Branding Your Salon for Excellence
As a salon owner, you are partly responsible for your guest’s image and self-esteem. You also are responsible for your own image. Your brand is the cornerstone of your reputation. A strong brand differentiates your salon from competitors, conveys the highest value you deliver, and serves as an implicit promise to your customers of what your organization stands for.
Your salon brand is made from many things, it may consist of a color scheme, image, graphics, logo and beautiful salon furniture. It also may be a specific service that sets you apart. Yes, all of these define your salon and the character you desire but, is this exactly what you want your brand to be?
So, if branding isn’t solely colors, fonts, service and a fancy salon logo, what is it? A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, furniture and service or other feature that distinguishes an organization or product from its rivals in the eyes of your customers.
Your salon brand is seen as one of a company's most valuable assets. It represents the face of the company, the recognizable logo, slogan or mark that the public associates with your company. This combination signifies the relativity of your salon’s essence. Your brand is the heart and soul of your salon business.
Think about your favorite brands. What feelings and memories come to you when you see their image and logo in marketing materials? You want to create a brand that your guests associate with the feelings they have while they are in your salon. If your salon is loud, edgy with high energy and an urban feel or Zen-like with soft colors and a more laid-back relaxing atmosphere your brand should reflect those feelings.
Your brand should be consistent across all mediums: the signs in your windows, the color of your salon’s walls, the background of your website, your menu, Facebook home page, your Google places listing and any other social media platform you choose to use. Brand awareness is what you get when someone has an emotional reaction or memory (hopefully a positive one) when they see your image or drive by your salon.
When your guest gets an email from you, they should be transported to the feeling they get when they are in the salon for services. Consistency and repetition are the keys. Your goal is to be top-of-mind for your guests whenever possible, and having a strong brand will help you do that.
Branding is helping your customers understand what it is that your business offers. The first image that pops in their mind for hair or spa-related treatments should be your salon. Think about that for a minute. What’s the best way to get this to stick in their head whenever they are brushing their hair, applying makeup, showering using the shampoo and conditioners your business sold them?
This mind-altering brand builder can simply be a catchy phrase in your salon’s name or a cool symbol on your logo. Think about how Starbuck’s how changed their logo to help better distinguish their brand.
Let’s go back in time and think about the barber pole in front of the barber shop. Every man and woman knew exactly what was going on in that storefront and never really had to think about where to go for a haircut. The barber pole today is still the cheapest and easiest way to brand a barber shop. This made it easy for men to relate the barber pole to getting a haircut, no matter where they were in any town or city. Genius and easy to understand.
Branding should come easy once you truly get a firm understanding on how you want your business to be perceived. The simpler, the better—if you make it difficult for people to understand your brand, then you will blend in with everyone else around you.
The salon business has always been about building trust between the client and the stylist. Consumers want comfort, happiness, and satisfaction in their lives, and they get it in part through the products they buy. If the brands they use consistently deliver a positive experience, consumers form an opinion that the brand is trustworthy, which gives them peace of mind when buying and coming to your salon for services.