National Peanut Board Pop-Up Retail
In: Strategy

There is a single word that is arguably of the utmost significant in two different industries; hotels and pop-up businesses, and it’s experience. Hotels strive to provide the highest caliber guest experience while pop-ups seek to provide a unique, compelling customer and brand experience.

An industry now valued at $50 billion, pop-up businesses exist in more than just traditional retail spaces. In the summer of 2018 alone, there is a pop-up museum dedicated to ice cream, a pop-up restaurant built entirely around your favorite 90’s hit TV show, a pop-up mansion dedicated to a particular type of vino, and a weekend-long pop-up experience that will reach 1 out of every 2 users on Instagram.

Brandless LA Pop-Up Experiential Retail

As consumer brands look for space to create their next pop-up experience, hotels have a ton to offer; location is a make-or-break decision factor and hotels have already got that piece figured out. Not to mention the added bonus of existing restrooms, wifi, air conditioning or heat, and perhaps even proximity to a hotel bar! As we learned in our pop-up launch with Brandless this spring, the brand’s primary goal was not to sell product, but to foster a community experience and engagement. And for hotels looking to differentiate in a highly competitive market, there’s more than just money to gain for partnering with pop-up businesses.

Prince Tennis Retail Pop-UpIt’s also about the buzz. The pop-up industry is built upon the idea of exclusivity and urgency, and the temporary nature creates excitement for new and returning hotel guests. As brands market their pop-ups, the resulting social media ripple effect benefits the hosting hotel partner too. The experiential nature of these activations results in social media imagery that is shared long after the physical experience has ended. And people are talking about pop-up; our Chicago activation, IRL at Home, generated 11.3 million media impressions. Brandless generated 1.9 million over two short weeks. The Roger Smith Hotel launched The Market at Roger Smith, now a staple of the hotel, which features four pop-up spaces and is consistently booked out by brands quarters in advance.

In addition to hotel revenue from the pop-up rental space directly, we have seen a 20% lift in ancillary revenue, like guest room and event space bookings, from the hotels that have partnered with our pop-up clients. EventTrack data shows that 98% of consumers feel more inclined to purchase after attending an activation and 70% become regular customers after attending an experiential marketing event.

Pop-up businesses show no signs of slowing down. Business Insider highlights 19 consumer brands in 2018 who found success online and evolved to brick and mortar, many through pop-up experimentation. And as retail customer and hotel guest expectations evolve, these partnerships play a critical role in providing an ideal experience.