Monday, September 18, 2006

Pop-ups (not the book kind)

Pop-up retailing is hitting the streets of Canada, according to a CBC News article. In efforts to cut through the clutter (THE ultimate promotion challenge), retailers like Evian and Target aren't waiting for customers to come to them - they're taking their products to customers in attention-getting ways. Evian, for example, established pop-up spas where people could drop in for a bottle of water, a hand massage, or other relaxing treatments. Interestingly, these awareness-grabbing tactics hearken back to traditional means of distribution as one retail consultant describes, "Having stores and firm places of business is more recent than the history of retail would have you believe."

In my library, I've always argued that librarians should "pop up" in unexpected locations delivering unexpected services. It's important that we change up the contexts in which patrons view us as relevant and free ourselves somewhat from associations with the library building itself. Information doesn't have boundaries, so why should we? I think we librarians could do a great deal more with how we manage the place/distribution portion of our marketing mix.

Library as place, however, is still a powerful service offering, but how well do we manage it? An article from USA Today might make you rethink how you approach your library spaces. The piece describes how retailers manipulate everything from scents to layouts to sounds in order to encourage purchases. The books Call of the Mall and Why We Buy by Paco Underhill explore the intricacies of the retail environment in depth. For retailing from a library perspective, check out Jeannette Woodward's Creating the Customer-Driven Library: Building on the Bookstore Model.

Categories: new_news | promising_promotions | resource_roundup

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