Hakim Hughley made a name for himself in the D.C. area as one of the founding members of “Team Major”. That venture allowed Hakim and his friends to plan parties and events at an early age. While event planning seems to be a fun initiative, the group also remained conscience of community and civic duties. Their #RespectTheYouth campaign on social networks and beyond brought attention to voter registration and community involvement among 18-21 year old people.
Hakim has a new venture: Superb Marketing Group. The venture launched recently and Hakim was gracious enough to talk about the state of nightlife, responding to the needs of a more diverse city and the Superb experience.
One of the principles that you’ve used to describe the Superb venture is EC=MC (Every Company is a Media Company). How did you come to this conclusion? And how much of a part will media play in this venture?
Media is everywhere. We wake up to news alerts on our cell phones and updates from our friends on social media. Superb understands that it is not only the company that is in charge of the brand, but that the customers are too! The brand pulls customers in and the customers push the brand to new heights. Media and other specifically integrated tactics of communications must fundamentally be a part of every aspect of Superb’s business. We utilize traditional media such as radio, and social networking media such as Twitter and Facebook to create a buzz about our brand and give our customers an opportunity to provide us with feedback. With the brand-consumer conversation circulating, Superb is able to take that data and come up with new ideas to stay relevant and innovative. It’s the only way to help us to efficiently respond to the needs and wants of our market and to push beyond boundaries.
You are very well known in the DC area for your involvement with Team Major. What separates Superb from Team Major? And are there areas where the two companies overlap/merge?
The level of professionalism separates Superb from Team Major. Team Major was fun, but Superb is a career. While we are continuing some of the nightlife events that Team Major previously promoted, Superb goes beyond mere party planning. It is a lifestyle and our events will always reflect that.
Being a nightlife event planner/promoter used to be restricted to throwing parties. Now the promoter has to be in sync with what’s happening in the consumer market. What strategies are you using to understand the purchasing power of your base/following?
We engage in branded entertainment where the objective is to impress and connect with customers in a compelling way. We understand that our customers want to have a unique nightlife experience, and to have access to incentives and deals. Superb vows to always bring “the experience” to the forefront—really “wowing” customers and leaving a lasting impression that not only spreads buzz, but keeps people coming back for more. For all of this, we guarantee that our general admission price will never exceed twenty dollars.
Give us a layout of what the ideal Superb event experience looks and feels like.
Our events are not just parties; they are theatrical shows with intelligent lighting, balloon and confetti drops, promotional giveaways, and stunts. At any moment you might see a surprise walk by, like a life-size “Stewie” from Family Guy. The simply gorgeous Superb Dolls are also always on hand greet, host and serve our customers. The goal is to create an action-packed and entertaining atmosphere that “wows” even the most experienced partygoers. Readers are welcome to take a peek at the Superb experience online at: http://vimeo.com/66879712.
What are your predictions on what’s next in nightlife?
Expectations and standards will only continue to grow. Partygoers have become more complex and it takes a lot more creativity and effort to execute a successful party or event. Also, as the city has grown, so has demand for a diverse variety of high-quality nightlife events. Venues, promoters, and entertainment groups have to continue to finds ways to satisfy the existing customers and the new influx of customers who have recently come to the city.
DC has become a more diverse city over the past few years. We’ve seen radio stations change formats; venues change their approach and the dress code change tremendously in a short time period. How has the diversity of the new DC impacted your approach to nightlife?
In the past few years, the city has become more sophisticated and diverse. The DC nightlife scene has grown to the heights of New York, LA and Miami. That gives us an opportunity to capitalize on the popularity of the city. People come to DC solely to party in extravagant and sophisticated environments, and it is up to us to deliver.
What’s the biggest misconception about being in the nightlife business?
The biggest misconception about the nightlife business is that it is all fun and easy work. That is far from true. Each event is an investment, and we work hard to make sure that our investments are successful. This requires countless hours of planning and preparation. Despite the work, we strive to make it look effortless so that our customers will see only the lights and the magic that make for an enjoyable night.
In 5 years, where will Superb be as a company?
Our philosophy is to think locally and expand globally. We will continue to host parties and events in DC, including concerts and charity events. In addition to events, as a marketing group we will perform marketing services for companies and individuals who are in need of lifestyle branding. We will also expand to other major markets in the United States and abroad. Regardless of what we are doing, we always aspire to take our company to the next level.
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