Management Practices

Collaborative Competition

Stacey Soble | September 7, 2016 | 8:51 AM

As the leaves start to brighten in the coming weeks, it’s the perfect time to start putting some preliminary marketing plans in place for 2017. For the fifth straight year, SALON TODAY is here to help with our STAMP (Salon Today’s Annual Marketing Program) issue, full of marketing and promotional ideas that already have proven their merit in salons just like yours. The owners of these businesses willingly shared their winning ideas, knowing they may be sharing a little success with a competitor just down the street.

As I was judging this year’s competition, I was particularly intrigued with a submission from Pat and Bobbi Heaney, who own Mango Salon in Richmond, Virginia. At the suggestion of Jennifer Matsas, their regional business consultant for Bumble and bumble, they partner with the local Sephora on monthly dry styling events, regularly loaning out volunteer stylists to do demos in the window of the beauty products store. (See their winning STAMP idea) Knowing that any product sales would go to Sephora, many owners would have viewed this opportunity with skepticism. But Lynsey Glasco, Mango’s creative development director, says the live events have provided several unexpected benefits for the salon:

Change of Venue. “Spending a day styling customers at Sephora is creatively stimulating for the team members who volunteer,” Glasco says. “They get to do updos and other styling techniques they don’t get to do every day in the salon, and the change in venue shakes things up a bit, exposes them to different people (who may become future clients) and puts them in the public spotlight of being a hair expert.”

Enhanced Retail Skills: Glasco says spending a day in Sephora also shifts the stylists’ perception on how clients look at retail. “Not only do they observe the retailing expertise of the Sephora team in action but they have one-on-one time with Jennifer who observes their interaction with each client and makes subtle suggestions in-between clients on how to improve,” Glasco says. “It really sinks in that clients want to be educated about retail, and educated clients buy more.”

Matsas says she’s subsequently seen retail figures climb for the individuals who volunteer to do the events at Sephora. “One Fresh Talent stylist had retail to service figures in the low 20s—the first month after participating in a Sephora event, his retail to service dollars increased to 44 percent,” she says.

A Broader Beauty Network: Co-branding with a national beauty brand like Sephora elevates the Mango brand in our market,” Glasco says. “They also have great relationships with other beauty vendors, experts and bloggers, so we’ve expanded our network.”

In fact, the monthly dry styling events were so successful, Matsas approached Sephora about doing a closed door evening event for Mango clients and contacts, which is pretty rare.

Advanced Education: Matsas set it up so any Mango stylist who volunteers to do one of the styling events at Sephora earns points in Bumble’s rewards program. “If they have their eye on a class at our New York academy, it’s a great way to quickly rack up the points,” she says.

Overall the program has been a big success for Mango, as well as Sephora. “I really commend Mango and its owners for being leaders and innovators and looking beyond the competitive aspect to see the big picture and how the businesses can grow together,” Matsas says.

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