The new retail concept of the pop-up store that a store can be leased for a short time—either for a day or a few months—has evolved into a new breed of experiential marketing tactics in Korea. First started in the fast-changing fashion industry, the brand-new concept was soon spread into other industries like electronics, cars, and food. As companies are trying to follow the rapid changes in market trend, they found this marketing gambit refreshing and effective in attracting their target customers.
The Galaxy Note was the first to tap into the idea in the electronics industry. Opening a “Galaxy Note Pop-Up Store” in COEX downtown Seoul, Samsung has promoted the note-taking feature of the Galaxy Note with caricature drawing events for customers.
However, the real fun of having the flash marketing setup is to allow the people to enjoy part of the spontaneity on-site. One of the most publicized cases of pop-up store marketing was premium instant coffee line KANU launched by Dongsuh Foods.
Gong Yu, a widely-loved Korean actor who had also starred in a TV drama as a café owner, was invited as a barista of the KANU Pop-Up Café in Garosu-gil, the fashion street in Seoul’s Kangnam. As Gong brewed coffee and served them to customers, the café was packed with his fans and customers. In less than two weeks, more than 100,000 customers visited the pop-up café, and the name of the actor was ranked as one of the most-searched keywords at major Internet portals.
To build on the momentum, Dongsuh Foods opened the second pop-up café in Busan, the largest port city in Korea, and the weekend pop-up joints at ski resorts to offer free coffee tasting opportunities. Ahn Kyung-ho, the PR Manager at Dongsuh Foods, said the pop-up store is more effective in promoting products and encouraging customers to experience the products than one-off exhibition opening.
Jeansung Kim (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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