884. To learn more about SAF or to join, visit www.safnow.org
Sandy Nielsen Baumann and Raya Ward of Nielsen’s Florist and Garden Shop in Darien, Connecticut, accept 2016 Marketer of the Year honors from SAF’S Chief Content & Publishing Officer and Floral Management Editor in Chief Kate Penn and Dwight Larimer, AAF, of DESIGN MASTER color tool, inc., which sponsors the award’s $5,000 prize.