CASE STUDY

SALT at Our Kaka‘ako

RETAIL & CONSUMER MARKETING, COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE & SHOPPING CENTERS

THE CLIENT: SALT at Our Kaka‘ako

The vision for SALT at Our Kaka‘ako was a lofty one. It would be a new kind of center for shopping, dining and gathering within an urban core community that previously lacked cohesion and a sense of place. It would be the first commercial real estate & shopping center in Urban Honolulu. Owned by Kamehameha Schools, SALT at Our Kaka‘ako burst onto the scene in 2017 as Honolulu’s most vibrant hotspot of urban life. Behind the dynamic and successful launch was our 6 Pillars Marketing (6PM) team, putting to work the marketing pillars that define who we are as an agency.

In 2016, 6PM was chosen to launch SALT at Our Kaka‘ako, following our across the board success with the historic launch of Hale‘iwa Store Lots, also owned by Kamehameha Schools. In two short years, SALT at Our Kaka‘ako would go on to win the prestigious Shopping Center of the Year (SCOTY) award, presented by the International Council of Shopping Centers, in 2018. Today, 6 Pillars Marketing is the marketing agency of record by both Colliers International and Kamehameha Schools for SALT at Our Kakaʻako.

THE JOURNEY

In preparation for the launch, the first order of business was to introduce SALT as a brand within the arts district of Kaka’ako, while also working with each new tenant on its unique opening. Some of the first tenants we assisted included Moku Kitchen, 9Bar and Village Bottle Shop & Tasting Room.

Shortly after launching the first of the new tenants in the SALT at Our Kakaʻako complex, our team was tasked with planning and producing the public Grand Opening Launch of SALT at Our Kaka‘ako in June 2017. The multifaceted event was strategically held on the same day as Hōkūleʻa’s return to Hawaii after a historic voyage around the world. The successful launch event, produced exclusively by 6PM’s integrated marketing services, helped to reinforce SALT’s position as a vital member of the Kaka’ako community.

The 85,000 square-foot commercial real estate center now houses an array of locally owned restaurants, retail stores, and special events catering to a growing urban community in the heart of Honolulu. SALT at Our Kaka’ako serves as an embodiment of Kaka‘ako’s evolution from an industrial, residential neighborhood to a flourishing community that celebrates arts and innovation, and founded on the spirit of entrepreneurship.

After 6PM executed a successful launch of the SALT at Our Kakaʻako brand and grand opening event, our team was invited to develop marketing plans to draw local kama‘aina and visitors to the center. We continue our work at SALT, with its award winning reputation solidified as a Shopping Center of the Year, creating and implementing a variety of innovative programming and events. 6PM has also been an important partner to SALT’s management team as it addresses the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, with enhanced client relations, crisis communication, social media management and livestream video and virtual events.

THE BIG PICTURE

To launch SALT at Our Kakaʻako and establish its brand, 6PM crafted press materials and distributed them to various statewide print, digital and broadcast media as part of a comprehensive integrated marketing and public relations campaign. Our team also aggressively employed advertising, social media, experiential marketing, digital marketing and event management to build momentum and grow the business.

Through the use of innovative marketing tactics, we helped to transform old perceptions and convey Kakaʻako as a dynamic and vibrant urban community, one that is highly appealing to the modern consumer. 6PM continues to work alongside Kamehameha Schools to solidify the SALT brand and capture top-of-mind awareness among its key audiences.

THE FINE POINTS

6PM Tactics Employed: Marketing, advertising, strategic marketing, digital media, social media, social media reporting and analytics, web development, video production, live streaming video, public relations, crisis communications, community relations, branding, graphic design, event creations & production, entertainment, special events, grand opening launch campaign, photography, drone videography, experiential marketing, tourism marketing, promotions, tenant relations and Hawaiian cultural program development.

Advertising, Marketing & Strategy

A true testament to the success of the 6PM-driven launch campaign was when Salt at Our Kakaʻako was awarded the prestigious Shopping Center of the Year (SCOTY) award by the International Council of Shopping Centers, only two short years after our work began there.

