Paint Nite is a platform that brings friends together for a night of painting and drinks. Paint Nite is presented as an event that is for anyone, regardless of prior painting experience or artistic talent. There are thousands of Paint Nite events every month at local bars all over the world. During the experience, guests spend two hours creating their unique painting while having drinks and conversing with one another. The creators of Paint Nite view the company as more than the typical paint and sip company. They proudly believe that the Paint Nite community consists of creative entrepreneurs, local artists sharing their passion, and local bar and restaurant owners looking to connect with their community. Dan Hermann, Co-founder of Paint Nite, says that he identified a void that was being created by the digital world, and that he wanted to offer people the opportunity to have face-to-face human interaction and the childhood joy of creating things. Despite being presented as a break from the digital world, Paint Night uses social media platforms and digital business techniques very successfully to grow and promote business.
Digital Business Strategy
The Paint Nite business model works because Paint Nite partners with the “starving artist”, as Hermann puts it. Hermann defines the starving artist as any artist who is not in the top .001%, and who is looking for a way supplement their income at night in order to continue to pursue the dream of becoming a recognized artist during the day. The Paint Nite event is held at a bar or restaurant on a night that would typically be quiet. Paint Nite uses a 70/30 business model, where the artist takes 70% of the ticket sales and Paint Nite takes 30% of the ticket sales. The bar or restaurant welcomes the Paint Nite event because it makes more money on drink sales than it otherwise would have on the particular “off” night. Hermann emphasizes that the Paint Nite business is based on a licensing model and not a franchise model. Franchises typically charge the franchisee a high flat fee between $10,000 and $100,000, and they allow the franchisee very little freedom to operate outside of corporate guidelines. In contrast, Paint Nite does not charge the artist any upfront fee, and it allows the artist to run the Paint Nite event as they see fit. Paint Nite does not need to monitor the artist’s event because the events and the artists are reviewed online and and discussed about on social media. Much like an the rating of an Uber driver or a product on Amazon, the wisdom of the crowd is essential to enjoyment and expansion of Paint Nite.
The Social Media Tool
Hermann attributes 35% of Paint Nite ticket sales to having a successful presence and a successful strategy on social media. When Paint Nite was created in 2012 smart phones and social media apps including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were essential to the company’s launch and to its extremely fast growth. Hermann utilized three key strategies when he capitalized on social media marketing opportunities. The first strategy was to keep social media posts fun. The company’s business revolves around the concept of social interaction, creativity, and a fun night out. He wanted to communicate these ideas to anyone who comes across Paint Nite online. He keeps social media fun by posting attractive, eye catching pictures and videos and by posting pictures and videos of people enjoying their experience at Paint Nite. The second strategy was to remember that a social media presence will not make a business, but that it can have a strong impact. Hermann viewed other aspects of the business model as being more crucial to the success of the business than social media. However, he believed that social media should be utilized as a significant marketing tool to attract customers and to accelerate the growth of the business. The third piece of the Paint Night social media strategy was to engage with the target audience just the right amount. Hermann believed that it was important to engage customers without being annoying. He believes in the saying that “birds of a feather flock together,” meaning that people who are interested in Paint Nite are likely to have friends who are also interested in Paint Nite. Without an overbearing presence it is more than likely that Paint Nite will be shared amongst friends, reaching a target audience that has not been previously reached. Paint Nite currently has a social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube and GooglePlus. It also runs a blog to keep the Paint Nite community up to date on the latest painting trends, the best bars, and the newest Paint Nite events.
Future of the “Nite”
Since 2012 Paint Nite Revenues have grown 36,555% to reach $55 Million dollars per year. The founders credit the rapid growth to a number of factors including the desire for people to connect with each other and tap into creativity, to the licensing business model, and to the strong and effective social media presence. Above all they credit the scalability and the success of Paint Nite to the belief that is ok to be good enough, and to the belief that speed and execution are more important than perfection. Now that Paint Nite has expanded to many major cities worldwide the company is beginning to witness a slow down in growth. It has recently launched a new offering, Plant Nite, which as you may have guessed uses the same business model as Paint Nite, except it involves planting instead of painting. It will be interesting to see if Plant Nite is successful. If it is, a number of different “Nites” will likely follow Plant Nite. Paint Nite currently has a customer base that is 90% female, and the founders realize that there are opportunities in the future to create a “Nite” that targets the male demographic as well.