Andrea Syverson's Merchandising Musings: How Gardener's Supply Co. Uses Merchandising Servant Leadership
No doubt you’ve heard the talk and probably read all about the idea of servant leadership. Most companies have. But many stop just shy of implementing this important practice in meaningful ways. I don’t often hear it even discussed in merchandising circles — it’s often relegated to customer care arenas. Stop and ask yourself: Do your merchants think of themselves as servants? That is, do they come to work each day thinking about how they can create products that make your customers’ lives better in some way?
I love brands that solve their customers’ problems with innovative solutions. Brands that truly answer their customers’ stated and unstated SOS signals. Brands that are close enough to their customers to know the big and not-so-big things they struggle with and are smart enough to provide fixes for these issues.
The merchants at Gardener’s Supply Company have just that kind of savvy. The product developers at this company really have gardeners’ hearts. It's apparent that they empathize year-long with their customers’ problems, and have dedicated intentional creative time and energy to a product offering that speaks to their customers’ gardening hearts!
Take, for example, the question that perplexes many home gardeners: How do garden centers keep their hanging baskets so lush? Gardener’s Supply presents a very inexpensive solution to this dilemma with its exclusive “smarter” AquaSav Basket Liners — a version of a product used by commercial nurseries that “cuts your watering by 50 percent while protecting plants from drying out.”
This practical, inexpensive solution (only $19.95 for a set of three) is a simple SOS for gardeners who lust after swoon-worthy hanging baskets. This product is just one of many others that demonstrates how this brand is helping its customers through merchandising servant leadership.
Why not take a look at your product line and see how many problems you're solving for your customers, and how many more ways your brand might be able to assist them in their daily concerns. Up the ante on your merchandising servant leadership via this discipline and see what blossoms.