The Mother of Invention
During one of our very first webinars after the COVID-19 pandemic forced salons to close, Ginger Bay Salon and Spa’s Laura Ortmann said, “There’s nothing like a good crisis to get owners to look at their businesses in new and creative ways.”
If you looked at the world through an entrepreneur’s lens while you were sheltering at home, you could observe as entire industries transformed themselves. Grocery stores got more serious about personal shoppers and home deliveries; traditional sit-down restaurants marked their parking lots with designated curbside pick-up spaces and outfitted their teams with microphones and headsets; and every retail outlet that didn’t already have a vibrant e-commerce site rushed to develop one.
In the midst of all this, my husband and I bought a house in another state as he was preparing for a new job. Never in my life did I think I’d buy a house site unseen, but we took a leap of faith, trusted our agent to be our personnel representative, and hoped that the hour-long Facetime tour she gave us through every nook and cranny was an accurate representation of what it would be like to live there. As we started to gather quotes from moving companies, each one asked us to download an app to give them a visual portal into our home and I’d carry them on my phone from room to room showing them what possessions would stay and what would go.
In last month’s issue, we detailed every new technology feature that is helping salons streamline their systems and make the client experience as paperless, receipt-less, cashless and touchless as possible. And, I won’t start on the added PPE and new health and safety procedures—you all already know how much you’ve had to adapt there.
Thinking of Laura’s quote as I judged the STAMP (SALON TODAY Annual Marketing Pieces) I couldn’t help but flush with pride as I thought about how quickly and how creatively salons and spas pivoted to embrace their new reality. They quickly launched e-commerce sites; repackaged their products into at-home therapy kits; launched their own Zoom shows and tutorials that addressed their clients’ beauty needs during the shutdown; stocked their shelves with PPE and trained their teams on the new standards of protocol; developed videos that explained these new processes to clients, and much more.
When you read through the winners of our newest STAMP category, COVID-19 Client Communications (starting on page 10), you’ll see the threads of resiliency, grit, passion, determination, respect and love woven through their marketing and communication pieces. And, these were just a few of the examples we received. the nine years we’ve been doing STAMP, this category received the most entries of any category over the past decade. We will share many more of these excellent examples of marketing ideas on salontoday.com over the coming months.
Finally, when it comes to crisis being the force of reinvention, I encourage you to go on salontoday.com and read the latest blog, “A New Business Model for A New Normal,” penned by Dr. Leon Alexander. In it, he proposes a new hybrid business model for salons that combines the best benefits of employment-based salons with the freedom and flexibility lures that are driving talent toward salon suites. It’s provocative, it’s thoughtful, and for some it may be scary, but I can promise you there are some very successful commission-based salons who are entertaining the idea.