Thursday, April 23, 2009

Minute for Marketing: Name Recognition

I've started new piano teaching studios in 5 cities, and in each one, I recruited as many students as I wanted within the space of a year. "Minute for Marketing" is a weekly series on ideas for advertising your studio. Click here for all of my posts related to marketing.

Idea #2: Come up with a name for your studio and feature it prominently on every single bit of advertising you do, no matter how humble. If you just present yourself as Sarah who teaches piano and you advertise your piano lessons instead of advertising your business, then you are losing the opportunity to gain name recognition. Name recognition is "the degree to which a brand or name has meaning to a consumer." In other posts, I'll talk more about creating meaning for your name, but before you can create the meaning, you've got to make it familiar. When consumers are faced with several choices, they often choose the brand that is most familiar, so the more times people encounter your studio’s name, the better.

Here’s an example. Someone has placed a yard sign on a street near my house that says “Music Lessons” plus a phone number. There's no name that I'll remember later. For the same money and effort, they could have made a sign that said “Sarah’s Piano Studio.” If I see an ad somewhere else for Sarah’s Piano Studio, then I’ll recognize it as the same business. I'll ask my friends about Sarah’s Piano Studio and someone will know someone who takes lessons from her. And months from now, when I decide to enroll my child in piano, I’ll have a sense of familiarity with her, and there will be some meaning attached to her business due to my friend's report about it.

Don't be tempted to be overly creative with your business name because you think it will make it more memorable. Your name needs to clearly express what you do. "Sarah's Piano Studio" is obviously a place where Sarah teaches piano. "Centre Con Espressivo" - not so much.

Don’t be too discouraged if you run an ad or try some other advertising means that doesn’t generate a student. You still may have built some name recognition that will pay off in the long run.

Minute for Marketing by Laura Lowe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

3 comments:

Natalie said...

I read through your blog yesterday and you provided so much food for thought! Thank you for posting such informative blogs! I look forward to being a regular reader!

Laura said...

Glad you stopped by, Natalie! Thanks for the comment!

Katherine Frush said...

Hi Natalie.

I am a beginning piano teacher in Northern Iowa and I appreciate your blog :)