The Art of Becoming a Brand
Before you can even think about improving your marketing, one of the most important things a spa or salon needs to do is figure out who they are. I've asked this question many times before to spa and salon owners and managers and the answer is usually something like "well, we are really talented and nobody offers customer service like we do and our place is really clean and we carry top brands". That is all so nice, but that is what you do and not who you are. If you don't for sure know who you are, then how are your clients going to figure it out? If you are going to be shabby chic, then when I walk in I want floral prints and light peach touches and tiny chandelier light fixtures. If you are going to be modern then I want clean lines, minimalist decor, super modern art on the walls. Go all in to whoever you are going to be.
My pet peeve is when I walk into a spa with mismatched decor and a million retail lines and jewelry for sale on the counter. My brain screams out "who the heck are you and why are you selling weird necklaces?". Walking into a disorganized and cluttered space makes your clients feel overwhelmed and confused. I've also had the experience of walking into a gorgeous salon with great customer service and all the right retail, but a horrible website and terrible print marketing. Again, if you don't have all the pieces in order and a well branded images, your clients won't understand you and it becomes very difficult to send new business your way.
On the flip side, you can be an incredibly well marketed salon or spa with decent staff and a great attitude and your business will spread like wildfire. The most successful makeup artist probably isn't the most talented makeup artist on the planet, but her branding is solid and people know exactly what they are going to get when they see her.
The picture featured here is from my new obsession; a salon in North Carolina called Local Honey. This salon is branded perfectly and their efforts have proven to be flawless. They were the fastest growing salon in the Carolinas in 2014 and named one of the best salons in the south. Their culture shines through in everything they do. If you are at the salon, you're in the hive. Want to know the latest? That's called the buzz. They use the same beautiful, warm browns, beige and orange tones throughout all of their marketing so that as soon as you see their imagery, you know it's got to be Local Honey. Being a client at this salon would feel like being a part of the cool kids club and, let's face it, who doesn't want to get their hair done where the cool kids go? I can't wait to go visit and buy my Local Honey trucker hat and tee! Until then, check them out at www.localhoneysalon.com
The above picture is from the website of my all time favorite spa. It is a little hidden treasure tucked away in California wine country called Osmosis. As soon as you check out their website, you have a full understanding of exactly what you're going to get when you go there. All of their marketing is green, lush, natural but also chic and that is exactly what it felt like being there. All of the furniture is reclaimed wood and the lobby is filled with gorgeous plants. I felt like I got exactly what I expected. They also have a signature treatment called a cedar enzyme bath which is fabulous. More on this later, but if you've got a specialty service, be sure to put it front and center.
The key to a great website and brochure is not using stock images. Stock images make you look like 98% of spas and salons on the planet and it's the 2% that use their own images that are uber successful. All of your marketing needs to showcase your brand and your brand is your environment. Start by evaluating your environment, hire a photographer to take some great pictures for you and then go piece by piece through your website and paper marketing and make sure your brand is consistent. This process doesn't have to be expensive, it just has to be organized. Changing a few pieces of artwork, clearing out some of the clutter, adding in some side tables or lamps can completely change the feel of your space.
I realize this is like opening a can of worms and can seem daunting. Stay tuned for my upcoming webinar for your roadmap to developing your brand.