6PM’s marketing & advertising expertise was fundamental to SALT’s successful launch and continuing growth. Our unmatched marketing strategy highlighted SALT’s future vision of an all-encompassing cultural center that emphasizes education and innovation. Through sponsorships, product placement, and endorsements, 6PM established the property’s credibility as a cultural gathering place, while also positioning it as a truly unique travel, dining and shopping destination.

In addition to marketing the property itself, our team also collaborates closely with SALT’s various tenants to help promote their business and drive traffic. Through experiential marketing services, 6PM supports food & beverage and retail tenants with pop-up events in SALT’s common area event space. These promotional tactics help to forge critical customer-merchant relationships.

Our skilled team of writers, photographers, videographers, artists and conceptual designers continues to showcase SALT through an ongoing integrated marketing campaign. Through the creation of memorable, cost-effective ad campaigns, 6PM has successfully solidified SALT’s leadership role in Urban Honolulu.

Public Relations, Crisis Communications and Community Relations

Through 6PM’s public relations outreach, SALT at Our Kakaʻako has been featured on the covers of prestigious local publications and major broadcast stations, in addition to numerous digital outlets, print magazines and TV programs in the continental United States, Japan, Australia and other countries.

Our coordinated campaigns have secured more than $2 million in earned media and publicity value for SALT at Our Kakaʻako, including television, radio, print, digital, social media, and event promotions. We continue to provide support for the center’s growth through management of SALT’s public relations and communications.

In March 2020, COVID-19 started impacting the world and Hawaiʻi in unprecedented ways. With safety and health as its top priority, the 6PM team took action based on mandates issued by local and national government agencies. SALT’s crisis communication and messaging during the pandemic aimed to provide timely information to the center’s followers and fans, tenants and community, and management and ownership. In fact, unlike many local and national shopping centers, there were no gaps in SALT’s social media services as the public health situation grew larger in scope. 6PM worked closely with tenants and management to keep vital communications flowing during this critical period.

As the pandemic persists, the 6PM Team continues to provide SALT at Our Kaka’ako the following strategic marketing services:

  • Increased tenant communications, with frequent email updates and phone calls to gather and share operational information
  • Updating website with an official SALT at Our Kakaʻako Public Health Awareness Statement / Store Operating Hours & Business Updates via a persistent banner and dedicated page
  • Continually updating website and social media with tenant information on hours of operation and online shopping opportunities, take out and curbside options
  • Creating and updating on brand infographics to share tenant information with the public on social media and in the weekly newsletter (for example, which restaurants are open for takeout, which tenants have online shopping)
  • Sharing information about free promotional efforts that tenants can take advantage of (for example, SUPPORT808/ iHeartRadio Honolulu, Food-A-Go-Go/The Hawai‘i Agricultural Foundation, Frolic Magazine, Hawaii Food Reviews)
  • Sharing information about valuable resources and information along with community campaigns (for example, loans available to small businesses impacted by COVID-19, free mask and food distribution events, Hawaii unemployment, health services)
  • Continuing regular social media posting about tenants, the center and public resources to help the public through the pandemic
  • Producing SALT Livestream events to connect the public with the center’s community of artists, merchants, restaurants and service providers
  • Producing stories and video about businesses that remained open to serve the community
  • Issuing weekly newsletters with news, events, tenant updates and promotions along helpful information and resources
  • Working with property management on designing and updating directional and safety signage and floor decals to help with curbside pickup and to ensure social distancing on property
  • Adjusting social media and digital advertising to align with changing messaging goals to help market the center responsibly
  • Through various channels, positioning SALT at Our Kakaʻako as a leader in the community and showing it provides essential services, virtual entertainment, lively social media, helpful information and regular engagement with its many supporters and fans

6PM’s response to the pandemic is a clear example of how our full-service agency stands ready to effectively respond to the unexpected and continually strive for excellence on behalf of our clients, despite the most challenging of circumstances. Our team of marketing professionals is proud of the work accomplished to keep SALT relevant and connected while many other businesses simply closed their doors and went dark.

At 6PM, creativity and productivity never shut down.

