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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Getting 'Branded' (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Cheshire Cat
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Actually (a word often used by English 'superior' types!) this thread on two-year-olds does raise another issue.

Have you ever found yourself branded? In other words Mrs X. sees you entertaining 3s or 4s with baby magic tricks and says, "That's no use for my seven year old daughter - too babyish". Or the other way round, "Oh no, my little boy doesn't want him/her because it was too adult" (when Mrs Y. had seen you at a 12 year olds party).

It's a catch 22 that with some people, no matter what you tell them, they have SEEN you do something and formed an opinion on what they saw, despite the fact you alter programmes and approaches to different age groups. Surely it stands to common sense that if someone sees us with a party of four-year-olds all holding hands in a circle and singing, that this is not "what we do" all the time. Smile
magic4u02
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I strive as best as I can to make the shows I do "family-friendly". In other words, I try to put something in the show that appeals to the parents, to the kids of course and to all age levels.

If it is a magic show for a b-day party, then yes, most of what I do is geared towards that level. However, I still strive to get a well-rounded performance. This often helps others in knowing I can provide other forms of entertainment.

With this said, I do not always have to let my show try to explain every type of performance I can do. I can use my thank you note to touch base on that a bit more as well as any follow up correspondence I do with the parent after the party is over.

Kyle
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Chrystal
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Hi,

I like that answer Magic4U! I would have probably responded the same way you did. I, too, advertise myself as a family entertainer, as I entertain everyone attending a party, children and parents alike. It's kinda like a Disney movie where even though it's supposed to be for the kids, the adults get enjoyment out of it, too. So to answer your question, Cheshire Cat, no I don't worry about it.

Sheesh .. when I originally read the topic I thought it was concerning the little ones trying to apply a temporary tattoo on the entertainer! Silly me!
magic4u02
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Thanks, Crystal, for the kind words. I use the term 'family-friendly" as part of my USP and part of my brand message. It is important to me that I try to entertain everyone at the party no matter what the ages are. There is something in my show for everyone to enjoy.

I like the analogy of a Disney movie, as I also see myself a lot like that at times. I also tend to use my marketing as a better way for letting people know that I do other shows and performances. If I am at a bigger event, I always set up an information table so people can pick up my tri-fold brochures, etc.

Kyle
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TomBoleware
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Good thought.

I think you can become branded if not careful. This is why I think you almost have to have one show that fits all. I see many who overload the show with silly bits of business. Nothing wrong with having them but it’s easy to overdo it. I also think that many underestimate kids age 3, 4, 5, understanding magic. Some cut back so much that they really should’t call it a magic show.

One good example of getting branded is doing an educational show for a daycare and then expecting some of the kids wanting you to do their birthday party. If you have talked more than you performed, you can forget it. What child wants you to come to a party and teach. Sure you can tell them you do parties, but it’s best to prove it. Even if you have to do extra.

Like said above, it’s best to have something in the show for everyone to enjoy.

Tom
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magic4u02
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But being branded is not always a bad thing. I think we are using different terms. You do not want to be placed into a certain niche that people assume you only do one thing. This is different then being branded.

I want and seek to be branded in the sense that I want to look professional and my show, outfit, costume, and marketing materials all should be of top quality and relate directly to each other. In this respect, I do want to be branded, so that my clients and audiences get to know me more in the market I work at.

Just a few pointers as there are a difference in how the term branded is used and thought of. =)

Kyle
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TomBoleware
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Good point, Kyle, and I agree. I took it that Cheshire Cat was only talking about being labeled as a certain age group performer.

Tom
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nums
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A funny thing just happened today. I was working a skating party doing balloon art, and these two ladies were discussing an upcoming party. I offered her my card, and she said it was an adult party to which my response was a few card sleights and a Three Card Monte routine I do. Her response: "Let me have your card..." The thing is to be branded but as an entertainer, whether for children or adults, people love to be entertained.(I am not saying anyone in this post is not entertaining.)

Jeff
NJJ
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I had to go over to the house of a woman, whose daughter's 4 and 5 birthday I had done, to show her the tricks I could do to entertain her. Now she is 10.
Emazdad
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I agree, Tom.

When I put my show together it is designed to run at all ages from 4-9. I don't take a different show along to each age group. I just approach each group differently. Parents enjoy watching it as well, although I don't aim anything at the grown ups.

Most people see me entertaining at parties where there are generally one or two kids who are right at either end of my entertaining age bracket, thus they know at a 5-yrs party that their 4 or 8 year old will enjoy it because they've seen them enjoying it already.

