The keys to an effective pop-up campaign

The holidays are around the corner, and brands will be competing harder than ever to win their share of press coverage and consumer wallets.

The holidays are around the corner, and brands will be competing harder than ever to win their share of press coverage and consumer wallets.

Pop-up stores provide a great way for brands to stand out and make consumers and the press take notice. Over the past 10 years, Grow has produced dozens of pop-ups for brands such as EA, Levi's, Intuit, The Gap and Mars. Here are a few tips to make your pop-up an experience to remember.

1. Location, location, location. Not only do you want a location with great, target-right foot traffic, you want a location that people are excited to go to from across town. When activating EA's SPORTS Active pop-up stores, we nestled into a space on Stockton Street in Union Square right next to the Apple store and were able to pull in additional target-right consumers.

2. Make sure your concept has a heartbeat. Why will consumers care? More importantly, why will they come in and tell a friend? For Wonderbra, we offered women a lounge to discover great bras via the "Bra Bar," making them look even better than they did when they walked in. We also offered music, chocolates and photos with friends.

3. Make some noise. Building the pop-up alone is not enough. You need to create a communication plan to spread the word that you are there. For Pure Dark/Mars, we created a marketing program to support the pop-up where we went door to door inviting local business owners and staff to try our chocolate, offered in-store incentives to drive traffic, and gave out sample product at local events.

4. Connect with the community: before, during and after. The store is a great opportunity to connect with influencers, thought leaders, and target-right groups. Think through how you will connect with the community before you open, when you activate, and once you have left the space. With our Intuit Small Business pop-up we reached out to small businesses and small business advocacy counsels to let them know we were coming, and while we were active we helped educate all the members. Post-activation, we had a cadence of communications for continuing the brand dialogue.

5. Last impressions count as much as first ones. Make sure you leave your pop-up space as clean or cleaner than when you took it over. Take all the signage off. A tired, closed pop-up store is not a nice last image of your brand to leave with the community. Instead, leave something to make the space better then when you found it. When we activated the Propel pop-ups in malls for PepsiCo, we left flowers where our pop-up once stood.

Cassie Hughes is co-founder and strategy director of Grow Marketing.

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