Exotic Flowers - We Deliver Flowers in Boston

What Adding a Weekly Floral Account Can Do for Your Business

Posted by Suzie Canale on Wed, Oct 04, 2017


If you’re a small business owner in the New England area, you already know it’s the personal touches conveyed through your goods and services that keeps a company in healthy territory.  Dependability, efficiency and cost effectiveness are all important factors management must keep constantly in mind to survive the dips and growth spurts of the US economy.  When there is a noticeable decrease in a business’s profits, it’s imperative to take a step back and come up with a plan for what could be done differently.  Many times, there are simple tweaks that can be implemented to increase the bottom line and just as importantly, raise the bar for clientele satisfaction.  While some proprietors decide to invest in expensive décor or pricey marketing materials that may not show the return as expected, others have chosen to lift their company’s presentation in a clever, less expensive way…

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Data supports the fact that adding a weekly flower account to your store or office creates a significant difference in several impertinent areas.  For starters, as potential customers enter your shop to browse your selection, they are instantly greeted with a warm welcome that says, “I want your experience here to be one that you remember.”  A bloom’s natural features such as texture, scent and color all positively influence the mass majority of our population’s attitudes which can only bring greater chances for business prosperity.  Another truth to adding florals to your budget is that a pretty arrangement can also increase employee performance as well.  When you make the workplace a happier, more pleasant setting, those who work for you will also experience a better mindset that will likely affect their ability within sales and service responsibilities.  So, you see, it’s a win-win situation all the way around.    


Now that I’ve got your attention and you’re ready to contact the local florist to help set up an account, you might be wondering what are some good options to choose from?  Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend a fortune to add a vase of buds to your business setting.  Adding flora and fauna can be as simple as purchasing a plant or a single stem of roses.  Whatever you budget allows for, there are numerous ways to go about this so don’t get flustered.  These are some top choices that create a beautiful look, plus they won’t break the bank in the process.


Peace Lilies are great plants to invest in, particularly if you do not desire a strong-smelling flower.  Just water once a week and they should stay healthy for a long period of time.  If you want a brighter impact, ask for a 6’’ bubble bowl filled with seasonal cut flowers or request an architecturally interesting design of calla lilies to really display an eye-catching piece.

Tags: SAF, Society of American Florists, Flowers for Emotional Health

A Look into Your Floral Personality

Posted by Suzie Canale on Mon, Aug 14, 2017


People who buy flowers are after a multitude of different things…  One possible is that they love bright colors and another may be the aromatherapy they seek from the scent.  Customers buy flowers to add décor to their homes, to impress clientele when they enter an office and some will even order a bouquet to attract a suitor.  There are a zillion different scenarios to match this question, which is why Boston florists continue to brainstorm new ways to attract shoppers by implementing creative marketing techniques.

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photo credit via aboutflowers.com

If you can believe it, numerous studies have taken place to match personality traits to floral taste, basing the equation on factors such as educational background, age, hobbies, financial brackets, geographical locations and even the propensity one has to use either the left or right side of the brain.  This last factor might make you stop and think about things for a moment but yes-it is true a person can have a floral preference that directly connects to their individual cranial activity.  Sounds a little crazy, doesn’t it?


In fact, those who use their left side more frequently are apt to be attracted to presentations, which satisfy a mathematical sequence or in floral terms, an architecturally driven piece.  What does this mean?  It means that this segment of the population relies on stimulation that is motivated by factors such as height, balance and symmetry.  Examples of this can be found in centerpieces created with orchids, branches and simple foliage.  Bamboo is a huge seller within this niche as well as pussy willow, oncidium and birds of paradise.  The goal for this type of design is “less is more” as well as a hidden underlying meaning, which is created by the artist.  If this style is right up your alley, take look at these arrangements that can be readily made available by your local city florist.

Tags: SAF, Floral Studies, Design, About Flowers

The Healing Power of Flowers for Winter Blues

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Nov 18, 2016

I’ll admit it.  This time of year is certainly not one of my favorites and there are several reasons why…

A).  I’m a warm-blooded soul who despises snow and ice.

