Many big brands have expanded their marketing strategies to include pop-up shops. From Target to UGG, the heavyweights find interesting ways to create buzz around their companies and products. By studying the events and pop-ups, small businesses can learn a lot from them, even without having massive budgets and nationwide awareness.

Plan a One-of-a-Kind Experience

FOMO is the “fear of missing out.” It happens to me a lot when I scroll through Instagram and Twitter. I see my friends posting about a cool event they’re at, and I wonder why I’m not there. I didn’t even hear about it!

Big brands create FOMO through exclusive events, merchandise, celebrity appearances, and all around “coolness.” For example, the PINK Tour visits college campuses throughout the United States. The Victoria’s Secret label sets up shop with a bus full of school spirit gear. Models have made appearances, certain items are on sale, and sometimes they host games and activities.

By presenting your products and/or services in a way that’s different than your online store or brick-and-mortar shop, you’re sure to create some extra buzz. Most people can find a PINK or Victoria’s Secret store in a mall near them. However, is the #PINKONCAMPUS tour coming to a college near you?

Go Big Red! Arkansas, we’re LIVE on Campus today! Come find the PINK bus at Alpha Delta Pi and don’t forget to wear your #PINKOOTD! @arkansaspink
A photo posted by Victoria’s Secret PINK (@vspink) on Sep 16, 2015 at 10:06am PDT

Engage with New Customers

If you’ve been in business for at least a year, you probably have a good grasp on what your typical customer is like. You might want to continue catering toward them, or you might want to expand your fanbase. Hosting a pop-up in a location where your products aren’t usually found is a good way to test the market. If you’re already established in the area, you could test new products or new ways to market your current items.

In September, UGG opened an UGG for Men pop-up in an upscale mall in San Francisco. (The company has permanent stores in New York and Hawaii featuring only products for men.) The pop-up offers a variety of merchandise and the Infinite UGG Omni-Channel program. Appealing to the tech-savvy area, the program allows customers to search through all of UGG’s product sizes and colors.

By limiting their products at the pop-up, UGG actually expanded their marketing. People took note of the concept and realized UGG has more to offer than their classic furry, wool-lined boots.

Few know that the #UGGClassic boot started as a men’s style, keeping surfers warm during early morning sessions. What if we told you that took the very elements that make that boot so comfortable — and added them to a sneaker? Introducing the Bueller, with super soft washed leather and sheepskin, these kicks will become your new everyday staple.
A video posted by UGG® for Men (@uggformen) on Aug 10, 2015 at 11:11am PDT

Team Up with Others

John C. Maxwell said “Teamwork makes the dream work.” This mentality can be advantageous to brands looking to host a pop-up event. All of the companies working together on the pop-up will gain exposure. By working with someone who does something your company does not allows you to present your products in a unique way. Gudetama x Plan Check is good example of an interesting pairing of brands.

Gudetama, a new “lazy egg” character from Sanrio, took over Plan Check Kitchen + Bar for the month of November. The companies teamed up to design a creative meal set for Plan Check’s three Los Angeles locations. Featuring an appetizer, main course, dessert and drink inspired by Gudetama, the limited number of each day’s egg-based meals frequently sold out. In fact, the promotion was so popular, they brought it back for one week in December.

Happy #Thursday! | Our special @Gudetama menu continues until November 29th | This meal is limited and due to popular demand, is served on a first come, first serve basis, in order to ensure the full experience | #regram @justinaboba #gudetamaXPlanCheck #gudetama #hamburger
A photo posted by Plan Check Kitchen + Bar (@plancheck) on Nov 12, 2015 at 3:35pm PST

Capitalize on the Season

Seasons and holidays are special times to host a pop-up shop. Don’t limit yourself to the typical ones, like summer or Halloween. Find clever ways to weave what your company offers into football season or “National Ice Cream Sandwich Day.” Or pick a standard time of the year and put a special twist on it.

Target opened Target Wonderland in Manhattan in early December. The brand combined physical and digital shopping experiences, creating a whimsical experience you won’t find in stores. Just in time for the holidays, the experience featured fanciful decorations, playful activities like a larger-than-life Etch-a-Sketch, and Instagram-worthy photo ops at every turn.

Discover fantastical holiday fun at #TargetWonderland, open thru Dec. 22 at 70 10th Ave, NYC. Full info in profile link.
A video posted by Target (@target) on Dec 9, 2015 at 7:15am PST

If you only take away one nugget of info from reading this post, it should be the following: be unique. Find a creative way for customers to experience your products. It will help you create buzz and connect with the community. In the future, you may be one of the heavyweights.

Originally published on Tumblr

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