Why Most Salon Marketing Fails – Message to all salon & spa owners addicted to Facebook, brainwashed into thinking that ‘old-fashioned’ types of salon advertising and marketing are dead:
A lot of people had a lot of good ideas before you were born. And most of those good ideas are still good ideas. But their lessons have been largely forgotten, which is why most hair & beauty industry marketing in the ‘modern’ era is a complete failure.
Take a look at this Revlon TV ad from 1973.
Anybody over the age of forty will remember the famous print and TV campaigns for Revlon’s ‘Charlie’ perfume. In the seventies, when women were still fighting to be seen as ‘equal’ to men, these ads were a revelation.
For the first time, they portrayed women as strong, deliberately sexy, confident and powerful at a time when most advertising put women firmly in the kitchen and laundry.
And if you’re a student of marketing, you’ll notice one more crucial thing: the ads aren’t about the product! There’s not even a hint about what’s in it, no dreary nonsense about how it was created by white-coated scientists with lots of letters after their names, in clinical laboratories using secret ingredients distilled from the purified secretions of a now-extinct South American tree frog.
Revlon founder Charles Revson knew the secret that most business people seem to have forgotten long ago; that nobody cares a damn about the product.
Revson’s advertising answered emphatically the only question that really matters:
‘Why should I, your prospective customer, buy this?’
There’s an old saying that talks about not being able to ‘see the forest through all the trees’.
Everybody suffers from it from time to time, even those who’re often seen by others as super-successful.
Like the salon owner who approached me last week for some advice. This very young salon owner joined Worldwide Salon Marketing a few years ago when she was working alone and struggling, and became almost an ‘overnight’ success.
She devoured everything I teach about direct response marketing for salons, soaked it up like a sponge, rapidly and repeatedly implementing everything she found in our systems, and pretty soon found herself creating her own advertising through everything she’d learned.
Became, in effect, a marketing machine. Her salon grew and grew, she bought another salon, and within two years of joining WSM was working almost exclusively from home, while her salons ran on automatic pilot.
But that wasn’t enough for all this new-found entrepreneurial zeal. It had to find another outlet somewhere. So she decided she’d develop her own skin care product line, and use the internet to sell it.
All good so far. Then she ran into a bank of fog that clouded her once-clear vision. She wrote to me and asked
“Greg, I need a bit of reassurance…is this web-based ‘glop’ a good idea, or am I frigging mad???!!! We all have these days when we wonder ‘what the hell…’ – don’t we?”
We do indeed. This is what I wrote back to her:
“Don’t think of it as ‘web-based glop’. There is no such thing as an ‘internet business’. The internet is not a business, it’s merely a media. Just one media.
You need to think of your idea as a business, like any other business. As a marketing and sales business that just happens to be selling a beauty product or products, using the internet as just one of the many forms of media it uses to get its message out, gather leads, make sales to those leads.
It’s much bigger than just an ‘internet business’. And it’s not something you can do for a couple of hours a week, sitting at the kitchen table in your track pants, thinking this is all it takes.
You’re contemplating setting up and growing a business. Not a hobby. Don’t think of it as a ‘internet glop’ hobby. Imagine instead that you’re setting up a drilling company, or a construction business, or a fashion brand. Do all the same things you would do for your ‘glop’ business as you would do for those businesses.”
She got it immediately.
“ Thanks for that…..reality check. You’re exactly right! It comes down to marketing and sales…there are companies selling the same product, the difference will be my marketing and my sales ability…which these other companies have no idea about!”
She hit the nail on the head.
Most people, particularly in big, dumb companies, lose sight of the fact that it’s not what you’re selling that matters, it’s how you market and sell it.
They fall under their own spell, mesmerised by their own wonderful product or service, deluded into thinking that their prospects, customers and clients actually give a damn about the product. They don’t, at all. People only care about what a product does for them, not the product itself.
Which is exactly why you see most companies selling any kind of hair or skin product blathering on endlessly about obscure and meaningless ingredients – essentially, selling the sausage instead of the sizzle.
So the next time you’re tossing around product options for your salon, look closely, ask questions, and when the product rep tries to blind you with science, hold your hand up and demand clear, concise answers.
“If you were standing in front of a customer, what would you say to this customer that would clearly, in a single sentence, convince the customer to buy your product as against any and all options available to her?”
Unless and until you get a great answer to that question, all you’re selling is ‘glop’.