How “Excellent” is Your Brand? by: Ryan O’Neil, Curate Founder / CEO

Your brand is the most valuable asset your company has. If anyone knows of the effort that goes into brands – I do. Because I watched my wife as she built hers. One memory in particular sticks out.

It was the first wedding my wife had ever done over $5,000. The mom and daughter were self-planning and they had taken a chance on us with one caveat: she had to do their bridal shower several months before. At that time in her company, she was hungry to grow and accepted any challenge that came her way.

The day before the bridal shower in St. Louis in January, our vacation in Louisiana literally froze over and all major roads were shut down. We left our hotel at 4 am hoping to catch our 8 am flight. At 2:00 pm, we finally made it to the airport and found out at 6 pm the last flight out was canceled. So we drove through the weathered night and arrived at 7 am in time to pick up flowers from the wholesaler, make the big bomb arrangements, and deliver by 10 am. We traveled awake for 28 hours. And we did it because her brand was on the line.

That was her brand. My wife went above and beyond because her brand had to be excellent. And I’m sure you have similar stories about what you have invested with your brand.

That’s why at Curate, we decided to completely overhaul our application with the florist’s brand in mind.

Curate is the florist software platform created specifically for the needs of wedding and event floral shops. Unlike spreadsheets and sticky notes, Curate automates the entire process from proposal to strike, letting florists spend more time doing the things they love most.

While overhauling our application, we did a deep study into the industry and how effective floral brands work. The big question is this: what do your customers expect in an excellent brand experience? Here’s what we’ve learned:

Learning #1: Millennials and Gen Zers are “digital natives” and expect their experiences with your brand to match what they see from Pinterest or Instagram.

Many florists are interacting with their clients using antiquated methods that were once “cutting edge” and the “bees knees.” In the early 2000’s, it was a novelty to get emailed a proposal that only works in pdf form or a Word doc. Clients are digital natives. Those methods no longer work.

We are approaching 2020 and today’s clients truly want an experience over Word documents and PDFs. And they want it all optimized for their increasingly digital lives. They want to experience the images you selected, interact with the vision you have created, and say “I do!” with an in-app, pay-and-sign experience.

Curate took this learning to heart in building the experience your clients have. Curate has an incredible Pinterest integration to help you and clients. Curate even has negotiated rates to get credit card processing fees reduced for all users. No extra invoicing fees. What does this mean? For your clients, no random middleman fees and for you, more profitable weddings.

Learning #2: Your clients expect your brand to provide a customized experience – both of your brand and of their event.

Millennials and Gen Zers are some of the largest consumers in today’s society, especially within the events industry. They are expecting every brand they interact with to provide a customized experience with excellent service. And that expectation is rapidly spreading to all clients.

Many solutions only allow you to choose a handful of cookie-cutter templates for your proposals. This means that every other florist in your market has a proposal with the same look. Cookie cutters are great for making cookies, but you and your clients are one-of-a kind!

Here’s the truth: You offer stunning, one-of-a-kind design pieces, that come from you and the client’s heart. Your proposals deserve the same.

Clients want to see that they are unique, and they want assurance that their special event is customized to their childhood fantasy, budget, and their Pinterest board.

With these learnings, we’ve optimized Curate to have multiple themes with customizable fonts that match your brand. Curate allows you to select a look that both reflects your brand and your client’s perfect dream.

Learning #3: Your clients expect immediate responsiveness.

Automated Responses From Forms
The very best brands that your customers interface with are incredibly responsive. And your customers now expect that of you. Statistics say that you need to reach out to a new inquiry in 5 minutes or your chances of qualifying them decreases by 80%(!!).

This is why you need a forms tool that will automate this for you. This is why we built this into Curate. When a new lead comes in, you can automatically send a response with an introduction and next steps. You have to have forms to guide this process and you have to automation to ensure your clients have an excellent experience.

Pricing On-The-Spot
Clients want to leave your consultation with a proposal in hand. Here are the stats. My wife and I ran the numbers and when we handed a proposal by the end of a consultation, our on-the-spot bookings increased by 400%.

When it comes to pricing, delivering something immediate for your clients is hard to do, especially if you have manual processes in place to figure it out! All the stem counting, sprinkled with a little rounding and guessing can really bite into your bottom line over time.

This is why Curate was created and is trusted by florists all over the world.

Curate allows you to standardize your margins and ensure you are fair to your client, but also to yourself! At the end of the day, pricing fair is the best way that you can deliver the excellent service your client expects. Plus you want guaranteed profitability so you can invest money back into your business or take that vacation that you so desperately need…and deserve!

And what are you to do when your client falls in love with that one beautiful vase that is super popular this season? Before you promise it to them, do you have an easy way to make sure that it’s available? Instead of winging it with rentals, florists are moving to instant, real-time inventory tracking with Curate, which includes the most robust functionality in the industry.

Being excellent includes having overbooked notifications in case you grab one too many pieces for a weekend and having an entire pull and return list that updates inventory in real time to account for the broken votives from your last event. Your clients will love (and expect) that promised item front and center on the day of their special event.

As florists everywhere are growing their brand, they are also raising the bar. From delivering front-of-house excellence to creating incredibly custom arrangements and installations, there is a renewed emphasis on delivering excellence at every point of the client’s experience. That is why Curate has invested countless hours into making sure your brand can have custom proposals, excellent back-of house processes, and intelligent rental inventory.

Through all this, your client has an excellent experience, showing that you are clearly the florist that understands their vision. Why give them anything less than excellence?

As a family who started a wedding and events floral shop, we have learned so much about growing a brand and giving the client an excellent experience, no matter what. Some pieces are out of your control, but other times, there are small changes you can make to have incredible, brand-worthy impacts.

Schedule a consultation with our team to see how you can also grow your brand with a customizable, brand-worthy Curate solution.

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