Increase New Guest Traffic, NOW!
Branding and marketing are two of the most important aspects of any salon business strategy. It is the way that you engage and communicate with your next new client, and how you’re perceived and identified. Summit Salon Consultant Gavin Salsbery talks about how owners can begin to better understand the most critical pieces to increasing new salon guest traffic and retention.
“Marketing is vital,” Gavin explains, “The inflow of new guest traffic is critical to sales development, profitability, and individual employee income growth. It also is a litmus test for how well the people of your geographic approximate area like you. With the abundance of competition in your marketplace, your ability to be a market leader is dependent of several factors: community outreach, social networking, referral development, and your overall marketing practices.” But before we can market, we have to have a deeper emotional understanding of what it is we want to market. What is our message? What is our image? Who are we, and what is our story? Why do we even matter?
The first step to building a strong marketing platform is to really know who you are as a brand, because this is what builds consistency and clarity into your message. Gavin explains, “If you’re not clear on your brand, then don’t market. It is the chicken or the egg concept. If you don’t have a defined brand, then what exactly are you marketing? Many salons are not clear on this and just generically market in hopes of attaining new guests. Salons do tend to lean more towards being hip and socially engaging, creative, purposeful when trying to increase their new guest traffic. More and more are picking up on the new basics of staying ahead. When you can stand in the front of the boat as a Summit Salon consultant, it allows us to stay most current with the industry’s top North American salon engagement trends, new client development practices, and more… It can be a ton of fun to help salons either reinvent themselves or help guide those who just need a clearer path.”
“To start, ask yourself, in five words or less, how would a citizen in your community describe your salon company?” Gavin explains, “This, in essence, is your brand:
- WHAT are you known for
- WHO are you for
- What are you ABOUT
- What MATTERS to you
- How do you STAND OUT
- How do people FEEL about your company and services?
The answers to these questions are your brand culture or brand identity. You need to be intentional, definitive, and purposeful with branding your salon company.”
“Once you know what your company’s purpose is, you can speak intelligently from your heart and mind. Writing this down in detail keeps your finger on the pulse, and helps you commit and pour your energy into growing it,” Gavin says. “Market that purpose and make it a part of your identity, tying it in with your target demographic. The culture of the company becomes the culture of the brand—make it good.”
Here are Gavin’s top three tips for getting started:
1. Know your past 12–18 months of retention.
- This will help you renew, innovate, and change your current service standards so that you can increase your new client visit retention.
2.Understand what percentage of your new client visits equate to your overall salon traffic.
- This can help you set a new goal, drive new client traffic, and focus on better marketing promotions and referral strategies so that you can increase your new client traffic.
3.Create a client focus group.
- This will allow you to better understand your past service standards and client experiences, which can help you better formulate a strategic and tactical renewal of your overall service standards and guest handling policies.
With a strong brand in place and a solid understanding of your business, you can confidently launch a marketing platform that will bring you the greatest success. And be sure to keep track of your progress. “The best way to gauge your results,” Gavin explains, “is by tracking foot traffic, sales, results of the promotion’s intentions, and staff feedback.”
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