Branding, Graphic Design & Creative Strategy

Due to SALT’s local, national, and international pedestrian traffic, 6PM’s graphic design team was tasked with creating eye-catching, elegant designs to appeal to diverse audiences. With our uniquely tailored graphics, 6PM created a memorable brand identity for SALT’s customer facing programs, including on-site signage.

Using traditional and modern graphic design techniques, we created:

  • Print Directories
  • Panel-screen Directories
  • Digital Billboards
  • On-site Banners
  • Elevator Wraps
  • Websites
  • Updated photo archives, for use in graphics, websites, videos and other marketing initiatives
  • Digital and Social Media Ads
  • Social Media Event Banners and Graphics
  • Posters
  • Event Collateral
  • Window Clings
  • Directional and Safety Signage
  • Floor Decals

Video Ads, Video Production & Live Streaming Video

The importance of engaging video content cannot be overstated. 6PM understands that today’s consumer gravitates to visual presentations and has produced and streamed hours of exciting SALT content, including:

  • Promotional videos for events
  • Interviews with SALT mural artists to promote the SALT Grand Opening and Hōkūleʻa Homecoming
  • Social media videos highlighting tenants
  • Video recaps of community events
  • Instructional live streaming videos of tenants and artists who make SALT at Our Kakaʻako special, including a pasta cooking class with Butcher & Bird and a special May Day lau lau making class with Highway Inn.

As the COVID-19 situation in Hawaiʻi escalated and stay-at-home orders were issued, 6PM responded to this challenge with innovative solutions. As traditional large-scale events were canceled across the state, 6PM promptly developed, branded, planned and produced the SALT Livestream weekly series, shifting its focus and pivoting its event planning strategies to virtual events for people to enjoy while at home.

6PM provided SALT with virtual event services that included:

  • Coordinating with featured SALT tenants to develop their segment’s concept and content
  • On brand livestream event creatives
  • Promoting events on social media, in e-newsletters and on the SALT website
  • Supporting event promotions with press releases
  • Coordinating live filming of segments with featured tenants and 6PM’s video production team
  • Preparing talking points to include on brand and safety messaging
  • Briefing each tenant prior to going live to ensure talking points are understood
  • Live streaming the segments on SALT’s Facebook
  • Actively engaging with viewers by responding to all comments and messages received on social media
  • Utilizing the latest in live streaming video, the 6PM video team moved quickly into action utilizing Facebook Live, Instagram Live, IGTV, Facebook Watch Party and edited videos to be posted on SALT’s social media platforms

The successful production of live stream events at SALT provided the public with a sense of connection and community during a time of uncertainty. These events allowed people to stay in touch with SALT and its tenants without leaving the safety of their home.

Digital & Social Media, E-Commerce, Web Development and Online Reputation

6PM has expanded the SALT at Our Kakaʻako social media platforms to more than 19,000 followers on Instagram and more than 11,000 fans on Facebook. Eye-catching and relevant daily posts keep SALT’s audience and visitors engaged and informed on the latest promotions, events and relevant news at SALT at Our Kakaʻako.

6PM’s team understands the importance of customer engagement and responds to all comments and messages on social media in a thoughtful and timely manner. This high level of service keeps the community and customers accurately informed and engaged.

With a vision of SALT as “the future of Kaka’ako,” 6PM knew that digital marketing — the future of marketing — was a perfect fit. Our experts took charge of:

  • Creating on-and-off page Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in order to maximize traffic on SALT’s website.
  • Developing and sending out email marketing campaigns, and creating e-newsletters to connect SALT with thousands of returning and potential customers.
  • Growing e-newsletter subscriptions in innovative ways, including sign-ups at popular center events
  • Crafting paid social media campaigns to target specific audiences
  • Producing social media contests in an effort to gain online followers and thank current supporters; using center gift cards as contest prizes as a means to further promote SALT tenants and drive customer traffic to SALT
  • Building geofencing capabilities, such as Snapchat geotag filters, and push notifications alerting shoppers and diners to current sales, discounts, and promotions.
SALT at Our Kaka'ako Social Media feed on mobile device