B).  Traveling becomes tricky with bad road conditions forcing us to become  hermits for most of the season- another personality trait I’m missing.

C).  THERE ARE NO OUTDOOR FLOWERS!!

 

This last one is enough to depress any blossom lover because the fact remains that there are no wild flowers looming outside in the gardens.  Everything is frozen, stuck to the ground with no life signs what so ever.  I miss the days of carrying bundles of stems with petals scented with pure sweetness and arranging them in vases throughout my home. Did they make my house look pretty and smell good?  Absolutely, but there’s more to this than mere home decorating…

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It is a scientific fact that flowers have the power to elevate our moods, particularly when we are feeling at our lowest.  All of the senses play a part, including the way a flower smells, its texture, color and arrangement with other species.  Our minds are positively enhanced the moment we set eyes on a bouquet and eventually we learn to connect this sensation of happiness with flowers in general.  So when the weather turns chillier and we lose our stimulation from outdoor gardening and growing, we have to make a conscious effort to seek them out elsewhere.  Contacting your local florist is the best way to solve this problem or you can even begin with indoor seeds such as marigolds and nasturtiums.   They’ll be fun to watch sprout and you’ll have pretty blooms flowering through the coldest months of the year.

 

Scientific Facts Supporting the Psychological Benefits of Flowers

 

  1. Flowers arranged in areas such as entryways and foyers are symbolic of the meaning of sharing.  Guests who enter a building and are greeted by a fresh bouquet of flowers on the table react to this by feeling welcomed. 

  2. Flowers are a wonderful gift to a loved one because it actually works as an aphrodisiac.  The gesture can build strong emotions of intimacy and likely bring two people physically closer together.

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Photo credit via aboutflowers.com

Flowers open windows to creativity and often encourage a person’s imagination when exposed to flowers on a regular basis.  Some of our greatest artists of all time like Van Gogh surrounded him self regularly with flowers in order to find inspiration for his work.

 

Tags: Rutgers Floral Study, SAF, Society of American Florists, Flowers for Emotional Health

Boston Shop Ditches 'Can I Help You?' for 'Go Pats!'

Posted by Rick Canale on Mon, Oct 31, 2016

The following article appeared in the SAF Sales Wake Up ! on Saturday, October 29th 2016.

By Mary Westbrook
In Boston, Rick Canale has found a new way to solve the ongoing challenge of helping staff members connect quickly with customers in an authentic way: sweatshirts.

Earlier this week Canale handed out hooded sweatshirts to his employees at Exotic Flowers. On the back, each shirt has the word "Flowers" and the number "98"— both a reference to New England Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers, whose name is too perfect for Canale to resist.

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At Exotic Flowers in Boston, employees don a sweatshirt featuring the name of a favorite New England Patriots player — who's last name happens to be flowers — as a way to create connection with customers.

"This visual statement sends a message to customers," Canale said. "It not only opens a dialogue with clients to show common interests, but it shows that we are not just the 'florist behind the counter.' We have similar likes and dislikes."

That personalization is no small thing. According to the research firm Gartner, 64 percent of people say customer experience is more important to their purchasing decisions than price.

In addition to keeping staff warm, the sweatshirts have injected an immediate dose of personality into customer interactions. (Imagine a big smile and shared "Go Pats!" compared to the far less memorable and often ineffective sales approach "can I help you?") 

"It is just another piece that personalizes our relationship with customers," said Canale.

Canale has also taken the flowers/flowers love beyond the physical store, interacting with the football player on social media.

"He has re-tweeted our support to his fan base, which is an added bonus," Canale said.

And Canale says that florists in other metro areas who want to copy the easy conversation-starter have options, too.

"There are many pro and college athletes with the last name Flowers," he said. "Tyler Flowers is a catcher for the Atlanta Braves. Brandon Flowers is on the San Diego Chargers and Marquis Flowers plays for the Cincinnati Bengals." 

 

Read more about why "can I help you" is ineffective and get 25 ideas for alternative phrasing. 

