“I love the fact that I can make people happy, in any form. Even if it’s just an hour of their lives, if I can make them feel lucky or make them feel good, or bring a smile to a sour face, that to me is worthwhile.”
Freddy Mercury, Queen
I saw Bohemian Rhapsody this weekend and was enthralled with the film from opening frame to final credits. It takes an epic film for me to want to sit in the theater and watch the credits roll by. The movie, in case you don’t know, is the story of the musical and personal journey of the rock group Queen, and more specifically about Freddie Mercury, the lead singer. It’s interesting to me that Freddie didn’t start Queen. He was added to a band in London when their lead singer quit. It was Freddie who inspired the rebranding of the group as Queen. Branding is a very important component of marketing, one of my responsibilities here at Little Prince, and this film created a cascade of ideas that I’ve been thinking about in relation to my work.
Queen debuted their first album, titled ‘Queen’ in 1973, followed by ‘Queen II’ and ‘Sheer Heart Attack’. In 1975, they released the album ‘A Night at the Opera’, which contained the hit single ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, a song which their producer said would be a flop, because at 6 minutes in length as opposed to the typical 3 minutes, he said radio stations would never play it. He also argued that the public will NEVER buy an album titled ‘A Night at the Opera’, because nobody really likes opera. He was wrong, and that brings me to a couple points I want to make about marketing. First, it doesn’t work for us to just be like everybody else. We are driven to be bold and dare to be different. Wear flashy clothes, or in our case, dare to wear living beards…in public! Little Prince is more than a nursery, it’s a living, evolving entity. Little Prince is the marriage of Agriculture and Art. Our goal is not just to produce and sell some of the best plants available, it’s to make every aspect of gardening more fun. We love putting a smile on peoples faces when they’re sitting in traffic and they see our happy frog logo on the back of our trucks. As Thoreau said in Walden, “To affect the quality of the day, that is the greatest of arts”, and we strive to do that every day at Little Prince.
Another value that Bohemian Rhapsody conveyed repeatedly was the importance of family. The phrase “we are a family” was used many times during the movie referring to the band. We have a strong sense of family here at Little Prince. We take care of each other through thick and thin. We’re a band of brothers… and our mom, with a new sister now! I asked Joan, the newest member of the family to summarize how she feels about working here. “What is it like to work at Little Prince? Beautiful plants, grown in a clean, efficient and fun environment; surrounded by a group of people that work as a team but feel like a family (in the best way).”
I asked Reggie the same question, and she said “I love the work environment. You all have become my second family, and it’s really fun to come to work.”
Interesting but not at all surprising that both mentioned our family atmosphere. We are Little Prince!
I work really hard to market Little Prince brands to the public, both on social media, and through public speaking opportunities. We have 2300 followers on Facebook, who see regular posts about the cool plants we grow. My speaking calendar is filling up for 2019, though I will always make room in my schedule to speak at a garden center if you’d like to schedule that. These efforts are creating loyal “fans” who look for our plants first when they come to a garden center. I encourage you to have plenty of Little Prince plants available for your customers this holiday season! We still have many beautiful varieties available that would make for great gifts for those special gardeners in your life. And go see Bohemian Rhapsody. I think you’ll love it as much as I did!