For decades, Ward Village encompassed a collection of dozens of merchants, ranging from big name national stores to small, local businesses. A myriad of physical buildings – Ward Centre, Ward Warehouse and Ward Entertainment Plaza – made up Ward Village, and the area was much loved by locals for providing one-of-a-kind products, services and culinary options. When The Howard Hughes Corporation purchased the area over a decade ago, it tapped Bennet Group to serve as its agency of record for public relations. Over the years, our role with Ward Village has encompassed innumerable events, programs, openings, closures, and announcements. However, we feel especially privileged to continue to represent 60+ retailers, merchants and small business owners. On a daily basis, we are tasked with increasing awareness and driving foot traffic and sales for the merchants of Ward Village, a task which is often a challenge due to the ever-evolving landscape of the growing 60-acre master planned community.
• Equipped merchants to market themselves authoritatively through social media marketing workshops and the creation and deployment of customizable PR tool kits.
• Tapped into experiential marketing with the creation of event-based and sensory-driven media relations and community events, including experiential press kits and media drops.
• Maintain a constant drumbeat of coverage for merchants with an omni-channel approach targeting every outlet and medium from digital to broadcast to influencer/social media.
• Curate special experiences and specific content for influencers to maximize impressions and quickly connect with our target audiences.
• Use Ward Village’s passion and dedication for art and culture to tell the community story, including permanent and temporary art installations, murals on construction barricades by beloved local artists, participation in POW! WOW! Hawaii, and a branding partnership with renowned Hawaiian designer, Sig Zane.
• Leverage national trends that are incorporated into the community’s design – like living walls and – to create content for social and digital outlets.
• Work with merchants to curate in-store experiences that transcend traditional brick and mortar stores, and make in-person shopping delightful and desirable.
• In the past ten years, our work in the media and social media space has garnered Ward Village millions of impressions and engagement.
• Ward Village is seen as a bustling arts and culture center, in large part to the success of its unique retailers and restaurateurs.
• Bennet Group helped successfully open the newest addition to Ward Village, South Shore Market, which has become known as new, hip coworking space and after-hours hang out.
• The firm helped launch New Wave Friday, a free, community pau hana featuring art, music, food trucks, and shopping.