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Continued from page 3 Another key part of the RHS branding proposition is often the exclusive use of artworks from the RHS Lindley Library or the RHS photo library. “Turtle Mats produce an RHS-branded range for us. Their mat using a Gertrude Jekyll design from the RHS Lindley Library is the bestselling one. It has been in the collection for a long time now and it keeps selling through. New designs are added every year but this one has always done well. “One of our newest licensees, Agros Trading GmbH, approached us over a number of years looking for a brand partner for a new wild bird care range. We said we’d like to work with them, but we needed to link it back to the RHS. We did this via the packaging, using RHS Lindley Library artwork, which we were very particular about. Of course, checking the quality of the seed was key.” The partnership with Agros is an example of another RHS speciality - linking licenceholders together to gain advantage. While Agros produces the RHS Wild Bird Care feed range, Plantworks UK has taken on the UK garden centre distribution so that it can be delivered alongside their RHS Empathy range. “We encourage licence holders to link up where appropriate,” explained Cathy. “A great example is where Burgon & Ball, The Original Muck Boot Company, and Ulster Weavers have worked in partnership to create a wider range of products using RHS imagery.” As you’d imagine, Cathy is extremely positive about her growing range of RHSlicensed products. “We usually look for a three-year licence arrangement and some of our partners have been with us 20-years plus. It would be unusual for somebody at the end of the three years not to want to carry on. “When we start a partnership, they can see immediately that it’s working for them. It’s the power of the brand. It works very well abroad as well, in China, Japan, USA,

4 November 2018

Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia and Germany.” Cathy and her team also spend time loitering alongside displays of RHS products in garden centres, listening to customers; “Customers are reassured when they see the RHS logo on a product. The RHS is so diverse and so involved in gardening it really does mean something to many people.” With a desire to deliver more to the

Society from its licensing activities, Cathy and her team are always looking for potential new partnerships. “We are actively seeking new partners, but they must expect to be rigorously tested. We look at quality and relevance before going any further.” To stock any of the RHS-licensed products contact the suppliers listed on page 8. For new RHS licencing enquiries contact:

What do garden centres say about RHS-licenced products? Caroline Owen, Scotsdales Garden Centre: “RHS like any other branding is difficult to quantify. It is product first and endorsement second and the relevance of this will vary from store to store and county to county. The Cambridge area where we are requires discreet branding such as the Apta pots with the RHS brand on. “I think that the RHS brand for gardening relates to quality, fit for purpose and confidence in the product and as such can enhance sales. It would be very interesting to set up a trail of RHS branded products around the centre. “Scotsdales are very happy to be associated with the RHS brand but first and foremost the product has to be right. Celebrity endorsement has never been very successful here.” Matthew Bent, Bents Garden & Home: “We stock a range of RHS products, some of which perform better than others. We find that pots and gravel prove very popular, but gardening gifts tend to be a bit slower, which might be because we don’t have a particularly big RHS presence in our area. “However, we expect this to change as the new RHS Bridgewater Garden opens and we hope to benefit from having this prestigious industry brand in such close proximity.”

Simon Bourne, Perrywood Garden Centre: “With regards to RHS branding I don’t think it makes a huge difference but it may help to steer a consumer into making a decision when faced with lots of choice. The RHS brand is well known and trusted and therefore an endorsement of quality. The RHS endorsed Burgon & Ball tools are a higher price point than our other ranges to tick the ‘best’ box. The Kelkay range of grits etc have great packaging and the RHS logo adds to that, but I don’t necessarily think that the sales on these products would be any different without the endorsement.” Alan Roper, Blue Diamond Group: “RHS branded products tend to be at the higher end price spectrum. So we have a range of stainless-steel tools branded RHS and the brand gives authority and helps to command a certain price point. As a result we sell far more stainless steel tools and generate more profit. RHS is not a must-have but a nice addition.” Julian Winfield, Haskins Garden Centres: “What is important is the quality and price of the products, a good brand like the RHS will help to give the product credibility.”

Profile for Garden Trade News

GTN November 2018  

GTN November 2018