The client: The Tillington Group, a UK-wide consortium of independent garden centres
Working together since: 2003
The requirement: An annual magazine, door-dropped in March to around 4m UK households, to drive footfall in store at the start of the gardening season.
Most of the businesses in the Tillington Group are still family-run, and we have learned that this sense of ownership and belonging extends to the people who visit. Customers of all ages form strong emotional ties with their local garden centre. It has become the place where traditions are made and occasions are celebrated, unlike competitor high-street chains. The Christmas trading period is now as important as spring, and attractions such as crazy golf and afternoon tea provide opportunities to attract new audiences throughout the year. But while their horticultural heritage remains the glue that joins the Tillington Group centres together, the differences between their individual identities grow more extreme.
Our challenge has become to offer as bespoke service as possible to each garden centre in the Group, while maintaining the consortium’s economies of scale. Printed magazines remain at the heart of our strategy – still the preferred channel of the more mature ‘bread and butter’ customers – with personalised covers and inside sections. The success of Beautiful Gardens led to the creation of two additional print titles: a summer edition and Beautiful Christmas magazine. We also supply a year-round programme of bespoke branded videos and stills for use on the centres’ websites and social media feeds.
“Once again the team has raised the bar and created a publication (Beautiful Christmas 2018) that we are confident will have a significant effect at this crucial selling time. It demonstrates a deep understanding of the Tillington Group’s needs, but most importantly is empathetic to the individual personalities of the 11 garden centre brands.”