Ask the Experts: Promoting Your Brand

How do you promote your logo and brand among your students? We offer custom merchandise but tend to have low orders, no matter the price point. 

We find that our tween and teenage students are our best brand ambassadors, especially when it comes to wearing logo items and posting on social media. They purchase items that they can wear to class and consider on-trend and fun. We run a logo-wear sale right before the holidays: That’s when we introduce new items and also clear out past styles.

If you are unsure of what to sell, ask your students and parents in a quick e-mail survey what they like or want you to carry. This process may reveal that it is time to redesign your logo, and you can use this as an opportunity to refresh your studio brand.

If you need help designing trendy logo wear, check out dancewear-specific vendors (Sugar and Bruno, Just For Kix and Limelight, for example) for their custom wear and in-house art teams that can make your logo and colors look fresh and new. Low-cost items such as car decals, coffee mugs and water bottles are also easy to stock and use as giveaways to promote your business.

You can make your merchandise relevant for your students by giving it as a dancer-of-the-month award. Or create an Instagram contest around it: Have students share pictures of themselves in your logo wear for a chance to win a gift card redeemable for more studio merchandise. You can also print and give away logo-printed items—reusable shopping bags, pens/pencils, key chains—as a thank-you to your parents at recital or registration.

Kathy Blake is the owner of Kathy Blake Dance Studios in Amherst, New Hampshire. She and Suzanne Blake Gerety are the co-founders of DanceStudioOwner.com.

Photo by B Hansen Photography, courtesy of Suzanne Blake Gerety

Don’t miss a single issue of Dance Teacher.

Teachers Trending
Alwin Courcy, courtesy Ballet des Amériques

Carole Alexis has been enduring the life-altering after-effects of COVID-19 since April 2020. For months on end, the Ballet des Amériques director struggled with fevers, tingling, dizziness and fatigue. Strange bruising showed up on her skin, along with the return of her (long dormant) asthma, plus word loss and stuttering.

"For three days I would experience relief from the fever—then, boom—it would come back worse than before," Alexis says. "I would go into a room and not know why I was there." Despite the remission of some symptoms, the fatigue and other debilitating side effects have endured to this day. Alexis is part of a tens-of-thousands-member club nobody wants to be part of—she is a COVID-19 long-hauler.

Keep reading... Show less
Teachers Trending
Annika Abel Photography, courtesy Griffith

When the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May catalyzed nationwide protests against systemic racism, the tap community resumed longstanding conversations about teaching a Black art form in the era of Black Lives Matter. As these dialogues unfolded on social media, veteran Dorrance Dance member Karida Griffith commented infrequently, finding it difficult to participate in a meaningful way.

"I had a hard time watching people have these conversations without historical context and knowledge," says Griffith, who now resides in her hometown of Portland, Oregon, after many years in New York City. "It was clear that there was so much information missing."

For example, she observed people discussing tap while demonstrating ignorance about Black culture. Or, posts that tried to impose upon tap the history or aesthetics of European dance forms.

Keep reading... Show less
Studio Owners
Courtesy Tonawanda Dance Arts

If you're considering starting a summer program this year, you're likely not alone. Summer camp and class options are a tried-and-true method for paying your overhead costs past June—and, done well, could be a vehicle for making up for lost 2020 profits.

Plus, they might take on extra appeal for your studio families this year. Those struggling financially due to the pandemic will be in search of an affordable local programming option rather than an expensive, out-of-town intensive. And with summer travel still likely in question this spring as July and August plans are being made, your studio's local summer training option remains a safe bet.

The keys to profitable summer programming? Figuring out what type of structure will appeal most to your studio clientele, keeping start-up costs low—and, ideally, converting new summer students into new year-round students.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.