Making a good thing better

Departments - Outlook

December 1, 2016
Karen E. Varga, Editor

It seems like every week there’s a new fitness tracker for your wrist or pocket. I invested in a Fitbit watch a year and a half ago to motivate myself to get more exercise, and since then, the market has exploded. For the most part, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed using the watch, and appreciate some of the high-tech features that make my life simpler. However, in the time that I’ve owned the device, I’ve had a few minor complaints.

First and foremost, while the purple silicone exterior may be fun, sporty and durable, it really doesn’t pair well with an elegant dress or a professional outfit. I thought of this afterwards, but at the time, there weren’t other options that would’ve suited me better. And the tracker wasn’t able to detect certain types of exercise.

I wasn’t the only one with these grievances, I would come to find. Recently, Fitbit debuted several new products and updated versions of existing ones that address these very issues. You can “outshine the ordinary” with snazzy gold-rimmed watches and “go from run to runway” with designer accessories for your Fitbit. They’ve expanded their software to include more exercises and made some of the wristbands interchangeable to get a different look.

My point is, Fitbit took the products that consumers liked, upgraded and tweaked them to remedy consumers’ problems with them, and brought them to market. The company kept the functioning products — which were most of them, perhaps with a few improvements — but didn’t completely toss out the products that were staples in the line. There was novelty, but also consistency.

Let’s bring it back to plants. Are you regularly revisiting your product line-up to ensure that you’re meeting your customers’ needs? Are those petunias really working for everyone, or should you consider switching up the color palette next year? Have you taken the time to ask your retail and landscape customers what’s been popular and what’s grown well this year?

It might be time to go back to the drawing board and see how you can update your product mix to keep things fresh for your customers without carrying out a complete overhaul on your availability list. Consistency is good, but perhaps throwing in some novelty could make your selection even better. For some guidance on how to go about it, turn to page 12 for some words of wisdom from Leslie Halleck and other industry members.

Happy Holidays!

Karen E. Varga, Editor

kvarga@gie.net

216-393-0290 | Twitter: @Karen_GIE