Sunday, 29 November 2015

The styling competition results

For those who follow us on here rather than Facebook here are the results of the juniper styling contest we ran. Thanks must go to everyone who entered, made the effort and for sending in their results.......what instantly impressed us all was the variation in styled trees that we saw from what was very similar starting material....

The initial uptake was going to create a first and second place and the judging did give us a clear winning tree....then it got a little harder as two trees were in the running for second spot and it was such a fine line that it was unfair to put one above the other so we put pur heads together and decided to extend the prizes by in effect having a joint second place...this gave the winner £100 to spend and two £50 prizes going out as well

Enough chat..........


Here is the winning tree (Above)  styled by Russ ..... The level of work that went into this one impressed the judges, I liked the flow of trunk and shari that followed into the cascade branch taking the eye smoothly through the flow of the tree. The pics supplied showed it slip potted into a cascade pot that Russ already had, but the judging did ignore this and concentrate on the tree styling.

Then we come to the first of the runner up trees - a lovely compact and very mature image created by Phillip from Ireland. Canopy size is in perfect proportion to the trunk, the dropping branch completes the flow and the jin is just the right length to fit the design and break up the trunk line
2nd Runner up was Lee's tree - some nice space created, overall size and balance is very nice too. Silhouette is good and the tree will continue to improve as the initial branch pads fit out and bulk up over the next couple of years.
Cheers to everyone who entered and thanks for all the messages asking about the next styling competition....I'll snap up a batch of pines if some suitable trees come in with next years container so we can have a bit of species variety......We could have fun with a longer term comp lasting from spring intil winter using some fast growing deciduous material like a deshojo maple or Korean Hornbeam.. We'll bounce some ideas around on facebook for next year.
Finals for those local enough to fancy spending a day at a Bjorn Bjornholm demonstration day
we have a limited ticket chance coming up - currently there is room for up to 8 people to come

Friday, 27 November 2015

Black Friday madness and marketing hype

Mmmmmm, Black Friday................

Mass marketing hysteria to drive sales by dumping excess stock ? In some cases yes, there is nothing wrong with getting rid of stock lines that are about to be discontinued or updated and improved in my mind, that makes sense to save ending up stuck with old stock.

Discounting existing current stock items to a high level.......why would you?....I can think of nothing more damaging to a brand than creating a special low price for a day, a week or a month.....yes you may create a little flush of sales but at the expense of margin....and sometimes sales special prices become virtually 'at cost' or if poorly thought out they could come at a loss when end of year taxes and overheads get factored in. All this is good for a few buyers of course and we all love a little bargain now and again but what a terrible damaging thing to do to your brand....

Fictitious Product X has a normal value of £10, the buyers who like it feel they receive value for money and are happy to pay the price.....most expect a little incentive to buy a larger amount or to buy at times of the year when they may not want it....10-15% discount gives the desired results......this is why we have all the bonsai fertilisers reduced over winter so people who know spring is round the corner can buy early and save money..........but to suddenly create a Black Friday price slash for product X and say " you lucky people.....we are selling are product for £5.00 !!"..... What message does it give to the regular buyers and to long term devalues and damages the brand as you have indicated you can sell it for half what you were selling it for previously........


Today (Black Bonsai Friday) we woke up and discovered all our specimen bonsai were looking so good  that they had increased in value by we advise waiting until tomorrow to buy one! Then they will be back to the correct price, not stupidly devalued, but with a little room for some well meant haggling ! 

I think it's about seeing through the poorly thought out marketing ploys.......a few months ago I was getting bombarded on Facebook with a one week 35% sale.......then a week later we were told because it had been so successful that it had been extended for a few more weeks!? But the sale items were all so specific you could go online and view virtually all of them those behind these ideas think people are daft? I spotted a new type of sale this was "we have brand new stock so we are going to reduce the price of it all this month......?" All it means is the price has been set artificially high in the first place to create a fake sale price..

I guess if you want last years TV model at half price today is brilliant...last year I did just that with a TV just before Xmas as the new model was about to come out in the new year......£1000 saved and a half price telly.....but it's about being realistic and knowing what things are really worth and what you are willing to pay for them....

Current fertiliser offers we have without hype;

Tibolar Sr fertiliser £17.50/kg (normally£19.95) until current stock sells out or Feb 2016 is reached
Bio gold Original £16.50 / 900gr ( normally £19.50). This is genuine Japanese sealed foil packs
Naruko japanese commercial fertiliser £9.00/ kg....this is rebadged from bulk sacks
250ml Bonsai Boost fish emulsion++ and the new BioKelp 2 for £10.00 ( normally £7.95 each) 

There are about 15 bags of assorted Akadama, Kiryu grit and Ezo grit left.....3 for £40 on these until they are gone......