Put down the scissors! 4 easy ways to boost your sales and client retention rate in the beauty industry
You don’t need to be Sherlock Combs to know that branding is a core part of your business and its identity. The beauty industry is largely made up of service businesses, meaning that the client’s experience is everything.
The quote ‘come for the dinner, stay for the show’ is quite appropriate here; a client might come to get their hair done or their legs waxed, but it’s the experience that surrounds that service which makes or breaks them.
The good news, is that with a bit of insight and some effective design, you can race ahead of the local competition with relative ease.
Logos & Branding
When someone mentions hairdressers, often the first thing that comes to mind is scissors; which is why so hair and beauty based- businesses incorporate them into their logo. Or worse yet, use only a pair of scissors as their logo. While it’s quite valid to want to use imagery that is synonymous with your industry, too much of anything can be very bad.
Enter Brand recognition. According to Nielsen, consumers only buy from a small repertoire of brands, and the average customer spends 13 seconds purchasing those branded items in store. In other words, when a client searches for beauty services, they go for what’s familiar and they do it fast. This is known as ‘instinct buying’ (and brand loyalty).
Say you’re looking for toothpaste. You immediately recognise Colgate on the shelf because it’s what you usually buy, and so you buy Colgate. You don’t study the packaging to check if it’s Colgate – you just know. This is instinct buying, and this is why consistent brand recognition is so important. If your logo looks exactly like the competition, it’s much harder to capitalise on your branding.
Business / Appointment Cards
When it comes to service providers such as hairdressers and beauticians, what you really want to aim for is repeat service (and recommendations). As mentioned before, there are a lot of competitors in a given area, so it’s important that your clients remember who you are. Better still, if they have a business card with your details on it, they can’t forget. Additionally, as with all printed material, the fact that business cards are tangible, conveys a level of importance that is unparalleled to using any other media.
Appointment Cards are also a great way of ensuring that your clients remember to show up. The card acts as a sort of physical commitment to the appointment, therein minimising the risk of lost business to you.
It’s well known that word of mouth is the most effective form of advertising. This is because unsurprisingly, we trust ou
r friends more than we trust ads. The core point of an advertisement is to scream from the roofs of buildings about how great it is. Therefore, because ads always say the product is wonderful, we tend to view them with a degree of skepticism. Our friends however, will tell it to us straight.
You can consider referral cards as an alternate form of your business card: Core business details on one side, with a special introductory offer on the other if they bring the card along with them. Pair this with some form of gift (Free Hair/ Beauty Product or a complimentary service for the referee) and you’ve got yourself a winning combination with a proven track record.
Gift Cards work along similar logic, but in a slightly different way. Existing clients may want to offer your services to friends or family as a gift; acting as a soft introduction to your business. Alternatively, an existing client may requests one of your services as a gift to them.
In any case, it’s critical that your Gift Cards and Referral Cards are well designed so that they accurately reflect the tone of your business. There’s a reason why iPhone’s come in such sleek, pretty packaging. The packaging is part of the experience, and the marketing. If the branding doesn’t represent the quality of the service, then all you’re doing is making yourself look cheap.