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The delights of a pop up


Pop up shops and cafés tempt (old and new) brand fanatics.

I’ve just seen an article posted online by (London) – posing the question : How successful are cafés and pop-up shops as brand extensions ?

The article describes a number of recent pop up events featuring unusual or unreal brands, reaching out to their fans…By “unreal” I mean not actually real or tangible products (until you consider the merchandising…)

Several popular cartoon brands – Moomins, Hello Kitty, Powerpuff Girls and Shopkins – have opened themed shops and cafés, offering visitors an experience with their favourite characters and the opportunity to purchase licensed product. Gustav Melin, licensing director at Bulls Licensing was quoted as saying “By creating a brand virtual experience you give the fan base an opportunity to step in and take part in the unique brand ambience… it is a great way to introduce the property to people who are perhaps not that familiar with the brand”*

In New York City a couple of months ago, US rapper and actor Tupac Shakur opened a pop up restaurant. Well, not actually the artist himself (he died over 20 years ago, shot in Las Vegas…), but the 3 day event featured meals inspired by Tupac’s personal notebooks, surrounded by “carefully curated photographs, posters, artifacts, poetry and album covers”#

The concept of a pop up event – short term and un-expected – lends itself well to unique brand experiences. “By offering a limited edition version, fans are given a short time to take part in the experience; ensuring enthusiasts make the most of the opportunity, heading down to a store or café as soon as it opens”* said the article’s author.

And when a pop up store combines with food or beverage… it can be a bonus. Customers who pop in for a quick snack or take-away coffee realise they’ve stepped into a unique environment, surrounded by the fans (and merchandise) of a brand perhaps they weren’t expecting “ they go to the café for (just) a coffee and end up with a coffee, an experience and more knowledge about the brand…” said Gustav Melin*


*source : – How successful are cafes and pop-up shops as brand extensions?

#source : – Tupac Powamekka Café


Hello Kitty cafe -pop up container -

The Powderpuff Emporium

Tupac pop-up restaurant - sohh

Moomin cafe South Korea


images : Hello Kitty, Powderpuff Girls, Tupac Shakur and Moomin


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