Welcome to the Salon Owner’s Podcast, Phorest FM Episode 69. Co-hosted by Killian Vigna and Zoé Bélisle-Springer, Phorest FM is a weekly show that puts forth a mix of interviews with industry thought-leaders, salon/spa marketing tips, company insights and information on attending Phorest Academy webinars. Phorest FM is produced every Monday morning for your enjoyment with a cup of coffee on your day off.

Phorest FM Episode 69

The idea behind visual merchandising is to optimise anything that can be seen by the customer inside and outside a store to get said client to come in and buy products. In the hair and beauty industry, retail displays aren’t necessarily always the centrepiece of the salon. The focus is put on customer service and the treatments provided – rightfully so. That being said, visual merchandising is multifaceted, and regardless of the size of the display, there are ways to get those retail products to sell more, without much effort. This week on the show, Killian and Zoe are joined by Salon Summit workshop speaker and Founder of Visual Sense, Rowena Doyle to discuss all things visual merchandising.



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Killian Vigna: Welcome to the Phorest FM Podcast episode 69. I’m Killian Vigna.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And I’m Zoe Belisle-Springer. This week’s episode is the first episode of our #30Days2Grow series, and we’re kicking it off with the founder of Visual Sense, Rowena Doyle, to discuss the power of visual merchandising in your salon.

Killian Vigna: So, grab yourself a cup of coffee, sit back, relax, and join us weekly for all your salon’s business and marketing needs.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Good morning, Killian.

Killian Vigna: Good morning, Zoe. So, exciting. It’s the first Monday of #30Days2Grow. We just kicked it off there yesterday, or last night.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yes. It was Sunday, so Sunday, April 1st. I know it was an odd one because people were like, “Well, it’s Easter,” you know? Should we kick it off on Sunday? But we worked it out, and I think the challenge wasn’t too hard for a Sunday. And for Phorest FM regular listeners, just like last year when we did #30Days2Grow, this month we’re dedicating the whole month to interviews with industry thought leaders on various topics. So, it should be really, really interesting. A really good month.

Killian Vigna: Yeah. So, every Monday we’re gonna discuss different topics, but we’re also gonna talk about things that we see in the 30Days2Grow Facebook page as well. So, shed a bit of light onto that because the sign-ups for it this year were massive. And the amount of excitement in it and everything just last week alone. So, yeah. Day one in, can’t wait. So, today we’re kicking it off, then. We’re bringing someone back from another event we had at Phorest.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yes. So, if you were at the Salon Owner’s Summit 2018, you probably remember we had a few additions to the Summit. So, we had, as usual, the speakers, but we also had workshops. And in those workshops, we had Rowena Doyle from Visual Sense who was talking about visual merchandising. And we just thought why not get her back on to Phorest FM this time and have a proper one-to-one chat with her?

Killian Vigna: Yeah, exactly. And it ties in with the 30Days2Grow challenge. It’s all about like your product retail. How to really dress it up. How to really promote it online because like we were saying, you shouldn’t have to be competing with local cosmetic firms, these, or anything like that. You’re the expert, you should be selling, your customers should be buying your products. It’s the aftercare. You already have the right aftercare for the treatments they have, so how do we push that out and make it look really appealing? So, I suppose without further ado, welcome to the show Rowena.

Rowena Doyle: Hi, guys. How are you?

Killian Vigna: Great, yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Pretty good, thank you. How are you?

Rowena Doyle: Yeah I’m really good, thanks. Very good. All is good. Happy Easter!

Killian Vigna: Happy Easter, yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Happy Easter, yeah.

Killian Vigna: Exactly. It’s been quick. It’s been a quick one.

Rowena Doyle: Yeah. Yeah. Just thinking of the Salon Summit, I’m like how was that January and now it’s like nearly April?

Killian Vigna: Yeah, that’s what we were saying. So, we have you on the show now, it does not feel like, what? Three months ago that that Summit was, was the 8th and 9th of January. It’s so fast. Like it feels like just a couple of weeks ago that we were actually talking to you.

Rowena Doyle: Yeah. It’s crazy. Time has just gone so fast.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: How did you enjoy your experience at the summit, actually?