Tags: NFL, SAF, Society of American Florists, Patriots, Trey Flowers

Flower Inspired Facebook Posts

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Aug 12, 2016

Facebook is the number #1 leading social media site, propelling millions upon millions of account users to post updates, share links and upload photos that reflect their everyday life and interests.  If you’re reading this, your probably one of us and understands this as pretty much a truth pertaining to your daily routine.  Checking in, “liking” or even just casually scrolling down the feed, browsing our “friends” pages has become a way to keep in touch and pass along ideas and feelings that affect us and the world we live in.  This new form of communication efficiently links us together, forming one big network of information.  Plus- it’s a lot of fun, too!


So what does this have to do with a blog dedicated to flowers?

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Recently I came across a post by a friend that featured a picture and a lovely saying, decorated with illustrated pink poppies.  The message simply read, “AND the DAY CAME when the risk to remain in a TIGHT BUD was more painful than the RISK it took to BLOSSOM.”  

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Sweet, right?  The point of the quote is straight forward enough which conveys encouragement to the take leaps to grow because the fear of doing so becomes more hurtful to stay the same than the bravery do go ahead and try.  

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I love it.  The post did exactly what it was meant to do and that was to give me the little extra boost I may have needed for the day.  So if you’re one of the many faithful Facebook users who are into this sort of thing, here are a few more inspiring thoughts thematic after flowers!

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Tags: Language of Flowers, SAF, Flowers, About Flowers, Facebook, Inspiration

World Cup Flower Flop? Not So Fast, Says Boston Florist

Posted by Rick Canale on Sat, Jun 21, 2014

This article was featured in the 6/18/14 The SAF Wednesday Ebrief

By Mary Westbrook



Exotic Flowers in Boston recently launched its “Cooperstown Collection”— a partnership with The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. Owner Rick Canale, who has also been the official florist for the Red Sox, said sports tie-ins, done well, have lots of marketing potential. 

Bloggers in the U.K. are giving a red card to a supermarket chain that tried to capitalize on World Cup fever with a special bouquet — but at least one sports-savvy florist in Boston said the idea has the potential to hit plenty of marketing goaaals. 

Calling the “Come On, England” bouquet concept “painful,” several bloggers put the red and white carnation design, sold at Morrisons grocery stores, at the top of their “worst” lists for World Cup tie-ins. 

“Suddenly, a [groveling] apology from the other half for their latest screw-up just isn’t as gratifying as it used to be,” according to EuroSport. “Alternatively, it’s a rather backhanded way for a guy to [apologize] in advance for spending the next month doing nothing but watching football marathons and angrily debating contentious decisions on social media.” 

The chain also rain afoul of customers in Scotland, who successfully petitioned the stores there to stop playing an endless loop of England-related soccer — er, football —songs. 

Good intentions, lousy promotion? Not so fast, said Rick Canale of Exotic Flowers in Boston, who suggested the bloggers and writers are probably overreacting, and misinterpreting the grocers’ intentions. “I bet [Morrisons] did not sell the bouquet as an apology theme,” he said. “That would be floral suicide.” (At press time, EBrief editors had not been able to obtain the original marketing materials.) 

Canale should know. Exotic Flowers was the official florist of the Boston Red Sox from 2007 to 2009 and won SAF’s Floral Management Marketer of the Year title in 2008. He recently partnered with The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., to launch his new “Cooperstown Collection,” which coincides with the museum’s 75th anniversary. 

Canale said hitching your shop to a sports team or event can be marketing gold, but “it’s all about the approach.” In other words, never market a sports-themed design as an apology, but instead, promote it as a party idea or team-spirited host and hostess gift. When you do that well, you turn a non-floral event into an opportunity for your shop. 

“Believe me, if I liked soccer, I would be pitching World Cup bouquets here, too,” Canale said. “You have to capitalize on the success of special events. [For example], every Election Day, we launch an Election Day category on our website and then rebrand the same category for Veteran’s Day.” 

