Redefining Cross Merchandising with Pop-up
We in the retail biz know that cross merchandising does not refer to the sale of religious artifacts. Nor does it describe the actions of an angry sales associate restocking a display. And only a marketing newbie would think that cross merchandising is simply placing goods from different categories together so as to increase sales and enhance shopper experience.
Because cross merchandising is becoming bigger and more powerful than just putting bananas in the cereal aisle. Cross merchandising is evolving into co-shoperation, and pop-up is making that upgrade possible. (Shameless related webinar plug here.)
Co-shoperation is the partnering of dissimilar brands to create physical shopping destinations that promote lifestyles rather than ranges of product. The ephemeral and audacious aspects of pop-up facilitate high-impact, low-risk opportunities for retail brands to provide shoppers with unexpected – and unexpectedly rewarding – experiences.
What might pop-up co-shoperation look (and feel, sound and taste) like?
- Patagonia and Williams Sonoma create a how-to pop-up celebrating gourmet glamping
- Ace Hardware and Naked Juice invite shoppers to discover fresh ideas via a mobile Garden(ing) Party
- Warby Parker, Kendall’s Estee Lauder fragrance, 365, Spotify and Neutrogena provide a shopper’s oasis with a pop-up Five Senses Lounge
- GNC, Fitbrains and EVEREADY deliver a re-charging pop-up experience for mind, body, spirit and device.
- Dove and iPhone pop-up up with an interactive iDove Gallery, showcasing real women with real images in real time
- UPS and Pandora give new meaning to tracking with a mobile Playlist Creation Station hosted by top DJs.
- Things are looking up for the downward dog at PetSmart– and Lululemon-sponsored pup-up “mommie and me” yoga classes. (Experts indeed say that pets can improve your health in all sorts of ways.)
Obviously, the combinations are endless, and hook-up potential is everywhere. But it’s not about random cross merchandising that puts your brand on a collision course with wackiness. I don’t advocate mindless, madcap pairings. The goal is to expand the shopper’s perception of your product by demonstrating – in a unique way – how it enhances and enriches her life.
Effective co-shoperation requires a rigorous consideration of objectives and a solid executional foundation. Think of it as “strategic zaniness” – serious in intent, unexpected in association and unforgettable in experience.
Next time, the whys and hows of co-shoperation.