Top tips for creating a successful Pop-up Experience


As part of the ‘You Need to Hear This‘ campaign, Carat created a Pop-Up Shop designed to promote Philips‘ headphone range. The aim was to create an art audio experience that targeted young urban tastemakers and gave them a chance to not only experience Philips headphones but to buy them and wear them as a badge of pride.

With almost 1,500 consumers venturing into the store and a very happy client we feel vindicated in our choice of using a Pop-Up Shop.

However, once the darling of the marketing department, Pop-Up Shops are now in danger of becoming over used and can fall very flat very quickly if they are not handled correctly.

To avoid this here‘s our top ten tips for creating a brilliant, successful and effective Pop-Up Experience.

  1. Location, location, location

    You‘ve got to be in the right place where your audience are and where there is lots of footfall. We chose the Truman Brewery for the Philips audio experience as it‘s where a large proportion of the target audience hang out!

  2. Creative

    The idea and creative is key to drawing in a crowd, it needs to be unique and it‘s got to be visually stunning.

  3. Product

    This has to live up to the expectation of the experience, sit central to the idea and needs to be relevant to the audience.

  4. Experience

    There needs to be a reason for consumers to care (i.e. to come along), and a reason to share (their experience with others). In the case of Philips, this was our audio art experience.

  5. Atmosphere

    Nobody wants to stay somewhere that has no life… We used DJ sets, a photobooth experience and a design and print your own t-shirt experience. These combined with the visiting crowds enabled us to create an atmosphere that people wanted to be involved in. This comes back to the right creative idea.

  6. Limited period

    A Pop Up shop should do what it says on the tin… Pop up quickly and Pop down quickly. This gives it a feeling of exclusivity and can create a ‘must visit‘ notion with consumers rushing to get there before it‘s gone.

  7. Staff

    They must be engaging, energetic and passionate… They are the face of the shop and the brand. Here the selection process is key – ensuring you have the right team. Training and motivation also comes into play, making sure they know the product inside out.

  8. Amplification

    The story needs to have longevity and reach. This can be created through bought media. However, if the creative idea is really smart (just like the Philips audio experience), earned media through social and PR will enable longer term conversations and awareness. With Philips, our photobooth experience had a social sharing element where we determined the copy and consumers shared their photos on Facebook and Twitter. Social listening will also enable tracking of these elements. Great user generated content and organic PR is testament to a fantastic creative idea implemented in the right way!

  9. Logistics

    Ideally you need a simple, quick install, as this creates a sense of surprise in seeing something created within an empty space in a matter of hours.

  10. Client

    You need a supportive and amazing client who trusts you to lead the campaign and buys into the creative concept and what the campaign is trying to achieve. To ensure this you must show them that you are the expert to enable trust, have a strong creative idea and a great reputation.