Not only does a brand handbook communicate the essentials to new staff, it emphasizes the importance of the brand to your existing staff. Jackson recommends maintaining the handbook separately from any operations manual, as stresses the importance of reviewing and updating the handbook as elements are revised.
Is your service up to standard?
You also have to maintain a consistency in the service you deliver—from visit to visit and from location to location. “You have to create service standards and deliver as close to them as you can 100 percent of the time,” says Fennell.
That was a struggle for Eveline Charles as the corporation began to add locations, since Charles couldn’t be at each location ensuring that each service was the same. Charles addressed the issue by developing specific standards for each service on her menu.
“Across every department, each Eveline Charles service includes the following five steps: preparation, greeting, consultation, technical service, and finally, the client closing, which includes the thank you, the rebooking, and the closing of the retail sale,” stresses Heath. “Each of the five steps should be recognizable in any Eveline Charles service.”
Who’s in charge?
One of the best ways to ensure brand consistency is for each salon and spa to assign a staff member to the charge. At Diva Studio, the self-proclaimed brand bulldog is Brooks. “While everyone else works in our company, I work on the company. I am the brand protector,” he says. “Whenever we make any decision about the company, we bounce it off the brand and let the brand determine the outcome.”
As an example, the owners recently considered adding an accessory line of handbags in their retail area. “They were a hot line of knock-offs of designer bags and I’m sure we would have make some money on them. But I asked if the decision to carry knock-offs was consistent with our brand. Are we a knock-off company? Would the next step be carrying knock-off shampoos?” he asked. “So in the end, we decided against it.You know, as a market leader you can’t beat Target. But we want to be Armani,” he continues. “That means we won’t be doing business with everyone. We went out and did market analysis and learned that we were underpriced. Our prices have to come up, but we know we have also have to add those value-added perks that come with a brand at that level.”