How Pop-Ups Catapult Brand Success
Pop-ups paired with digital experiences are changing the way we shop — especially in the fashion and beauty space.
At The XD Agency, we are constantly exploring how experiences shape culture and commerce, and we’re fascinated by what’s happening. At the heart of this space: women.
Women are seeking what’s new, interesting and inspiring. After all, the mind is naturally drawn to novel over familiar. But that same mind is also completely overwhelmed by the amount of crap thrown at it.
The pop-up phenomenon meets women at the intersection of novel and overwhelmed and, if done well, creates fandom.
So why is that?
Brand loyalty is dying.
Just 7 percent of millennials self-identify as brand loyalists. This waning loyalty gives nascent competitors a chance to break through.
With new brands popping up all the time through social channels, regular exposure to them in the real world validates their place in our ever-changing mosaic of brands. Established brands, meanwhile, have to hustle to stay relevant and resist the temptation to rest on their laurels.
In short, brands need to get comfortable being one of many — not the one and only — in the fashion and beauty space. And pop-up experiences give brands of all sizes a chance to get on the short list.
Pop-ups seal the deal in legitimizing brands.
While online is the preferred manner of shopping for many females (49 percent), and even more so for Millennials (67 percent), shopping is truly an omnichannel experience (Square, OmniChannel Selling Guide, 2017). And we believe pop-ups make new brands feel special — something that’s hard to do with digital alone.
Pop-ups can serve both established brands and newcomers in becoming and staying relevant.
Glossier’s famous Soho pop-up in 2015, for example, led to the eventual opening of showrooms in key cities — a prime example of pop-up success.
For well-established brands, pop-ups allow you to reengage with your core shoppers and, importantly, allow for redefining your brand and showcasing new offerings and services. YSL’s recent pop-up, YSL Hotel, is a an excellent example of an established branded leading the way.
With pop-ups, you get the benefit of discovery and human connection, tactile experiences, and product curation. In fact, the XD Agency team in San Francisco recently tripped over a newer fashion brand, The Reset, which offers a beautiful capsule wardrobe at a mid-price point in a clean, modern pop-up store. This, coupled with the just-right amount of PR, celeb endorsement, and the awesome digital experience, makes for some serious brand evangelism.
Treat Yo Self!
Self-care is an enduring trend. Roll back 30 years, and even exercise was not a big thing. Now, we do something hard — work, fitness, school exam — and expect a reward. We indulge more than ever in food, lattes, expensive gym classes, and beauty products and treatments. Why? Because we deserve it.
Pop-ups are tremendous opportunity for brands that offer Treat Yo Self-type services. This past summer, we supported skin treatment brand HydraFacial in tapping into that. We created a treatment truck that gifted women nationwide HydraFacial’s unique water-based salon treatment. This pop-up experience was a novel way to bring women into the brand and gain that fandom (with the added bonus of tons of media coverage). Win-win.
In this overwhelmingly busy world we live in, brands that intrigue us with novelty, discovery, and fun treat us to a temporary reprieve from the madness, and we love them for it.
Looking to create a stand out pop-up for your brand? We’d love to talk.