I’m sure you’d agree that most salon owners could do with a few more clients coming into their salons at the moment, wouldn’t you!
And yet, the same salon owners are doing the ONE thing that’s going to make it very hard for that to happen.
It’s what I call Vanilla Marketing!
Vanilla isn’t bad. If you’re a fan, a top quality Vanilla Ice Cream can be absolutely divine; it’s just that it has a hard time standing out from the crowd.
And crowds can be noisy confusing places, can’t they.
I often ask salon owners why a new client should choose them and they say things like … “because we’re friendly”… “because we care” … “because we’re good at what we do” and when I hear these clichés I feel like screaming VANILLA, VANILLA, VANILLA!
Now understand what I’m saying … there’s nothing wrong with being friendly, caring, and good at what you do. These are an essential part of what you need to offer every client. It’s just that on their own they are not enough … you’ve got to have a marketing ‘point of difference’ as well otherwise your salon will be just another voice in the crowd.
So what’s the answer, how can you create a marketing ‘point of difference’?
That’s easy… you’ve got lots of options.
For a start you could take a brave pill and use attention grabbing publicity stunts like attempting to break a world record … or you could try dressing up as Edward Scissor Hands and walking around town on stilts promoting your salon … or even insisting to the media that a client gets a better haircut if she’s naked while you’re cutting her hair!
In case you think I’ve gone mad, I’ve seen salon owners standing out from the crowd and in one case even appearing in the national press using publicity stunts just like these.
Another option is to choose a particular demographic group of clients and become ‘THE’ place for them.
Choose to be a ‘salon for kids’, a ‘salon for teenagers’, a ‘salon for professional people’, a ‘salon for mums’, a ‘salon for pensioners’, a ‘salon for disabled people’.
Why should you choose?
Because each of these groups yearns for something different, don’t they and in reality you can’t please them all.
If you try, what happens?
You end up with a compromise and when was the last time you found a compromise to be truly exciting or satisfying for anyone?
Dare to choose and stand out from the crowd.
Dare to give any one of these groups EXACTLY what they want and you’ll find the news spreads fast!
Another marketing ‘point of difference’ option is to do whatever it takes to become the local ‘experts’ for clients with a particular problem. People with a problem just love it when they hear about a place or person who has the answers, so again you stand out from the crowd.
Alternatively you could use price, value or time to create a marketing ‘point of difference‘.
Be the cheapest or most expensive in town. Be the salon that gives the most value. Open earlier than any other salon, or stay open later or even become the salon for insomniacs!
You could be the salon that DARES to give an eye catching guarantee.
Why is that a good idea?
Because every professional marketer will tell you that when you give a strong clear guarantee to your customers their confidence in you goes through the roof and sales really take off.
Very few salon owners have the courage to offer a strong guarantee because they are afraid of being ripped off and this really does create an easy ‘point of difference’ opportunity for anyone with the courage to stand by what they do and shout it from the rooftops!
I could go on … and on because the list of marketing ‘point of difference’ opportunities we’ve got as salon owners is ONLY limited by our imagination so why, why, WHY do we find it so difficult to choose one?
That’s an easy question to answer … FEAR!
We’re afraid of getting it wrong, or even worse, we’re afraid of looking silly or BIG HEADED so we play it safe and do what seems to be working for others, but when you’re fighting the biggest recession we’ve seen in a long time you need to understand that playing it safe and staying in the crowd is actually very RISKY!
I talk about this in greater detail in Chapter 6 of ‘The Salon Owners Guide To Beating The Recession’ which you can download for free by clicking here.