Keeping Manhattan Blooming
Running a small business can be overwhelming. There's always more to do than there is time to do it. On top of everything else she had to do, Jan, the owner of Steve's Floral, was being bombarded with a whirlwind of marketing opportunities and felt lost.
With no strategy in place, Jan would invest in a marketing tactic or software that made huge promises, only to be sorely disappointed. More than once, these plans chased away customers due to technical issues. She needed a clear direction and guidance.
When 502 met with the team from Steve's Floral, we immediately identified some key ways they could regain control of their marketing. By designing a custom website, they would free themselves from the heavy burden of the wire service providers' fees while allowing them to create a full-on e-commerce strategy to skyrocket sales. Our goal was to increase revenue by decreasing fees and using digital and email marketing to raise brand awareness and sales.
Sites like Teleflora or FTD have customers from all over the country. In order to fulfill orders and deliver efficiently, they use local florists to create the arrangements – for monthly and transactional fees. Steve's Floral was one of these florists.
Steve's wanted to provide their customers with online ordering without having to use a wire service, which cost them high fees every year. Plus, they wanted flexibility in their design and user interface.
StevesFloral.net highlights all of the unique traits the store has to offer, including spotlights on their staff and special certifications only they have. Best of all, they control the ordering process - from customizations and add-ons, to custom wedding and event consultations.
Being in control of their online presence gives them full control over their brand and customer experience.
Steve's will be able to save tens of thousands of dollars annually on fees from the wire services. Its first month, the website had a 13% conversion rate. (Across industries, website conversion rates average around 3-5%.)
Steve's Floral is known for high-quality flowers and truly exquisite arrangements, so they knew stock photos of arrangements would not do their work justice. As the only AIFD-certified florist in the area, custom photography was the solution to showing clients what they offered.
By going custom, we were able to work together as a team to highlight the special parts of each arrangement, and we could compose exactly the right image to show off just how special each arrangement was.
Steve's Floral has always embraced the college town they live in, and part of that effort included a sub-branded website dedicated to the local sororities.
At the time, they were still using a Telefloral site that had hundreds of products that were unrelated to Greek life. By branching off from their main site, Steve's made it easier and less intimidating for the out-of-town parents and significant others (mostly men) to shop for flowers on Bid Day - the day women get invited to join the sororities.
We promoted the site through Facebook advertising - targeting parents of college students, alumni in sororities, and current members - throughout the week leading up to Bid Day.
The short-term result was a spike in Bid Day orders as well as larger orders since customers could browse additional pins and trinkets online to add to their flowers. The longterm result was a relationship with campus sororities that has continued to grow. Though sorority.flowers was absorbed onto Steve's main site during the redesign, several sororities have named Steve's their preferred florist for Bid Day activities.
30th Anniversary Celebration
When planning for Steve's Floral's 30th anniversary, Jan Miller faced a dilemma. How could she celebrate a vision that was inherited from her late brother while honoring the legacy he left behind? In 1991, only 4 short years after Steve's opened on Poyntz, Jan bought Steve's from her brother and worked hard to keep his floral shop going. After her brother passed, Jan was heartbroken and worried about the store.
“I wasn’t sure we’d last a day,” she said, “let alone 30 years.”
An active community member, she wanted to use the 30th anniversary to shine a light on visionaries, like her brother, that were working toward a brighter Manhattan.
"He had a very distinct vision,” Jan said. “He saw the dream. It was really something.”
Helping Jan shine her light of recognition, 502 devised a plan to honor the memory of Steve – the founder of Steve's Floral – through a Facebook contest and campaign, landing page, and in-store displays.
As part of the celebration, Steve's commissioned custom t-shirt designs. These cheerful tees celebrate the local community and remind the wearer to Keep Manhattan Blooming, Steve's Floral's tagline.
Because Steve's shoppers are often looking for gifts, these tees perfectly complement their repertoire of flowers, plants, and gourmet chocolates. Tees survive much longer than fresh flowers and will increase brand awareness as they're worn by shoppers around town.
Facebook Contest Highlighting Local Manhattanites
Collaborating with Steve's to create a widespread Facebook contest and campaign, 502 helped Jan blast her light of recognition at some of Manhattan's most deserving souls. Asking community members to nominate hard-working individuals in the area, Steve's Floral collected names and conspired with nominators to honor nominees in a special way.
Every week for four weeks leading up to Steve's 30th, Jan and her team chose one nominee to publicly surprise with a bouquet of fresh flowers. 502 filmed and shared footage on Steve's Facebook page while one of Steve's team members recorded Facebook Live video of the event.
The response was incredible. Hundreds of shares, likes, and comments poured in as the Manhattan community rallied around Jan and the nominees. Tens of thousands of Facebook users in the Manhattan area watched and celebrated as nominees received their bouquets and wiped away tears of gratitude.
In Store Displays
To showcase the rich history of Steve's Floral, we designed three different poster-sized display boards that were placed on easels in various locations in the store. Customers could browse stories and photos from Steve's early days – learning how the once fledgling store became a staple community business on Poyntz.