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Pop-up Retail

Becoming One with the Community – A Think Piece in Going Local

POSTED BY: Katy Marshall on 04/20/18 community

When it comes to pop-ups, you have to be strategic. We’ve already talked about where to pop-up (hint, it’s where the people are). Now let’s talk about how.

You can’t just open up shop in a new town without deep consideration for the location. From small beach towns to big bustling cities, every region has its own personality, culture and soul. When introducing your product, shop or company to that new area, you have to make sure your company’s ethos doesn’t disrupt or clash with the essence of the community.

One brilliant way to do this is to get local – with your partnerships, with your product and with your theme.

Define local

Local is a part of the fabric of American culture. It’s the mom-and-pop shop on the corner or Main Street. It’s the lemonade made fresh daily. It’s the produce that comes from upstate when you live in Manhattan. It’s the leather belt that’s American made. It’s national, regional and local all at the same time. And as American as baseball and apple pie.

Because of this, there’s more than one way to go local – and there’s more than one way to show your local interests.

Give your pop-up a local flair

When you pop-up in a new location, you’re an outsider coming in. So to resonate with the local population, you need to effectively demonstrate that you understand them, support them and place a high value on being part of their community.

Maybe a certain barbershop is the go-to place for men in the area. If you’re a self-care brand making shampoos or a men’s clothing company, you could plan an event at the shop with free products for every trim. Better yet, turn it into a social good pop-up, perhaps giving homeless men haircuts or donating haircut proceeds to a worthy cause.

Or perhaps the town is famous for its farmers’market and the locally sourced produce and products like jam or soap. The skilled artisans cultivating and creating these products can add a humanist and community feel to a pop-up. Click To TweetThe same goes for featuring a hometown artist, the vibrant musician and the quaint baker. Partnering with these “local heroes” and showcasing their talents and products puts a friendlier face to your pop-up.

For example, Splendid, the fashion retailer, is planning an upcoming Mother’s Day event where shoppers are invited to their pop-up in a parking lot to get mother-daughter portraits taken by a local photographer. Not only are they capitalizing on a timely event filled with warm emotion, but they’re also celebrating and supporting a local business.

Take a look at the recent American Field pop-up shops. The company is known for creating fun marketplaces that connect consumers with brands. At their 2017 Spring DC shop, American Field hosted local artisan crafts like jewelry and candles, as well as big names like Maker’s Mark. The bourbon company inherently got the local feel in its proximity and association with the more local brands.

Now apply this approach to your local pop-up. Partner with a local small business and market it in harmony with your national product. You’re connecting with the people behind the brands, connecting with your consumer,and effectively humanizing your big company.

Create symbiosis between local and national

Of course, whenever you pop-up and introduce new products and partnerships to your brand, you have to stay true to your company personality. You have to balance the local with the global.  You have to serve the community.

This requires an eye for continuity – making sure that the support of local extends beyond the temporary pop-up. The theme needs to be weaved into your brick and mortar location. If your local interest stops after the pop-up, your efforts will be perceived as disingenuous, which in the long term can do more harm than good to your reputation. The goal is to make local support and local flavor part of your corporate ethos, thereby enticing pop-up audiences to visit the permanent store.

It takes careful, keen and strategic minds to ensure continuity and effective localizations. At MR Pop-up, that’s our specialty. Find out more about how we can create harmony between your company and your local pop-up by reaching out to engage@meetmrpopup.comtoday.

One response to “Becoming One with the Community – A Think Piece in Going Local”

  1. […] there were stand-alone pop-ups. Then, there were pop-up collectives, rooted in community. Now, retail is embracing a new kind of pop-up space modeled after the department store, but […]

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