Pop Up Shops: How to Establish a Creative Retail Strategy

Pop Up Shops: How to Establish a Creative Retail Strategy

“Creative retail strategy” is the buzz word of our time, not just for pop up shops, but across the board. What exactly does the term mean, though? There was a time when being creative in retail meant changing up your packaging, having a new ad created, or changing up your storefront display. Today, it’s about so much more than that.

Creative Marketing for Pop Up Shops is a Mix

The biggest marketing pros are all about telling the story of a brand, immersing the consumer in a culture and seamlessly integrating each contact the business has with a consumer. It’s really a mix of two different aspects of marketing.

Experiential Marketing:  Whether you call it “experiential marketing”, “engagement marketing”, “event marketing”, or something else entirely, the concept revolves around providing consumers with an experience that they’ll remember. We see this all the time when big brands host parties, but some brands have been especially clever with creating experiences in people’s own homes. For example, Milka produced millions of bars of chocolate that were missing one square. People had the option of hopping online and having that square sent to someone they care about or having it sent to them.

Storytelling:  At its best, branding is about conveying a company’s story everywhere its image is present. When you think of the Coca-Cola company, you no doubt can envision their logo, straight down to the colours. But, there’s also a good chance you can remember some of their holiday campaigns.  The company pulled you into their holiday campaigns with cuddly polar bears and Father Christmas. They never said “We’re your Christmas beverage”, but in telling their stories, and in watching Santa drinking Coke, we knew. Moreover, these warm feelings of holiday nostalgia the ads evoked directly became our feelings for the brand. That is storytelling at its best.

Choose Between a Fiction or a Nonfiction Story

Your pop up shop can reap the same benefits, but the first major decision is to choose how you want to tell your story.

Fiction:  Creating a world of whimsy and imagination may seem a bit odd, especially for a brand most don’t associate with fun, but that’s exactly what Glade did at the end of last year. By launching the Museum of Feelings pop up, the company promoted their brand and their distinct scents.  Programmers actually came up with a way to scan social media for mood clues around NYC and then had the building change colours to match. Inside, there were various activities, surrounding lights and scents, totally immersing visitors in an experience. Target’s Winter Wonderland, where shoppers received their purchases from a chimney, and the Cadbury Crème Egg Café, with its all-crème egg menu, are also great examples of this.

Non-Fiction:  A non-fiction story relies on real people or the community to tell it. We covered a prime example of this   in a recent blog  , as a social organization opened up a pop-up shop to show potential gun buyers what they were really trying to purchase. Though the shop was fiction, the people and the stories involved were not. There’s also the posh phone-maker, One Plus, that holds pop up shop gatherings to sell their phones, but they’ve also managed to turn them into wine-tasting parties by invite.

No matter what your brand entails, your pop up shop can help tell its story. Before you launch your next retail venture, consider turning it into an immersive event that will captivate your audience. Whether you’re looking to rent a temporary pop up shop, or if you have a space you’d like to sublet, be sure to  stop by Popertee , too!