Jackson & Perkins, Roses 1999

With copy that “really speaks to retailers” and “an incredible amount of exclusive and new merchandise,” Jackson & Perkins rises above the field and captures a Silver Award. Of course, the remarkably sensuous photography of the roses that make up the cataloger’s product line doesn’t hurt either.

The judges greet the cover of the wholesale version of the horticulture marketer’s catalog with a unanimous “wow.” The detailed close-up shot of two dew-kissed roses, one in bloom and another about to unfurl, “lets you all but smell them,” enthuses a judge. The high quality of the photography extends inside the book as well. Page after page displays tight, well-cropped photos of the company’s extensive range of roses, many of them flagged with icons and headings declaring them new to this edition or exclusive to Jackson & Perkins. “It’s incredible that the catalog has so many new and exclusive varieties,” raves a panelist.

Just as incredible is how skillfully the catalog differentiates its numerous roses with copy that suggests selling points for retailers to share with customers. Of the Purple Simplicity, for instance, copy advises, “Recommend it for impressive hedges, or to grow in the company of pink and white roses for striking color effect.” Likewise, the Timeless hybrid is described as “a rose your customers will enjoy for its exhibition quality, deep pink blooms, and its vigorous, disease-resistance performance in the garden.”

The copy also shines when it comes to describing the benefits to the retailers themselves of selling Jackson & Perkins roses. A page near the front of the book, for instance, discusses the company’s commitment to producing virus-free roses and breeding new, appealing varieties. Another page touts repackaging “to help you sell more roses!” And several pages in the back are dedicated to in-store merchandising collateral and a listing of regional sales representatives.

Such features don’t make up for the absence of a page detailing delivery, credit, and other service policies, however. And one judge is disappointed that the catalog doesn’t cross-sell plant food and other products that would increase retailers’ sales.

But maybe Jackson & Perkins figures it doesn’t need to. With its bounty of sumptiously photographed flora, its informative sidebars about the awards that its roses have won, and its detailed specs about each strain, concludes one judge, “Jackson & Perkins really stakes its claim as the source for roses.”

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