Thoughts on swing dancing and Lindy Hop, one word at a time…

Events & Scenes That Have Great Market Segementation

In my last post Market Segmentation for Swing Dancing I promised I would write a future post going into a few venues and events that I think are good examples of businesses that have properly segmented their market.

Atomic Ballroom

Located in Southern California, Atomic Ballroom clearly defines it’s market segment in it’s mission statement on their website,

ATOMIC Ballroom’s mission is to create a dance community of all ages in Orange County by providing affordable, high-quality social dance instruction and events, where people will feel welcome and safe to learn the skill of dancing and to socialize with others who also value that skill.

It’s easy to infer from that statement that they have created a segment of individuals who prefer a family friendly and welcoming atmosphere in the Orange County area. This is important because they have zeroed in on a reasonable geographic location to draw their customer base for a local venue. In addition they have appealed to the type of customer that wants a safe place that they can bring their entire family along whether that be their children or mother/father.

Mobtown Ballroom

Located in the lovely town known as Charm City a.k.a. Baltimore, Mobtown Ballroom takes a decidedly different approach in defining it’s market segment. Here is a snippet of their manifesto from their website,

WE LIKE OUR FUN TO BE ADULT.

This isn’t as dirty as it sounds. People spend most of their time in censorious environments (like work or school), trying to appear well-mannered and bland. That’s what the day is for. Come to our evening programming and you can hoot and hollar at sexy performances, dance dirtier than Patrick Swayze, have an incredibly strong drink at the Calypso Cafe down the road, or contemplate our stained-glass windows and pray. It’s grown up time, and a dash of benign anarchy helps take the edge off the work week.

In contrast to the previous business takes the contrasting approach of segmenting their market to target individuals who want to let loose and have fun in a non-judgmental environment. A dash of excitement from the monotony of normal life is what they are trying to provide. In addition they write,

We don’t care about your politics, your race, your sexual orientation, your religion, or anything else, and we don’t tolerate any kind of harassment. Whoever you are or wherever you’re from, if you want to dance, you’re in the right place.

Mobtown also segments their market by promoting they are a safe and welcome environment for all walks of life and will not tolerate any individuals who attempt to endanger that. As an aside, kudos for doing this Baltimore and I wish more venues would make this information public and crystal clear.

Stompology

Located in Rochester, New York the event known as Stompology segments their market by providing a service that addresses a niche part of the swing dancing community. As their website has listed,

Stompology, approaching its eighth year, is the first dance weekend devoted entirely to authentic jazz, Charleston, and solo movement.

Back in 2006, Groove Juice Swing saw that many workshops and camps were beginning to add solo-style material to their curriculum, and figured a weekend dedicated to just that type of thing would be right up the alleys of Lindy Hoppers and any students of historical jazz dance.

And we were right… eight years later, Stompology is still going strong! We’re more excited than ever about this year’s event and we’re looking forward to having you join us.

They saw a need that was not addressed in the swing dance community and created an event to provide a service to address it. If this isn’t an example of segmenting within the swing dance community, I don’t know what is.

In addition while they may not officially promote this but Stompology has a reputation for being a fun event. This allows the event to attract customers in the swing dance community who are looking for a fun time. As this video by Alain Wong shows, they do indeed deliver on that.

NOLA Girl Jam

Based out of New Orleans, Louisiana the event NOLA Girl Jam in a similar vein to Stompology segments their market by targeting a certain portion of the swing dancing community. As written on the event website,

Girl Jam celebrates women’s artistic achievements in traditional jazz music and dance with the intention of inspiring today’s jazz-loving female artists in a supportive, collective learning environment.

The focus on communication between jazz musicians and jazz dancers is a fundamental aspect of the jazz tradition, and this is what Girl Jam aims to foster in a welcoming, communal atmosphere for women of all ages and ability levels.

The 3 day festival is packed full of community activities for both men and women to explore the the history of the female voice in American jazz culture and to interact with and be entertained by those continuing the traditions today.

While I personally believe in the last four years the way teachers approach classes have been getting more toward giving follows better guidance besides “simply follow”, I would argue that many classes are taught with a lead-centric view. This event like other Girl Jam events provides the service of offering follow-centric classes which are a rarity in the swing dance community.

Summary

In short good market segmentation is finding a need within the community (in this case swing dancing) is not being addressed and figure out a feasible way to be the business that provides it. All the scenes and events above I believe do an excellent job at this. If you know any scenes or events who fit this bill, I encourage you to post about it in the comments below!

 

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One response

  1. Reblogged this on Generation: Swing and commented:
    This satisfies both the dancer and the marketer inside me.

    This is also a wonderful blog. You should definitely read more stuff.

    August 15, 2013 at 8:18 pm

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