Our Account Manager Danny Bower has now been in the US for a month introducing customers to our products; Spectron LED Boosters, VitaLink plant nutrients and additives, Hyperion White Plessey LED and the GoGro auto-irrigation system.
We caught up with him to see what he thinks after a third of his first long trip to the States.
So, can you tell us a little bit about your first month?
I’ve loved the first month! It’s been a learning curve certainly but something I’ve taken to quickly, I’d like to think. It’s been interesting further scoping out the US Market and working on a strategy for HydroGarden to break into it – a whole new experience for me compared to our large presence in the UK - it’s a challenge and I’m embracing it!
Where have you been so far? What was your favourite place so far and why?
I covered Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island before flying into Detroit to cover Michigan. I then drove four hours to Niagara Falls for a Canadian Hydro Expo over the weekend to gain a better understanding of the Canadian market as we’ve heard the industry is blowing up here at current. Oh, and I stayed in Toronto too!
I loved the East Coast vibe in New England – Boston (MA), Portland (ME) and Providence (RI) were such cool places to see. Having said that, Niagara Falls/Toronto have been incredible too – the scenery is breath-taking! I related to Boston as well, it felt like a UK city in some aspects. So, I’d have to say it’s a toss-up between Boston and Toronto/Falls so far for my favourite place!
How many shops have you been to see? What are the major differences between the shops in the States and in the UK?
The total at current is around 40– not too bad for a lot of cold calls! There’s actually a lot of similarities in terms of awesome people, a passion for the industry, growing methods and the sheer number of nutrient brands! Obviously, a major difference is the scale that some of these shops are on. The guys in the bigger units tend to utilise all available space, racking up to the ceiling, for instance. Obviously varying legality state-to-state also plays a huge part in outdoor growing and commercial growing scale. Oh and also, an English accent gets you a lot further over the water!
Have you seen any products in the States that you think will have be making their way across the pond to the UK?
A few lines potentially, but actually I think it’s important to note that we’re actually not as behind in the UK as we can sometimes think. There’s quite a few lines in our UK catalogue that US outfits have never seen before!
What’s the feedback been like on HydroGarden’s products?
The feedback has generally been very positive across our initial four line offering. We’ve tried to come over here with a product mix that differentiates us from the rest of the market and intrigue customers with specific USPs on each line. The Spectron LED Boosters that have just launched in the UK have particularly aroused a lot of interest due to the increasing demands for cost-effective LED technology (as well as its sleek branding). The Hyperion White Plessey LED has also been very well received, I’m excited for us to have the 600w model ready to go to properly appeal to the US market. The GoGro is certainly intriguing shops and wholesale outfits alike – the added functionality of the system alongside the great price point appeals to the new wave of recreational grower, as well as the commercial outfit. VitaLink has challenges due to the amount of nutrient lines out there – it’s imperative to offer shops enough incentive to sell your line else you won’t get very far. Luckily for HydroGarden, I think we have a way to do this!
We know you’re a big fan of sports so what games have you managed to go and see?
I’ve seen the Red Sox play baseball in Boston and the Red Wings play ice hockey in Detroit. Both awesome experiences – personal preference was the baseball, solely for the incredible atmosphere. I’m planning to see the Knicks play basketball in New York, which leaves American Football to hit and then that’s the four major US sports covered off!
Other than watching games, what else have you been doing to keep yourself entertained?
Beer, Gin, Whiskey… need I go on?! But no, in all seriousness, I’ve just tried to embrace the experience as much as I can. Early starts on the weekends to thoroughly explore a city and generally soak in everything about a new place, then grab a beer!
How many miles have you done in total?
Around 2,500-3,000 I think – a lot!
If you’re in the US and want to find out more about what HydroGarden can offer you, get in touch with Danny via our website enquiry form here… Or you can email him on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +1-669-214-8909.
Follow Danny’s journey on his Instagram!