Tags: Red Sox Florist, Boston Florist, SAF, Rick Canale, Red Sox

The Society of American Florists Acknowledges Exotic Flowers

Posted by Rick Canale on Sat, Nov 16, 2013

Christmas FlowersEvery Saturday, the Society of American Florists (SAF) offers sales tips to floral industry professionals. This week, Katie Hendrick shares some holiday sales tips from Exotic Flowers in Boston.

Inexpensive Perks Keep Customers Merry

by Katie Hendrick
At Exotic Flowers in Boston, convenience and customer appreciation define the company's holiday marketing philosophy. We reached out to Rick Canale, owner of the 2008 Marketer of the Year-winning shop, for some tactics to get customers in the door and spending money, amidst all their other shopping activity.

Here are just a few of them:

  • Sell Christmas trees and wreaths to generate in-store traffic
  • Provide snacks – popcorn and candy canes – to keep tired shoppers in good spirits
  • Offer complimentary containers of hand sanitizer (to keep cold and flu germs at bay). The Exotic Flowers version has "Red Sox World Series Champions" emblazoned on it.
  • Send letters reminding customers of the previous year's holiday order with a personal letter. ("This gets great feedback," Canale said. "People appreciate reminders and they really love the personalization of the letter.")
  • Hand deliver poinsettias to top 100 clients.
  • Hand sign cards to top 200 clients.

Tags: SAF, Society of American Florists, Marketing, Christmas Wreaths, Christmas Trees, Christmas, Christmas Flowers

Exotic Flowers in Boston Gets a Nod in the SAF Weekly Sales WakeUp!

Posted by Rick Canale on Sat, Sep 14, 2013

Exotic Flowers in Boston is a long standing member of The Society of American Florists (SAF). Every week, SAF offers sales advice to those in the floral industry via their Sales Wake Up email on Saturdays. This week, Exotic Flowers is honored to be featured by writer Katie Hendrick.

 

 

Five Focus Points for Success

Boston retailer Rick Canale says in a recent blog post that e-mail confirmations are a basic and simple but effective way to make a great impression.


by Katie Hendrick
Ever wish you had a report card to measure the impression your shop makes? Consider this blog post the cheat sheet you’ve been craving. It comes courtesy of Rick Canale, owner of Exotic Flowers, the 2008 Floral Management Marketer of the Year winner.  

Here are a few highlights he insists his staff executes:

  • A thorough customer experience: email confirmations for orders and delivery, logoed polo shirts, logoed vans, “please” and “thank you” in every conversation, courtesy phone calls, personal handwritten notes
  • An emphasis on special occasions: employees should teach customers that flowers make all occasions more special — not just Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and anniversaries
  • Upscale packaging: tissue, gift boxes and ribbon improves presentation immensely
  • A dynamic storefront: the shop strives to have something exceptional to create buzz, be it new or exclusive variety of flowers in the window or a celebrity arranging flowers (Baywatch star Traci Bingham helped out during Valentine’s Day 2013)
  • A strong social life: the shop regularly updates its blog, Facebook page and Twitter account with three objectives: entertain, educate and engage. Equally important is what happens when employees leave the store. Running errands in a logoed shirt and a logoed van is outstanding advertising.

Tags: Baywatch, Floral Indusrty, SAF, Floral Management, Marketing, Traci Bingham

Can a Trip to the Local Florist Save General Petraeus ?

Posted by Rick Canale on Mon, Nov 12, 2012

Petraeus Flowers
Not to capitalize on the misfortune of others, but flowers have always been a symbol of apology. Often times, men and women call or come into our store looking to bring flowers to their loved ones who they wronged. Can General Petraeus' marriage be saved by a visit to his local florist ? Maybe, maybe not.
Flowers are certain to help start the healing process. The 'Exactly How Mad Is She' bulletin board is famous for showing that flowers are a universal symbol of apology. 
Even if General Petraeus does not choose to bring flowers to his wife, then he still can romance his two mistresses with roses.