Events, Media & Entertainment

From surfing and hiking to snorkeling and kayaking, healthy living is deeply rooted in Hawaiʻi’s culture.  To appeal to customers with such deep-seated and emerging values, 6PM partnered with SALT’s health-related tenants, including Infinity Movement Studio, Happiness U, Orangetheory Fitness, Lanikai Juice and Juicd Life Health Bar, to execute events that encouraged a healthy and active lifestyle. 6PM conceptualized and executed fun and engaging events, including:

  • Yoga in The Barn
  • Yoga and Brunch
  • SALT Livestream with Orangetheory Fitness
  • SALT Livestream with Infinity Movement Studio

In addition to events centered on personal fitness, SALT produced events designed around Hawaiʻi’s love for food, family and friends. Islanders are passionate about celebrations, dining, sports and culture. Along those lines, 6PM designed and produced the following events:

  • SALT Bar Crawl
  • SALT Chinese New Year Celebration
  • St. Patrick’s Day at SALT
  • SALT Easter Brick Party with The Hawaiʻi LEGO Users Group
  • Oktoberfest at SALT
  • Cinco de Mayo Celebration at SALT
  • Super Bowl Viewing Party
  • A Taste of Kaka‘ako
  • Hawaii Symphony Orchestra concert
  • Hawaii Youth Symphony concert
  • Hawaii Opera Theatre – Opera Express performance
  • Pinch of SALT
  • May Day Celebration with lau lau making class, featuring Highway Inn, on Facebook

Taking note of Hawaiʻi’s values of family, community, and environmental awareness, 6PM aimed to incorporate a sense of ʻohana while also educating Hawaiʻi’s youth to mālama i ka ʻāina (respect and care for the land) through events and outreach. We also welcomed other local, national and international groups to SALT to share their stories, values and roles in redefining Urban Honolulu. 6PM produced events and outreach including:

  • Paʻakai Marketplace, a cultural showcase of Native Hawaiian artists, crafters and cultural practitioners
  • Huaka‘i visits (field trips) with school-aged children on educational tours
  • Entrepreneurship tours with students from Shidler College of Business – University of Hawai‘i
  • Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) Travel Agent FAM Tours and Media Tours, in partnership with O‘ahu Visitors Bureau, Hawai‘i Tourism Japan, Hawai‘i Tourism Taiwan, Hawai‘i Tourism Oceania and other agencies
  • SALT at Our Kaka‘ako public Grand Opening Launch and Hōkūleʻa Homecoming Celebration

The official public Grand Opening Launch of SALT at Our Kaka‘ako, which also celebrated the Hōkūleʻa Homecoming, marked a significant milestone for the center. Thousands attended the spectacular event, demonstrating SALT’s impact on Urban Honolulu.

6PM planned, promoted and executed the activities and programming at the SALT grand opening. It featured award-winning entertainers including Kupaoa, Waipuna, Kapena, Kimie Miner and Taimane; merchant promotions; and recognition ceremonies for the artists who created SALT’s acclaimed murals and Hōkūleʻa crewmembers. The event drew large attendance and garnered extensive pre-event, post-event and event day publicity.

6 Pillars Marketing:

  • Worked closely with the landlord and property management on event coordination, branding and promotions
  • Issued multiple press releases
  • Extensively promoted the event through various social media channels
  • Produced live social media promotional videos
  • Booked talent and produced stage shows
  • Prepared Event Order and Emcee Script
  • Worked with mural artists for their appearances and recognition ceremony
  • Worked with Polynesian Voyaging Society to plan Hōkūleʻa crew member participation
  • Coordinated the SALT tenant promotions that also benefited the Polynesian Voyaging Society and arranged the donation
  • Kept all SALT tenants regularly updated and informed about this major event, to help them prepare for and participate in the celebration
  • Produced live events at multiple locations in SALT at Our Kaka‘ako

The wide array of successfully executed events at SALT resonated with the Kakaʻako community as well as other Hawaiʻi residents and visitors. These events have been instrumental in making SALT a favorite gathering place for locals and tourists alike.