Hello! This guide was created to help businesses understand the process & the benefits of creating a luxury mobile pop up trailer from our perspective of designing and building mobile retail spaces. We develop unique and impactful trailer designs to differentiate brands from their competition. Through creative design thinking, conceptualization and visualization, a mobile pop up space creates value. Our society is becoming more conscious and human-centric. So with that in mind, the human experience is more important than ever. In a world full of advertisements and online engagement, physical experiences need to be engaging, memorable and meaningful. Brands are increasingly using experiential marketing as a means of expressing their brand identity in an immersive way. By creating original, branded mobile environments, businesses have the flexibility to highlight their brand culture, tell powerful stories, test new products & connect with more consumers. Guesscreative’s value is building relationships with business owners, entrepreneurs & unique fabricators around the United States in order to connect to the right builder to the right project. We provide original thought and design that will help differentiate businesses from their competition. This guide serves to explain the Mobile Luxury Experience design-build process, offer design & business ideas and discuss things to consider after buying a mobile experiential trailer.
THE VISION: REDEFINING THE POP UP COMMERCIAL SPACE
We’ve all passed by or have been to a pop up store or activation before. The concept of pop up shops, or temporary retail spaces, has a long and interesting history. Pop up shops have existed in various forms for centuries, but they have become increasingly popular in recent years as a way for businesses to test out new markets, reach new customers, and create unique shopping experiences. One of the earliest known examples of a pop up shop was the traveling market, which was common in various civilizations throughout history. Merchants would set up temporary stalls in town squares and other public areas to sell their wares, often for just a few days at a time. This allowed them to reach a wider audience and avoid the costs of maintaining a permanent storefront. In the 19th century, the department store emerged as a new type of retail space that offered a wide variety of goods under one roof. These stores were often located in bustling city centers and became popular destinations for shoppers. However, the rise of online shopping and the proliferation of big box stores in the 20th century led to the decline of many department stores, and pop up shops once again became a popular way for businesses to reach customers. Today, pop up shops can be found in a wide range of locations, including malls, streets, and even airports. They are often used by retailers to launch new products, by artists and designers to showcase their work, and by organizations to raise awareness about a cause or issue. The rise of social media and other digital tools has also made it easier for businesses to promote their pop up shops and attract customers.
Although pop up shops are increasing in popularity amongst smaller businesses, there is an opportunity that is being missed for both large and small businesses, the opportunity for mobility & brand consistency. Online shopping has started to eliminate the immediate need for fixed brick and mortar locations but the impact of in-person experiences can never be replaced. Mobility encourages connection to the consumer by empowering brands, businesses & services to take their business to their target audiences instead of working to attract draw them in. Mobility allows for testing in different markets to see what is working best for your business and what isn’t. Simultaneously, mobility can induce a sense of urgency to consumers since the space will most likely will not be placed in the same place for an extended amount of time (unless there is an agreement somewhere). At its highest potential, mobile pop up shops will start to influence shopping behavior and create brand communities. As we know beautiful spaces cause people to act differently. It could even be an asset to a business by renting the space out to smaller businesses when not in use. Similar to Airbnb. As these mobile experiences become more recognized and vital to businesses, I believe that platforms will develop concepts similar to airbnb that allow smaller businesses to rent out mobile commercial spaces for their own growth. As a result, a mobile pop up ecosystem will grow.
What is one thing that we see everyday in our daily infrastructure that is open for reuse & reimagination?
Trailers, Shipping Containers & Boxtrucks. They are massive, mobile, self-contained units that can easily be converted into usable space.
Where Guesscreative comes in is the design & development of custom mobile luxury spaces. We want these mobile spaces to be immersive. We want spaces to be interactive. We want spaces to be impactful and memorable. The potential is limitless and only bound by your creativity, budget and open mind.
