Let’s hear it for Pop ups!


What a week of great news! According to the latest figures reported, us pop up’s will boost the UK economy by £2.1 billion! AND, not only that, its been predicted that our industry will grow by 8.4% over the next year which will be 2.5% faster that the traditional UK market. On this basis, I would like to think that we have been a major contributor to the recently reported 0.8% growth in the overall UK economy in the last quarter. And we can certainly surpass this figure if we had even more resources (cue EE and BRC).

Since Pop ups started sprouting back in 2003 there has always been the challenge of finding such resources as short-term lets, affordable business rates, insurance and IT solutions. And although these resources are more readily available now through services like us, there is still room for improvement. For this reason it is very exciting to hear that EE and BRC (the British Retail Consortium) have banded together to help break down the barriers pop ups face by setting up a campaign which will essentially be a step by step guide on ‘How to set up a pop up’ delivered by a team of pop up entrepreneurs. Their aim is to help 3000 entrepreneurs set up their own pop ups over the next 3 years. (Little do they know that we’ve been doing this since 2008 – keep up.)

As part of this new campaign EE have also announced that they will be launching a 4G bundle targeted at pop up retailers which will provide instant 4G connection for 30 days and can also include other products, for example the iZettle portable payment card reader. (You can read the full article here.) Exciting times.

So yes, it is time to break out the champagne and celebrate the fantastic pop up revolution! With resources now plentiful we can beam to infinity and beyond. And remember, you don’t have to wait until this campaign is set up, simply get in touch with us and we can help you get your pop up started. All together now: Hip Hip, HOORAY!

Presentation is everything

Following on from our last blog post in which we talked about creating a pop up experience, this week the topic on our lips is the importance of product presentation.


Lets face it, you could have the best product around, however if you don’t present it right the consumer, who buys with their eyes, will simply (in the words of Dionne Warwick) ‘walk on by‘. As a consumer we are intrigued by the weird, the wonderful and the spectacular. We all have a tendency to buy something just because we were impressed either by the experience, the look, or the seller. Get that mix right and you are onto a winner. Here are some of our favourite product presentations.


First up is Biblia Smakov with ‘Tulip Cherry Tomatoes’. Such a simple tasty treat turned into a beautiful of a bunch of tulips. The perfect romantic gesture for the food lover.



Tulip Cherry Tomatoes


Next on our list is this fabulous packaging design from Studio Otwarte for a vibrant gorgeous red bead necklace. Here we have a great example of the packaging being just as striking as the product. You know the box is a keeper!


Studio Otwarte


The final part of our adoration is reserved for a Living Wall, designed by Jason Lempieri of ReThinkTANK. Imagine if you set up a herb pop up stall you could actually have all the herbs implanted in the walls…ingenious, or perhaps you could actually ‘grow’ a pop up…


Jason Lempieri - Living Wall


However you decide to present your product, always have the ‘consumer’s eye’ in mind and scout around, see what abstract ideas you can come up with to match the ‘Tulip Cherry Tomatoes’.

We are always happy to help with product presentation ideas for your pop up, all you have to do is Hollah!

Getting creative with pop ups: creating an experience

bttfIt seems that nowadays people aren’t just using pop ups to experiment with their new business, as shown yesterday with the launch of Secret Cinema’s Back to The Future themed pop up shops.


Secret Cinema shows cult and classic movies in secret locations all around London, and to promote their Back to the Future season, they created themed pop up shops in Hackney. Read the rest of this entry »

How to decide on a name for your business

hello-my-name-isWhat’s in a name? For anyone starting up their own business, choosing the right name for their company is one of the most important parts of setting up business. A name must reflect the business’ image as well as be memorable and stand out from the crowd. What’s more, a business name is something that’s unlikely to change: once you choose one it’s unlikely you’ll want to go to the hassle of changing it. So what should you look for in a name?


