Last August, rap superstars Jay-Z and Kayne West utilized a surprising marketing tactic when releasing their critically acclaimed Watch the Throne album. Jay-Z and Kayne chose to initially release their album digitally, with the second wave of their distribution plan was to then produce and release traditional CDs. As part of the CD release, for two-days they opened a Watch the Throne Pop-up Store in New York City. A Pop-up Store is a trend seen across industries, to open short-term sales spaces to sell limited or new products. Since Jay-Z’s and Kayne’s raps are littered with their favorite brands, the Watch the Throne Pop-up store also included some of the superstars’ favorite things for fans to buy themselves. Fan reaction to the Pop-up store was as strong as their album reviews. Fans found the store an intimate way to feel closer to the artists and understand their vision for the album. It made me think, why not bring this same strategy to mobile loyalty?
Although some might find their marketing plan not inclusive enough, the duo understood it as a way to thank loyal fans for their support through exclusive sales.
I started to apply this outlook in a discussion a colleague told me that she had with a client. Her client had never fully launched a mobile strategy for her brand. However, her client was aware that mobile was a strong audience for the brand because its mobile site visitor traffic was on par with the desktop site traffic. As a stopgap to the mobile traffic phenomena, the client chose to include an email request form on the mobile site. The form requested that mobile site visitors leave their email address for more information on mobile offerings.
A significant amount of time had passed since the email request overlay was placed on the mobile site, so now the brand had a database full of email addresses and steady amount of website traffic with no new offerings. This made it apparent it was time for the client to focus on mobile loyalty.
The client now knew there is both a need and demand for a mobile strategy. But they struggled with how best to repay the mobile site visitors for their loyalty and continued engagement. I suggested to my colleague a mobile Pop-up Store offering these visitors a preview at next season’s products. In learning from Jay-Z and Kayne we know that Pop-Up Stores are:
- Exclusive and make people feel closer to your brand. It’s a more personal relationship
- Can happen anywhere commerce takes place. It doesn’t need to be a physical store. The Rachel Roy brand did a Facebook pop-up store in 2011 to announce her new jewelry collection
- Time sensitive, so the combination of a limited sales and exclusive product make consumers more apt to buy
- Fun. A Pop-Up store should incorporate your brand essence, but can break away from your traditional look and feel to be an unique experience
It’s easy for brands to be attracted to new prospects to grow their business but Jay-Z and Kanye show us that it’s also to our benefit to reward loyal and engaged consumers with mobile loyalty exclusives like Pop-up shops. Maybe it’s time to show your mobile audience your appreciation. If you want to talk more about mobile pop-up store ideas or mobile loyalty, reach out to me.
- Kam Taitt, 5th Finger