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-   -   Grand Opening vs. Customer Appreciation vs. FTW (http://tantalk.com/general-tanning-industry-discussions/2343189-grand-opening-vs-customer-appreciation-vs-ftw.html)

sunsally 02-06-2005 01:03 PM

Fascinating discussions going on other threads, but sometimes a bit of overlap or even confusion so I thought I might try a "summary".

First concept:


As it sounds - for an OPENING. Generally done not necessarily on OPENING DAY, but rather after you have been there a little bit of time (weeks? months?) and have a little "buzz" created so that your GRAND OPENING message will actually be heard. "Soft" open first to help ensure the "GRAND OPENING" will not be a dud.

Variations on Grand Openings --

Grand REopenings - e.g Riverbrat's water damage, a store that changes locations, a store that does a major renovation/addition, a store that is sold to new management/ownership.

Also - A new store opening at ONE location causing an entire "salon group" to have a similar celebration at their location even though they are already established.

Openings are designed to get ATTENTION and INTEREST for a location. With the assumption that attention and interest will lead to sales.

Second concept:


For an ESTABLISHED salon, generally a once/year (or twice tops) pre-set sale that gives extra special pricing for a short window of time (usually a day or weekend).

Small semantic difference - "Customer Appreciation" suggests it is for CUSTOMERS (even if not active now) although in practice, PROSPECTS (new customers) are generally welcomed. "Anniversary sale" suggests it is about the store saying "Thank you" in general, and both customers and interested prospects would be more than welcome.

A salon could have a "Grand Opening", a "Customer Appreciation Weekend" and even an "Anniversary Sale" within the course of a year if they wanted. But to be most effective, want to create a sense of urgency so once a year or twice max is ideal.

Third concept:


This can be simply a "TACTIC" that can be used around any of the above, OR an "event" on it's own during an otherwise slow time as an "attention getter". It is meant to stir interest and DRIVE TRAFFIC TO THE SALON. New, newer, or long-time established salons all COULD utilize this tactic. However, some established salons in smaller communities may already be "known" by everyone in town, and just saying "customer appreciation days" or "anniversary sale" may be enough without the "extra" lure of "free tan day". But everyone LOVES "free" and the idea of "getting something for nothing"!!

Other "tactics" that could be used would be "bargain" tans (half priced or less), "dollar days", a special "one day sale" (maybe 20tans/$20 today only) etc. But the more spectacular, less 'strings attached' the offer sounds - the more people will respond.

Once the traffic is IN THE SALON, the "FREE TAN" event is made profitable the same way a customer appreciation sale or anniversary sale or grand opening sales does - through the selling of packages, memberships, product etc. Have a few key "specials" with a sense of urgency that this will be a "one time offering" or a "once a year price". Personalize these to match what fits your market and your salon. Give away some free sessions with the purchase of a package. Or drop an enrollment fee on a membership (EFT) sign-up. Give some upgrades with purchase of a lotion. Etc

FOCUS ON WHAT YOU WANT TO SELL! If you want to sell higher priced lotions, consider giving a percentage off or offering free tans with them or bundling them with a moisturizer. If you want to sell longer term commitments (EZPay/EFT's and/or yearly pre-paid), lead with this as the "best value". If you want to encourage tanners to come during a time of year that is generally slow - give a special "limited time" offer that covers that slow period and run your sale that time of year.

No "one size fits all" for the EXACT approach and EXACT formula, timing, offers, etc that will work in every market. But what DOES generally work is:

1. Timed to lead just INTO or OUT OF the 'busy season' so you are "locking" them into tanning with you right before they would be buying full-priced packages SOMEWHERE normally anyway or "convincing" them to keep tanning into a slower season when they would generally just stop.

2. Have significant enough advertising, word-of-mouth, "buzz" prior to your "event" that it generates a LOT more traffic than normal -- more opportunities to sell, and the "festive" atmosphere alone can help convince people to buy because it seems like "everyone else is - it MUST be a good deal!". Food, DJ's, Raffles, etc can all HELP with this, but the BEST draw is going to be promise of a "extra special deal" - whether a free tan or a one day only package sale etc. - after all, you are a tanning salon, not a restaurant or a travel agency or a radio station! When you make it seem they CAN just come and get something for nothing (a tan) ---- they are more likely to spend in the end!