It reflects your company’s personality

A name shouldn’t necessarily obviously explain what your company does (though the likes of USwitch.com and lowcostholidays.com stick to the obvious). Your name should reflect the ethos of your company. As Purple founder Andy Harding said in an interview with the Guardian: “The colour purple has long been associated with creativity, wisdom, independence and pride – the perfect way to describe what we wanted the company to represent.”


Something memorable

Choosing something that stands out from your competitors and goes against the grain is key, as it makes people remember your business’ name. For instance, if you’re running a bakery, you may not want to choose a name like “Bob’s Bakery” as it’s not very memorable, whereas something like “Bakes and Cakes” may stay in the mind a little longer.


Search for it

Search for the name in Google and see what comes up. If there’s a handful of other businesses with that name, then you may want to think of another instead. As you’ll have to buy the domain name, register Twitter and Facebook accounts and the like, it’s worthwhile searching around to make sure that no one else has it before starting to brand yourself.


From Chaos to Order

ChaosWhen starting a business from scratch we all dream of ultimate success. You may provide a unique service or invented a unique product which instantly becomes a ‘must have’.

Your marketing campaign has ticked all the boxes, you’ve even set up a pop up shop to introduce your brand to the world which was a big hit and brought in some sizable orders. Now that you’ve drummed up so much business how do you deal with the demand?
If you’re clever and have pre-empted the possibility of this eventually you will have a solution mapped out in your business plan. If not, here are three simple tips on how to overcome this situation.

  1. Prepare and Plan - Whether you have a service or product based business it is important to know your daily weekly, and monthly work capacity. In knowing how many hours it takes to either deliver your service or make your product, you should also include any administration time. Once you know this you need to implement a strategy. Will you employ staff or outsource part of your service to another business? Will you look into mass production, UK based or abroad? These are just a few questions you should answer even before you initiate your marketing campaign.
  2. Consistency - If or when you do employ staff, or decide to outsource, keep a watchful eye on each process and component of your business. It is important your brand’s integrity is maintained every time your service is delivered or your product is made. Your business must be a well-oiled machine. Mistakes do happen however they can be costly and result in loss of revue, customer and reputation.
  3. Quality over QuantityQuality should not be sacrificed because of the demand your business is receiving. A simple way to combat this is not to over-promise. You don’t always have to say ‘yes’. Always be realistic, and again plan ahead. If it’s turning out you’re saying ‘no’ more than ‘yes’, maybe it’s time to grow your business again. Don’t let all your hard work go to waste by not maintaining your basic practises. A happy customer is not only a repeat customer but loyal and a great marketing investment.

SOCIAL CURRENCY – The New Fad in Town

Instagram FoodThere is a lot of hype about ‘Social Currency’ on the grapevine these days. What is it?

Social currency is information shared which encourages further social encounters. And these days it is actually being used by companies in place of traditional methods of payment i.e. cash. 
It forms a beneficial tool for the New Age Marketer, as it has been reported that 81% of consumers [are] influenced by their friends’ social media posts’ so why not use it to your advantage. A wise man once said, …the holy grail of marketing is finding your brand advocate.” (Doorman co-founder & CEO Zander Adell, told Fast Company.) Which in most instances is, ‘the consumer’.


We’ve talked about social media as currency before (see our previous blog about Marc Jacob’s Tweet a Shop: Social Media: The new currency for pop ups?) and it’s something that’s taking off and is an invaluable cost effective resource for pop ups which are now becoming more mainstream than ever before.


For example, Meal n Ease will be popping up in Bayswater, London this Sunday (June 22nd) to lavish you with their Milanese cuisine. You will be able to feast on the finest cuts of Chicken & Veal, served with a scrumptious choice of sides to include:  Mozzarella Balls, Spaghetti Pomodoro, Rocket & Tomato and Fries. You also get a choice of unique sauces to drizzle on top.Yummy!

