Zano Salons & Day Spas mission is to make their clients feel beautiful every day, but their makeover contest, dubbed “A Cinderella Story,” brought its winner—and the salon—more attention than either imagined.

“I was treated like a princess,” says Bonnie Bulger, a stay-at-home mom who sent in a photograph and a short essay explaining she wanted a makeover to mark her 40th birthday. Her prize included not only salon services, but also a new outfit and a night out at a local restaurant. The makeover process was filmed and televised by a local station, no doubt compelling many other wanna-be Cinderellas to take note.

For salons looking to stage their own contest, know that the return far outweighs the investment. “The Cinderella Makeover Contest has been a big hit in our community and a morale booster for our staff,” says co-owner Denise Provenzano, who adds the promotion wasn’t costly. “We produced posters, ads and sent our press releases to our local media. Our staff volunteered their time for the makeover and our partners provided the clothing and dinner. It was a great experience, and we now have a new customer for life.”

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