20 Years of Decorum
The origin of the brand Decorum lies around 25 years back in history. Back in 1995, it was a challenge for growers to sell their best plants for a better price than the normal quality. There was one pioneer who thought it was possible to better market his products, he was the founder of what Decorum is today.
Not All Plants from the Same Grower Have the Same Quality
Understand that when growing plants, even the best growers do not grow everything they produce in the same quality. Of course, you have always a good average quality when you grow professionally, but there are always some plants that are even better than your average good quality. When begonia grower Peter ten Have, the founder of Decorum, was thinking about how to better market this part of his production, which consists of about 20 to 30% of his production, he came up with a great idea.
Peter ten Have and His Brown Trays
Peter ten Have decided more than 25 years ago to put his best quality begonias in a different tray with different sleeves. It was a brown tray, which stood out from the other trays. He saw he could not only sell these brown trays begonias of the very best quality for a better price, but he also found out quickly that demand for this specific top range grew. Apparently, there was a need to be sure of the best quality.
A Quality Mark for Plants
He learned quickly that some of his customers really wanted to have more consistency in receiving only the highest quality of the delivered goods. Peter learned his customers needed some kind of quality mark or certification. Not just a certificate for good quality as his grower label is, but a mark or certification for the best quality. This was the beginning of the brand Decorum. It was 1999.
20 years ago, it was normal that, as a buyer (florist, garden center, or other retailers), one week you got a certain quality and the next week another quality. For many buyers, there was no way of exactly knowing how to order a consistent best quality range of products. There are also stories that some customers when receiving the ordered begonias, received a mixture of different qualities in the same delivery. From the same grower.
Decorum Was Born and Grew Quickly
Peter ten Have recognized that he was not the only grower with this problem. And with his great network and many contacts within the grower community, quickly more growers joined this collective which grew around him. They then decided to create the brand Decorum. Decorum then grew rapidly to around 100 growers offering only the best selection of products from their greenhouses.
Decorum, an Exclusive Brand for Exclusive Resellers
Only the best products of the grower could be offered in the brand Decorum. The initial strategy was to only offer those best products to certain buyers in Europe. Buyers with shared values about quality. Decorum was made exclusive for a relatively small group of exporters, wholesalers, and larger retailers. And hence, not available to others. A map of Europe was hanging in the office of Decorum with all 'resellers' of the brand Decorum.
A Turbulent Time
This created a very turbulent time for Decorum. Exporters and wholesalers who had no access to Decorum were losing customers because of this strategy. Those exporters and wholesalers who had no access to Decorum plants but did have customers who wanted to buy the Decorum products. Those customers were unable to get them. These customers left them in search of another supplier who did have access. You can imagine those traders were not happy with Decorum.
Time for Another Strategy
This made the people at Decorum realize they should never again take the 'seat' of an exporter/wholesaler. They decided to open up access to every buyer again and departed from the 'exclusive network' strategy. Each and every exporter, wholesaler, and retailer can have access to the products of Decorum. To make the brand itself a stronger brand, around ten tears ago, Decorum chose for more obligations towards its grower members. Decorum decided the names of the individual growers had to go, and only the brand Decorum should be featured on the packaging and in the promotion of the products. This made some 20-25 growers leave the Decorum group. They felt no longer comfortable in the brand because they wanted to keep their own brand names. So, what started as a group of growers with more open-ended rules, become an organization with more strict rules. With the same mission as when they started off: "Always the best quality. Buying Decorum is a safe choice because you always receive the best of the grower. The products are the best products".
A New Packaging
A few years ago, Decorum also started to offer cut flowers. They re-designed the look and feel of the brand a couple of years ago to what it is now; a very recognizable brand with the right packaging to show buyers of the Decorum plants and flowers, that it's always a safe and good choice when you want to be sure about sourcing the best quality.
And that is what Decorum is today; a strong brand about only the best quality products the grower members have to offer. More and more growers are joining Decorum again, and the assortment is expanding rapidly. Many growers are recognizing that having one strong brand helps to make sure that the products are not so easily exchangeable to others from other growers. And with the digitalization today, more and more webshops are choosing the brand Decorum, because it's a safe choice for good quality, always. (Read: there are no/fewer reclamations).