19 August 2010

Short-term beauty shimmers

An increasing number of cosmetics and fragrance companies are embracing temporary projects as a way to market products and generate new business. Sean Lightbown explores some of the reasons why the industry is becoming so keen on the pop-up concept

REN’s pop-up store promoted its products to a new client base (REN)
By renting space in St Martin’s Lane Hotel this summer, skincare provider REN evolved pop-up into a marketing strategy for beauty brands, highlighting a market for short-term stores in the sector.

More beauty companies appear to be seeing the power of pop-up as a marketing tool. “It’s all about brand awareness,” said Henrietta Sparkes, head of retail at REN. “We had some good press coverage when the shop opened, and getting association with a top hotel was key.”

REN’s pop-up is not limited to the shop floor. “We have our products in every hotel room,” said David Delport, head officer for training and events. “It means people staying here are probably going to be using our products every day.” 

This adds up to a storefront in a five-star central London location, and skincare products in 204 luxury apartments. Over three months, the number of hotel guests exposed to REN products could easily be thousands. This is certainly not a bad way to increase brand awareness, especially for a company that usually relies on word of mouth. 
“It’s definitely the way forward"
Other beauty companies seem to be catching on. Yves Saint Laurent launched its pop-up boutique in Selfridges last month, and Lush turned a mobile trailer into a pop-up shop to tour UK festivals and cities this August and September.

Ego Iwegbu-Daley, founder and chief executive of beauty business specialist Miss Salon, thinks pop-ups allow beauty companies to market products in a different way.

“It’s about bringing brands into an unusual setting,” she said. “People are exposed to so much advertising these days that it is worth doing something that will stand out.

“We worked with a cosmetics company at some London festivals. One of the tents had a stall where people could browse and try new products as they watched a performance.”

The need for a different approach is reflected in what beauty companies are now doing. Delport explained that REN’s pop-up has given it a link to the customer that other events lack.

“It’s about standing out and bringing brands into an unusual setting”

“Corporate events are good, but this has allowed us to engage with customers in a way we couldn’t before. We may only get 20 or 25 people in per day, but each one feels comfortable to browse and talk to staff about what they want.”

It’s a similar story for Lush. The trailer allows it go beyond run of the mill product launches by marketing new lines straight to the people.
“We already have press conferences to let journalists know about product launches. The trailer is more about going out there and letting customers know directly about our new products,” said Lush spokeswoman Stephanie Boyd.

For Iwegbu-Daley, the need to creatively market new products in a highly competitive sector means that pop-up beauty stores may become a regular sight.

“It’s definitely the way forward. There are so many make-up brands now that beauty companies need to do something different to bring their products to life.”

No comments:

Post a Comment