EverClare’s Unique approach to advertising our pricing
By David Knight
The Wedding Function band market has radically changed in the last few years or so with more bands and acts than ever before competing to be the band of choice for your wedding, party, festival or corporate event.
With more and more acts coming out of the Pro Schools like never before, and agency platforms popping up all over the internet attempting to cash in on the lucrative wedding market, we at EverClare have been taking notes about how the industry has been changing and how the marketplace works for the benefit of you - the customer!
From our perspective, it’s still very simple - a customer shopping around for a band for their wedding wants 3 things:
• The best band that they can find for their special day
• The best band that they can find that sits in their limited available budget
• For the process of finding and booking a band to be as simple and painless as possible.
Musician’s Pay - a little background....
All of the musicians working in EverClare work full time, professionally, as musicians. Little to no jobs exist in music as ‘full time employed’ or ‘guaranteed income’, with all of a musician’s income coming solely from bookings for performance, writing, recording, teaching etc, and each of these roles is entirely dependent on who’s hiring in any given week. It’s a very difficult industry to exist in and musicians have to be realistic about how much money they charge for their services vs how much a client has available to pay them.
So when it comes to pricing EverClare for hire, we have to take into account how much each of us needs to earn individually to pay our rent, food, mortgage, etc alongside how much we need to charge for travelling expenses to and from shows, wear and tear on vehicles, etc and also have money available for overheads such as instrument and equipment repairs and renewals, advertising, website maintenance, etc.
For each function band booking, typically, each member has a minimum of a 12 hour commitment. From loading the car at home at 3pm, and getting back home again at 3am after a show. It’s important to note that even though a musician might only be playing for 2 hours of an evening, there’s possibly another 10 hours of travel, setup, waiting, breaking down and loading out involved. For a more detailed looked at how much time a function band gives to each booking, check out our blog on it right here.
As such, while a musician is packing, traveling, setting up, waiting, etc... they can’t earn money in any of their other teaching, writing, etc roles.
It’s a very delicate line that we tread between not earning enough to make our job worthwhile and charging to a level that makes the band unaffordable for our potential clients.
So, you can be assured that we’ve priced our services at the lowest that we can and being able to deliver the quality of the product that’s worthy of our fee level.
A little advertising observation....
Typical advertising practices across many industries today seeks to attract customers to their business with low prices in the hope that they’ll up-sell that customer to the higher priced products. For me, this irks me considerabley. For example, I’ll go into HMV who are offering “Up to 60% Off....” their stock, and I’ll find one or two products (that no-one in their right mind would buy) at the advertised 60% off, but the rest of it being everything from regular price to offering a ‘small’ discount!
Similarly on websites, I’ll see prices advertised as “Starting at....” , but the product at the lowest price is no-where near to the quality that I’d expect or want.
Many businesses will also encourage you to get in touch with them to obtain prices, providing them with an opportunity to open a dialogue with their potential customer, but for those who are researching prices for the products that they want to buy, having to wait for a period of time isn’t acceptable for some.... moving onto businesses who do advertise prices clearly so that decisions don’t need to be long or drawn out.
In pricing a band, there are many factors that can affect how a band quotes a customer for a booking. The distances required to travel, the number of musicians involved, how much sound and lighting support is required, how much additional rehearsal is required to learn first dance songs and special requests, costuming, etc etc so it makes it very difficult for a professional band to advertise and deliver a set price that will only need to be increased as relevant details, such as distance, comes to light.
The industry, for years, has adopted an “Available from...” approach, which only ever sees the client being quoted significantly more than the price being advertised on a website.... especially on an agency website where the band will quote for the job and then the agent will add anywhere between 15% - 30% (including VAT!) on top of the band’s quote. Again, for me, this never sits well with me and I continue looking for a product where the price is a bit more representative of the advertised price!
EverClare’s unique approach to pricing....
We have thought long and hard about how we can make things easier for our clients who are shopping around for groups that exist in their budget. We want you to be able to see the kind of financial commitment is involved before enquiring with us, without the worry of what the costs might ‘spiral’ to. So we’ve made the decision to advertise the MAXIMUM that the band would need to charge for each rough area of the UK.
This is a huge unprecedented risk - the possibility that a potential client with a budget of £1600 for a band in Stafford (for example) will see an advertised fee of £1750 to perform in that ‘zone’ and discount the band for being out of their price range, when the actual cost of the band would sit at £1560, for example, following an enquiry and a quote.
Sadly, it’s just impossible to calculate the fees for every town, village and city in the UK and Scotland so we’re hoping that our potential clients perusing our information rich site will understand and appreciate our unique approach to advertising our pricing.
I envisage that a majority of customers enquiring about a price for playing at their parties will see a quote come in at much lower than their expectations, although the antithesis must also be true for those locations and situations where a quote may slightly exceed our “maximum” advertise price. However, it’s likely that we’ll be able to see where we might be able to trim the quote down to at least match our advertised “maximum” fee for an area.
The Band Bid Model
We also understand that some clients will have a fixed amount of money that they’ve budgeted for their band and they’re shopping around for an act that’ll work for them for “a price”. We’d encourage those of you doing this to contact us to tell us how much you’d like to pay us to play for you, and we’ll look at the circumstances and the location for your event and see whether we’d be able to provide our fantastic product for within your budget.
EverClare always quotes ‘accurately” for shows, so you may even find that a formal EverClare quote will come it at ‘less’ than your available budget!
We always work to exceed our clients’ expectations and we take great pleasure is being able to do so when we can.
Thank for taking the time to read our blog on our new pricing system. We hope that it’ll make things easier for our potential clients, and please feel free to feed back to us how you find it and if there are any improvements that we could make that would have made it easier for you.
Of course, we also hope that it’ll encourage more potential clients to contact the band to discuss working together so please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us if you’re thinking about throwing a celebration and please feel free to share our band’s Social Media pages around amongst your friends, family and Facebook contacts!