Eight Ways to Kill Your Pop-up - Medallion Retail
Strategy, Creativity, Pop-up Retail, Retail Marketing, In-Store Marketing

Eight Ways to Kill Your Pop-up

POSTED ON: 10/01/15 Pop-up Retail

Pop-up has proven itself to be one of the most important innovations in retail history. As an idea, it’s not new. Think craft fairs, farmer’s markets and the sudden appearance of costume stores right before Halloween.

Over the past 10 years, however, the concept has evolved from flash sales and kiosks to traffic-stopping, celebrity-strewn happenings. Shops, of course, along with clubs, restaurants, art exhibits, hotels, hair salons, lounges, make-over studios and even grocery stores are now popping up in cities around the world. Temporary retail installations continue to change the urban landscape.

And the way shoppers shop.

With good reason. Retail marketing is now about connecting through experience. One of the retail marketer’s objectives is shopper interaction. It just makes sense to create as many opportunities as possible to facilitate that interaction. Pop-up is not simply a surprise store. It’s a connective brand experience

But maybe you don’t care about all that. Maybe you’re one of those people who hate pop-up. You detest the energy and brand building. You loathe public contact. Discovering new shopper insights is a chore, and boosting holiday sales is dull, dull, dull. Surprise and Delight? Just the names of your two new rescue cats.

I don’t know why you abhor pop-up. Maybe there was an early incident at a food truck or lemonade stand that left you shaken and bitter. I don’t judge.

This post is for you.

We’ve written about pop-up before; how to do it, how it’s evolving, why it’s important. But I now realize the anti-pop-up contingent has been ignored. Not anymore. Here are eight ways to kill your pop-up:

Move forward without objectives.

Decide about goals after the pop-up is up and running. It will be easier then. Or, wait until the whole thing is over and see if there’s anything there. Don’t worry about measurement.

Have multiple objectives.

A pop-up can be used to test a new concept, build the brand, explore a new market, launch a product or reach an untapped audience. So be efficient, and do all of these with one pop-up.

Randomly choose your event site.

One corner, neighborhood or city is just like any other. Be budget conscious and grab the least expensive site. Ideally, one near company headquarters to reduce travel time.

Ignore social media and digital communications.

Old-fashioned word of mouth will bring the shoppers in. No need to complicate things with techy nonsense. So what if every person at the event will have a smartphone; they’ll appreciate a quiet zone.

Don’t risk showmanship.

Leave the pizazz to the Barnums and Kardashians of the world. The presence of the brand will draw the crowds. This is retail, not the circus. It would be a disaster to overdo it.  No one ever failed by playing it safe.

Assume shoppers already know your brand.

It’s a huge brand. Who doesn’t know about it? Don’t waste resources telling folks what they already know. Skip that and get to the good stuff.

Keep it realistic; this is not a time to be ambitious. 

Tread carefully and know the limits of your objectives. Keep it small and simple. Don’t ask too much of the shopper and try not to overwhelm her. Play it safe; go with what works. Don’t be a pioneer.

Stay as long as you like.

Temporary smemporary. Shoppers have been told that this is a two-week event, and they’re happy about that.  Imagine how overjoyed they’ll be when you stay for six months!

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