As we move into 2023, experiential marketing is becoming an increasingly important tool for businesses looking to engage with their customers in a meaningful and impactful way. Unlike traditional forms of advertising, which rely on one-way communication and interruptive tactics, experiential marketing allows businesses to create immersive and interactive experiences that allow customers to actively participate in your brand story. This approach has several key advantages over more traditional marketing methods.
For one, experiential marketing can help to create a deeper and more emotional connection with customers. By inviting them to participate in an engaging and memorable experience, businesses can create an emotional connection that goes beyond simple brand recognition and can lead to increased loyalty and long-term customer relationships.
Additionally, experiential marketing can be an effective way to differentiate a brand from its competitors. In today's crowded and competitive market, it can be difficult for businesses to stand out and grab the attention of potential customers. By creating unique and engaging experiences, businesses can create a sense of excitement and buzz that can help to set them apart from their competitors. Pull up with something different. Emphasize your business's remark-ability? (Read Seth Godin's Purple Cow)
Furthermore, experiential marketing can be a powerful way to generate word-of-mouth marketing and social media buzz. In today's digital world, customers are more likely to share their experiences with friends and followers on social media. By creating compelling and shareable experiences, businesses can tap into this phenomenon and generate valuable word-of-mouth marketing that can help to drive brand awareness and engagement.
Overall, the impact of experiential marketing in 2023 is likely to be significant, as more and more businesses recognize the value of creating engaging and immersive experiences for their customers. As the competition for customer attention continues to grow, experiential marketing will become an essential tool for businesses looking to build strong and lasting relationships with their customers. What better solution than to scale in person experiential marketing to different markets?
The Benefits of a Mobile Pop Up Shop
Mobile pop up shops offer a range of benefits to businesses looking to create engaging and memorable experiences for their customers. Here are just a few of the key advantages of mobile pop up shops:
Flexibility: One of the biggest advantages of mobile pop up shops is their flexibility. Unlike traditional brick-and-mortar retail spaces, which are often locked into long-term leases, mobile pop up shops can be easily transported from location to location. This allows businesses to create unique and engaging experiences in a variety of different locations, from city centers to trade shows and festivals. Businesses are given the power to scale to different markets.
Cost-Effective: Another key advantage of mobile pop up shops is their cost-effectiveness. Because they are temporary and can be easily transported, mobile pop up shops can be set up and taken down quickly and easily, which can save businesses time and money. So although, there is a large upfront cost, the upkeep & operating costs are minimal. Additionally, because they are mobile, businesses can avoid the high costs associated with traditional retail spaces, such as rent, utilities, and maintenance.
Engaging and Memorable: Mobile pop up shops should be designed to be engaging and memorable, which makes them a powerful tool for experiential marketing. By inviting customers to participate in a unique and immersive experience, businesses can create a deeper and more emotional connection with their customers, which can lead to increased loyalty and long-term customer relationships.
Differentiates Your Brand: In today's crowded and competitive market, it can be difficult for businesses to stand out and grab the attention of potential customers. Mobile pop up shops aren't mainstream yet and therefore will wow your consumers, while creating a sense of excitement and buzz around your brand.
Generates Word-of-Mouth Marketing: In today's digital world, customers are more likely to share their experiences with friends and followers on social media. Connect with your customers. Wow them. Introduce your wonderful products and services on the go.
EXISTING MOBILE EXPERIENTIAL / BUSINESS TRAILERS
Before we get into the design process, Let’s take a look at a few examples of what has been done to open up possibilities of what can be done for your project. As I mentioned in the last section, the potential is limitless and only bound by your creativity, budget and open mind.
How can your brand be expressed authentically and interactively in a long rectangular space?
The first example is a project completed by Guesscreative LLC (more photos). It is a mobile retail experiential trailer designed & built for CISE LLC, a fashion brand. It was designed to give the sensory feel of Luxury and inspired by a Louis Vuitton store aesthetic. There is shelving on both sides for CISE’s product display with a large sliding mirrored closet door at the end for consumer engagement & reflection with CISE’s products.
