The New Year is in full swing and many of us are wondering what we can do differently this year. Inspired by this thought, the Beneva Solution’s team has chosen this month’s Featured Florist, Petra Janssen of Wascana Flower Shoppe. She was chosen by our team because her branding efforts extend much farther than just a consistent logo.
Here is a brief Q & A between our SCOOP director, Shelby Isaacson and Wascana Flower Shoppe’s, Petra Janssen.
Question #1: Can you tell us a bit about the history of your shop and why are you focusing on building your brand now?
Wascana Flower Shoppe opened its doors in March 1981, in a small strip mall location. I was 21, young and naïve, and not afraid of hard work. I started by myself with just one part-time helper.
I believe my passion for the industry has brought me to where I am today. Now, I have a staff of 26 full and part-time employees, and my stand –alone flower shoppe is 5,000 square feet of space including a drive-thru service.
Our front room cooler features 40 floral designs ready for cash and carry purchases. We host events prior to the holidays to draw consumers into the store. Our wedding, event, and graduation work is posted weekly on our websites and blogs.
We have lost three major flower shops in the past calendar year. We wanted to keep consumer confidence in our industry, so in response, we have stepped up our marketing and image to communicate that we want consumers to continue using local flower shops. When they think of flowers, we wanted our logo and name “Wascana Flower Shoppe” to pop into their heads. Our delivery fleet of PT Cruisers are branded in a bright yellow and are on the road every day, also serving as portable billboards. Customers call and specifically request our yellow cars to deliver the flowers they order. Our number one priority is to keep driving people to continue using local flower shops.
Question #2: Why did you choose to invest in a customized website?
When we launched our new website, we wanted an actual realistic portrait of our shop – providing our customers the same exciting experience they would get from us online as they would if they were in the store. It is our primary marketing tool.
The website focuses on our own designs. We prominently feature our award-winning bridal and event work on the website. We include features on our unique gift, décor, and other various products we have in the store as well. We also give consumers some opportunities to become more educated about flower types, plant care, and the different meanings of flowers.
Question #3: How do you use social media to brand your business? Which social media site is the most valuable to you and why?
Social media is our next focus point in marketing. We use facebook, Instagram and Twitter as our social media platforms. We promote our events, classes and weekly specials via our daily posts. We also post the links to our blog entries on social media. People follow our social media posts so closely, the likes and engagement from our followers is outstanding. We will post an image of a random arrangement and people will instantly comment and send the image to their partner. Before you know it, that partner is in the store buying the arrangement.
This Christmas, we also made and posted an in-store video through the sales room as well as the design room. People were amazed as to what other items our store carried beyond just flower arrangements. Social media is a vital piece of our marketing tool kit for raising customer awareness, communicating in an engaging way with our customers, and maintaining our brand identity of being local, friendly, accessible as well as professional.
Question #4: What inspired you to open a drive-thru service?
We are always looking for that new remarkable service or product that can set ourselves apart from the competition and to entice new customers into the store. The drive-thru was a dream of mine. Here in Saskatchewan, our extreme weather conditions dictate whether you get out of your car or just head home. The drive-thru eliminates you having to make that choice. During graduation times, the limos pull up one after the other to pick up the corsages! Friday specials through the drive-thru often block traffic. Men love the convenience of the drive-thru.
Question #5: What advice do you have for shops looking to re-brand themselves?
Take the time to understand your market, your customers, and most importantly, the type of personality you want your business to have and how that personality presents itself within the community you operate in. Focus on what you do best! Listen to what your customers are asking you for.
Our industry is losing ground and those of us that believe in it need to bring it back to life! I love what we do and we need to portray that to the consumer. Be passionate about our products and show our customers what we really are about – dance on tables and celebrate flowers!
(Images by Nicole Gerhardt Photography)