February 11, 2016

The fashion industry’s biggest week is right around the corner, and established fashion houses and emerging designers alike are getting in on the action. If you’re planning a pop-up during New York Fashion Week, setting your brand apart from the crowd can seem like a daunting task. Don’t worry—it’s easier than you think. The key is to highlight what makes your brand unique and focus on theexperience you want your attendees to walk away with. The following tips will help you define your brand and spread the word about it during NYFW.

Get on the list

Submit a press release or listing to major event calendar sites such as Time Out New York or Guest of a Guest. Pitch other local fashion news resources with large online followings to spread the word quickly and easily. Also, make your pop-up known to event discovery websites and apps like Eventbriteor Fever. Basically, make yourself easy to find! Include pictures of people enjoying your past events, especially those who evoke an image of aspirational living (stylish clothes, manicures, etc).

Partner with a blogger

It’s well worth it to set aside budget for a partnership with a blogger or social influencer. Make a list of bloggers who are popular with your target demographic and ask about sponsoring a post or providing merchandise for them. Many people live vicariously through bloggers because of their ability to create content that makes their interests and lifestyle interesting and accessible. Collaboration with bloggers is always a mutually beneficial relationship and a great way to get on new customers’ radar.

You can also host a shopping event in your store, a strategy which works especially well if your partner blogger is launching their own product line. On the blogger’s end, teaming up with other brands helps promotes their products and introduces new shoppers to their platform. In return, partner brands get extra traffic driven by blog posts as well as the invaluable “stamp of approval” from someone rich in social currency.

via Taste the Style/Facebook

For example, Nude House invited fashion and food blog Taste the Style to host a “Hot Toddies x Hot Lips” party in their NYC holiday pop-up shop. Followers were invited to “come shop for the holidays à la Taste the Style.” The Taste the Style team curated their own mini-shop to showcase their favorite brands and their own limited edition holiday t-shirt. Seek out bloggers and influencers that complement your brand’s style and see if they’re interested in collaborating.

Invite interaction

Your pop-up should tell a story, not just display your merchandise. It’s not enough to use open-ended, overused adjectives like “curated” or “high-quality.” Instead, focus on how to provide an immersive experience where shoppers can interact with your product in a unique way. How can your shoppers contribute to a social content exchange?

Once, when working with lingerie line Negative at a pop-up event, I convinced attendees to “flash” me in a photo booth for a “butt selfie” and join the wall of polaroids with other attendees who were comfortable in their underwear. This inspired a culture of body positivity and self-confidence at the event and was a unique experience for most. It bonded attendees with the brand and gave them a photo and a memory of how Negative helped them feel comfortable and daring. You don’t have to go around convincing people to show you their underwear to get results, however. Consider what kinds of activations relate to the overall goal of your product. A good question to ask yourself: What do you want to make your attendees feel?

Work your network

Mine your contacts thoroughly for potential invitees. Start with those you keep close, but then move continuously outward in your social circle. Partner with other brands to share contacts and mailing lists and create cobranding opportunities. Set aside time to research industry influencers. Cast a wide net and don’t be afraid to reach out. Fashion Week is not the time to hold back. You’ll be surprised at how helpful many people are willing to be.

via Business Insider

Get social

It goes without saying that your brand should have an established social media presence (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc). As the event approaches, make sure that it is the focus of most of your posts. You can include information about Fashion Week trends, events, and parties to keep the main event fresh in the minds of your followers. If you have a blog, you can write a “guide to Fashion Week” post that lists all of the on-brand public events that they can access during fashion week—including yours. This also creates the perception of your brand being well-connected during NYFW.

At the same time, you don’t want to overwhelm your followers with too much  coverage. Use your judgment to edit your posts to only the most beautiful and unique coverage, and trust that word of mouth will do some work for you.

Monitor the conversation

Don’t do all the talking in the conversation! Listen. Be sure to like and comment on relevant photos on Instagram (tagged with #NYFW, for example). There are many social media tool out there than make it easy to choose the best hashtags and identify the right people to follow. Mention, Social Mention, andTalkwaker are all good options.

Offer solutions

Keep your ear to the ground for information about how you and your brand can support other Fashion Week participants. Perhaps offer a concierge service or help provide carpools along the lines of Uber. Always keep an eye out for opportunities and voids in service. Imagine if Unilever had “clean-up kiosks” with samples of deodorant and wipes or if Sephora had “retouch booths” around NYC to keep you #nofilter fresh. What if a men’s grooming brand offered an on-demand haircutting pop-up during Men’s Fashion Week? Where there’s a problem waiting to be solved, there’s an opportunity for your brand to step in.

via 2Leave

There are always opportunities during Fashion Week to get the word out about your brand if you can be observant, cover your bases, and communicate with your network. If your pop-up provides a unique experience to your attendees, they’ll keep your brand in mind for years to come.

Ready to tell your brand’s story in a new way? Find a pop-up space below!