CISE (mobile retail experiential trailer) by Designed by Guesscreative LLC
The second example is RAZER experiential pop up trailer. It was designed to allow potential consumers to interact with the RAZER Gaming. The space is unique to the brand and perfectly designed for product display. The space is air-conditioned, equipped with LED lighting to appeal to the gaming community and lined with tables for potential customers to test out the gaming products.
RAZER (mobile product display trailer)
To show the infinite range of possibilities, We have shown examples of retail, gaming & now bridal suites. The Chandelier Suite is a mobile bridal hair boutique that gives a private luxury space for brides to have peace of mind knowing that they will have their hair appointment come to them. Weddings can be stressful and this unit serves to provide luxury convenience to those who desire it.
The Chandelier Suite (mobile bridal boutique trailer)
Mobile Retail Stores.
Mobile Product Showrooms.
Mobile Immersive Experiences.
Mobile Wellness Spaces.
Mobile Offices / Co-working Spaces.
Mobile Sound Recording Studios.
Mobile Rentable Pop Up Spaces.
Mobile Therapy Centers.
Mobile Temporary Homeless Housing.
Mobile Barbershops / Nail Salons.
Below, We’ve attached some more of Guesscreative’s design concepts to show the level of thoughtfulness that will go into each of our designs. The first is a mobile meditation / yoga space designed to encourage peaceful thoughts and alignment with self. The natural materials & natural plants combined with sacred geometry shaped windows & high definition surround sound speakers for vibrational meditational sounds are perfect for induction of peace and tranquility.
The second is a mobile listening experiential trailer designed for artists to have their unique music be experienced in a memorable & scalable way. Due to the interactive screens lined on both walls & a high definition surround sound, This concept is perfect for album / mixtape releases or even the promotion of an artist’s merchandise. Mobile experiences like these will allow listeners to connect to their favorite singers, musicians and rappers.
WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT TRAILERS
Modifying a car hauler trailer to become a mobile pop up retail space can offer several benefits for businesses. A car hauler trailer is a large, sturdy, and easily transportable vehicle, making it a perfect platform for creating a temporary retail space. It can be outfitted with modular displays and other fixtures to create a functional and attractive retail environment, and it can be easily moved to different locations based on customer demand or other factors.
To modify a car hauler trailer into a mobile pop up retail space, the first step is to choose a trailer that is the right size and has the necessary features. This may include features such as a ramp or lift gate for loading and unloading merchandise, lighting and electrical outlets, and climate control to keep the space comfortable for customers and staff. The next step is to prepare the trailer by cleaning it and making any necessary repairs or upgrades. This may include painting the exterior, installing lighting, adding openings / display windows / serving windows or adding insulation to create a comfortable and inviting space. Car hauler trailers typically have a 7’-6” ceiling & stacker trailers typically have about an 11’-6” ceiling. These trailers come in a variety of lengths & heights ranging from 20’’-0” - 40’’-0” (in increments of 2’) in length which gives a lot of flexibility to fit the needs of your business. Take a look around the web, there are beautiful trailers that can be transformed into amazing experiential spaces. These trailers are perfect for mobile architecture because they have a decent volume of space. There’s adequate head room and plenty of space to walk around. Custom trailers are possible as well as long as they adhere to the Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements. Most trailers already adhere to DOT requirements integrated within its design. The maximum legal dimensions of trailers vary from state to states, but any trailer that exceeds one or more legal dimension requires a permit defining the size, weight, and nature of the trailer and the origin and destination of the haul. We want to avoid any extra permits unless the project calls for it. These maximum dimensions are our limitations for design. Typically, the maximum legal trailer width from outside wall to outside wall is 8.5’-0” feet and the maximum height limit is 13.5’-0” feet. Any vehicle larger than those dimensions is to be considered an oversized load. Which, as stated earlier, requires permits and of course…costs more money every time your unit is transported. Depending upon the state, if the width of a trailer exceeds 12’-0” or 14’-0” feet, there will even be a need for an escort vehicle and limited permitted travel times and routes. That gives added costs every time you travel and for the sake of what we are doing, will not be worth it.
