Popping out among the pop-ups
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the Retail TouchPoints website.
As more pop-up shops enter the market, competition is heating up and retailers must push the envelope when it comes to creative campaigns. Some brands have found success tapping social media or events marketing.
When it comes to social media strategy, retailers and brands should focus on their powerful influencers who are advocates of the company’s message and products. Influencers can be bloggers or unofficial spokespersons who interact with the brands’ social media pages often and generate buzz in the lead up to the store’s opening. Retailers can hold cross-promotions with non-competing brands to add value to the experience and introduce the product to a newer audience.
"If you already have a following, have them engaging with you," said Melissa Gonzalez, CEO of The Lion’Esque Group, a pop-up store architect. "You can even invite a major influencer to host a night in your shop, where they can invite their own following. Open up the doors for them for free."
Additionally, Ms. Gonzalez noted, look to engage "guerilla marketing street teams. As long as street teams hand out something intriguing and thought-provoking, and will make people want to check out the store."
Photo: M&M’s World
M&M’S World, a pop-up store in New York City’s SoHo district that opened July 17 and is set to run through Sept. 2015, will deploy street teams to distribute coupons that will drive awareness and visits to the store. Also, guests who follow M&M’S World on Instagram will receive a special discount at check-out.
Retailers also can use special events to spread the word about their pop-up. For example, in July, Sprite opened up a corner store in New York City that only sells Sprite soda. Throughout August, the bodega-styled "Sprite Corner" will hold events including a cooking class taught by celebrity chef Eddie Huang and numerous performances from local hip-hop artists.
According to PopUp Republic, 61 percent of shoppers list seasonal products as the main reason to shop at a pop-up store. Pop-up shoppers also are looking for:
- Unique services/products (39 percent);
- Localized assortments (36 percent);
- Optimal pricing (34 percent);
- Convenience (33 percent); and
- A fun experience (30 percent).
"The great thing about pop-ups that we find all across the board — whether it’s a pop-up store, pop-up restaurant or event — is that they have this ‘fear of missing out’ quality to them," said Jeremy Baras, the CEO of PopUp Republic. "Customers are attracted to exclusivity. They’re attracted to a ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ type of concept."
What do you see as some of the best ways to build buzz around a pop up? Can you cite any examples of a scheme that drew widespread attention to an opening? What are overall the elements to a successful pop-up shop?