Steps to Successful Branding By Kyle McKean

When Star Roses and Plants acquired BrazelBerries in 2016, it was very exciting because berries were a new category for us and the edibles trend was on the rise. We all felt there was a lot of growth and potential for the program. One of the first steps Layci Gragnani, program manager, took was to survey the grower network and key retailers to better understand the successes and challenges of the brand. In doing so, we gathered valuable insight which directed us, quite unexpectedly, to rebrand.

The collection of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries offered stunning ornamental value, the fruit tasted delicious, and the plants lived up to their promise of being compact, self-pollinating and patio-ready; however, the name was a little tricky and the packaging needed to better stand out at retail.

The first thing we worked on was the name (we came up with hundreds of them!). We felt it was important for the name to have the word “berry” in it so consumers would quickly understand the brand, but we also wanted the name
to give the feeling of fresh produce or of a farmer’s market. With many consumers, especially millennials, trying to eat healthier and grow their own food, we felt this was very important to the re-brand.


Names are always hard to come up with because the great ones are always taken, and the good ones are sometimes not memorable enough. The bigger hurdle, however, is selecting a name that has a matching and available domain name. Once we narrowed our list of names down to our favorites, we further narrowed the list once we knew which domain names were available. Ultimately, we landed on Bushel and Berry as the name with the tagline, “Homegrown Berries,” which we felt communicated the brand promise succinctly.

The next step was the logo and the packaging. I remember when I suggested we match the color of the pot to the biodegradable produce baskets found at farmers markets. It was like a huge, bright light bulb went off because, with that color, all the elements of the rebrand made perfect sense. Gragnani now had the elements needed to present the rebrand back to the grower and retailer group who had provided us with feedback in the beginning. Thankfully, the look was well received so we quickly developed the other items needed for launch.


At the MANTS show in January of 2017, we debuted the new name and new look, which received another round of positive feedback. From there we began working on the messaging, which is a critical part of brand development. We identified the audience we wanted to reach, set goals that we wanted to achieve, and began building a timeline so that we could keep on schedule to launch the new look at retail that same year. Ahead of spring, we completed a tag design, made signage for retailers, built a website, did photoshoots and created advertisements. It was very fast paced, but we completed the rebrand in just a
few short months.

While the idea of planting berries in a home garden is still a bit foreign to some, Bushel and Berry offers an easy way for consumers to have fresh berries all summer long. Whether planted in a deco pot, incorporated into a vegetable garden or used in a landscape, the Bushel and Berry collection meets the needs of today’s consumer and future generations. FreshHome stated that their favorite garden trend of 2018 is “Garden to Table” ( The idea of an edible garden is one that everyone can relate to because we all have to eat and have varying interest in cooking and knowing where our food comes from. Regardless of expertise, it’s easy to incorporate a few potted herbs, a small fruit tree, or your favorite veggies into whatever space you have available.

Berries appeal to a wide range of palates, from young to old, and in sweet or savory recipes. Specifically, blueberries are so popular because of their great taste and health benefits. According to the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, per capita consumption of blueberries in the U.S. grew a whopping 600 percent between 1994 and 2014 (

In horticulture, I think a brand is successful when it has great genetics and great branding. Too often we lead with one but not the other. If we stop talking about the technical aspects of plants and begin talking about how to use them and how they are relevant, we will inspire a new generation of consumers to be interested in plants.

By offering relevant content like the recipes ( we develop, test, make and photograph in house, Bushel and Berry communicates with the consumer in ways they understand. Sometimes it’s not about the plant, but it is about the blueberry mojito you make at the end of a long, hot day, or the berry crisp you bake for your family on the weekend.

Kyle McKean

Kyle McKean is director of marketing at Star Roses and Plants and a member of GPN’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2018. She can be reached at

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GPN recognizes 40 industry professionals under the age of 40 who are helping to determine the future of the horticulture industry. These individuals are today’s movers and shakers who are already setting the pace for tomorrow.