Brand marketing is the process of establishing and growing a relationship between a brand and consumers. Rather than highlighting an individual product or service, brand marketing promotes the entirety of the brand, using the products and services as proof points that support the brand's promise.

Recently, the 2022 STAMP (SALON TODAY Annual Marketing Program) recognized 37 honorees in 21 categories, including 11 honorees in Branded Salon Materials.  Presented in a Show-and-Tell style, these proven marketing strategies are ripe for borrowing, adapting to your own business and using in your own market.  The competition awarded marketing and promotional ideas in five overall categories: Traditional Marketing, Digital Marketing, Campaigns, Branded Salon Materials, and In-Salon Marketing. To break it up and make these online stories a little easier to digest, we are presenting each category as a separate story. 

This story examines how salons and spas leverage their brand on printed materials, giveaways, apparel and even in live events. 




Clever Connections

Headlines The Salon
Encinitas, California
Owners: Gayle Fulbright and David Linde

Like many restaurants and salons, one of the trends Headlines Salon adopted from the pandemic was the use of the QR code.

“We added two QR codes on each employee’s business card. One code takes the holder to our website, and the other drives clients to the stylist’s Instagram. We know clients love to check a stylist’s work before the commit to an appointment.”



Fair Fare

Centre Salons & Spas
Four locations in Colorado
James Pacifico

Like most salons, Centre needed to recruit new team members following the pandemic, but once the salon started attending recruitment fairs at local cosmetology schools again, they realized the new crop of students were unfamiliar with their brand.

To raise the salon’s profile, Centre began making their appearances centered around fun and their excellent benefits. With the help of Imaginal Marketing Group, the salon created several materials to help boost the brand:

  • Benefit-centered recruitment postcards that link to the website’s Application Page.
  • Stickers and temporary tattoos that feature the salon’s ‘Gigi’ and ‘Kiki’ characters
  • Fun spectacles, such as tarot card readings, popcorn machines, snow cones and more that encourage students to remember the salon when it’s time to choose a new home
  • “Since we’ve developed these initiatives, we’ve seen improvement in our applicant responses and since the beginning of the year we’ve recruited 22 new staff members, 16 of which came directly from school fairs,” Pacifico says.



Whip Salon
Ridgefield, Connecticut
Amy Pal

In boosting their recruitment efforts, Whip Salon Owner Amy Pal forged deeper relationships with area cosmetology schools. “I went in and offered to come in and speak to the students about what to look for in their salon home, as well as give them some tips and tricks on how to stand out in an interview,” Pal says.

To create a really professional impression, the salon created this trifold brochure that outlined the salon’s mission statement, showcased its clients’ testimonials and outlined the advantages of joining Whip Salon.


The DL Lowry Difference

DL Lowry Salon
Indianapolis, Indiana
David Lowry

To recruit stylists into its apprenticeship program, DL Lowry Salon commissioned PR Agency Pence Media Group to create videography assets, event booth banners and slide presentations.

The apprenticeship video highlights the salon’s unique program, which aims to set DL Lowry apart from other salons in the market, and it showcases the new salon, staff, expertise and the elevated client experience. The recruitment presentation is used at recruiting events at local cosmetology schools and sent to prospective apprentices who request more information online. And, the banner serves as a booth backdrop when DL Lowry stylists are exhibiting at recruiting events.

Snip a clip from https://vimeo.com/672070565



Reliving the Wedding

Raleigh, North Carolina
Bryan Nunes

Blo’s bridal business has taken off over the years, and Nunes wanted to create a high-end piece that strengthened the emotional connection between a bride and the salon that does her hair on her wedding day, with the goal of retaining her business into the future. This card includes foil stamping and an embossed diamond intended to engage multiple senses.

“Wedding days can be hectic and filled with emotion and often brides remember the experience as a blur,” Nunes says. “By sending this piece after the dust settles, we hope to pull the bride’s memory back to that special day, allowing her to relive the experience and share it with her spouse.”


