Nightclub Marketing: Branding

This article is the first article in a five-part series that details exactly what you need to market your nightclub and make it a success. When you're operating an entertainment venue, nothing could entertain you more than increased revenue. To make more money, you have to launch a heavy-hitting nightclub marketing campaign. Though your nightclub or bar sells rather unique products and services, a successful marketing strategy is remarkably similar to that of other businesses. Add in the fine-tuned nuances of nightclub-specific marketing, and you'll be dancing all the way to the bank.

Nightclub branding

Night clubs present some of the most creative branding opportunities of all businesses. The unlimited ability to theme your night club in any way provides a plethora of branding potentials. This also means your competitors have plenty of opportunities as well, so it's important to take a multi-faceted approach to branding your nightclub for success.

Importance of a branded image

If your nightclub is not branded, then you're just another bar. There's nothing special about you. If there's nothing special about you, what do you have to entice customers to spend their evenings at your club, especially when your competition is constantly telling everyone how special they are? A nightclub brand elicits emotion, spurs recognition and fuels sales. It identifies the theme and atmosphere of your club and what experience your clientele can expect. That's why it's so important to brand your nightclub.

How to identify your branded image

Though it can be tempting to hit the market running, taking the time to carefully develop your nightclub's branded image is well worth the investment. It can even mean the difference between failure and success. Follow this five-step process to help you identify your branded image:

  1. Define your niche - What is your niche in the nightclub industry? Keep in mind that your niche and your brand are two different things: Your niche is your primary product or service offering, or what makes it different from your competitors; while your brand represents the psychologically based ideals associated with your company. A branded image encompasses both of these. To define your niche, ask yourself how you differ from the competition? What type of acts grace your stage: rock, hip-hop, comedy, country, etc.? What is the theme of your nightclub: a stylish uptown venue, a western saloon, a rough 'n' tumble biker bar, an industrial taproom or something else entirely?
  2. Describe your benefits - What are the benefits of an evening at your nightclub? Consider whether you provide the best atmosphere, music, food, service, seating, prices, drinks, crowd, and any other benefits that make your venue more enjoyable for your clientele.
  3. Know your customers - Who comes to your nightclub, and why? Which of your benefits are the major motivators for your clients? Don't make assumptions here; you should ask your customers why they like coming to your nightclub. Maybe it's the music, maybe it's the drinks, maybe it's the atmosphere, and maybe it's something else entirely. One thing's for certain: If your nightclub can attract a good crowd with similar interests, it will become a gathering place and you will make money.
  4. State your mission - Where are you now, and where do you want to take your nightclub? What are your core values? How do you do what you do? Your branded identity should reflect not only who you are now, but also who your customers are, and what they want to be.
  5. Sum it all up - Now, take everything you've listed here and brainstorm. How can you express what you do, how you do it, and what that means to your customers in a concise phrase or tagline? Your tagline is at the core of your identity, ingrained in everything you do.

Branding through design

Skilled graphic design transforms your nightclub's branded identity from an idea to an image. This image is what the world will see, and when it does so it will perceive the ideals and emotions that your image expresses. The power of design is limitless, especially when you incorporate sound brand identity design principles for your nightclub. Your nightclub company colors, logo, website, advertisements, marketing materials, and other collateral are all a reflection of your brand; so familiar, cohesive design must be applied to all mediums. The goal is for customers to be able to glance at your materials and instantly recognize who it's from and what you stand for. When you achieve that, you've developed a good nightclub brand.