Today we meet Martin Laidla, PR manager at Click & Grow. Inspired by NASA’s Mars mission and the technologies used to grow food in space, Click & Grow wanted to transfer some of these innovative methods to everyday people back on Earth, creating a healthy and environmentally-friendly way of helping people to feed themselves. With an increased interest in environmental issues, sustainability, and gardening in general, something only further fuelled by the uncertainty and isolation of the COVID pandemic, the company has seen a great interest in their products. How can they continue to grow in a complex and competitive niche? Let’s find out!
I’m the PR manager of Click & Grow, dealing with the press, influencers, brand collaborations, affiliate marketing, and bigger branding projects. I joined the company out of a specific interest in future food technologies – something that has the most impact on how our lives can be made more sustainable.
Overall, I’m leaning more towards being an environmental engineer through my education, but, as wise people around the world are saying – all of the good solutions for our sustainability problems are already out there, we just need to implement and communicate them better. So I chose to communicate the idea that if people start growing some of their food at their home, the planet would be better off.
Click & Grow is the leading developer and producer of indoor smart gardening systems and hyper-local food growing in general. It was founded in 2009 in Estonia. It started out after our founder and CEO Mattias Lepp read an article about NASA’s Mars mission and how they were planning on growing food in space. He had the idea that if there’s a way to grow food in space, effortlessly, then there must be a way that everybody on Earth could also do it. This has been the spark behind our products – to provide 0-effort solutions for growing your own vitamin-rich food indoors anywhere, any time of the year. And now, more than 4 million plants have been grown with C&G in more than 150 countries around the world already.
The indoor smart gardening business is gaining ground in the typical consumer’s life. It has really become an object of interest for big home appliance corporations and COVID, which locked us up in our homes and broke the traditional food supply chains, gave the indoor growing sector a really great boost. The first months of COVID saw up to 5 times increase in projected revenue for Click & Grow and it was similar to other players on the market.
Working on finding exciting new branding opportunities to get the word out about the benefits of growing your own food indoors to more people around the world. Our overall goal is to grow the worldwide community of indoor gardeners.
What differentiates us most in terms of marketing is the wide reach of channels we have tested, are testing, and are reaching out to potential customers with. For social, we’ve found that Instagram really works wonders with plant-related material. We’re constantly testing measurable new and old channels and putting less focus on places where measuring is not precise (social media vs TV).
Promoting our product is in some ways going against traditional food systems, what and how people eat. As we know, what we eat is a very culturally complex subject and it’s hard to motivate people to change their habits. For example, while most people agree that eating leafy greens is healthy, fewer actually keep this in mind doing their daily shopping.
And, to add another layer, we know that the fresh produce that’s in the grocery stores is not always fresh and clean, often it contains different chemical residues and is not transported and grown sustainably. However, we don’t act on this knowledge but choose the easier / cheaper option instead.
Growing your food with our products eliminates all of these problems, but this is a difficult step to tell the customers to make, even if all of the information, the pros and cons are out there.
What motivates me – the fact that it really is the best solution to many of today’s food problems and that it really benefits people’s lives in a major way. We just have to get every household to grow their own food.
Believe in your product. Then even hard things feel like joy. If you don’t believe, quit. If others don’t, end the product altogether.
Books: Building a Storybrand, Branding New.
TV: an oldie, The West Wing. Great lessons about public relations there.
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