Most DJ businesses create brand awareness in a number of ways: social media, sponsorships, a logo on their van, and flyers. Some even rely solely on their exceptional performances to generate word-of-mouth awareness. A few DJ companies have resorted to hiring a PR agency.
Nothing wrong with any of these tactics, of course. Yet still, many DJ company owners often feel if they’re not spending any money on creating awareness of their brand—where it matters—they have a brand-awareness problem.
While there is more to booking gigs and maximizing customer interactions than brand awareness, it’s hard to argue that building at least a minimal level of it is a good idea. After all, big companies consider their brands to be their most valuable assets, and they do not consider brand-building a discretionary expense to be cut during challenging economic times. Rather, it’s a necessary and consistent investment that is required to establish competitive advantage. And to that end, they consistently invest in their brands to build—not only awareness—but differentiation, relevance, preference, and sustainable equity.
Maybe branding and creating awareness is a part of your approach, maybe it’s not. Either way, the following are some tell-tale signs that your business has a brand awareness problem.
- Your repeat business has declined every year for the last five years. Word-of-mouth should be your most fruitful source of revenue.
- Journalists, bloggers and editors who are putting together “round-up articles” don’t reach out to you.
- When you Google your company name, your screen says, “Your search did not match any results.”
- People mispronounce your company’s name so much that you’ve considered changing it.
- Or worse, they have no idea what your company name means.
- You personally know all of your company’s Facebook and Twitter followers.
- Visitors to your website have no idea what you sell or offer.
- People are surprised to learn you’re still in business.
- Your social-media posts are ignored.
- You introduce a new logo and no one notices.
- You hand someone your card and they don’t know you’re in the DJ industry.
- Your email open rates consistently underperform against the average in your industry which, according to Constant Contact, should be about 17-percent.
- Ten different people give you 10 different answers to the question, “What do you think my brand stands for?”
- Your social-media posts are not liked, favorited or shared.
- Your employees spend more than 30 seconds explaining what you do in a compelling way—in other words, they can’t explain what your brand stands for in a single sentence.
- When you’re not at a bridal expo or other industry function, people look at your business card and have no idea what you do.
- You (or your sales team) spend a lot of time validating your company, why you’re different and why you should be trusted.
- People ask you, “So what is it that you do?” right after you tell them that you’re an entertainment company.
- This is a frequent one, and it’s perhaps not fair because most DJ companies are intensely regional: People confuse your business name with your competitor’s.
- You are not ranking for your SEO keywords and phrases—“DJ company in Lansing, Michigan” for example.
- You spend more time discussing what your brand is internally than marketing it externally.
- Nobody dislikes you.
- Your customers can talk more fervently about those two tepid reviews on the Wedding Wire than any new or exciting services or products that you’ve introduced.
- When you have to keep telling people, “We’re more than just a DJ company.”
- Your company is most frequently described in terms of how you resemble the competition, instead of how you’re different from them.
- Prospects refer to you based on what you do as opposed to who you are. (Example: “Let’s call that DJ company we saw at the bridal show.”)
- You hire a PR firm to promote your new photo-booth services and no one is interested.
- You can’t sum up your brand proposition—why you exist—into a tagline.
- You need to spell out your brand name every time you give someone your address or website.
- You’ve increased your attempts at brand awareness and your sales are declining.
Do any of these look familiar? Of these 30, if you’ve identified a handful as relevant to your situation, don’t panic.
Take the time to dig into what makes your DJ service unique. In a competitive industry where clients tend to view your service as a commodity, it’s easy to lose track of what sets you apart. Even if you are competing on price, what else are you offering besides a low price that a competitor could match? What makes you distinct?
If you’re a young company, it helps to become more aware of yourself and think about what clients receive from you that no one else can do. Even if other DJ companies do what you do, no one else thinks like you do. That thinking translates into behavior and action. For a service company, that’s what sets you apart. Start there.