RMD Group is creating pop-up retail environments for Ford in San Francisco that truly resonate with the locals, including a store that doubled as a hip art gallery for high-profile and emerging artists alike.
The first Ford “Go Further” pop-up experience set up shop near San Fran’s Union Square last month, after the RMD team came up with a concept for a pop-up that would integrate nicely into the San Francisco lifestyle.
“We focused on passion points and messages that made sense for the community. We selected four locations around San Francisco, and the Union Square location was the first of four that will launch this year. We really wanted to bring something unique and interesting to each of the neighborhoods that the pop-ups will call home,” says RMD Group coo Laura Gonzalez.
The concept was to team with local emerging artists in San Francisco, give them a chance to show their work and have the local community vote on their favorite art piece in the gallery. Attendees voted for their favorites by scanning QR codes displayed next to the artists’ nameplates with their smartphones, or by filling out a physical ballot.
The gallery also featured the works of two, more high-profile underground artists: Luke Chueh and Sket One. These artists created special prints just for the pop-up run, and helped draw traffic to the store.
Gonzalez says teaming with partner brands made the experience richer for attendees. For example, Pandora listening stations set up in the store allowed visitors to check out and beta-test the latest updates in digital radio service. Meanwhile, Moshi headphones showed off its newest audio ear-wear and provided the headphones for the listening stations.
StyleYou, a new mobile app that acts as a cyber-stylist for subscribers, was beta-tested onsite by Go Further visitors before its release last month, and upstairs, hip toymaker KidRobot’s designer toys were on sale in a “store within a store.”
“KidRobot resonated with our audience, and the partnership made sense because of the connection with our artists. Once we connected with our partners and got them excited about the concept, it was all about finding a footprint that would make sense for all of us. When we found the footprint, it really came together because we were all in tune with exactly what our objectives were,” Gonzalez says.
The minute consumers stepped in the store, their data was captured and a takeaway prize was given to them in the form of a token, which they had to redeem on the second floor.
“It was a way of driving people upstairs, but people were really curious once they got inside. They wanted to see what was going on,” Gonzalez says.
Inside, Ford vehicles were on display with interactive touchscreens and iPad learning stations that let consumers dig a little deeper into their new technology and features. Open Wi-Fi connectivity was available for patrons who wanted to come in and chill out to get some work done, while a series of special events were held during the store’s run to foster closer ties to the neighborhood.
Shoeshine Monday events set up shoeshine stations in the gallery for businesspeople or anyone else interested in cleaning up their kicks, while beauty bar Thursdays had makeup artists giving free touchups and eyebrow shaping for ladies at the store.
“It was really interesting and some of those special events helped drive the traffic, but also helped get people talking about the space,” Gonzalez says.
Ford’s next San Fran pop-up locations will have different offerings—creating an electrifying sustainable experience focused on Ford’s electric and eco-friendly vehicles.
This will incorporate everything from focusing on the post-consumer materials used in Ford’s cars, to teaching people to maintain a sustainable kitchen at home, using alternative sources of energy, while teaming with local solar companies and non-profits.
“We want to put a new twist on it wherever we go, and having a client that trusts us and understands that we’re trying to find a way to connect with people that makes a little more sense than just trying to sling a lot of marketing at them is the best part,” Gonzalez says.