For the love of gardening
Life is a Garden is the marketing arm of the South African Nursery Association (SANA), and the tender for the administration of all its everyday tasks, is awarded to a different marketing company every two years.
Brand Candy was awarded the tender twice, and served a four-year term. Our Life is a Garden journey began at the beginning of March 2015, and concluded at the end of March 2019. Having no prior knowledge of gardening itself, it was a real eye-opener welcoming this client into the Brand Candy culture. It was an absolute pleasure being part of the dynamic green industry for the time that we were, growing the love of gardening in South Africa.
The administration of Life is a Garden essentially entails marketing of gardening as a fun hobby for everyone to do, in a South African context. During our four-year term of administration, Brand Candy was responsible for various marketing efforts, including the following:
- Articles to the press
- Social media community management
- Marketing materials
- Campaigns to market gardening
Articles to the press
This is probably the biggest success story. We worked closely with a marketing committee, as well as other industry experts (SANA members), to identify current relevant trends, topics and themes in the gardening world each month including easy gardening activities for kids), compiling a content plan months in advance. This content plan allowed us to plan and work to press deadlines, compiling copy and images for interesting gardening topics to send to the press for publication (in both online and traditional publications). The content is totally free for publications to use, and we managed to obtain space in big-name publications like Garden & Home, Good Housekeeping, Essentials, Pick ‘n Pay freshliving magazines, The Mercury, and The Cape Times newspapers, to name but a few. Over the four years, we managed to generate just under R23 million worth of FREE press exposure for Life is a Garden and SANA.
This element entailed taking content from our articles and designing social media posts for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, as well as engaging with consumers and sharing gardening posts from other industry leaders on these platforms, and on Pinterest, and YouTube. We also researched, organised and shot short gardening clips for YouTube.
The Life is a Garden website was one of the first to have been built as Brand Candy, after the merger between Rubio Communications and Kablooey Studios. We created a neat and colourful template, to bring gardening to life.
Content for the site included recommendations from the top plant growers in South Africa for the most recommended plants each month, a link to the best retailers in the country, gardening tips, kids gardening activities, recipes and much more.
These were distributed twice-monthly, to both consumers and members, and included links to articles on the website, gardening events and any other topical gardening news or campaigns. Member newsletters also included updates and stats for all of our marketing efforts each month, and notifications of marketing campaigns which we ran.
We produced monthly POS materials and posters for member garden centres to print and put up in their stores. Have a look in-store to see if you can spot some of our cool designs!
Campaigns to market gardening to the public
We would brainstorm, compile the plan of action and worked to raise funds for The Sunflower Fund, two years in a row. In 2017, and through this initiative, SANA members raised R134,000.00 rand for The Sunflower Fund.