WHY SHE’S GREAT:
Since diving into horticulture as ArizonaEast’s marketing manager two and a half years ago, Genovese has totally revamped the way the industry envisions the New Jersey-based succulents grower. She’s harnessed her background in public relations for clients like resort chains and food brands to rebrand and take the company’s B2B marketing to the next level — one of trendy Instagram posts, fully realized potted plant collections and even content marketing-styled Holiday Gift Guides. Genovese’s work mirrors that of fashion designers and high-end bloggers, leaving the guesswork out of wholesale buying and speaking to (not at) the Millennial and nongardener demographic. Here, she provides some insights into her plant marketing success.
Greenhouse Management: You’re also heavily involved in product development. How does that hands-on experience influence your marketing strategy?
Brianna Genovese: It’s really nice being able to work hand-in-hand with the two owners [Brian and Joe Vitale]. In the beginning, we were a small team, so I was involved in sales as well, and it helped me understand what our customers are looking for and what their issues are, trials and tribulations, and how that impacts product development. It helped me understand how to change it up to give us a competitive edge.
GM: Your Instagram page looks like a lifestyle brand. How were you able to make the photos in your feed a cohesive look, and stay on trend?
BG: We have a freelance photographer who [also] does workshops, and she came in on a Saturday and we did a 6-hour long [class]. She showed us how to take images on our phone using a VSCO app and ProCamera app. Also, [she explained] things you can think about when you’re taking pictures specifically for social media. She listed some great guidelines to make images to speak to your brand, and how you can look at your feed as a cohesive theme, and not just image-to-image. It was a hugely helpful investment.
GM: Why do you think appealing to an end consumer base can help you with wholesale sales?
BG: It’s something I’ve been grappling with ever since I started here. Honestly, it’s the past six to eight months that I’ve honed in on where we need to go. B2B communication is extremely important. That’s our No. 1 goal, but we also wanted to own our brand, and help the consumers-at-large understand our take on what these plants can be in the home. We need to do our due diligence to help our customers market to that end consumer. [Our customers] have so many other things to focus on that I just wanted to figure out how to strongly communicate [our message], and hopefully get them to recognize our brand, and that [be] the driver for them to go into the store and buy.