3. Have your salon present it's best foot forward! This is your chance to make an impression - don't blow it!! Advertising should look "professional" (even if it isn't), salon is spotless, equipment is sparkly clean (does it look like it did when you bought it new??), sales staff is skilled, etc.

4. Don't give away the farm, but don't be greedy. If your best sale is always your "buy 20 visits, get 5 free" - offer it NOW! Want to get people to try your spray tan - let them buy a couple at a discount and get them hooked! Make the offers IRRESISTABLE - and then have the "closers" there to make sure nobody leaves without "taking advantage" of at least one! And get a "buying frenzy" atmosphere going - "hey, at these prices, you should just stock up on your lotion now!" Get them thinking about birthday gifts, mother's day, valentines, Christmas etc

5. TRACK YOUR RESULTS and LEARN! How many NEW customers did you attract? How many purchased? WHAT did they purchase? How many stayed on after that was used up? How many current customers 'changed' their spending habits (bought more than they usually do, bought more expensive stuff than they normally do, stayed active longer than they normally do, used better equpment than they normally do). How did you do with follow-on sales (upgrades, more packages, lotions,..)? How many referrals do you get from these "sale" customers? Use this information to adjust what YOU do for next time - the timing, the offers, the advertising, the length, and so on.

Bottom line to remember from the day you start thinking about opening a salon to "Grand Opening" through each and every promotional event you do??

On 2005-02-06 11:43:00, dhgranstrand wrote:
The tanning salon business at its root core is a business like any other business out there. Look around. Most people have some discretionary income to spend on an assortment of sports, salons, bars, nicer vehicles, clothes, landscaping, hair care, body treatments, household goods, etc, etc, etc.


Look at how they promote their businesses!!! Emulate the successful ones!!! You are competing with them, not just the tanning salon across town.

Look at the Sunday ads in the local paper. Put your name at the top of the ad and imagine the response you might get.

Listen to the radio. When a local ad comes on (insert your name here) and ask yourself how that ad would impact your business.

They all offer incredibly good sounding deals and then capitalize on the traffic it generates.

Run your salon like the BUSINESS it is - and go further than you can imagine! And don't be SO set in your ways that you aren't open to seeing new ways of creating an even bigger and better business than you have already!

Good Luck!!


[ This Message was edited by: sunsally on 2005-02-06 13:47 ][ This Message was edited by: sunsally on 2005-02-06 14:40 ]

MATT A 02-06-2005 01:07 PM

Excellent Post sometimes I worry you seem to post so good.

sizzlestan 02-06-2005 01:15 PM

Well put, said, thought out, etc. Kudos Sally. Post more often. Its good to read positive posts then wade through negative ones to find the little shiny nuggets that get barried between the crap.

MJ 02-06-2005 01:22 PM

Awesome post! NICE RECAP and Personal interjection there!

I hope everyone trys a few of the suggestions at least once. It is soo worth teh effort, time and money to do these special days. All clients like to be appreciated...don't you?
We may be salon owners but we are still consumers...and wait for sales in for xmas-jan white sales...annual and semi annual events to our favorite places to shop. Like clock work. Would it not be nice for your salon to be added to someone "can't wait for that sale" list?

Thanks again Sally..
PS someone should make this a sticky!!!!!

DWhite6872 02-06-2005 01:24 PM

Done its a sticky/

sunsally 02-06-2005 02:44 PM

Thanks - I feel honored to have written something to have achieved "sticky status"!!

I've added a few things (e.g. dhgranstrand's quote) and will continue to edit as suggestions are made so it can be sort of a "best of.....grand openings/anniversary sales and FTW's" summation.

dhgranstrand 02-13-2005 12:20 PM

Excellent post, SunSally!

We need to continue to emphasize the importance of looking at the "BIG" business picture and not just trying to compete with the salon across town.

Most consumers have some discretionary income to spend on a variety of interests. Focus on getting them to spend some of it with you.

Rule # 1 - GET THEM IN THE DOOR!!!!!


Rule # 3 - Create such a nice, CLEAN, comfortable, PROFESSIONAL environment that they can't wait to come back!

tanzme 03-05-2005 07:18 PM

i did the tan free weekend and it did well for me..

Neon Beach 03-05-2005 07:21 PM

Good advice, if you can pull it off!

DWhite6872 03-06-2005 08:53 AM

No it's never too late

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