Green Thumbs Meet Green Phones: Orora Visual Prints Connected Plant Tags
With the weather finally feeling like spring, consumers will be flocking to home improvement stores to stock up on plants to spruce up their homes and gardens. But despite the excitement for warmer weather, many consumers are apprehensive about purchasing plants and flowers, understanding that if they don’t follow the specific guidelines for caring for their plants, plans for a colorful garden can quickly go awry. According to Jack Davis, VP of sales and marketing for Orora Visual Horticultural, a desire to provide consumers with the confidence they need to succeed in their gardening endeavors led Orora to a partnership with home improvement giant, Lowe’s, to develop and print a more connected plant tag.
While plant tags may be an unassuming form of packaging, Davis says they need to be both weather proof and sun proof, and provide consumers with the necessary information to keep their plant healthy. But, due to the small size of the average plant tag, there’s limited space available to include product information.
“There’s a lot to growing a plant and there’s a lot of information to relay,” Davis says. “Not everybody comes from an agricultural background, so they’re looking for answers and you can’t put all that info on a plant tag.”
In an increasingly mobile and connected retail landscape, Davis explains Orora and Lowe’s created new “Grow Together” connected plant tags, which extend the product information found on plant tags to a consumer’s mobile device. To access the additional product details, consumers can text a number printed on each plant tag, which then triggers a text response containing a link. That link then directs the consumer to a web site packed with information about that specific plant.
He says that Orora utilizes several printing processes, including screen, offset, flexographic and digital, and these codes can be applied to plant tags via any print process.
Davis explains that Orora believes mobile connectivity is going to play an increasingly important role in the retail world. In general, he states that the mobile phone is becoming the No. 1 source of information for consumers to find information on products and how to use them. For example, Davis says this type of initiative could remove the physical instruction manual from a package, with it instead being accessible via mobile device.
As for the Grow Together plant tags, Davis says Orora’s discussions with consumers indicated a desire for this type of accessibility.
“We do a lot of consumer research,” he says. “Through consumer research endeavors we determined it would be a big hit.”
Another advantage to the mobile plant tag initiative, Davis says, is the database of information Orora Visual maintains on more than 15,000 plants. As product information is altered or updated, this information is added to the plant tags, ensuring consumers have the most up to date information.
“The reason asset management is so important is that plant information continually changes,” Davis says. “If someone determines a plant grows taller than they thought, we can update the height of the plant. It’s a very fluid asset management system.”