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Advice from a Tree - For Professional Beauty Salons

Trees, like salon guests, are all around us and, like your guests, we admire their beauty but take most of them for granted. Last week, I discovered a poem by Ilan Shamir titled “Advice from a Tree.” As we pass the halfway point of 2017, here’s some good advice from a tree, somewhat embellished to reflect marketing and its impact on the business of beauty.

Stand tall and proud. Whether you are launching a new salon or celebrating another trip around the sun, be proud of your heritage and new beginnings. Even if you are in a survival battle due to more salon suites opening and pressure from stylists believing the grass is greener elsewhere, stand tall and tell your story.

Go out on a limb. Those strong branches on a tree didn’t just happen. They are the result of the tree seeking more sunlight to fuel itself. In the year before us, filled with uncertain economic and political times, it can be easy to cut services and reject new ideas to play it safe. Don’t be too quick to toss aside someone’s new idea. It might save your salon.

Remember your roots. Even in a new salon there are always roots and they go deeper with age. Heritage is important even though emerging technologies and new salon formats are blurring the marketplace. Many of your seasoned guests remember your roots but they are also influenced by the new set of marketplace norms.

Drink plenty of water to stay nourished. Salons need energy to survive. One of the key questions I ask in our salon marketing audits is how long has it been since you updated your menu (besides prices), improved your POS, attended a trade show, etc. What I usually find is that it has been too long and the salon and its team has lost its nourishment.

Branch out. Doing the same old stuff is not going to allow your salon to grow. You need to embrace THE FULL SPECTRUM of what makes a salon visit a memorable experience. Every new branch has the opportunity to generate new salon growth. That includes product sales.

Make new friends. Beside lots of other trees to create a canopy of protection trees don’t have a lot of friends. Salons need to make a lot of NEW friends every day. For most salons, Millennials should be the primary new friend focus. Millennials are the new “forest” of consumers. They are the largest consumer segment. They are driving huge strategic and structural changes across all consumer facing businesses. Like trees, they are growing up and branching out. You may believe this rhetoric does not apply to the beauty industry, but it does. Really.

Enjoy the view. But do it quickly because it is changing. Complacency is a salon killer. Everything is changing. Delivering a service is morphing into experiencing. Salons may still be destinations, but the reasons for a trip to the salon are changing because guests’ experiences are changing.

Understand what dynamics are impacting your salon’s business. Every salon is vying for an extremely diverse and distracted consumer. Stylists are in a state of flux. Why are they opting for the “suite life?” Even worse, why are they leaving the business of beauty? Professional beauty brands are moving to a direct-to-consumer strategy across the entire salon marketing ecosystem in order to break away from the sea of sameness and better control their own brand identity. That adds more pressure for every salon to get it right.

Consider a professional salon marketing audit to talk and walk through the issues you may not even realize are impacting your salon brand. My goal is to help you find the best EndGame marketing strategy for your brand.

Email me at and check out our website Take our one question website quiz and then we’ll have something to talk about.

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