The Pop(up)ular Brand Experience
Abstract: It seems that online retail is erasing the presence of physical stores, referred to as the retail apocalypse. Consumers’ desire to experience brands is increasing whilst sensory experiences in the online retail environment are limited. It is increasingly important for brands to be attainable through physical interaction for consumers to stay loyal, a fundament for the experience economy. Therefore, the pop up phenomenon could be considered an approach to blur the line between physical and online stores. The aim of this research is to create an understanding of how the pop up phenomenon is experienced by phygital companies in Sweden, exploring their use of multisensory marketing through pop ups and the effect it has on the brand. A qualitative and exploratory approach with semi-structured and asynchronous interviews including nine managers from the pop up industry was conducted. The data collected was analysed through a thematic approach and compared to existing literature. From the findings, two pop up purposes were identified: (1) pop ups with a long-term marketing purpose to enhance the brand, and (2) pop ups with a short-term selling purpose. Further, the empirical findings of this study suggest that the usage of multisensory experiences was recurrently found to be done unintentionally by the firms, indicating a lack of knowledge of its impact on customer behaviour in the long-term. From combining literature and findings a model was created explaining how firms can use the pop up phenomenon to successfully enhance the company’s brand. This research provides insights of managers’ personal experiences of the phenomenon and explores how pop ups can be a useful tool for a company's brand.
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