October 15, 2018
Uniqlo is an unparalleled apparel retailer that is known for selling high quality and affordably priced clothing throughout the world. Its slogan is “made for all,” which is why most items of clothing sold in Uniqlo stores come in a wide variety of colors and sizes. Uniqlo teamed up with Factory 360 to work on a variety of initiatives, including experiential marketing events.
Uniqlo has experienced rapid growth since launching its first store in the U.S. over a decade ago. One of the reasons that Uniqlo has continued to grow in popularity over the years is their innovative marketing campaigns. The company’s creativity was on display at a recent experiential marketing activation that celebrated the annual launch of Uniqlo’s graphic t-shirt line, the UT collection.
What is the UT Collection?
The t-shirt is not seen as a basic clothing item at Uniqlo, but rather a tool of self-expression. Every year, the company celebrates this idea by working with different licensees and designers to create and sell a unique collection of t-shirts. The final designs are a reflection on modern art, culture, and identity. Together, these different designs make up the brand’s highly sought after UT collection.
The Plan For the 2018 UT Collection Launch
In the past, the brand chose to celebrate the launch of their latest UT collection at a single store in the U.S. But this year, the brand was determined to kick off the launch of their latest UT collection with a bang. To achieve this goal, the brand decided to target Uniqlo stores and consumers in a handful of major markets across the U.S., including New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
Events were typically held inside Uniqlo stores in the past. Instead of waiting for customers to come inside Uniqlo stores this year, the brand hosted block-party style events in the areas surrounding the Uniqlo stores in these major markets. This gave brand ambassadors the opportunity to initiate conversations with the target audience and drive this foot traffic back to the retail stores.
Generating Buzz Around the Event
The marketing team realized that they needed to build up their brand presence within these major markets prior to hosting the block party events in order to generate buzz and excitement in each city. To make this happen, the brand sent street teams to each of the target markets in the weeks leading up to the main event. Members of the street teams were responsible for passing out promotional materials and scratch-off game cards to anyone they encountered on the streets. All of the promotional materials encouraged consumers to spread the word about the upcoming #WearYourWorld block party event. Even if consumers weren’t familiar with the brand or the upcoming event, these promotional materials were more than enough to pique their interests.
The Activation: Uniqlo’s Block Parties
The activation itself was inspired by urban New York of the past, so images of clotheslines, connecting buildings, and iconic landmarks in the city were incorporated into the event’s design. The collection of t-shirts was also on display, including the designs made in collaboration with artists from Marvel and Disney. The colorful and memorable designs of these t-shirts were striking enough to grab the attention of anyone who happened to walk by.
After browsing the UT collection, guests had the opportunity to play a game of corn hole or pose for a photo inside a full-sized action figure box. There was even a professional portrait artist at the event who painted guests’ pictures in a style similar to Andy Warhol’s colorful creations. Guests could also enter a sweepstakes in the hopes of winning a free trip to Japan, which is where the Uniqlo brand was founded. Music spun by a DJ and famous Instagram influencer played in the background as guests moved from activity to activity, soaking up everything that the block party event had to offer.
Brand ambassadors working the block party event were able to engage with people who stopped by to enjoy themselves. Interacting with guests gave brand ambassadors the chance to teach them more about the Uniqlo brand and encourage them to visit the Uniqlo store located nearby. Many of the guests who left the block party event headed straight for the doors of the Uniqlo store to see the rest of the brand’s clothing.
Looking Back at the Block Party Event
The event was a huge success for the Uniqlo brand. Uniqlo brilliantly created block party events with authentic atmospheres, which allows them to connect with their target audience on a deeper level than ever before. By hosting the event outside, the brand was also able to attract guests that may not have seen or attended the event had it been hosted inside one of Uniqlo stores.
Building buzz using promotional materials in the weeks leading up to the event also contributed to the success of this activation. The target audiences in these markets were anticipating the event for weeks as a result of the promotional materials and hard work of the street teams.
Focusing on the UT collection was also a smart choice. Many Uniqlo customers are initially drawn to the brand through the UT collection, so highlighting these pieces was a great way to win over new customers and introduce them to the rest of Uniqlo’s product line.
Uniqlo took their brand to new levels of success with this event, so it will be exciting to see how they top themselves when the time comes to launch the next UT collection!
Are you interested in hosting an experiential marketing event to drive traffic to your business? If so, contact the experiential marketing professionals at Factory 360 today. Let our team plan and implement the perfect experiential marketing event to facilitate the connection between your brand and your target audience.
Photo Credit: https://www.eventmarketer.com/article/uniqlo-block-parties-engage-shoppers-drive-them-to-nearby-stores/