BestPopUpStores : can you present us your company ?
Mark van Iterson : Heineken is the world’s 3rd largest brewer, with the iconic Heineken brand as flagship. The Heineken brand is available in almost all countries of the world, and sets itself apart through its progressive attitude. Innovation and design are at the heart of the brand’s DNA. Always aiming to enhance the beer experience of Heineken consumers.
BestPopUpStores : What are the reasons behind launching this pop-up store? What is the role of the pop-up store within the marketing strategy of the company ? Which goals are you trying to achieve?
MvI : Heineken launched the pop-up City Lounge in London to explore new concepts, new designs and innovations around Heineken beer and around the lounge occasion. It is really the creative playground to try out and test new concepts. And its in the end these sort of innovations that create added value for consumers and the business. It creates excitement and engagement for people, differentiation versus competition, and drives the brand forward.
Next to this innovation goals, it delivers a unique and cool experience for visitors of the Lounge. They have the opportunity to taste, see, feel the newest ideas, and give their feedback.
It altogether is one of the important initiatives to buidling the progressive values of the Heineken brand.
BestPopUpStores : How was the conception and the realization of the pop-up store carried out ? Were you helped in this process or was everything done internally ? How did you decide on the duration and localization of the pop-up store ?
MvI : To ensure maximum creativity and inspiration from ‘what’s hot and happening’ in different cultures across the world, the project has not been developed with traditional design agencies, but with 20 upcoming design talents from Mexico, New York, Warsaw and Singapore. We selected these designers in different design disciplines (architecture, product design, fashion, graphic, etc) via an open invitation process, and made them collaborate to generate unexpected concepts. Key input for the briefing was a series of ten thousands crowdsourced Instagram pictures visualizing the ideal lounging experience. This very open unconventional process sparked an amazing richness of ideas and delivered a final design concept that is full of fresh perspectives, works across the globe, and is very forward looking.
We wanted to test and showcase the pop-up Lounge at one of the world’s leading design platforms; London Design Festival. The Old Truman brewery in Shoreditch is that week one of the main hubs; the ideal place to see how the lounge would be received.
BestPopUpStores : According to you, what are the advantages and disadvantages of a pop-up store ? Are you satisfied with the results achieved (or being achieved) and which conclusions do you draw of this initiative ?
MvI : It is a great way to develop and test out new concepts. The fact that it pops up and disappears again enables us to go really creative and push the boundaries. If things work less well (and that’s of course sometimes the case; if you experiement you’ll have by definition successful and less successful elements), it’s not a drama because it’s not permanent.
We are very happy with the results; lots of elements worked amazingly well, the overall concept got lots of kudos, and many people have seen and experienced how an iconic brand like Heineken can be truly driving progress.
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