Management Practices

Clean Graffiti

Stacey Soble | June 22, 2012 | 12:50 PM

Clean GraffitiAs summer heats up in Chicago, residents are strolling the sidewalks, and the owners of RED 7 Salon decided this was the opportune time to catch their attention with a little clean graffiti featuring the salon’s brand. By working with a company that makes steel stencils, they then hired a cleaning service to power-wash the brand on sidewalks surrounding the salon.

We were intrigued by this creative, fun and clean idea, so we asked Jason Hall, who owns the salon with David Kafer, how he got the idea, who he partnered with to make it happen, and how neighbors have reacted. Here's what Hall reported: 

“When it comes to marketing, we always look to other customer service industries—automotive, restaurant, healthcare—for inspiration. It’s out-of-the-box thinking that challenges me to be more creative. Plus, if something had been a success in another industry, odds are, if it’s properly executed, it’ll be successful in our industry.

“I actually got this idea when I worked at a theme park as Mama Bernstein Bear. Yes, it’s true! When workers power-washed the park, they didn’t always move the benches or trash cans. Later, when they moved items around, there was always a ‘dirty’ impression on the concrete that I noticed. 

"We tried a similar sidewalk campaign close to our Evanston salon. We created our own stencil out of a durable plastic sheet—cutting our logo out with a utility blade—and used Bumble and bumble’s colored hair powder to create an impression. This was a creative idea that always got noticed and would last for up to four-five rains. But the last time we did the campaign, we caught a lot of heat from people who mistook the color as spray paint, and we ended up doing quite a bit of damage control. It got noticed, but not always in a positive way.

"So I started wondering how could we do the same thing, but differently. I remembered back to the power-washing days of the theme park, and it just clicked. I did a search for this on the web, and found a company ( that made the steel stencils. Then, I found a company (Chicago Pressure Washing) that could use it to power-wash the impression. The stencil is approximately 4 feet by 4 feet, cost about $15 and lasted for about a week. So far, the impressions have been positively received.

"My overall advice would be to not place the impressions immediately outside another business, but to do them in a public walkway that is popular, but not right outside a business. On most public city sidewalks, it’ll get noticed and be impressionable—most sidewalks are pretty dirty.

So, my long, hot days as Mama Bear, with small children punching me and pulling my nubby tail, finally paid off!”

Facebook Comments

More from Management Practices

Salon Today 200 The open concept reception table at Lavish in Webster, TX.
Salon Today 200

2017 Salon Today 200: Customer Service

Stacey Soble | December 1, 2016

When it comes to a client building a long-term relationship with a salon, the level of service a guest receives can be more important than the precision of the haircut of the quality of the color. Customer service impacts the client's overall experience, and the salons and spas who deliver it during each and every visit boost their overall sales along with their client retention figures. Find out who made this year's Salon Today 200 list in Customer Service.

Salon Today 200 The team at Rock Paper Scissor SalonSpa in Santa Fe, NM.
Salon Today 200

2017 Salon Today 200: Employee Education

Stacey Soble | December 3, 2016

For the most successful service providers, education is a career-long process. The best salons develop systems to strengthen the skills and confidnece of their newest team members, whicle encouraging their seasoned staff to continually stretch by brining education into the salon or supporting those who venture out to seek new skills. Find out which salons received top honors in the Salon Today 200 by developing strong education programs.

Salon Today 200 When Ayla lost her hair during treatment for a rare form of leukemia, her sister and several members of her Brownie troop decided they wanted to donate hair to Wigs for Kids. The team at Impressions in Mequon, WI, made that happen, and here Ayla makes the first cut.
Salon Today 200

2017 Salon Today 200: Philanthropy

Stacey Soble | December 5, 2016

When salons and spas participate in community charities or organize their own philanthropic activity, the often are acting from the heart. But the goodwill generated from these activities serves as a powerful marketing tool and can propel both personal and professional growth. Here are our 2017 Salon Today 200 honorees in the category of Philanthropy.

Salon Today 200 The team from The Circle Salon on retreat at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago, IL.
Salon Today 200

2017 Salon Today 200: Salon Culture

December 9, 2016

Announcing the 2017 Honorees in the category of Salon Culture. Culture is that invisible, yet tangilbe, energy that binds and propels a team and attracts clients. A strong culture is hard to define and even more difficult to build. But when mastered, these salons are unstoppable.

Load More