Tags: Apology Flowers, Sorry Flowers, Emotion Flowers, SAF

Harvard Study Shows That Fresh Flowers Decrease Anxiety

Posted by Rick Canale on Mon, Oct 01, 2012

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CONTACT: (RICK CANALE,  617.524.4455)



Harvard Study Investigates the Home Ecology of Flowers Behavioral Research Concludes:Living with Flowers Strengthens Feelings of Compassion, and Decreases Anxiety and Worry

 

(BOSTON, MA)  With people’s desire for tranquility and stress relief stronger than ever, fresh research takes an insightful look at flowers and the important role they may play in our daily lives. A behavioral research study conducted by Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, reveals that people feel more compassionate toward others, have less worry and anxiety, and feel less depressed when fresh cut flowers are present in the home. 


“Other research has proven that flowers make people happy when they receive them,” Etcoff says. “What we didn’t know is that spending a few days with flowers in the home can affect a wide variety of feelings.”

The Home Ecology of Flowers Study at Harvard uncovered three main findings:
 

  1. Flowers feed compassion. 

    Study participants who lived with fresh cut flowers for less than a week felt an increase in feelings of compassion and kindness for others.

  2. Flowers chase away anxieties, worries and the blues at home. 

    Overall, people in the study simply felt less negative after being around flowers at home for just a few days. 

    Participants most frequently placed flowers in their kitchens, dining rooms and living rooms, where they spend a lot of time at home. They reported wanting to see the blooms first thing in the morning. 

  3. Living with flowers can provide a boost of energy, happiness and enthusiasm at work. 

    Having flowers at home can have a positive carry-over impact on our mood at work, too. The study found that people were more likely to feel happier and have more enthusiasm and energy at work when flowers were in their home living environments.

“As a psychologist, I’m particularly intrigued to find that people who live with flowers report fewer episodes of anxiety and depressed feelings,” Etcoff says. “Our results suggest that flowers have a positive impact on our well being.”

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Editor’s Note: For high-resolution floral photography, visit www.aboutflowers.com/media.


The Home Ecology of Flowers Research Methodology

Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School and her research team investigated the effects of flowers in the home environment on well being. Fifty-four people, ages 25-60, were studied using a series of self-report measures allowing the research team to know where the person was, with whom and what they were doing when they experienced an emotion, both when flowers were and were not present. Half of the participants received a “control” home decor item, other than flowers, to ensure study validity. After living with either flowers or the control intervention for approximately one week, participants rated their feelings during specific periods of the day, recording emotions during each episode. The research team also took photographs before and after flowers were delivered to determine any changes in use or appearance of the room. 


About Dr. Nancy Etcoff

 Dr. Nancy Etcoff is a faculty member of the Harvard Medical School and the Harvard University Mind/Brain/Behavior Initiative and a practicing psychologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry where she is the Director of the Program in Aesthetics and Well Being. At Harvard, she currently teaches a course entitled “The Science of Happiness.”

 Use these tips  to put this historic floral research into action immediately.

• Display flowers in common areas
such as your kitchen, dining and
family rooms to experience the
greatest mood-boosting effects.
• The kitchen table might be the best
place for flowers, because it’s
where people gather.
• Match a room’s décor with one of
the hottest flower trends —
monobotanic (arrangements of all
one type of flower) and
monochromatic (using all one color
palette, such as a range of pinks).
• Even just a few flowers in a bud vase
can perk up a room.
• For a contemporary look, group
several vases together holding just
one or two stems.
• For an easy, elegant table
decoration, set a series of crystal
vases on a fabric runner. Place fresh
flowers in each of the vases and
surround them with greenery.
• In the foyer, create a space to hang
your keys that also includes a
weekly vase of flowers. It will be
the last place you see on your way
out the door and the first you see
on your way back inside.
• An abundant arrangement of lilies,
gladiolus, hydrangea or any large
blooms creates an inviting
environment for an expansive
entryway or dining room.
• Choose soothing colors, like blues
and greens, to create a tranquil
feeling, or bright reds and oranges
for a sensual arrangement.
© 2007 SAF

Tags: SAF, Society of American Florists, Harvard Medical, Floral Studies

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