How to Gain a Competitive Edge For Your Music School | Ep 174

June 16, 2022

What Makes Your Music School Different?

  

A part of that music lesson experience doesn’t necessarily have to be the music lesson itself because your whole music school is an experience.

 

I just heard this quote: “It’s not bad to be better, but it’s better to be different.” We can apply that to the music education industry and say “It’s not bad to offer better music lessons, but it’s better to offer a music lesson experience that’s different, that’s unique, and that stands out.” A part of that music lesson experience doesn’t necessarily have to be the music lesson itself because your whole music school is an experience.

 

How do you stand out? Sometimes all it takes is one thing, one little variation. It has to be one thing or something that your customers first of all notice and appreciate.

 

All music schools are looking at gaining some competitive edge, which can be tricky. Although we all think that our music school’s the best in town or that our music school’s amazing, everyone teaches the same chords, scales, and rhythms and most likely has similar business models. We also operate at the same time, but there are different varying factors from one music school to another. So how do you stand out in your market?

 

You Just Need One Thing to Help Your Stand Out

 

Instead of talking about the quality of your music education and your teachers, you can simply be more child-centric in your marketing, talking more about the transformation the child will experience.

 

Let’s say that a mile down the road is another music school that has a pretty much identical business model. They teach the same instruments that you do. Just like you, they hire experienced and qualified teachers—teachers with engaging personalities and are really good role models for kids. Just like you, they price their lessons in a similar range. So how do you stand out? Sometimes all it takes is one thing, one little variation. It has to be one thing or something that your customers first of all notice and appreciate.

 

How You Talk About Your Lessons Can Set You Apart

In my case, the one thing that I thought would differentiate me was the high academic standards that we touted in our music curriculum. I would use literally that language on a sales call. It would perhaps give us a competitive edge. Eventually, I realized that parents don’t really care that much about high academic standards when it comes to music lessons. Parents care about that when it comes to their child’s general education, not music education. They want something else, and that is a music lesson experience that’s going to help their child in his or her personal growth.

 

By simply looking at the interior and the décor of your school, you can create an experience that’s unique and noticeable which your customers are likely to talk about.

 

One way you can differentiate yourself from your competition is simply on how you talk about your music lessons. Instead of talking about the quality of your music education in your teachers, you can simply articulate or be more child-centric in your marketing, talking more about the transformation the child will experience.

 

Creating a Unique and Memoriable Experience

You can create something within your school, within your culture, that’s truly unique that parents can’t help but notice. Mike Grande of Rock Out Loud designed his music school to look like famous nightclubs or music venues from around the world. By simply looking at the interior and the décor of your school, you can create an experience that’s unique and noticeable which your customers are likely to talk about.

 

On my podcast, Mike Grande once talked about how he had an applause machine. It triggers whenever the door to his music school is open. You could go even a little more over the top and trigger a little bubble machine. Something as simple as that can help differentiate your music school.

 

Is there something you can do in those experiences that’s unexpected, that’s a little over the top, that brings a smile to people’s faces? All you need to do is find your freshly baked warm chocolate chip cookie idea and incorporate that into your music school.

 

Now I know that might sound a little gimmicky and perhaps it is, but if it enhances the child’s and the parent’s experience, it’s totally worth incorporating something gimmicky like that.

 

The DoubleTree hotel chain differentiated itself by having warm, fresh chocolate chip cookies for free available to their guests or available to people when they were checking in. That one simple addition transformed their business. It allowed them to cut back on their advertising expense. They were known as the hotel with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. I can imagine the presented idea of serving these chocolate chip cookies during a meeting. I wonder if they even realize the impact of that one little addition can have on their business.

 

What’s Your Version of Freshly Baked Cookies?

 

Better music lessons aren’t necessarily what’s going to help you stand out in your market. What can help make you stand out in your market is just one simple addition to your business. Put on your creative hat.

 

Look around your business. Look around it physically in terms of your physical space and ask yourself “Is there something we can do here that’s really going to be noticeable, that’s really going to stand out? Maybe even something that our families might be inclined to share with their friends. Is there something we can do in our experiences that we provide?” Your music lessons and recitals are experiences. Is there something you can do in those experiences that’s unexpected, that’s a little over the top, that brings a smile to people’s faces? All you need to do is find your freshly baked warm chocolate chip cookie idea and incorporate that into your music school.”

  

Creating Standout Moments and Memories

Offering freshly baked warm chocolate chip cookies might not be a bad idea for a music school. Danny Thompson has a popcorn machine at his music school, which is a featured attraction. All the kids love going to the popcorn machine.

 

When I think back to my childhood and my memories of my grandmother, I remember the M&M’s she kept in a drawer in her house. That one standout memory is the M&M drawer. She was the only one I knew who had an M&M drawer, and she was so thrilled. Every time we’d come over, she would remind us we gotta go to the drawer first. She didn’t need to remind me and my brothers that was the first thing that we ran to.

 

Find Your One Thing

Better music lessons aren’t necessarily what’s going to help you stand out in your market. What can help make you stand out in your market is just one simple addition to your business. As you put on your creative hat, pour yourself a cup of freshly brewed hot coffee. See if you can find that one thing that’s going to help you stand out in your market.

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