Ex Awards – Silver Winner
PRO Awards – Bronze Winner

L.L.Bean Pop Up Retail

For the past five Fall seasons, we’ve worked together with long-time partner L.L.Bean to drive brand awareness and product sales on college campuses and local towns through semester-long pop-up retail selling experiences.

These pop-up stores visited campuses in high priority L.L.Bean markets, and in 2018 and 2019, overlapped with universities that were also leveraging L.L.Bean Student Ambassador campaigns. Pairing these two powerful programs together created a robust and integrated effort that naturally complimented one another.

Bringing retail to the consumer

Each seasonal tour leveraged a custom-built pop-up retail trailer, a mobile POS system, a branded box truck to support inventory management on-site and act as a retail “back-of-house,” and L.L.Bean’s famous Bootmobile.  These assets combined to create an engaging and deniable temporary retail environment for students and community members alike.

The arrival of each stop on the tour was pre-promoted through geo-targeted social media, the creation of Facebook events, signage, invitation distribution and key student group partnerships. Once the event site was up and running, students were invited to participate in giveaways, on-site games, boot try-ons, a custom lace bar, and social media-based photo activations through NMG-hired ambassadors and L.L.Bean employees.

A Covid-friendly pivot

In 2020, we worked closely with the L.L.Bean Pandemic Response team to plan and execute a Covid-friendly version of the successful mobile selling tour, placing an emphasis on sharing mental/emotional wellness resources and promoting better health through the restorative powers of the outdoors.

The tour visited small towns, cities, and some college campuses with a pop-up retail setup, scheduled meditation classes, and other unique resources shared in partnership with AllTrails and Ten Percent Happier.

Award-Winning Strategy & Results

In 2018 and 2019, we strategically overlapped the tour stops with schools that a L.L.Bean Student Ambassador was hired on the campus, allowing us to leverage SAs for pre-promotion through their social networks, club connections, and general access to the campus community. Ambassadors were given VIP invites to distribute to students and some even acted as a brand ambassador when the tour arrived, assisting with the custom lace bar and engaging in conversation with consumers.

The combination of SAs and an engaging mobile selling tour won L.L.Bean and NMG a Silver Ex Award and a Bronze PRO Award in the GenZ & Millennial categories – a testament to the unique elements of the tour, from the custom lace bar to the on-site activations.

Through an average of 45 unique selling days each year, the program consistently exceeds expectations on sales and ROI.

In 2019, the program ended with more than $1,000,000 in product sales and 15,000 unique products sold, exceeding L.L.Bean’s goals by more than 20%, and in 2020, the program beat sales goals by 158%.