Launching a brand and generating sales are two of the toughest tasks for a new business. You can put as much effort as you can into your online presence, but without some level of brand recognition your marketing budget could be wasted.
Traditional advertising, search engine marketing, social media marketing, etc. can easily be overlooked (or missed completely) when brand awareness is low.
How do you build awareness and affinity for your brand when no one is paying any attention?
This is where pop-up promotions, temporary brand experiences at established venues, come into their own. They’re perfect for launching a brand in a specific market and driving new sales for an established business.
Pop-up shops accomplish a variety of marketing goals
Experiential marketing can be huge, dramatic, complicated and expensive, but it needn’t be. Pop-up promotions are a really simple thing to do. You just rent a small area of promotional floor-space at a big-name retailer or a busy shopping location, stand there with something eye-catching and tell potential customers about your product or service. Simple. And with a little effort the results can be spectacular.
Forge deeper brand connections
If you spend a small amount of time planning your pop-up promotion, then you’ll be able to create a real connection with potential customers and advocates. Personal interaction and face time with prospects are invaluable when you’re building brand awareness in a new market.
For instance, if you run a clothing line start-up, launch a pop-up store, give people a quick style guide and straight away you’re talking about something you love and know a lot about and not just parroting a scripted sales pitch.
“This kind of interaction creates a bond with customers, one much stronger than that from an online advert or a google campaign. Even if the interaction doesn’t produce a sale straight away the strength of your brand has grown.”
Make marketing dollars work harder
Pop-up promotions are also an unbelievably good value, the space is very cheap in many cases (and if planned correctly, you can spend much less to reach the same number of people in comparison to other types of local advertising campaigns.
“In fact, research from Storefront, an online marketplace for brands, artists and entrepreneurs to rent store space, confirms that for every dollar a company spends on pop-up rent, they can make seven more dollars on income,” according to Retail TouchPoints. The key in running a successful pop-up promotion is to make good use of your time.
Test new markets
Pop-up promotions enable new brands to implement targeted campaigns by geographic location. This can be particularly important for startups looking to test new markets and boost market penetration.
If you are launching a new beverage brand, launching a pop-up at a local supermarket is a perfect brand opportunity. You can also research local demographics to understand more about visitors at specific venues. At a supermarket you may want to target busy stay-at-home moms. If you’re launching a gardening line, you may want to launch a pop-up in local garden centers and target empty nester, homeowners.
In fact, many growing brands that were conceived online are embracing a temporary brick and mortar presence. Pop-up shops are often used to test markets where a retail presence is being considered.
For instance, Chicago was one of three customer-chosen cities where New York-based Birchbox set up “temporary shop on a ‘roadtrip’ to gauge shopper interest in having a physical store in town. Atlanta and Los Angeles were the other winners, as determined by shoppers who voted on the Birchbox website,” according to The Chicago Tribune late last year.
Create omnichannel experiences
Pop-up promotions can also be used to integrate an e-commerce storefront with an offline brick and mortar presence. Birchbox illustrated this strategy when they “teamed up with Gap to open pop-ups in seven flagship Gap locations… the overall idea is that the space will be a place where men and women can check out the boxes in person and enroll in a three-month starter membership for $30.”
Meanwhile, “H&M used Coachella to create the ultimate pop-up experience. The fast-fashion retailer created an interactive storefront at the music festival to promote its ‘H&M Loves Music’ line, which was curated by musicians and artists. The pop-up featured the new collection, complimentary hair and makeup services and a virtual runway, among other features.”
Large and small brands alike have spotted the marketing value in pop-up promotions. Warby Parker and Bonobos also got their start in physical retail spaces by opening pop-ups. Established brands like Adidas, Puma, Ugg Australia, Samsung and many more also use pop-up shops to meet their business objectives.
Partner with complimentary brands
One final, and often overlooked, benefit of pop-up promotions is key brand up-ticks when associated with a larger, more established retailer or venue. This can be a huge boost when a startup is launching a virtually unknown brand.
Bottom line: Pop-up promotions can improve ROI and are a proven addition to your marketing mix.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Emmanuel de Rycker is Chairman of Promotional Space, a leading provider of pop-up marketing space currently building the world’s first digital marketing space for pop-up promotions. Connect with @promospaceltdon Twitter.
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