In the last twenty years, many retailers have seen their business model turned upside down. The giant mega-malls that defined so much of the culture and the commercial landscape a generation ago has been replaced by straight-to-your-door, fashion on-demand online shopping.
Into this vacuum, specialty retailers have moved, creating brands sustained by smaller niches thanks to their low overhead. Rather than large, permanent storefronts, many of these brands such as Gucci and Louis Vitton have made the luxury pop-up their preferred mode of delivery—whether it’s inside a department store, in a luxury home, or at a social event.
How do these stores operate and what can you learn from a luxury pop-up to make your business more profitable, more successful, and more fun?
What is the luxury pop-up formula?
Originally, luxury pop-ups were a way for small brands to test the market with their products, or for larger brands to test a new look or line. Over time, however, pop-ups have become an ongoing, ever-changing element of the retail landscape, offering luxury retailers the opportunity to keep their inventory and store design fresh and responsive to the ever-evolving tastes of today’s impatient consumers.
How do luxury brands use the pop-up store to create optimal experiences—and sell more products?
One of the most important factors in a successful pop-up is a clearly delineated brand that is consistently realized throughout the space and the product line. Unlike older retail interiors, the pop-up can change as often as the season or the product line’s color scheme changes. Instead of a slow rollout of design or logo changes, pop-ups can reflect the changing face of the brand instantly and responsively.
If you haven’t already defined your brand, it’s time to start.
- Consider your audience and the way that you want to present yourself to them.
- Strive for consistency across all of your platforms—social media, website, mailings, and presentations.
- Choose a font and use it consistently on all of your materials. Use color to define your look and create a memorable logo.
- Use updated headshots and wear your chosen colors.
If you have support staff or are the head of a team, be sure that your branding is coherently presented and used by everyone on everything you produce. Have a branding guide produced that can help you quickly and easily communicate the specifics of the brand to everyone who represents you or creates content for you.
Part of the charm of a pop-up store is the excitement of the new, even when shopping for a familiar brand or product. A new setting and a new look along with a new product launch or a new version of an existing product turns the pop-up shopping experience into an event.
- Think about the experience that your clients—or potential clients—are having when they work with you. Are there elements of their experience that can be streamlined or maybe even made fun?
- Can you replace boring buyer and seller information packets with fun video content or infographics?
- Can you simplify confusing terms with a clever and informative glossary?
- Can you ensure that you are communicating consistently and effectively so that your clients never feel ignored?
- If the buyer is new to the area can you introduce them to a favorite cafe or invite them to a social event?
The better your client’s experience, the more likely he or she is to use you again—and to recommend you to others.
Of course, it’s that little something unexpected that makes the pop-up store so exciting. Maybe the location is a surprise. Maybe the products themselves have never been available before. Perhaps the design of the store itself has a surprise element, or maybe there’s a special appearance by a celebrity spokesperson.
Think about what you can do to surprise and delight your clients.
- Have a dedicated phone or email line just for clients under contract.
- Pay for the home inspection or appraisal for them.
- Include professional photography, copywriting, and staging at no additional charge for new listings.
- Do something unexpected at an open house that creates a bigger audience…remember it’s not just about selling the home, but meeting and forming relationships with future clients.
Going the extra mile and doing something more makes you, and the service you provide, more memorable and meaningful.
By creating a shopping experience that is like no other, luxury retailers create an environment where it’s easy to get swept up in the beauty, excitement, and fun of the pop-up event. This is not window-shopping at the mall or along Main Street — it’s a space totally dedicated to creating a memorable, meaningful, and profitable occasion.
Whether you’re hosting an open house or attending a closing, you’ll make an impression when you make it an event. Presenting a home with an amazing view of the city? Host an evening open house to take full advantage of the twinkling lights. Accompanying your client to a closing? Bring the pastries and coffee for an impromptu brunch.
There’s a reason pop-up stores are so popular. They offer an experience outside of the same-old, same-old and put the emphasis on fun. Do the same thing in your business and you’ll find new friends, fans, and clients beating a path to your door.
Learn how to create pop-up moments and other new innovative marketing strategies in one of our live or online courses. Click here to learn more.