Rowena Doyle: Yeah, I loved it. Yeah, at first because I was like, “Oh God that’s a lot of people.” But yeah, no I loved it. I really, really enjoyed it. And the crowd were so friendly, so that made it just easier. You know, if you have to do something like that. I just saw a lot of very happy warm faces and I was like, “Oh, this is gonna be fun.”

Killian Vigna: I think that it was different as well. So, there was yourself, there was Chris Brennan, and then there was Paddy as well. So, the whole workshops thing, it brought that like engagement interaction into the Summit for the first time. It was the first time, wasn’t it? Before it was just having speakers. So, yeah like what you were doing was great for our clients because it was getting that engagement. And kind of mixing it up because when you’re sitting on a chair for a couple of hours you’re just, you’re bound to drift off. So, it was good to get that shaping and moving. And what was it? You did three workshops throughout the day, wasn’t it?

Rowena Doyle: Yeah three workshops, yeah. One in the morning and then two kind of back to back in the afternoon. So, yeah. So, everybody got a chance to do it, which is good.

Killian Vigna: And you’re saying this is your first time to be on a podcast as well now?

Rowena Doyle: Yeah, yeah I’ve been on the radio before, but I’ve never done a podcast. Which I suppose is kind of the same thing, but yeah.

Killian Vigna: Ah no, we’ve more listeners.

Rowena Doyle: Don’t tell me that!

Killian Vigna: Ah no, you’ll be great.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: No, so-

Killian Vigna: No, Zoe. Go for it.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So, before we get into the nitty-gritty of the subject, can you, for the listeners that haven’t been at the Summit, can you give an introduction to yourself? Like what got you into the field? How you founded Visual Sense?

Rowena Doyle: So, I suppose I started working in retail and this area when I was actually quite young. So, I was actually 16 years of age, but I didn’t know at the time that I was doing visual merchandising. I just sort of fell into it. So, I worked in a really high-end Indonesian furniture store, and the owner sort of said, “You know, you seem to be doing a good job here. You can look after the place.” So, I started moving things around when they were gone buying. Making beautiful setups, buying flowers, like raiding their expense account when they were away. No, I had no problem doing that I was just like, “I’ll just go buy lilies that are like really expensive.” And literally, sales just started going up and up and up. And people were buying the whole like, you know, interior concept and saying, “Oh, let’s take the flowers as well.”

So, you know, I was kind of doing it with a passion for wanting things to look as great as I could at a young age. And then sort of finding my way into the business through studying in college, then. And then I went to work for Arnotts for quite a long time kind of doing their VM and on their VM team. So, yeah. So, like it was a funny journey. And I went travelling, then, to Australia. Did it over there as well for David Jones, and decided when I came back in the recession to start up Visual Sense. And because there wasn’t a lot of things happening in the area, but I really felt it was the right time for retailers to try to do something to help them basically boost sales in a really tough time. So, yeah I founded it then, started it up, and just sort of, yeah, went on the road. Just built clients up, and then here I still am six years later. Still standing.

Killian Vigna: Building it all up from experience, as well.

Rowena Doyle: From experience.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And it must have been quite a challenge to build that up during the recession, as well.

Rowena Doyle: Yeah. Absolutely. It was kind of, it was difficult to get people to buy into it in terms of, you know, a lot of people were having sales at the time. So, visuals weren’t a priority. The one thing that did go for me was a lot of people were letting staff go at the time, which is obviously not a good thing, but at the time it was a good thing for us because we were an “outsource” business. So, we weren’t as expensive. So, we were there to fill a lot of that. So, that’s kind of the route I went down. Kind of like we’ll kind of be an add-on. So, we actually got a big gig with Clerys Department Store. Kind of obviously when it was open, but that was my first big kind of client. And kind of once when we got them, everything kind of came after that. Because once you kind of have one big name behind you, everybody knows then your work.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, it’s like a testimonial.

Rowena Doyle: Yeah, yeah. Exactly.

Killian Vigna: So, you were saying that kind of you were 16 years of age. You almost fell into this line of work. And I see how you could kind of do that, so I suppose do visual merchandising without realizing it. Because I know from when I was younger and working in a shop as well you were always told, “Alright, like you’ve got the kind of high end stuff always top of the shelf. You’ve got your basics at the bottom.” You know, these kind of like simple sciences, that whereas like a music playlist even when you walk into a store could have an influence on what you’re buying. But around the visual merchandising that you were saying like you studied in college and that you’re doing now, like are there any other theories that people wouldn’t, I suppose, be as aware of about display products. And what are the best ways to get your retail displays to stand out? Especially when you’re in a salon?

