|07-09-2004, 12:49 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 25 2002
Rep Power: 12
As a professional marketer I’m often asked this question. Salon owners are always looking to stand out and be different to boost brand awareness, sales, and customer retention.
Only problem is you can’t differentiate your salon – at least, not in the way you may be thinking. Before you start slinging arrows my way (duck!), read on…and consider this…
At a meeting with Hertz’s ad agency in Manhattan years ago, the question of how to promote Hertz while Avis was running its “We’re No. 2 and we try harder” campaign (which gained considerable success) was brainstormed. The president of Hertz said that anyone could buy the same cars Hertz did and lease them, anyone could rent an airport kiosk; buy the same buses, counters, uniforms, etc. In his view, there was NO outwardly way that Hertz could be different from its competitors. He instructed the agency, instead, to “get people to like Hertz”. They embarked on a series of ad campaigns that did exactly that and Hertz remained No. 1.
Is your salon in the same situation? You can’t get an exclusive on equipment – anyone can open next door with the same equipment you have. Yes, you can offer better equipment and then try the time-honored, laborious and expensive task of convincing people that your equipment is better. But what happens when your competition puts in better equipment, the same Mystic booth, etc? A short-term difference.
You can’t get an exclusive on lotions (even though a mfgr demands YOU be exclusive only to them while you don’t demand that they are exclusive to you! – oops! Was I supposed to bring this up?) – anyone can open next door with the same lotions (unless you have PL and then you loose a lot of marketing in the process- oops!). Another short-term difference.
Anyone can use the same sign company, hire the same employees from the same marketplace, and so on. Are you seeing a better, long-term solution yet? What’s a poor salon owner to do? How can you be different?
The answer to this question is simple really. Consider this: Branding and Customer Service are the king and queen of differentiation.
Your promotions should always build sales overnight and build your BRAND over time.
Consumers are bombarded with over 3,000 commercial messages per day which ranges from the logo on the alarm clock, to the soap bar in the shower, to the collar of the shirt, to the cereal box for breakfast, until it all becomes ……….NOISE! So people search for a clear signal to cut through the confusing noise - one that gives pattern, identity, and direction to the noise. That clear signal is branding. The more confusing the noise, the more consumers will rely on the clear signal ---brand name.
Branding is the powerful use of trademarks, images, and messages in a proprietary (not generic) emotional, rational, cultural, and visual way that consistently reminds consumers of your company, product, or service. You must have a plan to introduce your brand and build a relationship with your customer. Your plan must include custom designed (not generic) printed materials that are “different” than your competition.
Remember when customer service was good, before efficiency and cost cutting eliminated it? Consumers hate that it’s gone and want it back.
According to a recent study by Portland Research Group, a full-service market research firm, researchers found that consumer loyalty drops from 78% to 23% when a consumer is less than satisfied with the response received from a customer service rep. Aren’t you? The study observes that the 3 main drivers of customer satisfaction are:
1. Ease of contacting someone for assistance.
No answering machines, not put on hold, quick resolution of the question, issue, or problem. This means not buying a telephone answering system simply because you’re “tired” of answering the same questions over and over (it’s the first time a consumer has asked you the question and you must give your 1,000th answer with enthusiasm) or the call is an interruption of your day’s work. Your day’s work in your salon includes answering the phone!
2. Performance of the customer service representative.
Professionalism, authority to answer questions, solve problems, and make decisions. Congeniality, personality, and helpfulness. Knows the answers.
3. Response delivery.
Timeliness, follow-through on promised action, do whatever it takes to make the customer happy.
Now you know that BRANDING your company with a custom look: custom décor inside the salon, custom logo, custom handouts, custom postcards, and more makes you LOOK different. Not generic looks. You get the picture.
Now you know that you must TRAIN your salon personnel to BE different. Train, train, train. Knowledge of your industry, what’s going on in your industry (trade shows, online, trade magazines, organizations), marketing to include loyalty and win-back programs, kindness, pampering, appreciation, rewards, caring, certification, standardized presentation done the same way every time, regular meetings, professionally shopping the competition and your own salon, and most of all – know your clients: needs, desires, and personal information.
Ok, I’ve said it, now I’ll duck – bring on the arrows!
|07-09-2004, 01:36 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 15 2003
Location: 213 Skyland Shp Ctr
Rep Power: 11
Thanks...Branding...like my frog....most when mentioning me say the frog place, a fresh smile no matter how the day is going, and an open ear..
Its about the client, what they want and how they want it as long as the education is right and you stay with the regs and explain it to them they will keep coming back. Beds, lotions etc, that really doesnt matter to the client not unless you tell them why, so start there when their face goes long because they really dont understand, its not a secret to them because they dont know.
Great marketing tips grip.
|07-09-2004, 06:17 PM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 22 2003
Rep Power: 10
Branding is one that we have strived for at our salon. Our motto: Life's a Beach Look Like You Belon There" is one that everyone knows really well. Our Trademarked Logo & Color Schemes are on our Lotion Bottles, Hummer, Magnets, Business Card and is a constant visual for the clients but once they walk into our salon...it's pure ALOHA straight from the native Hawaiian working at the shop & people envying the natural tan ) We strive for excellence regarding customer service. I believe it don't matter how nice the salon is that if you don't have someone at the counter greeting someone with a smile and answering the phone with a sunny disposition or taking the time to educate a client and spending time to know them on a personal level and showing them that you care about tanning the smart way...than a salon is just a "typical salon". I've called other salons before and the person on the phone are just plain RUDE or too much in a hurry to answer any questions or walk into a salon and they don't even acknowledge you. Too me that is a turn off. SO AMEN TO EVERYTHING THAT GRIP JUST STATED
|07-12-2004, 11:19 AM||#7 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 25 2002
Rep Power: 12
Consumers two favorite radio stations: WII-FM (What's In It For Me?) and W-AM (What About Me?). Consumers are self-interested, but not typically self-motivated (marketing motivates).
What would happen if everytime a tanner arrived you began your lotion sales pitch? You'd become inconvenient for tanners who want to run in and run out. And remember that in the 3 Reasons People Tan, #2 is CONVENIENCE. All people think they want to hear upon arriving is "I've got you setup in room 4 for 15 minutes".
But look in your computer at check-in where you've notated info about your tanner, and ask, "How was your trip to Aruba?". Your tanner will talk about herself for at least 5 minutes - and love your customer service instantly.
You must get people to remember you (branding) and people want to be remembered (customer service). Relationship selling is key for customer service.
|07-13-2004, 11:44 AM||#10 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 25 2002
Rep Power: 12
I had a salon owner send me 13 yrs of ads he'd done. They looked like 13 different companies as he struggled each year to change his brand and look and never could quite decide on just one. After 13 yrs of promoting his "brand", consumers didn't recognize his salon.
Another salon owner lamented that she had been using "generic" postcards, where one side is preprinted with a generic image and message, she got to print only on the lesser-quality back side with the address, and customer retention, loyalty, and sales were poor. What can you expect when your brand or look isn't customized? How can you expect to appear different when your brand and look are commonplace?
Stick to your custom brand.
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