Look Beyond Your Teaching Studio
We’re all looking for that competitive edge. How do you find it? Where should you look? Look beyond your studio. Look beyond the music lesson industry. Other service industry’s might hold the strategy you’re looking for-the advantage you desire.
I made a list of local service oriented industries and looked at their websites to see what I could learn. I choose 5 industries; music education, dance, martial arts, coffee shops and restaurants. I looked up 5-10 different local business in each category. I then arranged them from best to worst in terms of design and messaging. Keep in mind that it was all local so the results in your market could be different. See my results below.
- Coffee shops
- Dance studios
- Music studios
- Martial arts studios
The obvious question is why? Why are restaurants at the top of the list and martial arts at the bottom. Is it because restaurants have more money to spend? Restaurants seem to come and go with the seasons.
Every town seems to have that one cursed building that every 3 years has a new restaurant in it. It sits vacant for a year and then a restaurant opens up and they go out of business. The cycle of failure continues. The martial arts studios in my area seem to rarely go out of business.
Why are dance studios better at marketing then music studios? They are practically the same business by design. One involves jumping and spinning while the other involves strumming and plucking. They’re both arts organizations that involve parents, kids, recitals, instructors.
Here’s my theory as to why one industry is better at marketing than another other. Competition. Where the competition is more fierce the marketing seems to be better.
Also the presence of franchises could be a game changer. The local coffee house has to compete with Starbucks. The only way to compete with Starbucks is through marketing. A new coffee shop would have to obsess over their messaging and create a customer experience that is different than Starbucks. If they try to simply match Starbucks they will fail. They have to go beyond Starbucks. A better cup of coffee isn’t the secret to beating Starbucks.
A Fun Exercise
Visit a restaurant, coffee shop, karate studio, and dance studio you’ve never been to. Check out their website first. Write down a list of words that come to mind when you glance at their website. Step into the business and think of what words come to mind when you step into the entrance. Are these words the same or similar to words you thought of when you looked at their website? The entrance is the most important physical touch point any business.
A touch point is where the customer and product connect. The entrance into a business is like the above-the-fold section of a website. Opinions are formed in an instant.
Let’s say you step into coffee shop. Make note of how you feel as you move through the shop. Even the customers are going to impact this feeling. Another reason why it’s important to identify who is your ideal customer and then market to them. That ideal customers will send a signal to all the other customers what type of business this is. Make note of the colors and decor, the background music, the smells. And yes like I said in the intro. Check out the bathroom. You can learn a lot about a business by checking out the bathroom . The bathroom will reveal to you just how much this business cares about you. Does the bathroom have a cheap Rubbermaid trash can or is it something a little more artsy or classy. How clean is is. Does the theme of the business continue on into the most secretive chamber of the business or is just bare bones with no creative thought. Is the bathroom treated like a brook closet or is just a part of the experience?
Take all of these questions and then walk through your business with your senses and mind open and see what answers you come up with.
Today’s guest: Robin Snyder-Wiencek
Intro music: Dusted by Fojimoto
Transition music: Levi Simon
Outro music: Rain and Revolution by City Breathing