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  • Writer's pictureAlex Johns

5 Pop ups that Popped

Over the years, I've been lucky enough to design and deliver pop ups for brands in numerous sectors, all designed to deliver different business objectives. They all had one thing in common though, the brand owner was courageous and wanted to try something truly engaging and different. In today's tough trading conditions, a pop up, when done well is a brilliant way to cut through the noise . Here are just a few examples & some tips for how to run one well ...

1. Pet Shop Boys - Pop Up conducted at Boxpark, Shoreditch to find a new way create buzz and awareness around an album launch. The budget was'nt massive and space was small but fans still queued 5 hours to get in.

Pet Shop Boys Pop Up, Boxpark Shoreditch

2. Garnier's Ultimate Blends - Pop up was live for a week in Bateman Street, London and was used to change perception and message for a shampoo that has lost its way a little. Cleverly positioned social and PR helped reposition the product successfully in the UK.

Garnier Ultimate Blends, Bateman Street, London

3. Merchant Gourmet - Pop Up restaurant & brand hub in foody Islington (then repeated in Waitrose) demonstrating the culinary flexibility of Pulses & Grains. The Pop up became the epicentre for a barnstorming nationwide media campaign which featured a media partnership with The Times.

Merchant Gourmet Pop Up, Islington

4. Maybelline - Pop Up used to celebrate Maybelline's sponsorship of London Fashion week and launch a new fixture to the trade. This one was back in 2010 when Pop ups were very very young ... it achieved big PR thanks to our media partnership with Marie Claire.

5. Burt's Bees - Pop up in Short's gardens, Soho was used a hub to research customers reaction to new packaging, fixtures and products. Huge learnings for the brand which was used throughout the business.

Burt's Bees, Shorts Gardens

So what are my recommendations for a successful pop up?

1. Be brave & creative - don't take short cuts here

2. Pick the right location - size is'nt everything

3. Amplify with PR and media - try a media partnership

4. Invite clients and press - launch something new at the pop up

5. Tease well in advance - make sure your customers hear about it early

6. Be on the shop floor yourself, you need to live it

7. Use experts - they normally know best

8. Get the best staff - Don't scrimp on training them brilliantly

9. Use Digital to widen the reach - videos are a must

10. Capture data - use the pop up to learn more about your customers

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