Expectations of consumers are at an all-time high. A compelling brand-story, engaging social content and a good product are no longer sufficient for them to part their hard-earned dollars. One recent buzzword at the tip of all marketers’ tongues to sway consumers is: “experience”. This has led to a sweep of pop-ups; here, there, everywhere. From alcohol, luxury, fashion; right down to distributors and retailers.

To engage consumers on a deeper level, Whisky Live happening at Andaz Hotel in the weekend of 3 November 2018 will be putting the experiential elements of alcohol tasting at the forefront.  To cater to that, one can expect more holistic experience such as the Cocktail Terrace which will feature fancy bars that are instagram-worthy, a chance to interact with mixologists and sample carefully curated menus.

We see the same trend recurring at airports too. In a bid to hook travellers that have time to kill, the DFS Craft Festival from now till 31 October 2018 at Changi Airport will feature a wide array of craft beers and bespoke gins.  A recent push in this direction comes as a result of consumers looking to “enjoy innovative and hard-to-find products; as today’s drinkers are looking for fresh brands that have a unique identity and heritage”, as observed by DFS Group Senior VP, Brooke Supernaw.

Not only will travellers get to try Oxley Gin, Copper Dog and new local produce such as the Tanglin Gin, they can even get their hands on an authentic Singapore Sling at a miniature version of Raffles Hotel’s Long Bar. All of this at no cost at all.

Image result for raffles hotel long bar airport

Photo credits: Todayonline.com

Consumers these days feed their cameras first. Then for sure, industries which have always concerned themselves about external appearances, are riding on this trend too.  Pop-up campaigns for fashion and retail such as the Sephora Playhouse, the ongoing Chanel Le Rouge and the soon-to-come Hermès Carré Club, are all replete with activities such as karaoke parties and massive bubble tubs to dip in with your friends.

It isn’t about the revenue though, since all these concepts by fashion and luxury retailers are usually made free for all*. Perhaps it could act as a beta-testing bed for a new concept, engaging new customers who might be intimidated by a brand’s store front (especially those in luxury) or even to keep loyal customers intrigued. The data collected in real life is authentic and could only be drawn out of personalized human interactions with the “experience”, far outweighing all the online surveys one gets bombarded with on a daily basis.

The future of the pop-up could even be retail malls’ saving grace, since many local shopping malls are struggling to find novel means to drive traffic and cater to an integrated “omnichannel” experience. Yet, as with all trends, this trend would soon be a passing fad as observed by Prof Thomas S Robertson.

His advice? “Surprise, delight and then move on.”


Featured image credits: Channel News Asia 

*With the exception of Whisky Live, as it’s more of a trade event by La Maison Du Whisky with more experiential elements this year.

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