Participating clients receive a free color service with the new staff member when they purchase a hair cut. “We structure it that way because we know that a color service, when done properly, has a retention rate that is two to three times higher than any other service,” says Fennell.
Fennell put together a print ad for the promotion and soon learned it brought 137 new clients to the salon. So the results paid for the ad by filling up staff downtime, but was it a good long-term promotional strategy for the salon? To find out, Fennell tracked retention on those 137 clients. After six months, 60 percent remained active clients of the salon.
“Owners frequently will ask me how they can get their staff to participate in a promotion like that when the staff member is expected to give away something for free,” says Fennell. “Again, it comes down to your ability to educate them on what building a brand and an image is about. When you’re able to track the results and show them exactly what the promotion did to build their long-term book, they become believers.”
Fennell believes there are seven primary growth indicators that every owner should measure: current active clients, active client retention rate, number of new clients per month, new client retention rate, frequency of visits, average service ticket and average retail ticket. “When you know your salon’s benchmarks, then you know which area you can work on to yield the best result,” he explains. [For details on how to measure these growth indicators, visit www.salontoday.com.]
Are you branding vertically?
Once you’ve established your brand, don’t stop by simply posting it on your sign and your menu. What else can you brand?
Heath says that Eveline Charles has implemented a vertical branding strategy that addresses multiple levels. “The more we layer the name, the more it is ingrained into our clients,” she says.
The first level in the company is manufacturing. “Ninety-nine percent of the products, tools and equipment both sold by and used in the business are Eveline Charles brands,” says Heath. “It’s quite impressive when all the professional packaging on the shelves is Eveline Charles.”
The second level is education. Eveline Charles launched the Eveline Charles Academy and now the brand is extended to its trademarked education and a skilled labor pool.
The third level includes the salons and spas themselves. “We currently have eight and are working on our ninth location,” says Heath. All the facilities feature a simple layout with clean lines and minimalist style with an Italian coloring of white, charcoal and rich browns and black. And, of course, the name Eveline Charles is always prominently displayed throughout signage at the entrance, the front desk and on mirrors, as well as on all towels, robes, sandals and even drinking glasses.