Whether you’re trying to become a recognized name in your city or even nationally, the first thing you have to consider is the state of your club’s “brand.” Here, club owner and internet guru Scott Richter offers seven branding tips that have worked wonders for his Platinum 84 club.
- Story by Scott Richter
Rather than another apocalyptic article foretelling the death of the industry, today we’re going to talk about branding. But don’t think I’m going easy on you. Actually, I’m going to bet that you don’t know what branding is.
Ok, you kind of do. Maybe you fall into one of the following categories: 1) You know it’s something you’re supposed to know; 2) You contemptuously dismiss it as a symptom of strip clubs gone corporate; or 3) You use it as an excuse to spend money on things that don’t immediately justify their cost, such as sponsoring some sort of “event” (“It’s good for branding!”).
When most of us joined the industry, we didn’t expect to become experts in marketing, branding, accounting, inventory—the things, in other words, you have to know in mostly every other business. We needed to know how to throw a party every night. And we still do, but nothing is simple anymore. If you want to survive in today’s market, you have to think like McDonald’s and Coke. The golden arches. Coke is it. Thousands of Beautiful Girls and 3 Ugly Ones. You have to know how to brand.
Entrepreneur.com defines branding as “The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.” So, it’s really two parts: it’s your identity, your story, the things that make your business unique, represented by your name, logo-—maybe even a tagline—that is instantly recognizable. Below I’ve listed some ways, ranging from obvious to not so obvious, that have helped me successfully brand Platinum 84.
Branding tactic #1: Merchandise
If you sell a ton of merchandise, you’ve already succeeded at branding. For the rest of us mortals, the goal of producing hats, shirts, hoodies and yoga pants is less about making money and more about getting our name on as many guys and gals as possible–on the street, in the gym, and on social media. We spend more time than necessary coming up with styles and colors we think people will actually wear; we focus on females as much as males; and we aren’t afraid to give stuff away.
Branding tactic #2: Uniforms
Many of the uniform designs available can be customized with a logo by your local screen printing vendor or the suppliers themselves. For us, it’s well worth a few extra dollars to have our P84 logo prominently printed … well, right on our servers’ booty shorts. Guests are going to look there no matter what, so sue me.
Branding tactic #3: Selfie mirror
You want your staff and even your entertainers to promote, but if you find yourself cringing at the dressing-room selfies they post, you’re not alone. Our creative solution was to install a “selfie mirror” complete with soft lighting and our logo, so the club puts its best foot forward every time we strike a pose.
Branding tactic #4: Snapchat filters
Not only your girls, but your guests, are going to take selfies, so why fight it? For as little as $5 you can geo-fence your club, and a custom filter will come up when someone takes a snap in your venue—which equals hundreds in free advertising every time they post.
Branding tactic #5:
We have a step and repeat banner up every night at the club, and encourage guests and staff to pose in front of it. We produce one for every major event, but you only need one, and if you don’t mind alternating your logo with Patron or Moet, your friendly liquor vendor may be willing to offset the cost.
Branding tactic #6: Feature entertainers
For Platinum 84, performers like Bonnie Rotten, Alexis Texas and Jesse Jane are worth their weight in gold. It’s not just the number of people who come for the feature; it’s about those huge Instagram followings and exposure your media savvy adult star (wearing your branded lounge wear, naturally) earns you.
Branding tactic #7: Sponsorships
Yes, sponsoring ED’s $10,000 Bikini Contest (at EXPO 2017), the 2016 and 2017 EDI West and Exxxotica Mile High has introduced Platinum 84, once a strictly local phenomenon, to top talent, traveling entertainers and new guests throughout the year.
We’ve been conditioned, in our industry, to keep a low profile to avoid unwanted scrutiny. Branding is hard to embrace because it requires the opposite approach; you are jumping up and down for attention, putting your name in front of as many eyeballs as possible, until it’s embossed on the collective brain of your clientele and they mutter it in their sleep. Intelligent branding will always help more than it hurts, so come out of the shadows. It’s your time to shine.
Story written by Scott Richter. For more information on Platinum 84 in Denver, visit Platinum84.com.