Rowena Doyle: Yeah. Like I think, like we kind of work in with different areas. And there’s always sort of three simple ones that we follow. So, for me, number one in terms of a technique would be repetition. And I spoke a little bit about that at the summit. In terms of having product that is repeated a couple of times within different areas of the space. So, it tends to take people a little bit longer to process information. So, usually, if they just see something once, they don’t remember it. But if they see it three times. So, that like, for me, is always a really simple one, but actually always the most effective. So, and kind of from there we would add on communication, which would be bigger now than it was a couple years ago. So, in terms of having, you know, kind of a unique voice around your products, and what the value of them is, or what their benefits are. And like really clever signage as close to the display units as you can. That’s a really, really effective one. And actually now is probably becoming just as important as the display itself.

Yeah, and we’re always telling people as well, like, “It’s retail, so you know you can be a bit fun with this signage.” You can always be, you know, like let people like maybe laugh at something. It doesn’t always have to be very serious. So, I always say to people, “If it’s fun, or informative, or a powerful message, or maybe if it’s educational.” So, it kind of needs to fit within those categories. And you had just mentioned it there earlier, number three for us is always your senses. And obviously very important in this industry. I’m always saying to clients, “Like, you’ve got to engage in people’s senses.” So, their sight, their smell, and the sound.

So, you know, even more so now to think as kind of luxurious as you can. Because I suppose like anything, like somebody like boots can put a sticker and say like, “This is for testing.” But like the industry of a beauty expert is to really engage people and be as kind of luscious as they can to get people to want to touch things, taste things, smell things. As much as your senses are heightened, the more likely you are to buy things. So, that’s a massive one.

Killian Vigna: So, that’s when you see like when you go into a shop and they give you the tasters with the food and things like those. Or even when you walk into a spa and you’ve got like those aroma therapy kits going and you just instantly feel relaxed.

Rowena Doyle: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. As much as that as you can. And if, you know, in terms of like product. You know, if you want people to buy product, you know, I think now as I said like yes you can have little testers out of stuff, but you’ve got to think more creatively because, you know, everyone does that. So, if you’re really an expert in it, you know, how can you really go out and maybe buy really special jars and make it look really kind of, you know, really like appealing. So, people almost… Like it’s like when you want people to kind of almost live in your retail space. And like even sometimes the ingredients that go into things, like getting those and using them as part of the displays. That will work really well.

Killian Vigna: Well, that’s a really good idea. Like if it’s got different flowers in it, maybe have them on display with the product is it?

Rowena Doyle: Yeah, like if there’s lavender, or something of lemon, like absolutely like have those in the display. It just makes it so much easier for people to understand what you’re trying to sell them.

Killian Vigna: So, we have the senses and we have the communication. So, the communication have it like fun, informative, educational. You were saying about repetition, there. What would you mean by repetition, now? Is this kind of like if you’re selling, let’s say a gift card, is that where you have it on like the coffee table, then have another sign at the, I suppose, the actual service desk, and then at the point of sale? Is that what you mean by repetition?

Rowena Doyle: Yeah. Like it’s two kind of ways, I suppose. Yeah, it’s repetition in terms of like sometimes if we’re working from the façade right through to the till area to where people are sitting down, you would have that messaged on the same time. But sometimes what you see is maybe the sign’s different, the product is a different color, so they might have a yellow one here and a blue… Like it’s always better to stick with the same message, the same colors, or the same product color. So, it’s kind of just repeating yourself, and yeah having it maybe at different touch points. You know, three or four maybe.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, I suppose like they say. Consistency is key, isn’t it?

Rowena Doyle: Absolutely. Consistency is king.

Killian Vigna: Or king, yeah. King.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So, we talked about this a bit offline earlier, but we were talking about trends. And, you know, sometimes it’s easy to see trends going on in different industries, and you’re thinking right, well how do I bring that trend into… You know, how do I apply that into my industry? Is there any current trends that could potentially work for the hair and beauty industry at the moment?

