Fall 2015
Flower Seller Stages Unique Pop-Up in Manhattan

Customers came in droves to smell the roses—and make a purchase.

Ode à la Rose, an e-commerce flower delivery company based in New York City, is the type of company that puts smiles on people’s faces. Olivier Plusquellec and Louis Brunet, the founders of Ode à la Rose, had lived in France and were accustomed to the beautiful large bouquets of roses available in Paris. However, when they moved to New York City and wanted to send flowers, they were not able to find the simplistic beauty of rose bouquets they were accustomed to finding just about anywhere in Paris—and did not like their experience with the ordering process either.

They realized that if they couldn’t find what they were looking for, neither could anyone else. So they took action and created Ode à la Rose in January 2012. The company sells stunning rose bouquets arranged with seasonally appropriate foliage. According to their website, “Each rose is selected for its beauty to both the eye and the nose. Each bouquet is lovingly designed in the company’s workshops by trained Ode à la Rose florists who have mastered the French art of bouquet design.” Each arrangement is carefully packaged in their signature gift box that ensures the flowers will arrive—and stay—fresh.

Improving the experience

OdeALaRose-3Plusquellec and Brunet had backgrounds in investment banking before starting Ode à la Rose. Plusquellec said, “We knew we wanted to be original and different” with our concept and “improve the experience of sending and receiving flowers at every level.” The company moto is “‘What you see is what you get,’ we deliver in our water-filled vase and we send you a snapshot of your bouquet.” The bouquet photo to the sender was greatly appreciated by their customers, so they took that feature one step further with their new video card app. The sender can create a video message that comes with the flowers, via a QR code on the paper card. The app then allows the recipient to respond and film his or her own thank-you video for the flowers. See OdeaLaRose.com/info/video-card-application.

Business was growing steadily, however they knew they needed to gain more exposure for the brand. They tried a few of the traditional forms of e-customer acquisition, “but those costs were getting very expensive and one to two weeks of exposure was too short for such a big investment,” admitted Plusquellec. That is when they reached out to The Lion’esque Group, a company that creates turnkey pop-up concepts for brands, to create a pop-up shop for Ode à la Rose. The Lion’esque Group works with brands in all the following areas: conception, location, the design and merchandising phase, calendar events, build out and execution and reflection/reporting metrics.

Experimenting with a pop-up

OdeALaRose-5The Ode à la Rose pop-up shop opened in a 900-square-foot corner storefront space at the Roger Smith Hotel in the financial district of Manhattan for three months this past summer. The space averages 20,000 people passing by per day, giving the brand great exposure while allowing the owners to test if a fixed location would be something they would consider in the future. They didn’t want to look like a pop-up store and The Lion’esque Group did a great job with visual merchandising to create a fixed-store look for the pop-up location. Brand Ambassadors also passed out a free rose with a business card from a cool vintage branded bike on the block. They saw an immediate increase in typing in the URL directly when customers went to visit their website, as well as an increase in orders. They attribute this to the pop-up shop.

Ode à la Rose currently offers same day delivery in Manhattan and next-day delivery to 12 states in the Northeastern United States via online orders only.

Starr Cumming

Starr Cumming is a freelance writer from Atlanta with 12 years of shopping center industry management and leasing experience. She most recently was a RVP of Business Development with General Growth Management, Inc. She can be reached at starr.cumming@gmail.com.
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