As for the length, no vehicle combinations may exceed a total length of 65’-0” feet. Many cities don’t allow over 60’-0” feet. That means that the combination of your truck & trailer can’t exceed those dimensions. We will be safe using trailers that are 20’-0” - 40’-0”. There is plenty of opportunity to get creative within the space that we confined to. Weight plays a crucial role in mobile business design. If a trailer’s weight exceeds 10,000 lbs, the driver will be required to have their CDL (commercial driver’s license). Note: The tow vehicle that is purchased to pull the trailer must be rated to conventionally tow at least 10,000 lbs. in order to be DOT compliant (Department of Transportation), regardless of the actual weight of the trailer. You can find a lot of information through this link or just calling your local DMV to verify the requirements for your area for trailers. (https://dot.ca.gov/programs/traffic-operations/legal-truck-access).
Once the trailer has been structurally modified, the next step is to install the finishes. This may involve building custom shelving or counters, installing modular displays, including a fire extinguisher & adding signage / other decorations. The final step is delivery to the customer who will then be able to stock the trailer with products and prepare it for opening. This may include arranging the products, setting up a point of sale system, and training staff on how to manage the space.
An alternative will be to use shipping containers. This will limit the lengths that you can choose from for your pop up space and a custom trailer chassis will need to be designed for the shipping container but it is a very viable and structurally sound solution.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR PROJECT
Now that we’ve discussed the trailers themselves, let’s discuss should be expected from Guesscreative. To execute a trailer design-build properly, Guesscreative needs to know as much as possible about brand’s vision for their customer’s journey. Some questions to consider are:
What kind of business / brand or experience are we creating for? How will you be using the trailer? What do you want your potential customers to take from the experience?
What is your anticipated timeline and deadline? A Typical conceptual design will take 3-5 weeks to finalize and a build will take anywhere between 3-6 months depending on design complexity and the fabricator queue.
What is your vision for the overall business at this current stage? 2.5 years from now? 5 years from now? Is this pop up for one marketing campaign? or Should it be designed to be for long term use? Would you like to have it universally designed so you can use it as an asset to rent out to other businesses when you're not using it yourself?
What is your budget? Projects will typically start around $115K+ and go up from there. That includes the cost of the trailer, openings, modifications, materials and design+coordination.
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT POP UP DESIGN
Designing a luxury mobile pop up shop is a unique and exciting challenge. The key to success is to create a space that is both functional and visually appealing, with a strong focus on branding and customer experience.
When designing a luxury mobile pop up shop, it's important to think about your customer experience. How will customers circulate through the space, and what features and amenities will they be looking for? This will influence the layout and design of the pop up shop, as well as the materials and finishes used. By using high-quality interior finishes and materials, custom-designed shelving and storage solutions and technology such as interactive monitors and data video analytics platforms, it's possible to create a truly unique and luxurious shopping experience.
We will manipulate the space to create memorable experiences. By carefully considering the layout and design, it's possible to create a space that feels spacious and inviting, even within the confines of a trailer. This could include the use of lighting, scents, plant walls, ceiling installations, and other design elements that add depth and interest to the space.
Another important aspect of the design process is the branding of the pop up shop. A custom branded vinyl wrap can be a powerful way to grab attention and make a lasting impression. This can be designed to align with your brand and aesthetic, and can include elements such as way-finding and directional signage to help customers navigate the space. By carefully choosing colors and finishes that align with the brand identity, it's possible to create a cohesive and impactful visual experience for customers. A custom branded vinyl wrap on exterior can be a powerful way to grab attention and make a lasting impression. This can be designed to align with your brand and aesthetic.
THE DESIGN PROCESS
Creating a successful mobile pop up shop involves a number of different steps, from design and conceptualization to fabrication and installation. Here is a brief overview of the design and build process:
Design and Conceptualization: The first step in creating a mobile pop up shop is the design and conceptualization process. This involves working with Guesscreative to come up with a unique and impactful design concept that aligns with your brand's story and vision.