Rowena Doyle: Like I think there’s one big trend at the moment. And I was at a conference last week and it was brought up again, so I’m seeing it a lot. Particularly in sort of fashion retail, and like a lot of retailers, it will probably go across all retailers. Like that use of space now being kind of almost like we want to break that rule book in retail. So, it’s not just for your main product that you sell, or service that you sell, but what could you add on to that to make people come there for that? And then maybe buy your product, or use afterwards. So, hospitality and retail is definitely merging. So, in terms of like coffee shops, juice bars.

And like that’s, to me, sort of makes sense in the beauty world. Particularly something like a juice bar. And like I think sometimes people, then, like everybody does, you start to think too big with it. And, you know, it doesn’t have to be. It could be done on a very small scale, but it is sort of the future of it, really. Where, so, you know, there’s something else there. So, I think that’s a massive one, and I think that those two kind of areas kind of fit together.

Killian Vigna: That is an interesting one because you see like more and more, the likes of, especially coffee shops pop up. Like I was walking down Temple Bar the other day and I saw, it’s a clothing store that’s actually a coffee shop. So, I suppose, what I’m asking here is where’s that line where you’re kind of like offering extra services in your salon where you eventually get to the stage of, “Do we do cross promotion? Or do we just offer like really good coffee?” Do you get what I mean? So, you’re still a salon at heart, but you’re offering other services to kind of get people in the door. Is it a good idea to do more like cross promotions with other local retailers?

Rowena Doyle: Yeah. Like you can… Yeah, I suppose like you see that a lot like. I mean someone like Topshop do that a lot where they bring in something complimentary, but more within the product line, if that makes sense. So, they might have popup like jewelry brand or something. And that works well for them, so you know you could look at, if you’re in a salon you know, there might be somebody in the industry, or some product in the industry, that sort of fits well with yours where they do popups at the weekend. Or, you know, it doesn’t always have to be permanent. And I would suggest anyone to try the more like, you know, slow approach to it and try different types of popups. You could do something every other weekend with somebody. That could be a way to do it.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, I like that popup idea because it keeps rotation on your products, as well. So, every weekend you have a different display. So, some people might be keen to come in just to see what new products you have, and I suppose it’s kind of like the taste of local. So, if there’s any local retailers, or startup businesses, or anything like that and you’re kind of bringing them in to have a little retail space. But it’s not lost stock for you either because they take back what’s not sold, then.

Rowena Doyle: Absolutely. Yeah, yeah and it’s good for you, and then for them it’s also probably good exposure to a new customer. So, you know, it’s definitely something maybe with your team you could sit down and kind of brainstorm and see if there was potential within maybe somebody else. And go online and look on Pinterest and see if you can get some ideas. But absolutely yeah because popups are just much more simple. Keep it more straightforward.

Killian Vigna: So, let’s say you have these, the popup guys, come into you and they set up. Or you have your own promotions or anything like that, that you’re putting together yourself. Do you have any like recommended strategies for incorporating special promotions, or even for pricing, that tend to be most effective?

Rowena Doyle: Yeah, it’s funny because, you know, price, and promotions, and all this kind of area are also something that we talk a lot about because, you know, for so long there we had a lot of promotions, and sale, and you know like obviously coming off the back of the recession. And then like it feels like now this sort of new retail world is developing, and I suppose the customer, definitely for a lot of the research we’ve done, is more interested in the benefits and the value that they’ll add to their lives, or what’s in them, and the kind of healthier they are. So, like we tend to think back to the communication one. If you incorporate something in promotional-wise, and if you’re trying to do signage, sometimes that works better to be more around the actual product. And then people will now start to just buy into it more than they used to before. I definitely think that’s probably the way to go with it.

Killian Vigna: You’re not technically competing on price because if people want cheap products, they’ll find their cheap products. They’ll go to their local euro store, or pound world, or anything like that. But you’re actually providing quality products. Because like they’ve spent enough on the treatments in your salon, you’re not gonna give them cheap products to take care of it. So, like that, you’re not competing on the whole discount front, there. You shouldn’t be competing on the discount front.

Rowena Doyle: Absolutely. Like, you know, as you said it people will go and find that stuff. And look, if they don’t want to buy the product afterwards, they might the next time. You know, if somebody is at that level and spending that kind of money on those sort of services, you know they do care about what they use. So, yeah, and I think to keep within your expertise, it nearly can be damaging to do too much promotions as well.

