Bottle Service and the Dance Floor
What is fun? Ask 50 people and you’ll get 50 different perspectives. I can't think of any place where this is more obvious than at a nightclub, and as an entrepreneur, you must understand how important this is.
Pick any club you want and pay attention to the people there. Almost universally, you’ll see the same thing. You have the rich VIPs, then there’s the “I’m only here to go home with somebody” crowd, you have fall-down drunks, the people who are totally out of place, the bored couples, and the people who won’t leave the dance floor under any circumstances. The only thing they have in common is that all of them arrive at the club looking for entertainment, but it is an incredible example of how to build a passionate community and then focus on growth.
Your blank look tells me you wondering — how is a nightclub an incredible example of building a passionate community first?! Let’s take a closer look…
Pop Champagne Cuz We Thirsty
For the VIP crowd, it’s all about the bottle service. Dropping hundreds of dollars on a few bottles of booze with sparklers is the only way to live. They get the privilege of feeling elite by having their own table where they can come and go as they please. They have bouncers guarding their castle to make sure only the cool kids are allowed in.
Some enjoy the royal treatment. Some want the attention. Some don’t want the hassle of waiting on line for drinks. And some prefer a table because it means they can hide from the dance floor.
Keep Calm and Dance On
Other people unleash their wild side for all to witness. They head straight to the dance floor and never leave until they turn the lights on. Here, they have no special privileges, they have sweaty people bumping in them and rubbing all over them, and they’re guaranteed to have at least one drink spilled on them.
And for these people, the dance floor is the ultimate source of fun — dancing the night away with complete strangers, not spending a dollar on drinks, getting totally lost in the music, flirting with every cute person that comes their way.
The History of the Nightclub
The first night club was not designed as a way to overcharge for bottle service. Imagine trying to convince people to come into your club purely to pay a 2000% markup on a bottle of booze. It clearly wouldn’t work. The first nightclubs were a home for dance, political activism and speakeasies during Prohibition, not as a way to sling sparkly bottles of Grey Goose. Table service is something that evolved over time and now makes up a significant portion of revenue for clubs.
Be very careful when designing your product for your earliest users. You need to build something they love. You need to build them a dance floor with some great music and let them enjoy the night. They’ll pay you some money, enough to keep the lights on, but they probably won’t be your big bread winners.
Once you figure out how to consistently populate your dance floor, you have permission to come up with something as lucrative a bottle service.
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