Fabrication: Once the design concept has been finalized, the next step is to start the fabrication process. This involves the purchase of the trailer we'd like to build with. That trailer will be shipped to the fabricator of choice and they will begin carrying out the approved design. This will be a period where we will have to adapt to supply chain for materials. Materials will be presented to you based on the fabricator and deadline expected.
Testing and Quality Control: After the mobile pop up shop has been modified, the fabricator will conduct thorough testing and quality control checks to ensure that it is safe and functional. This typically involves a combination of structural testing, electrical testing, and other safety checks to ensure that the mobile pop up shop is ready for use. Guesscreative will also visit the trailer and provide you with photos and videos for your final review before delivery.
Delivery: Once the mobile pop up shop has been built and tested, it is time to deliver it to you with a title & instruction manual in hand. The trailer will be shipped directly to your location of choice from the fabricator.
POST DELIVERY KNOWLEDGE
Ultimately upon purchase, trailers need to be registered with the local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) so it’s legal to use on the road. While each area’s regulations may vary, all trailers will need required paperwork:
Bill of Sale - Get a bill of sale to prove ownership of the trailer. The bill of sale is a form that specifies who the trailer was bought from, how old it is, the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the price paid for it. If the trailer was bought new, save the receipt so there is proof that the trailer belongs to the owner / business. If the trailer was bought used, have the seller print out a bill of sale form so it can be filled out.
Title / Transferral of Title - In addition to the bill of sale, the application for a title will be required for proof of ownership. When a trailer is initially bought from a manufacturer or dealership, it won’t have a title, so an application will need to be filled out. Locate the title application for the respective state online and fill out the forms completely. Follow all of the directions on the application so it’s filled out correctly. NOTE: Do not buy a trailer if the original owner doesn’t have a title for the trailer. It will make it more difficult to register.
VIN Verification - Many times, registering a trailer from out of state will require a VIN inspection for proof of ownership. Look up VIN verification test centers and take the trailer in to have it checked. Once it’s verified, the station will give a form that must be taken to the DMV within 30 days to register the trailer.
Completed Registration - Locate the registration form for the trailer online and fill it out entirely. Be sure to include information about any lien holders on the registration form if there are any. Confirm that all the information is correct and accurate before printing out the application.
Safety Inspection - Some places require safety inspections to confirm the trailer is road-safe. The trailer to an inspection center or a DMV office with an inspection lane to have it looked over. When the inspection is concluded, they will give you a sticker if the trailer passes. If you don’t pass the safety inspection, the inspector will give a list of what needs to change before it can be registered. In order to get an inspection, documents must show proof of ownership, such as the title or bill of sale.
Request a License Plate - A license plate will be required.
Insurance - Trailer owners may want to have other types of insurance coverage depending on their needs. For example, collision coverage compensates for repairing or replacing the trailer if an accident occurs regardless of fault. Comprehensive coverage finances an owner when repairing or replacing a trailer involved in a non collision-related occurrence, such as a fire, flood, theft, vandalism or storm in which the trailer is damaged by falling debris. Contents coverage compensates an owner to repair or replace the objects transported, regardless of fault, but live animals need a specific type of insurance coverage. Finally, roadside assistance covers towing or breakdowns if the trailer becomes inoperable while on the road. Contact your existing insurance company to get quotes.
Licenses and permits - Depending on the location and type of business, the business may need to obtain various licenses and permits in order to operate the pop up retail trailer. This may include a business license, a sales tax license, and other permits as required by local laws and regulations.
Security - I recommend buying an Apple AirTag or something similar for GPS Tracking. Hide it in the trailer somewhere as a low cost solution.
Designing your mobile business will be an amazing and rewarding experience. Pull up with something different.
I know you may have many more questions. Please email me or schedule a video conference and I will answer as soon as I can.