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“Sharing knowledge put’s the customer in the driving seat”

September 8, 2020

Garden Center

As a leading supplier of potting soil to garden centers, food retailers, and DIY chain stores Kekkilä-BVB knows how the buyer’s journey has changed over the past years. Today, the demand for innovative Private Labels beside branded products is high and brings both manufacturers and retailers to a new level of co-creation.

Buyer´s journey is all about building partnerships

For Kekkilä-BVB Retail, who offers private label products as an extension line to the branded products, insight into buyers’ journey is all about sharing knowledge and building partnerships with customers. The history of Kekkilä-BVB lies in professional horticulture and goes back some one hundred years. Today it is one of the largest global players and Retail benefits from this professional horticultural experience.

Sharing knowledge

Talking to Rein Donselaar, Sales Manager Kekkilä-BVB, customer relationships are all about sharing knowledge. Kekkilä-BVB has an extensive network of internal and external data insights about products, trends and segmentation providing customers with in-depth market knowledge. Rein describes it as a process where Kekkilä-BVB, together with the customer, take control over the product and design their own recipe, tailored to the needs of the consumers. To Rein, sharing knowledge is all about giving customers the control over quality and price.

– With its twelve production plants and three laboratories, Kekkilä-BVB offers customers a world of knowledge, Rein says.

Brand positioning

But, how to position private label products and branded products in a successful combination? According to Rein, choosing a private label strategy is a matter of differentiating from competitors. Garden centers, chain stores and food retailers often use a three-step price strategy; budget, private label and branded products. Nowadays even premium private labels are being introduced.

“We help customers with positioning in terms of price point, quality, brand promise, placement against their brands and sustainability etc. We produce what our customers ask us to do. Going for budget or premium private label depends on their strategy. Together we shape the right recipe tailored to the customers’ brand promise”, Rein says.

If needed, Kekkilä-BVB also helps with the design of the private label, whether it’s a new innovative look or designed according to the customers’ brand book.

Combining a digital experience with instore choices

In the future, Rein foresees a world where the retailers are the experts and guide consumers step-by-step to the garden of their dreams, in a balanced online and offline setting. For instance, digital solutions like Google Earth makes it easier to look into a garden and help design it based on consumers’ wishes. A combination of online experience with instore choices like plants, flowers, pots, garden furniture, pavement choices, etc. will be the key to success.

– The retailers are the experts and a source of knowledge about how the online and offline world interact towards consumer behavior. The more the retailer knows about his product the more he can help customers to good choices, Rein says. “That’s why we share our knowledge with our customers”.

Text: Louise Harvig Olsmar

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Kekkilä-BVB and Lidl – a customer case

Lidl asked Kekkilä-BVB for a universal potting soil ‘best in class with outstanding quality whilst being very sustainable’. Competition amongst the discount stores is high and Kekkilä-BVB designed six sustainable recipes of a very high quality and made a completely new packaging design, tailored to a young and urban audience. Kekkilä-BVB even gave Lidl the ability to offer an app were consumers get potting soil advice whilst scanning a plant in a Lidl store. This premium label called Earth Senses is specifically designed for Lidl and is available in various countries.