January 18, 2011
Survey Reveals Consumer Awareness, Willingness-to-Pay For Texas Ornamental Brands
Researchers provide marketing recommendations for Texas green industry
In 1989 the Texas A&M University Agricultural Program, in conjunction with other state and private collaborators, developed the Texas SuperstarÃ® program. The Earth-KindÃ® rose program followed in 1996. These plant promotion programs were designed to increase the demand for selected horticultural products, raise awareness among consumers of Texas-grown plant material, promote environmental responsibility, and increase producers' profitability by providing branding price premiums.
Consumers who were more likely to be aware of programs such as Texas SuperstarÃ® and Earth-KindÃ® were those who shop frequently (weekly or monthly) for ornamental plants. Interestingly, respondents who were up to five times more likely to be aware of Earth- KindÃ® included those who lived in South Texas (Coastal Bend and South District). Consumers who shopped for self-consumption purposes said they were willing to pay a discounted price for Texas SuperstarÃ® and Earth-KindÃ® plants compared with unbranded plants, and respondents who were previously aware of the brands were willing to pay more. "The two brands were effective in differentiating their products and thus creating price premiums. It was estimated that the willingness-to-pay for the two brands (for the average respondent) was 10% higher than the willingness-to-pay for an unbranded plant", explained the researchers.
The survey results suggested that marketing programs might not be effectively reaching some demographic groups, including female consumers and those between 40 and 55 years old for the Texas SuperstarÃ® brand, and consumers in the same age group with an income of $50,000 or more for the Earth-KindÃ® program. The researchers recommended that marketing efforts should target those groups of consumers with higher willingness-to-pay, or those with "higher odds of awareness".
The study also noted that consumers' "regularity of purchase" could be achieved through promotional tactics modeled on successful marketing campaigns from other states that have proven to increase consumers' frequency of purchasing ornamentals.
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