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Border in a Box - Beautiful Border Case Study

How the Beautiful Border competition was a strategic part of Nikki Hollier's business plan for Border in a Box

How the Beautiful Border competition was a strategic part of Nikki Hollier's business plan for Border in a Box

Nikki Hollier launched her company Border in a Box in 2017. This came about as a result of moving house and having little idea of how to approach the garden, with scarce gardening knowledge, skill, or money. Nikki went on to study horticulture at Pershore Horticultural College followed by a garden design course, a journey which culminated in Nikki leaving a 20-year career in IT to be a garden designer specialising in borders.

Shortly after the launch of Border in a Box, with five products, Nikki visited BBC Gardeners' World Live where she experienced the Beautiful Border competition in all it's glory. A path was clear. Nikki would enter the Beautiful Border competition in 2018 with the objective of showing off a planted border that could be easily recreated at home.

When speaking with Nikki about her decision to take part she said "BBC Gardeners' World Live is a well-respected British brand, so to gain an award was imperative, as a major PR opportunity for me in 2018." Nikki was able to use her upcoming Beautiful Border as the basis for a WINN (Worcestershire Innovation) Award for innovation, with the prize money going to help fund the Border itself. "I was able to use all the PR opportunities for winning the WINN Award and BBC Gardeners' World Live on social media. People are  really interested and it creates a talking point when you have authentic stories to tell."

Not only did Nikki go on to win a Platinum Award for her Beautiful Border at BBC Gardeners' World Live 2018, but she also won the coveted Best Border award. She's packaged up her Beautiful Border into the brand new Wellbeing Border in a Box, so visitors really can recreate it at home. And looking to the future, Nikki is now working with the sponsor of her Beautiful Border, Solus Décor, to create a planting scheme for their exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019. 

"I loved creating a Beautiful Border at BBC Gardeners' World Live– it was a well organised event and a great brand to work with. I would recommend anyone to exhibit and create a garden – it’s stressful at times, but worth it! The team were so organised and want you to do well, it’s in their interests to make sure you are successful. I made friends with my garden neighbours and created some fabulous memories."

The Facts

The Facts

Objective: To grow the recently launched Border in a Box, garden design kits to help people with limited gardening knowledge create a gorgeous border without the designer price-tag. 

Strategy: Create a Beautiful Border at BBC Gardeners’ World Live to show off a planted border that could be easily recreated at home. The Border would build and promote the Border in a Box business and add credibility. The Border planting scheme to subsequently become part of the Border in a Box range.

Results: Winning Best Border and a Platinum Award meant that Nikki could go on to apply for, and win, exhibition space at the Autumn Fair - a competition created by Theo Paphitis #SBS, supporting small businesses. Taking part in, and attaining such a high level of Award at, BBC Gardeners' World Live has given the company a money-can't-buy credibility and a strong building block for its growth. The planting scheme from the winning Border has been boxed up and smartly packaged as the 'Wellbeing' Border in a Box.

Nikki's top tip - make the most of the PR opportunities

Nikki's top tip - make the most of the PR opportunities

For Border in a Box, PR was a key part of the strategy, with three clear sections – prior to the show, at the show, and post show.
  1. Write blogs – these are a great way to talk about the process and what’s involved in creating a show garden. Read Nikki's blog > 
  2. Social media – creating posts and videos about the show is great for your own exposure and also helps your sponsors by providing additional reach and great PR
  3. Visuals - Nikki turned her photos and awards into pictures to hang on the wall. She subsequently used these at the Autumn Fair, which gave Border in a Box brand credibility and a fantastic talking point
  4. Media - Nikki was able to talk about her Beautiful Border in her monthly column for her local paper ‘Pershore Times’. Whilst most don't have this opportunity, don't underestimate the power of keeping in touch with your regional titles as local interest stories can gain good coverage both before AND after the Show. Remember, every bit of online content you can generate will work wonders for the visibility of your website SEO.
Apply for 2020 

Apply for 2020 

Designing a Beautiful Border in 2020

Applications for 2019 are now closed. Please email Lucy Tremlett to register your interest for 2020. 

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