Killian Vigna: Yeah because then you’re confusing them, as well, aren’t you? It’s almost like walking in and just seeing deal signs everywhere.

Rowena Doyle: Yeah, and people don’t… You know, exactly, and people don’t really go there for that. And, you know, as you said there’s plenty of other places. I mean you can just go down to smaller like places and get whatever. You know, go to… You know what I mean? That’s a different sort of retailer. But like if you’re like a standalone beautician’s, or a hair salon, or any of those, you know that to me you’re seen as an expert in the industry. So, your products are also expert-y products, as well, so.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. And actually I’ve had a client question that came in. The question was, “What’s the best way to post about products online?” Do you take product shots? Or do you include people with the products? Like is there any particular tips on that?

Rowena Doyle: Yeah because I actually follow quite a lot of different brands. I’m actually, yeah, well I’m a bit of an online social media … That’s all [inaudible 00:20:12] me off my phone. But I think that somewhere like hair salons, I love when you see really happy looking clients, or happy looking teams, as people. And particularity in that area, for some reason I think it’s really engaging and you just want to, you know, you know you’re gonna get a great experience there. And they also have all that content. And I was talking to somebody recently about this, I think this industry has one of the best sort of content creations than a lot of other industries in terms of the products they use, the treatments they give. I just think they definitely have a lot of opportunities.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It’s all very visual, you know? So, it’s very Instagram-able to a certain extent.

Rowena Doyle: You have a space, as well, so. Yeah, I think in the salons, like the people part is great. People love people, and people buy off people, So, you know, if you see that kind of coming across on social media, like instantly it’ll definitely make people want to be there more than just kind of dead sort of shots. Which, you know, there’s nothing personal about it. I think sometimes with the beauty shots, in terms of products, what kind of is really effective I think if the picture goes up and then there might be two or three little bits of text on the visual. And it says, you know, what the benefits to your skin are, whatever. But it’s very fast visual impact instead of having a big load of text in the post underneath. I think they’re quite strong.

But yeah, like I think it’s massive to even look at your own space that you have and let people do that for you. Like if you make your space as photograph-able as you can, like customers are gonna take pictures and put it on their social. And they’ll kind of do that job for you. Like, I would be going down that road. You know, in terms of like just really nice little areas, or the coffee that you get, or, you know, test, or you know like people love taking pictures and putting it up. So, I would be… Yeah, I would look at that nearly as much… if I had a salon, I would, yeah.

Killian Vigna: Yeah. And it’s a really good approach because you’re taking it away from… We’re so used to seeing these fake stock photos of like, you know, that guy in the office who’s also a doctor, who’s also such and such, holding these products. And you’re looking at it going, it’s just, like it’s just too stock-y. Where if you’re using your own salon, your own clients, your own staff, it’s way more personable. It’s way more, I suppose, believable. And people have a much better connection with that.

Rowena Doyle: Yeah. Absolutely. Like it’s really just about, like it’s social media, so it’s kind of connecting, as you said, with people. And, you know, yeah there’s nothing worse than seeing loads of like stock images that, you know, you’re kind of not really, you don’t know anything about the business then, really, and what it’s like.

Killian Vigna: Yeah. So, you’ve got your salon all together, you’ve got your stock all together, and now I suppose you’re coming up with your strategy of, “How do we make our products visual? How do we them really stand out? How do we make our clients want to come to us, rather than to go down the road to the local pound store?” So, as a salon owner, like we always try to kind of come up with ways that they’re not doing everything on their own. They’re using their team. So, with this one, because it’s very visual, is there any sort of like personalities in your team that you would recommend to get on board with the whole visual side of it? You know the way we always have like the bubbly goes, then we have the more kind of like results driven sort of guys? Like, how do you identify the right people in your team to, I suppose, share the responsibility of this role?

Rowena Doyle: Yeah. I love this question because I’m obsessed in my business with people delegating to staff. When I work with any clients because you just find great people in retail, and usually they’re just maybe haven’t gone forward, or they’re… So, I love trying to find those people. So, and I actually just had this conversation with somebody about a week ago and they were kind of taking it all on themselves as the owner. And I said to them, “There’s definitely someone in your team who can do this job better than you.” And she was like, “Okay.”