And the best part is, all you need to do to pay for your meal is upload a photo of your chosen dish onto Instagram. Simples! This will form an introduction to the Meal N Ease brand which will then become a more permanent feature in the heart of Marylebone. It’s promotional brilliance!


Last year, we at Popupspace sourced the shop for the Kellogg’s Special K, The Tweet Shop who took payments by Tweet. And this year we have sourced two pop ups for The Picture House in Manchester and Leeds which will be ready for you to enjoy next month, look out for them!


If you really want an in depth understanding of why this works, we read a great blog by Kissmetrics which talked about ‘Making People Insiders’. (This is definitely one to add to your reading list.) The blog details how we all like to be part of ‘the in crowd’ or the ones  ’in the know’ and why this human characteristic can lend itself to a businesses advantage by using ‘Social Currency’ effectively without having to spend a huge budget on marketing.


We at Popupspace are always ready to help with fad ideas like this, and we love to chat. So if you have an idea, get tapping, chatting,or tweeting to us to help make your idea reality.

To Pinterest or To Instagram, is that the question?

Pinterest v Instagram LargeIt is certainly true that once you enter the ever expanding world of social media it’s hard not to get lost in the ether of “Which Platform Should I Choose? Arrrggghhhhh!!” Don’t keep pulling your hair out, here is a simple fact.

Less is more

…and a ‘picture is worth a thousand words’ (Frederick R. Barnard), and if you #Hashtag it, it can be worth millions. Now for the science bit:

“The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text and 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visually based” (Visual Social Marketing SlideShare)

”A 2012 study of ROI Research indicated that 44 percent of respondents are more likely to pay closer attention to brands if they post pictures” (All Top Company Blog Spot)

This is why as much as 93% of the most popular status updates across social media giants, Facebook & Twitter are pictures. Think of all the countless hours the average person spends trawling through Social Media. You want something that stands out like:

Hello Is it Tea You're Looking For
Genius! However it can be simple, like for example, a business colleague recently packed their bag for Glastonbury and simply posted a picture up on Facebook, with “Ready & Packed for #Glastonbury2014” and boom, the interactive frenzy begun. It formed the perfect opportunity for her to  engage with her audience, let them know why she’s going, where to find her at the festival and run a promotion for those who visit her pop up.

The great thing about both Instagram and Pinterest is that both are perfect for visual content like photos and videos. Instagram is like ’The Publisher’, think ‘Shakespeare’:

  • You publish your own original content, and create your own, high end funky ‘Andy Warhol-esq’ gallery, if that truly reflects you, your brand and your businesses personality, with eye- catching photos and memorable captions (like Rich-Tea above).
  • Start trends through the clever use of #Hashtags and through your own amazing talent you create your kingdom of followers.
  • Give your followers a behind-the-scenes journey into you, your brand and your business.

Instagram is great for creative, product, design, artistic type businesses.

Hang on, isn’t that the same for Pinterest?

Yes and no, Pinterest is ‘The Curator’, think Simon Cowell, (no offense Pinterest). How dare we say this? Simon Cowell essentially curates talent to form both a visual and audio experience for his target audience, this is much the same for Pinterest. It’s a digital pin board of you and/or your brand’s profile to create a visual experience of your business:

  • Promote your service and/or products through use of such features as ‘Pin it to Win it’.
  • Drive traffic through to your site using such features as ‘Link Back’
  • Relate to your audience through sharing content you engage with
  • Get insight to your audience, their thoughts and opinions through creating a guest pin board

So, why not use both?

There is no right or wrong. Through twitter chat this week we found out our follower @ArtistMakers uses “Pinterest to create a reference for each [of his art] project [s]” and “Instagram to document the project as it happens”.

Either way you should always ensure you are engaging with your audience, perhaps even reward your followers with giveaways, competitions or perhaps use social media as a form of currency? (more on this next week).

It’s an ever evolving digital world we live in and there are still more undiscovered ways to attract your customers through the use of social media.