Holiday Scratchers

Jiva Salonspa
Cedar Falls, Iowa
Bill Bradford

Each year, Jiva Salonspa throws an annual holiday event to celebrate their customers while helping them knock out some holiday shopping. This past year, the salon incorporated scratch-off giveaways to increase participation and attendance.

“We designed a variety of different offers that allowed each guest to be a winner—anything from a free product to a $20 discount on a service,” says Bradford. “The creation of the cards was simple, then we simply placed a scratch-off sticker on each—the stickers cost us about $18.”

The customers loved the scratch-off tickets, which were handed out in the weeks leading up to the holiday event—the key was the clients had to come to the event and have the offer scratched off by the salon staff. The salon had such an overwhelmingly positive result, they did a similar campaign for Earth Day.


Rx Brochures

Studio Blush
Oxford, Pennsylvania
Tara Miller

A well-rounded experience at Studio Blush means the client leaves with the knowledge of the best products for their hair and skin. This simple product recommendation brochure encourages stylists to record the specific recommended products. Clients can either purchase them the day of their appointment, or use the QR code later to order the products from the salon’s online store. Under the QR code is a space for the stylist to recommend the client’s next appointment.

“The best feature with these four-paneled brochures is the versatility within them,” Miller says. “There is ample space for stylists to write whatever they recommend, and the cards create a special one-on-one moment for their clients.”




Whip Salon
Ridgefield, Connecticut
Amy Pal

Instagram plays a huge role in Whip’s marketing success, but getting content from busy stylists is not always easy. “We decided it would be helpful to train our entire team how to make reels and help them improve their range of content,” Pal says. Our marketing team worked together to create a branded pamphlet that helped reinforce the mechanics behind creating reels and break down the steps to help remove the intimidation factor.”

The pamphlets were passed out following a staff meeting to educate the team on social skills. “To this day, our stylists with the best photos and reels on Instagram are the most requested by new clients—this effort was to help our entire team grow.



The Retro Band Tee

Headlines The Salon
Encinitas, California
Gayle Fulbright and David Linde

Proud to be open for more than 35 years, Gayle Fulbright and David Linde wanted to celebrate with their team and their community. Linde created a Retro Band Tour T-shirt, with the back featuring the dates and locations of some of salon’s biggest accomplishments—similar to band tour dates.

The owners distributed the T-shirts to the staff at a team celebration, and the salon celebrated the anniversary with a month-long promotion that included special deals on all products and services, food and beverages. “We had our best service and retail month of the entire year, generating more than $314,000!” Fulbright says.



Come As You Are

Penzone Salons + Spas
Columbus, Ohio
Charles and Debra Penzone

Each of the six PENZONE Salons + Spas features a retail boutique, filled with the latest and greatest retail products, including the salon’s branded wearables and merchandise. “We use our apparel as an opportunity to share the evolution of our branding with textured hearts and new playful elements to our logo and more,” Debra says. “Not only do we love seeing our team and guests representing our brand, but we profited from the boutique sales of more than 500 branded pieces last year.”

The collection for Spring/Summer 2022 included:




Mermaids at the Beach

Mermaid Hair Extensions
Kirkland, Washington
Cindy Reynolds

Every year, the community of Kirkland, Washington, holds a July 4th parade and each year Mermaid Hair Extensions participates with a mermaid-themed float. “Our whole team gets involved with this low-cost way to promote the salon. They dress up in mermaid costumes and ride on the float or walk alongside and help out in other ways,” says Reynolds. “The morning of the parade, everyone pitches in to get the mermaids ready, doing their makeup and styling their extra-long mermaid extensions.”

Along the parade route, the team waves to the crowd, plays music and tosses out Mardi Gras-style beads. This year, an estimated 45,000 people lined up along the parade route—a tremendous amount of exposure for a day’s effort. “New clients often mention that they first heard about us by seeing the mermaids in the parade,” Reynolds says.


Traditional Marketing

Digital Marketing


In-Salon Marketing

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