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The Existentialist Journey of The Nightclub


Capturing the attention span of club-goers and party people isn’t an easy task. Kuala Lumpur has seen too many hotspots dissipate into oblivion soon after their premature peak.  Heck, even Asia Heritage Row is pretty much a ghost town now, a surprising conclusion to such a promising location.

Clubs are like brands – and just like brands, the best way to remain in the psyche of your target audience is to understand the psyche of your target audience. Nightclubs, like baseless brands, come and go because they never stand for anything. Be it music, décor, or drinks, your brand should, first and foremost, answer the question of ‘why?’.

Why do I want to do what I want to do?

It isn’t an easy question but answering the question of ‘why’ will assist you in moulding the consumer perception and help direct the brand conversation towards your desired destination. Only a few have been brave enough to tackle this existentialist predicament – and believe it or not, the few that have been able to answer the question are the brands that have stayed with us through the ever-changing climate and terrain of our markets.

Here’s a list of a few nightclubs that have been able to stand the test of time by being clear-cut about what their brand stands for:

Club : Pacha
Inception : 1967
Why? :
“If electronic music was a religion, Pacha would [be] the church.” Pacha’s vision was to become synonymous with electronic music – to become the home of the genre. The creators of Pacha understood that Ibiza was the go-to place for electronic music fans and so they set out to become to go-to place in Ibiza by providing what the music tourists wanted: pure unadulterated (or not) electronic music. Their strategy was and is a success. Till today, it is the favorite club of many electronic dance music jockeys. When asked why it was his favourite club, David Guetta answered, “it just feels like home.”

Club : Ministry of Sound (MoS)
Inception : 1991
Why? :
The founder of Ministry of Sound, DJ Justin Berkmann stated: “My concept was purely this: 100% sound system first, lights second, design third (in that order); the reverse of everyone else’s idea.” Because they were quick to answer the question of ‘why’ (to provide the best auditory experience in its class), MoS was able to capture true-blue enthusiasts of the club scene who come for the music and not the show.

Club : Zouk
Inception : 1991
Why? :
In ’91, the initial vision was to introduce house music to the people of Singapore.  Since the genre was not well-entrenched in the Asian clubbing landscape, Zouk decided to appeal to their audience by providing a blend of 70s and 80s pop hits every Wednesday night at an event called “Mambo Jumbo”. It was a hit. Singapore spoke and Zouk listened.  Their answer to the question of ‘why’ was purely populist – it was for the people. It has been 20 years down the road and Zouk remains relevant because they focus on the wants of their audience.

There are many other names that come to mind when we think of Nightclubs that have gone the distance and survived the tumultuous changes of the music industry. If we dig deep enough, we would find that the key to their success is due to a decisive brand ideology.

Any brand can prosper if they know why they do what they do.

Why should we party with your brand?

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