December 15, 2008

The LO Branding Committee has now officially launched our new consumer outreach program. Our ‘little girl’ on the swing is being introduced to newspapers and magazines in Ontario and the rest of Canada so that stories will reach your customers in time for Canada Blooms in March 2009. There will be a full public relations program supporting member activities all spring as a way to get more consumers inspired to landscape and beautify their properties. We will keep all members updated on the PR outreach as the season goes on.

The team also held the first webinars, a conference call and online meeting that you can attend from your own office. We will hold a repeat of the ‘Introduction to the Green for Life’ program on Jan. 6 at 9:30 a.m. These webinars are free to all members and invitations will be sent in our weekly LO e-mail, or by contacting Robert Ellidge, The webinar will last about 45 minutes, and we will also have new sessions in the new year on how to incorporate the Green for Life program to help your business.

We have had a number of questions asked about the market research we did this past spring. We surveyed many consumers on their reaction to various messages and taglines. Customers at retail locations in Mississauga and Ottawa, as well as many online survey respondents, gave insights into how today’s user of landscape plants and services reacts to the environment. The data shed light on how younger consumers are more attuned to environmental messaging, with a clear split between women in their 30s, who responded to the word ‘green,’ and older consumers who preferred the word ‘garden.’ The team saw the same age gap when images were shown; younger consumers reacted and connected to the ‘little girl’ picture, while older consumers told us they liked ‘butterflies.’

The target audience for the LO ‘Green for Life’ program is women homeowners in their 30s. Given the demographic split we saw in the survey, using the ‘Green for Life’ tagline was the clear best choice and the ‘little girl’ image was logical for our consumer presence.

Denis Flanagan had a suggestion regarding a name for our ‘little girl.’ A special little girl in Toronto, who had lost the sight of an eye to cancer, asked for a butterfly garden through the Make a Wish Foundation. Wonderful volunteers from the Toronto Chapter made Rachel’s dream garden a reality. So — we are proud to start calling our ‘little girl on swing’ Rachel.

This month we are working to get LO bumper stickers printed featuring our new visual identity, and to create retail POP kits. Both the bumper stickers and POP material will be offered to members soon. We will send information on how to order these next month.

Thanks to the LO Branding Committee for your hard work: chair Bob McCannell and members Bob Adams, Diana Cassidy-Bush, Phil Dickie, Paul Doornbos, David Emmons, Tom Intven, Tim Kearney, Steve Macartney, Jim McCracken, Mark Ostrowski, Nick Solty, Melissa Spearing and Alan White.

Caption: Rachel on her swing