Episode 77 - How to Change Customer Perceptions of Paper Flowers with Gerry Rosales
Guest Gerry Rosales talks about building up his paper flower brand in the Philippines and shifting customer perceptions of paper crafts.
Anyone can make a paper flower.
There’s something beautifully hopeful in that statement, but it can also create problems when that idea prevents consumers from buying your products. How can you help them value your skills, time, and art?
We chatted all about this in our latest episode of Paper Talk with Gerry Rosales. Gerry is the artist behind ThePaperblooms, and he has worked hard to change consumer perceptions of paper flowers. You know that we here at Paper Talk are all about building up our industry as a whole, and perceptions of paper florists are a big part of making that happen.
Our conversation touched on many things that you can do to change perceptions of your products and brand. You won’t want to miss out on a minute of it. If you can’t listen right away, read on to learn some of the helpful takeaways we discussed. They’ll help you feel ready to shift perceptions and build up an enthusiastic customer base.
Gerry lives in the Philippines and has had to overcome the preconception that paper crafts aren’t worth paying for. As we chatted about in the episode, paper flowers in Southeast Asia have long been associated with not being able to afford fresh florals for things like weddings. They often have a cheap, DIY stigma attached.
This attitude is something paper florists, including us, have encountered around the world to varying degrees. How do you convince potential customers that your product is valuable?
“I tried to challenge the fresh flower industry by saying ThePaperblooms are ‘More than fresh.’” - Gerry
We delved into this question with Gerry on the podcast, but one of the big answers was education. He shared how he educated potential customers at bridal fairs. The payoff wasn’t immediate, but with some patience and hard work, his labor paid off. Listen to the episode to hear even more about how Gerry did this and how long it took him to see results.
Even if you don’t see the benefits right away, take the time to educate people about paper flowers. Many consumers still don’t know that paper is an option or can be a high-end, artistic product. You may have to talk to a hundred people before you find a customer, but you might not have found that person if you hadn’t tried. Plus, some of those other people might come back much later thanks to your hard work.
Build a Premium Brand
When educating potential customers, one thing that has helped us sell paper flowers as a valuable product is by making our brands feel premium. Even if your paper flowers are high-end and gorgeous, people might not notice—especially online—if your branding is cheap or sloppy.
Think about everything consumers encounter when interacting with your business: name, website, logo, social media, quality of photos, packaging, and on and on. Gerry used his background as a graphic artist and photographer to build up a business that looked and felt as beautiful as his flowers.
In the episode, Gerry shared several other ways that he built up his brand as premium—and they are things that you can do! You can’t build a high-end brand overnight, but following our advice on the podcast will give you a headstart.
Value Your Skills
Of course, if you’re going to market yourself as a premium brand, you have to believe it yourself.
Like Gerry, many of us started making paper flowers for our own weddings. The appeal is fairly obvious: you can control the end result and save money. That’s why many of us became paper florists in the beginning.
So how do you get past that DIY hobby mentality? Here’s what Gerry had to say:
“Paper craft, anyone can do, but not anyone has time to do it or not anyone has the skill to do it. It’s more than the paper flowers that they are buying or they’re paying for. It’s the skill. It’s the time of the maker.”
Paper flowers are a skilled art. We are skilled artists. Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are an artist. We know it can be difficult to do, because we’ve had our own doubts about our worth as well. Just remember: if you believe in your work, customers will too.
For even more great advice on changing perceptions, listen to our latest episode of Paper Talk. Here’s what you’ll hear when you listen to our conversation:
More about how to build up paper flowers as a premium product.
Why skill matters more than materials.
How Gerry chose his business name and tagline.
Ideas to involve kids safely in paper flower making.
How Covid-19 is affecting the industry in the Philippines.
Gerry is an admin of our Facebook group where he shares wonderful tips for paper florists every Friday. Join to share, connect, and grow with us. And please consider supporting us on Patreon for even more great content like this.
“In whatever industry—I’ve been into photography, I’m a graphic artist, I’m a wedding planner—and I will always say this: do the most with what you have...Yes, materials will make the outcome better, but it’s still your hands, your skills, your level of artistry that will speak more than just the materials.” - Gerry