In the 1948 movie, Ladies of the Chorus, Marilyn Monroe plays dancer Peggy Martin. During the film, Peggy has an admirer who sends flowers and does not sign the card. (note to clients, always sign the card,). This secret admirer leads Marilyn to the flower shop, Mimi the Florist, who delivered the lovely flowers. Marilyn's visit to this florist shows florists a great deal about merchandising and marketing their own flower shops, sixty five years later.
As florists what do we learn from this film clip ?
- the card envelope. always have your name and address on your stationary. This is the best way to keep your shop's name in your customer's hands. If Marilyn's card did not have the shop name, she likely would not have visited the shop. Budding romances are a great way to build lifetime clients. If the couple gets married, which florist will Peggy and Randy likely call first ?
- Window displays and visual impact; the florist is located in a hotel lobby like many florists of that era were. The florist chooses not to hop on the hotel's coattails and instead makes their own visual masterpiece in the lobby. The evidence of a glassed-in store shows that the florist seeks their own identity. This independence is one thing all florists should share. Unique showcases and originality set the flower business apart from the cookie cutter world of banks and Dunkin' Donuts.
- Packaging; over and over again we see the lost art of packaging. Great packaging, ribbons, and bows increase the value of an item. In the move, notice how the orchid is not only packaged beautifully but how it is also kept under glass to further enhance its value.
- Flowers on the showroom floor: Appeal to people's senses. People want to touch, smell and feel the product. That is why they came to your store. Ignite their senses.
- Spunk; some say the clerk in the movieis surly. I say the clerk is spot on. She is establishing a relationship with the client. A genuine conversation is so rare in the retail world and something a florist can offer at no charge. Relationships build business.
- Ten cent carnations. Always have an option for everyone. You never know when a ten cent carnation can become a ten thousand dollar wedding.
- I would love to hear any other florists observations too.