What’s Your ‘By and For’ Status?
Brands these days want their customers to know that there are real aficionados behind their product doors, dreaming, creating and delivering unique and carefully curated goods they hope will be spot on for their customers. Brands tout this as "By and For," as in created "by teachers for teachers," "by chefs for chefs" or "designed by fashionistas for fashionistas." These merchants and brand builders are full-time users of the products they bring to market. A brand's By and For strategy cannot be faked.
In speaking with Deborah Delmage, vice president, merchandising and brand, Gardener's Supply Company, it's obvious I'm talking to someone who loves what she does. Deborah tells me she's not alone, as Gardener's Supply is a company of gardeners. The company was founded to encourage everyone to garden, including those with physical challenges. Since 1983, Gardener's Supply has had the same mission: "To spread the joys and rewards of gardening, because gardening nourishes the body, elevates the spirit, builds community and makes the world a better place." Delmage and her brand ambassadors at Gardener's Supply cultivate garden love.
Specializing in functional gardening products that assist in the challenges of this activity, Gardener's Supply offers a plethora of helpful tools to cultivate its customers’ lifetime love of gardening — no matter if they're beginners or award-winning gardeners. One of these "helps" is its exclusive Elevated Cedar Raised Bed (see product image below), a product that Delmage and her team developed at their Vermont factory. Not only is it made in America, this product is both beautiful and functional. You almost want to bring it inside your house!
Delmage shares: "Our mission is to help customers be successful in their gardening endeavors. We designed the elevated raised bed to help them garden without bending. It not only allows them to cultivate their passion more easily and happily, but we've had feedback that it solves other issues as well. Here's how we describe it:
"Bring your garden up to a whole new level! Our 2' x 8' elevated bed is easy to plant, tend and harvest without kneeling or bending. Plus, it offers creative landscaping opportunities. Set up one or more of these rectangular beds around the edge of your patio to add privacy, or arrange several along a perimeter to create a garden "room." Like our other cedar raised beds, the sides are held in place with our sleek and sturdy aluminum corners. There's a false floor made from marine-grade plywood set 10" down from the top so there's plenty of root space for vegetables and flowers. Floor has holes for drainage; vents in the sides allow air to circulate and excess moisture to evaporate."
A customer summarized his experience with this product in just two words: "LOVE 'EM!" He goes on to say, "My wife and I both are very pleased with these planters. They solved low back problems while making it enjoyable to plant high-maintenance crops like beans, peas, lettuce, greens and others that you want to stagger yields through the full garden season. They were extremely easy to assemble. Well worth the cost, for they should last decades with easy maintenance."
I count at least five reasons in his testimonial why the elevated cedar raised bed is a must-have — and why it's obvious it was created by people who understand the nuances of gardening. In addition, it reinforces Gardener's Supply heritage! This company tends to its product functionality in a very purposeful way. Its customers count on them for this.
Is it apparent to your customers that there are passionistas behind your product line? What's your brand's By and For status? How do your products assist in cultivating your customers’ vocations? Do your products accommodate a range of your customers’ capabilities? How can your products be more multifunctional?