The Business of Hair Color: Create a Color SpringboardOne of the best ways to grow a salon’s overall sales is to leverage the strong color foundation to upgrade or add-on other services the salon offers. As a pilot salon for Goldwell’s Nectaya organic, ammonia-free color, Teddie Kossof Salon Spa in Northfield recently experimented with several up-sell scenarios very successfully. “We knew if we simply added another color line to our dispensary without making it special and pointing out those differences to the client, we’d be the ones who would be losing out,” says Alan Kossof, who co-owns the salon with his father Teddie.

The salon already charged $62 for a single-process color service, which Kossof says is on the higher end for a single-process color service, and the Nectaya premium service would retail for $82—20 percent more. To introduce the service to their clientele, Kossof used the salon’s loyalty points to acquire a supply of Goldwell’s Dualsenses Shampoo and Conditioner, which allowed the salon to market to create complimentary gift of purchase of the premium color service. Before the launch, the salon worked closely with their distributors to educate the team on the premium color’s benefits, and the salon created a special place on its website for Nectaya education, developed an e-blast about the new color service, promoted it through advertising on salon’s van and with in-salon video shelf-talkers.

The initial trial launch was a huge success, but Kossof knew he needed a plan to encourage long-term conversion, so he decided to offer clients the first three applications of the upgraded color at a courtesy rate of $75. When one in six clients converted to the upgraded color, the salon was pleased, but Kossof noticed after the third application, as the price went up, about 50% of the conversions opted to go back to the regular color service. “At that point, we decided we’d rather be doing more services at a lesser rate, and we were comfortable in our margin, so we decided to offer clients an opportunity to buy the color in pre-paid series of three or six application at the $75 a piece rate,” he says.

As a student of marketing though, Kossof knows that to keep any upgraded service selling, it’s important to continue to push it repackage it. “We decided to do a hard core push in the third quarter on all our upgraded services. We did another round of social media blitz and eblasts and sent clients who already had appointments booked a service reminder that prompted them to ask about our special on upgrades,” he says. “When clients checked in, they got what looked like a sales tear sheet. Step one prompted them to update their profile including their cell phone and email. Step two invited them to make the most of their visit by upgrading their service, then had a menu of upgrade options with the pricing just including the incremental amount to be added to their base service,” says Kossof. “About 45 percent of clients given the tear sheets ended up upgrading their service.”

In fact, the salon is in middle or reinventing the offer again. Now, clients receive a treatment serum complimentary when they do one of the qualifying behaviors, such as purchasing products, adding a manicure to their service, or upgrading their color service. “That prompted 42 people to upgrade this past Saturday,” says Kossof.