Four reasons a pop-up can benefit your business
In the last couple of years, more and more brands have begun to realise the multiple benefits pop-up shops can bring. From helping young brands quickly test and grow their business to giving brands the flexibility to create bigger experiences and attach themselves to a moment, pop-ups are becoming an important part of a brand's retail strategy. The pop-up industry is now valued at £2.3bn and almost a third of new businesses are predicted to start their life as a pop-up.
Appear Here was founded in 2013 by Ross Bailey, whose tricky experience launching his own pop-up shop prompted him to think of an easier way around it. Appear Here was born with a mission to make booking retail space as easy as booking a hotel room. The online marketplace connects landlords’ vacant spaces to people with ideas. Now listing spaces nationwide, from Boxpark to Burlington Arcade, Covent Garden to Trinity Leeds, Appear Here has helped almost 2000 brands find space for their ideas - from big brands such as Jamie Oliver and Apple, to ambitious start-ups such as Propercorn, Suitcase Magazine and Burger Bear. Here Ross shares the four key benefits that pop-ups offer start-ups.
Test the Market
Pop-up shops are a great way for a start-up to test the market and quickly find out the demand for their concept or products. For instance, Press London opened a small juice shop in Old Street Station to mark their launch. They installed a bright green bathtub and filled it to the brim with their juices. It turned out there was a huge demand for the Press London juices. Every morning they completely sold out. At that point the founders, Ed Foy and Georgie Reames, realised they were onto something. Launching the pop-up shop gave them the confidence and market understanding to expand their business. In just a year, Press London has opened up a string of pop-ups, concessions (including one in Selfridges) and permanent shops in Soho and Broadgate Circus.
Connect to a Moment
Another benefit of launching a pop-up shop is that they allow brands to attach themselves to key moments or events. That might mean appearing in a certain location during a national food day, seasonal event or bank holiday. Pop-ups give brands the flexibility to launch a store or create an experience for that particular moment. A great example of this is Jamie Olivers’ Drinks Tube. To celebrate Cocktail Request Week and to increase its online presence, Jamie Oliver’s Drinks Tube decided to launch a pop-up studio. Taking a space in Old Street Station, the Drinks Tube team filmed themselves making bespoke cocktails from requests sent in via social media. The reception was insane. Over 77.5 million people got involved on Twitter using the #Cocktailrequest with celebrities such as Tinie Tempah, Zoe Ball and Ed Sheeran tweeting in their own requests. Video views went up by 200% and the number of new subscribers to the channel increased by nearly 50%. Not bad for a week’s work.
Create an Experience
Pop-ups can also be a useful marketing tool. They can often be more cost-effective than a billboard or TV advert! Lots of brands are now looking at retail space as media space and using shops to create experiences, rather than just pushing products. This summer, Onken did just that. For the launch of their new Greek Style Yogurt range, Onken created an Urban Fruit Grove on Greek Street in Soho. To gain entry to the shop, visitors had to bring with them a spoon and were instructed to quite literally pick three new varieties of Onken – apple and spiced cinnamon, lemon and tangy raspberry or rhubarb and fiery ginger – that were hanging on the trees. This activity attracted lots of attention from the press, online bloggers and passers-by on the street. It brought the brand to life in a much more playful way.
Finally, pop-ups are a great way for online brands to establish a real-world relationship with their customers. Not so long ago, everyone was predicting the internet would kill the high street. However, we’re seeing a huge surge in online brands coming offline and booking pop-up space. The main reason for this is that these online brands are looking to build more meaningful connections with their customers. Gusto, the online recipe subscription service, uses pop-ups to do just this. This summer, they took over a market stall in Old Street Station and handed out samples of their recipes to hungry commuters. They also had plenty of their staff on hand to explain to passers-by what Gusto was all about. This activity helped to increase their online traffic and sign-up rate - as well as giving Old Street’s commuters something to talk about.