Salon Marketing Plan Strategy: Are They SERIOUS??
When I first read the following email from a spa owner last weekend, I thought she was having a lend of me, taking the mickey. I read it again, and again. Nope, she was actually serious. But it still took my breath away.
So I’m not going to embarrass the poor lady by revealing her name, or the city she writes from. It doesn’t matter anyway, because it could have come from any one of the many thousands of salon & spa owners who subscribe to this newsletter and market their beauty salons (except our Inner Circle members, of course. At least THEY are well educated enough not to make this most basic of foolish, delusional mistakes.)
“My husband and I are in the process of setting up a Spa & Beauty Salon, and working on a tight budget. Our first big hiccup is a dispute over our business card….”
Good grief. Of all of the challenges of setting up a new business – hiring staff, fitting out, getting product to sell, signage, marketing, admin, etc etc etc – a business card has provided the catalyst for their biggest dispute? My heart sank. Then. it got worse.
“We finally reached a decision on our logo, which I must say was very hard. I designed the business card with the logo on the left hand side. Our phone number on top right with a list of services underneath, followed by our address on the bottom, all on a matt white background so our logo will stand out in blue.”
By this point, my head is in my hands, throbbing. My eyes are glazing over.
Why do so many people new to business invest so much time, energy, money and angst over things that do not matter a damn remains an enduring mystery to me. So, for the benefit of this misguided soul, and every other salon & spa owner reading this, I’ll repeat something I’ve been banging on about for years:
In the entire history of the human race, a logo has never sold anything. Zero. Zip. Nada. Nyet. EVER.
Neither has a business card…that’s correct folks, even a business card emblazoned with a fancy logo.
The fatal mistake this and so many other business people make – and this applies equally to the ‘big’ end of town – is to assume that things like logos and pretty graphics and clever ‘slogans’ are enough in and of themselves to do the only thing that really matters in any business. And that is, to
get customers in the door and sell something to them.
(And do not for a moment believe that this most basic misunderstanding is limited to start-up businesses. A few years ago, the biggest bank in my part of the world, the Commonwealth, actually hired – at a cost of millions of dollars – an entire squadron of PR people, pony-tailed advertising so-called ‘experts’ and image consultants to agonize over, workshop, consult, focus-group and doodle till they were blue in the face so the brains-trust at this giant organization could unveil, with great fanfare, their new corporate logo!)
Do you really think, for a moment, that had McDonalds done nothing but erect a couple of golden arches, they would have sold so much as a single hamburger? Of course not, because McDonalds understands that ‘corporate branding’ and ‘image’ is only secondary, and matters more after they’ve acquired a customer, it doesn’t actually get the customer in the door in the first place.
No. What gets the customer through your door, above and beyond all else, is
Without a compelling OFFER – wrapped in a great sales message – plus a means of identifying your ideal target market (it’s called lead generation), and a method of delivering that message to that ideal market – all the fancy logos, business cards, corporate branding, staff training, back-office systems, salon fit-out etc etc – are a complete
waste of time, energy and money.
So my advice to this salon owner, and anybody else contemplating, agonizing over, arguing about their logo or business card… forget it, throw it out…and start again. Start with the only thing that gets customers in the door, and that is marketing, in its most basic form:
The OFFER, a great headline, testimonials, a strong guarantee, a call to action, multiple means of response, follow-up offers, list building, and above all, building a relationship with your customers.
In the end, ALL business is about relationships. And if you think a logo is going to do all of the above, by all means, go ahead and waste your time on the damn thing. Personally, I wouldn’t give it a nano-second’s thought.
And for those who don’t believe a practice what I preach: I don’t even have a business card.