The key to social media is to have a Marketing Campaign Strategy. Without that you may as well be back at the beginning of this blog!

Pop up shops aren’t ‘just’ shops

800px-The_Beatles_Double_Decker_Pop-up_BusNowadays when it comes to pop up shops, people are starting to think outside the box.

Pop ups aren’t just for selling products. They can be used in a number of creative ways: for brand awareness, sale samples, experimental marketing, consumer research, exhibitions, film locations – just think it, and you can make it happen!

Pop ups aren’t just restricted to shops: there are lots of unconventional spaces to use like camper vans, boats, a garden space, disused truck trailers, or even a bus like what was used for The Beatles promotion in the picture above.

On Twitter this week, we were talking with @Charlie_Hopper who said she would convert a truck trailer into a pitch black room for blind tasting food and beer samples. Such a simple idea, however, effective and memorable. The key to a successful pop up is to think about what you would like your customers or target audience to take away with them once they’ve left.

So here are three basic points to think about that will hopefully help you create your amazing pop up space:

  1. What is the purpose of your pop up?
  2. Who are you trying to attract?
  3. How can I make my pop up a memorable experience?

That should give you a great start.

And for further inspiration, here’s a lovely video of how the Brighton based Retail Ready People Programme by Vinspired make great use of pop ups to help educate young locals. Don’t forget, if you want to start your own pop up venture, get in touch with us to talk through finding a space – no matter how offbeat it is!


Plastic money: the future, today

plastic-moneyLast week it was announced that the first plastic bank notes in Great Britain will be put into circulation next year.


The Scottish Clydesdale Bank will issue 2 million polymer £5 notes before the Bank of England makes this new form of note commonplace across the country.


But what are the benefits of the plastic fivers? Great Britain won’t be the first country to adopt the new style of note: Australia developed the money before putting it into its circulation in the mid 1990s, and now there are more than 20 countries which now use polymer notes as their currency.


In fact, it’s not the first time that the UK has experiemented with plastic money. In 1999 the Northern Bank of Northern Ireland created a plastic note to commemorate the millennium, while back in 1983, the Isle of Man adopted a plastic note but later withdrew it due to problems with the ink.


This time round however, these problems have been resolved. The notes are cleaner, more secure and last 2.5 times longer than the old paper notes.


Money forgery may soon become a thing of the past with the introduction of these new polymer notes, plus the introduction of a new 12-sided £1 coin is sure to mean that plenty of businesses will benefit from traditional money being brought firmly into the 21st century.

Things you can do on your down time as a small business

brainstormingAs a small company there will undoubtedly be peaks and troughs in your business, so during the down periods you should make use of the quieter time to enhance your business for the busy periods.


Work on your marketing

Get round to updating your blog or website with the new things you’ve been doing. Get on social media and connect with people who may be interested in your product or services, and reach out to new audiences. This is something you should already be doing as part of your business plans, but often during busy times this gets forgotten about.


You can also look at what you’re currently doing with your website, advertising and other marketing material and have a good look at what is working and what isn’t. If people have really responded to a paid advertising campaign you did, consider running it again.


Get your housekeeping in check

You’ve probably got a stack of receipts or some filing you need to do, or maybe you just need to reorganise your computer’s hard drive. Doing this now during a down period is the perfect way to while away the hours.


You can also do some physical cleaning. Clean out your stock, tidy your office space and get things neat and organised so that things are less stressful during busy times.


Plan forward

Get out the calendar and plan out events that you should attend, promotions you want to run in store or any other things that require a bit of planning. This is the time when you can consider a pop up shop to help boost your brand awareness and get in a bit of extra business.


Create a few goals too. For instance “I want to have 100 more sales by next month” or “Next year I’d like to double my profits.” This will give you something to aim towards when things pick up again.


Most importantly, you shouldn’t give up! Every business has down periods, and you are no different. So if you’ve suddenly become quieter, use this to your advantage and start improving your business even more.