Inspired by the federal government's Cash for Clunkers program, Karie Bennett, owner of the Atelier Lifestyle Salon Spa in San Jose, California devised a marketing program that encouraged cosmetic sales by giving clients a bonus for bringing in their used lipstick tubes.


In exchange for their non-Aveda lipsticks, clients were offered $2-off each of Atelier's new Aveda model, with a limit up to six. "I thought it was an idea that could be applied to a few different categories, but it's a fact that during times of recession, lipstick sales go up," Bennett says. "I thought the two ideas could be fun together."

The salon communicated the program to clientele through an e-blast that also offered up the benefits of the lipstick line  and included a user review. "Many people forwarded it to their friends, and it ended up having the highest open rate of any email we've sent out!" says Bennett. "The local paper ran a mention about it, and the exposure was great for us. It focused attention on our whole line in general, and many of the people wound up purchasing more than just a lipstick."

Bennett put all the used lipstick tubes in a jar for display, which prompted more interest. "It's been fun to see what's been traded in."

Since initiating the idea, Bennett has seen it adopted in other salons across the country. "Great ideas are meant to be shared, and I'm so flattered that it's been embraced so well," she says. "Unlike the national program, we won't run out of funds for this program! We may just have to keep running it for a while--as long as no one tries to trade in a Honda!"
 Cash for Clunkers, Salon Style

Karie Bennett