What is the message?

Do we in the garden businesses need a national advertising campaign to remind people of the benefit's of gardening? That's the message that Danny Takao want's to spread. Danny owns Takao Nursery in Fresno, CA. Danny published an article in Greenhouse Grower, a trade magazine titled, "Danny Takao's National Promotion Idea".He feels, "a non-profit organization serve as the vehicle that collects annual dues from the entire supply chain." He continues, "What if a non-profit organization could be the funding/collecting mechanism via assessed yearly dues? Instead of focusing on one group, we assess the complete supply chain based on annual sales. Let’s say we collect $250 to $1,000. If we spread that over everyone in the industry, no one group or company would bear the cost of this campaign. That should raise a minimum of $1 million, plus enough to get going with our national campaign."

He sums up the problems we face, and they are daunting. To end the article Danny say's, "I know this is blue-sky thinking but I can't think of a better time to get this going. As past president of OFA, I've heard it all – from those who see the vision to those who do but say they can't afford to contribute. My thinking is we can't afford to sit on the sidelines. The wait-and-see approach is not a good one for our industry."

This has caused quite a stir in the garden center world. At our Independent Garden Center Facebook page and our Retail Garden Center, Vendor, and Media page the comments are on both sides of the fence. Everyone agrees that the trade faces some challenges. Some would love to jump all over this while others reject the idea of a "assessment" on their business, or that a national ad campaign will even help.

My question is, "What is the message that we wish to have spread?", and "who are we wishing would hear the message?