I often get asked to do adult shows. I could if I wanted to. I did close-up and a bit of cabaret when I first started, now I just say no. I find I enjoy entertaining kids much more.
Yours Funfully
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keeblem
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Like Emazdad, I try to make my show appeal to 4-8/9s. I may add a couple of things that would appeal to older (for example card in orange) or something that would only appeal to younger - but normally it's the same show. It's the same with the games that I do. I generally use stuff that has a wide appeal.

Of course the great thing about balloon modeling is that it appeals to all ages, 3 - 93!

Mark
magic4u02
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Great info here. Being labeled is different from being branded. I just wanted to point that out, so we are all on the same page when talking about this subject. Being labeled is when someone thinks you only do a certain market. Being branded means that your look, your costuming, your marketing materials, etc., work effectively together to better yourself in your chosen market.

Like others here, I try to make my show "family-friendly" as much as I can. This means there is something in my show everyone can enjoy no matter if they are a kid or a kid at heart. This certainly helps from being being "labeled" as only one type of performer for only one type of market.

Kyle
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Dennis Michael
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Sometimes being Branded is a good thing. It is like a specialty. One who does Children Shows, Illusionist, Clown, Balloonist. It also has it drawbacks like movie actors who are chararacter-type branded and can't find work because of that label.

Sammy Smith & Dave Risley are well known for thier Daycare performances, BJ Hickman for his School Shows, etc. Name a well know magician and see if you can brand them with a particular type of magic.

Sometimes being branded as an expert in that field can help your career.

Once when I was doing a serious illusion routine, I was told, stick with kids, you're no Copperfield. (It was said as a compliment in that I'm a comedey magican wanting to be a grand illusionist. As Duane Laflin said to me, he is a serious entertainer who wants to be a comedian, but it doesn't work with him.)
Dennis Michael
magic4u02
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Please try and use the term "Labled" instead of branded. Being Branded means a totally different thing. I think the term labled works and means more of what we are referring to. Being Labled as a certain style performer is not always a bad thing if you want to be considered a specialist... but everyone should have a well "branded" image and promotional materials in their own market. Hope this helps.

Kyle
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harris
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In one area I believe I have a repution/branded/labeled for being dependable and family friendly. In another "area/group" in this same metropolitan area, I have a lable of that as well as doing magic with a message such as on Bullying, Character Ed, or A & D Prevention Programs.

As far as branding I had an interesting thing happen last week. A magician from New Zealand came to our club. I had not met the gentleman. I told him my name, he said, "Oh The Laughologist". I was surprised and pleased in my "branding"

One thing I continue to get from adults who seem to have enjoyed my shows. "Oh the kids would really love this. Especially the part with Nigel. This happens even when there are no kids,(or few kids) in the audience. Some people it seems seem more comfortable saying that others/kids would like the program.

Be safe and creative.

Harris Deutsch
Laughologist and Nearly Normal Magician
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
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Cheshire Cat
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Welcome back Harris - we've missed you!

I think the words "BRANDED" and "LABELLED" have become confused across the Atlantic here. By "branded" I meant they attach a label to you according to the age group and type of show they saw you performing at, and assume that you don't do anything else.

Tony.
magic4u02
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Branded is more used not in the sense spoken of above but in a sense that your logo and your cotsume and your show and your level of professionalism are all of consistent quality and sending out the same "branded" message. That really is the meaning of the term branded. "labelled" is a better term I think because os really means labeling someone or placing a tag on someone. No big deal but just my 2 cents worth is all. =)

Kyle
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NJJ
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From dictionary.com

1. A trademark or distinctive name identifying a product or a manufacturer.
2. A product line so identified: a popular brand of soap.
3. A distinctive category; a particular kind: a brand of comedy that I do not care for.

Marketing crazy America would associate it with the first or second definition whilst others would think of the third definition.
Rupert Bair
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I like the idea of making everything look 'branded' but I think it looks a little silly if every prop is the same colour(s). One guy I knew, painted everything red and yellow everything looked like it did the same as the trick before it.

Matt
Alan Munro
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I just make sure I have a lot of audience appeal in the show. Look at a Looney Tunes cartoon - one that still has its continuity intact. It appeals to all ages in some way. I try to do that in my show, although my shows are normally geared toward a segment of the audience, for the most part.

I get kidshows from those who see my show for the grown-ups and vice versa.
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