Bart Foreman, president of Group 3 Marketing
Bart Foreman, president of Group 3 Marketing

The September issue of SALON TODAY focused on the new beauty shopper. Two articles stood out – A Window into the Consumer Mind by Rosanne Ullman and 1:1 The New Beauty Shopper, a special advertising section sponsored by P&G Professional. Window is a fabulous article about designing retail environments to influence buying behavior. Both articles have nuggets of information for salon owners to carefully consider.

Both also missed the mark.


According to Mark Komanecky, P&G Shopper-Based Design Manager, today’s shoppers are looking for value – but the idea of value has changed. Komanecky goes on to suggest that “in today’s retail environment, time and accessibility are the new value.” He says shoppers today don’t have a lot of time to shop so they need to find it fast and get on with their lives. That’s true but we believe that is not the reason your guests are not buying professional products from your salon.


Salon owners need to understand two things:


1. Your salon is not a “Retail” environment as these articles might suggest. It’s a PROFESSIONAL environment.


2. Time and accessibility may be the “new value” but it does not apply to your salon environment. Your guest is already there; she has the time and the accessibility.


Komanecky accurately notes that salons have relationship power with their guests, a distinct competitive advantage, and suggests salons can bring in the guests with a seamless transition from the service she loves to the products she buys.” The challenge is not about display and positioning. The challenge is about education. It’s about the stylist and the entire salon team educating their guests about the key values of the professional brands featured in the salon.


Our 2010 intergenerational consumer research study of salon guests reinforces the idea that guests are directly influenced by stylists’ recommendations that focus on performance in the hair and quality. When respondents were asked why they DON’T buy professional products, they cited price or there is no difference between the store brands and professional brands. We believe a compelling story about quality and performance will offset these negatives.


In the Window article, I was impressed with a comment from Eurisko President, Leon Alexander. He said, “When I see someone walking out of Sephora with a shampoo, I think, ‘There’s a salon somewhere that’s not doing its job.’” 


There are a plethora of strategies regarding how to display your professional brands. Display is important, and so is your Holiday presentation. Be sure to read Peter Millard’s suggestions for Holiday displays in the Window article. He’s the master of presentation and design. But, don’t lose sight of your primary business drivers.


Now is the time to gather your team and stress how your salon can grow your professional brands’ sales. Yes, worry about presentation but focus on team and guest education. That’s the key to selling more product – and selling more product leads to greater guest retention. We call this Growing Your Business From the Inside Out.


Learn more about the Group 3 Marketing 2010 Beauty for the Ages research project for the professional beauty industry at and then e-mail us to open a dialog on how this research and our strategy of growing your business from the inside out can support your salon’s growth.



To learn more about Group 3 Marketing, visit


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