Who would sell their name ?
Some pop ups sell for their community, others are selling their brand…
There’s no doubt the “pop up phenomenon” has taken a strong hold around the world – just about every western country now has wide experience with the concept of temporary stores and events. Whilst most of the great cities regularly host pop ups, the philosophy of short-term / flash events has also crept out to many regional locations. Those pop-ups-away-from-large-cities usually don’t push any boundaries, they tend to be fairly safe events… commissioned, installed and staffed by enthusiastic locals, for the benefit of other locals. Regional pop ups are often created to provide support for struggling communities and may offer opportunities for start-up businesses – they are generally quite predictable installations, nothing too extreme or alarming.
The very nature of pop up allows for some serious creativity though – many of the standards of traditional retail are being cast aside by adventurous pop-up operators – challenging the old attitudes of predictable and comfortable installations, lineal merchandising, expensive fit-outs, long leases… And some are re-assessing what it is they’re actually “selling”…
Many of the impressive, memorable events are being created by major or high-profile brands – those same businesses tend to use pop up for strategic reasons (to raise their brand awareness, launch a new range or test a potential location) rather than outright cash sales.
At the extreme end of “strategic pop up”… must be Intel Corp and SAP AG. These are both significant global corporations – with high-profile brands – but neither actually have anything to sell to consumers (directly). They both supply technology (to other high-profile brands) and both have used pop up recently to showcase their “behind the scenes” products.
Intel opened pop up shops in 3 US cities late last year to promote their processors within HP laptops and products, while SAP went on the road in a special bus… stopping at over 60 events…featuring their products (software) sitting within other’s hardware… The VP of product marketing at SAP’s Palo Alto office (USA) said “the closer we are to consumers and people on the street, the better able we are to do our job…”*
There’s obviously something worthwhile for these corporations to invest their time, energy and capital into pop ups… they’re not seeking cash sales but looking to increase brand awareness and association. As one journalist put it “…the purpose of these pop ups, buses and kiosks is not necessarily to sell, but to convince consumers who don’t (yet) own a tablet, laptop or smart-phone to reconsider…”*
Featured image : SAP – Google images
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