Salon Marketing tip: how to be different, not better
Air travel has become so routine these days, few regular flyers (like me) pay much attention to those same-same safety videos the airlines play on the overhead screens just before take-off.
Look around the cabin, and you’ll see a sea of heads buried in magazines or books, while the flight attendants stare stonily down the length of the cabin, clearly as bored with the whole ritual as the passengers.
But in New Zealand, they do things differently.
On my last flight down to Queenstown, there were hoots of laughter at Air New Zealand’s brilliantly innovative and hilarious new in-flight safety video.
With tongue firmly in cheek, the company uses a sharp wit combined with the country’s borderline-insane adoration of anything to do with the national All Blacks rugby team, to focus passengers’ attention on safety-with-a-twist.
There’s a lesson here.
Being boring in your marketing is the only real sin. But how do you make the commonplace stand out? In their terrific book ‘Made to Stick’, authors Chip and Dan Heath write case study after case study on simple ideas that rose above bland, every day ordinariness.
Air New Zealand looked for, and found, a way to get their customers to focus on an important, but routine safety message, by creating a ‘sticky’ idea.
The lesson is simple: look around at what all your competitors are doing. Now look at what you’re doing. Is it the same, or is it different? If the same, what can you find that turns the common into the uncommon, the ordinary into the extraordinary?
Want marketing tools you can use NOW to get more clients, fast? Click here to check out the Million Dollar Marketing Resources Library for Salons & Spas.
How to craft a compelling offer
Too many salon owners spend money on an ad, or a flyer, and somehow expect a flood of customers simply because they placed the ad. It’s an enduring mystery to me how so many business owners think the mere running of an ad should be enough in itself to generate business.
Yet the information about what makes great advertising – for the salon business, for any business – has been public knowledge for more than a hundred years.
It was six o’clock on a May evening in 1905 when John E. Kennedy sent a note up to A. L. Thomas, the senior partner of the Lord & Thomas advertising agency. Thomas was just getting ready to leave the office when the messenger brought him the note. It read as follows:
“You do not know what advertising is. No one in the advertising business knows what advertising is. No advertiser knows for certain what advertising is. If you want to know, tell this messenger that I should come up. I’m waiting in the lobby downstairs.”
It was signed: “John E. Kennedy.” Thomas read the note with an amused smile then handed it to Albert D. Lasker, the junior partner in the firm and said to him, “Well, you have been asking this question for years and nobody has yet satisfied you. Maybe here is the answer…You see the man.”
Albert Lasker saw Kennedy that night. It wasn’t until 3 o’clock in the morning before they left the building. And when Lasker left that night, he had the answer to what advertising was. What Kennedy told him that night was simple. Advertising is
Salon advertising doesn’t get much worse than this. It smacks of pure laziness, ignorance and desperation. With advertising as pathetic as this, the salon deserves to fail. And it’s so easy for a competitor to counter with “We fix $5 haircuts.”
And the core skill of ‘salesmanship in print’ is in creating a compelling offer – then building a story around that offer which virtually forces the reader to keep reading.
Most business owners are too lazy to bother with this. About the best that most can bother with is a plain and simple discount. For example,
“Half price waxing!”
That’s not an offer. All it does is train your clients to expect a discount. It devalues what you sell. And it takes money right out of your wallet.
But it doesn’t take much effort to do so much better. Take a look around at what you already do in your salon or spa – things you currently provide your clients for free, in the normal course of business.
Now, what if you put a notional value on each and every one of these things?
A stylist will typically give a client a brief scalp massage during the shampoo. A beauty therapist might, in the normal course of doing a facial, relax the client with a soothing hand massage, some eyebrow grooming, perhaps a mini pedicure.
All of these things have a value. Yet, if they’re merely provided as a freebie, without declaring that value, then in the client’s mind they are worth…nothing.
It’s only when you clearly ascribe a defined value of each and every ‘extra’ service that you provide, that you create in the mind of the client what we call in marketing ‘perceived value’.
Worldwide Salon Marketing member salons will know all about this. The hundreds of ad, flyer and sales letter templates in the Essential Salon Owner’s Marketing Toolkit, and in the Members Only ‘sealed section’ of this website, all contain some form of what we call
Once you ‘get’ this, it suddenly becomes easy to create massive added value – and it allows you to actually increase prices under the valued-added ‘shelter’.
Salon owner and WSM member Cherie Underwood is a passionate convert to the power of her salon’s online presence to attract customers
There are many ways to dominate any given market in the salon & spa industry. You can have product dominance, when your product or service is the only such product or service in your area. You can have demographic dominance, where more people in any given demographic come to your salon as against all the competition.
And you can have media dominance, where your marketing message gets the lion’s share of any given media in that particular market.
My Social Salon – gives your salon the power of Media Dominance
Here’s an example of Media Dominance that most salon owners would give their right arm for. In Jannali, in the southern suburbs of Sydney, long-time Worldwide Salon Marketing member Cherie Underwood has owned Femme Fatale Beauty & Skin Care for a number of years. Several years ago WSM constructed a website for Cherie, which quickly became the top-ranked website for relevant search terms in her area. Last year, we built her another website – because it’s better to have two, three, ten websites than just one. A quick Google search for ‘beauty salon Jannali’ now brings up the following results on Page One of Google: When you analyze it, there are a number of things worth pointing out here: 1) Cherie’s original website, www.femmefatalebeauty.com.au, is the very first result on Page One. 2) One of the pages from that website is listed at No. 2 3) The YouTube video we set up for Cheri on her own YouTube channel is listed at No. 3 – important because about 30% of all online searches are for videos. Note that the link to the video contains her salon’s phone number; important because getting a phone call to book an appointment is certainly her Most Wanted Response 4) Cherie’s salon is listed at the very top of Google’s map listings for salons in Jannali. Here’s another example of Media Domination online. In Manly (Sydney) the competition among cosmetic clinics is fierce. But WSM member Alice Cassidy of Manly Cosmetic & Laser Clinic is enjoying marketplace dominance on the world’s biggest search engine thanks in large part to the ‘secret sauce’ SEO strategies our Director of Online, George Slater and his team inject into the websites we build for members. High up on the first page of Google search – for the search phrase ‘botox manly’ – Alice’s business occupies no fewer than four of the top five positions. The point is this: a combination of time, careful construction, frequent website updating, and an understanding of what it takes has given Cherie media dominance of her market. By achieving the top four spots on search listings, Cherie’s business has automatically reduced the amount of her competition her prospective customers can find. You simply can’t do it any better than that.
Want that kind of media dominance?