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3 p’s in pop up


Another re-post of an early pUsM article ! This one first appeared at popUPshopsMelbourne on 7th August 2012…


3 P’s in PoP uP 

Have you heard of the “5 P’s of Marketing” (product, price, place, promotion  & people) ? Well, I’d say there are (at least) 3 P’s in “pop up” – Planning, Property and Promotion ! And careful attention to each of these will be critical to the success of an event….


Any temporary installation requires loads of intense preparation – starting with a clear definition of the event’s goals. The “potential popper” should consider if their pop up is intended as a purely retail exercise (that is, to introduce the new season’s range, clear last season’s stock or to reduce warehouse inventory…), is it to promote an entirely-new product (or re-launch an old favourite), is the pop up tagging on to the success of a major event (think sporting or entertainment spectaculars) – or is there another specific objective ?

Pop ups aren’t only seen for retail outlets – museums, restaurants, social services (eg. local authorities and charities) and endless other applications can all take on the concept of a temporary installation to promote their product and message….   And each of these sectors or brands will require a different approach to the event’s budget, design, staffing, timing and duration…..


Location, format and facilities should be paramount, to be considered early in the process. Obviously, the pop up needs to feature prominently where the target demographic attends – either in an established precinct (eg. shopping destinations and transport hubs) or where crowds are expected (special events). There’s usually no point employing the “build it and they will come” approach – pop up events generally aren’t around long enough to achieve that kind of incremental following, they need to leverage quickly off existing traffic or the hype of other events

The “format” of a pop up should consider what is appropriate for the physical event (or maybe not so appropriate…. perhaps apply some unexpected, out-of-the box thinking ?) Standard bricks and mortar may not be the best (practical, entertaining, enduring) solution – many installations are done as mobile applications and in alternative materials. See our previous blog post at Containers and Trucks, Plastic and Cardboard

And there are the boring details to cover…. of landlord’s terms and conditions, local licensing regulations, ease of access for deliveries, the health, safety and security for visitors and staff (and products), bathroom and storage facilities etc… all need to be duly considered and ticked off the list. There are professional organisations and businesses to assist with these – try searching “pop up shops” in your location to see who can provide the support services and expert advice. Or study Christina Norsig’s excellent how-to guide “Pop Up Retail”


Regardless of whether the installation is a stand-alone pop up or part of a larger event, the power of promotion should never be over-looked or under-estimated…… There are many tried-and-true methods to get the message out – as with any campaign it is imperative to consider the most effective tools. Social media now plays a significant role in building the anticipation and excitement pre-event – and also during the installation. A clever marketing campaign will aim for details of the event to “go viral” across popular social media platforms… precisely to the relevant audiences

Editorial and paid advertising in local print, radio and television coverage can all play a part in event promotions – as well as using traditional on-ground campaigns with local signage and handing out flyers on street corners to grab attention !

Customer and demographic databases should be mined to send the news of an-upcoming event or to provide updates after opening, ensuring extra attention and building the hype. Local traders’ associations, major event agencies and promoters, specialised blogs and on-line newsletters can all be engaged effectively to broadcast details of an event

…so that considers at least 2 of the 5 P’s of Marketing (place and promotion)… applying the other P’s (product, price and people) certainly wont hurt the pop up campaign either !



featured image : popUPshops Melbourne

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