Salon Boutique 101
Featuring, Gavin Salsbery
A Salon Boutique is a salon company which also features apparel and accessories for purchase. We have all encountered when this is done right… and when it is done very wrong. Summit Salon Consultant, Gavin Salsbery, has been consulting with and is now a partner in salon boutique, Urban Eve. His experience in branding, marketing and salon business gives him incredible insight into this niche market. Here is his perspective of the growing salon boutique business model:
To even consider entering into the boutique waters, you have to absolutely love fashion. When you own a salon & boutique, understand that in essence, you’re managing, operating, buying, strategizing, promoting, budgeting, hiring and growing two separate business divisions; Salon Division & Boutique Division.
Your concept needs to start with a PURPOSE. What will make your boutique unique from another store at the mall or in a shopping center? How will your concept be fresh and stand alone as a retail sales division in your company?
What are you passionate about? What drives your soul? Can you connect this with your boutique? Let’s take giving back for an example… If your passion is to give back and help humankind… Then design your boutique with this in mind. The concept can be carried forward by selecting “Give Back Brands” (for example, TOMS) that are intentional about specific causes and societal needs. Your merchandising and overall space design can reflect a give back theme and overall aesthetic. Your promotion can be tied into give back causes, your budgeting can earmark a specific amount based on sales volume to donate monthly… This is just one example of beginning with a specific concept to help you formulate your business plan and success strategies.
A successful salon & boutique is one brand, woven together by a common thread of core values, brand promises and overall brand management.
Here are the TOP FIVE pivotal aspects that make or break this business model.
- Location, location, location.
- When considering a salon & boutique, consider you’ll need hundreds of monthly walk in’s that are coming in to shop your boutique. Foot traffic is vital to drive sales and help you achieve the necessary sales per square foot needed to be profitable.
- Your interior space must be designed so that you are half salon and half boutique. The traffic pattern flow needs to be intentional. You’ll need dressing rooms, sales associates, creative merchandising and be in step with your local targeted demographics retailing needs. Your brand must look and feel like a salon & boutique and the experience must be designed purposefully so that it is one business with two divisions. Let’s use the example of Target. You can shop for groceries, clothing, tv’s, toys, etc. It’s one brand, one space and one experience.
- I can’t stress enough how important branding is… When working with clients, I sometimes use the term OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) to explain branding. What do I mean? The texture of your paper, the colors of your logo, the script choice of your signage, the focus of your photos in your posting, the lighting, the sound, the smell, the experience, your website, your location, your teams education level, your companies purpose, your interior design and lots and lots of other nitty gritty details.
- We must be committed to focusing on the details of branding. For example, I saw an empty water bottle in a hair pic on an Instagram post yesterday… I haven’t see any random water bottles in the latest posts from the world’s most recognized brands. What I’m saying is that it is the DETAILS that either ELEVATE or DEPRECATE our brand.
- Be Consistent on Social Media
- If you’re going to do it, do it. There should be an equal distribution of hair and boutique content. One Instagram and one Facebook page, weave your brand message throughout your posts, live your companies why. Everything should look and feel the same throughout all your social platforms, website, interior and exterior, collateral pieces, company communication and staff behaviors and communication.
- Be Strategic.
- You need to be in step with your targeted audience and understand the psychographics. The days of opening a salon and just praying they show up are done. Consumers are smarter than ever and have more choice than previous generations. With this being said, market to your target audience’s consumer lifestyle, activities, interests and opinions.
Every 7 years or less you should do a branding analysis and update your brand from top to bottom. Assess what’s outdated and what needs upgraded and updated. The companies that we all know reinvent themselves periodically and retool their branding so that it stays current to the psychographics of their targeted audience. Keep it fresh. Keep it intentional and keep it consistent. Live your brands purpose!
What do YOU think? What are your tips for Salon Boutiques?!
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