Killian Vigna: I’d say you’ve got some look there, yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah I can imagine the face you got there.

Rowena Doyle: Yeah. Let’s just say we both just looked at each other for a minute, but-

Killian Vigna: Slowly walk out the door.

Rowena Doyle: Yeah. I just went, “Will I leave now?” But I knew that we were never gonna get anywhere, and I could see that it was actually just making her stressed. So, we went about finding somebody, and like there’s always someone within, particularly in this industry, who’d be creative. So, for me, it’s kind of like a mix, as you’ve mentioned, some of the traits there. Like, they kinda do need to be creative, and have a creative eye. But it is a creative industry, so I’d say a lot of people have that. But, again, I would say yes, they need to be a little bit strategic. And maybe a good communicator, so I always say if there’s somebody who’s quite good, has a good tone of voice for your business in terms of on the shop floor, or retail space, that maybe they could be the person.

And it’s kind of like a process of elimination. And I have to say, in most cases through most industries I’ve worked with, you’ll always find one or two really good people. And sometimes the one that least surprised you, who would be like, “Oh, I’d love to take this on.” And they might have a really great camera, and they’re like, “Oh, and I study photography part-time.” And the owner’s like, “What?” And then all these things start to come out like, yeah.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, so like it’s, again, ask your staff, like, “Would you be interested?” Because the way I look at this role is this shouldn’t be a task or a chore. This should be a fun job, so I suppose finding who in your team who’s really interested in actually doing this and making it look good. Don’t turn around and go to someone, “You have to do this.” Or, “This is your job to do it.” Because then they’re not going to enjoy it, and that’s gonna, I suppose, you know when you like, I suppose, the emotion through the products [crosstalk 00:26:28] Yeah, yeah. Like, you’ll notice that from the way that they’ve… Someone who doesn’t want to do it, you’ll notice that they didn’t enjoy doing it from the way they’ve laid it out. Compared to someone who’s actually having fun doing this.

Rowena Doyle: Definitely. And you’re kind of… It’s like anything. If you’re doing something, sort of forcing a person to do it, and it’ll never end well. And then there could be somebody watching in the sidelines who would love to do it. So, yeah, absolutely. Like, you really need to find the right person because like what a great job to do. And, as you said, so much fun. So, they really, really need to love it. And if they do, then, they’ll just go beyond your expectations with it.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I’m thinking this off the top of my head, but like do you have any brands, or even other visual merchandisers that possibly inspire your work, and that salon owners could even learn from?

Rowena Doyle: Yeah. There’s so many, isn’t there? I spend a lot of my time on Pinterest, people. So, yeah like I love… Like I definitely think, and I’ll say this to clients in like home, or fashion, like… You should sometimes look without. Outside your industry, definitely. Because sometimes you can get just ideas that you could try and adapt to your own. So, I mean, but within your industry, I follow the Drybar, the American, you know, it’s just blow drys only. So, they have an amazing visual identity. And I love, I always use their product displays on my presentations because they’re always so well laid out. And they follow a really good process, in terms of the way they use all the different variants of merchandising. So, I use them a lot, actually.

Topshop are a big one I follow for like trends with customer service, customer experience, visual identity, popups. Like, they create very new ideas very fast. So, they’re always kind of ahead. And I think, you know, they were the first… You know, when we talk about this popup, they did, you know, that like nearly two years ago. And people are only doing it now, so I think they’re a really good one. Doesn’t matter what industry because they end up using lots of different … Like they’ve done, like makeup popups. You know what I mean? So, I think, from a retail point of view, they’re a good one to follow. And I don’t know, there’s Story, which is a shop, and they basically change their layout every month to a completely different style. So, the whole store changes. So, they treat it almost like a magazine. Like it’s an amazing concept. And-

Zoe Belisle-Springer: That’s very interesting, yeah.

Rowena Doyle: Yeah, they’re like, for right now, I think anybody should be watching what they’re doing. So, they’ll have the whole place in one theme, and then you could go in a month later and it’s completely different. Like, it just, you know, for them it is that kind of, you know, they have a lot of the same kind of clients coming through in this particular area. So, I mean, people must just feel they’re going into a brand new space every time. And they do lots of different products. Like, they have some beauty, they have fashion, they have home, so they have everything. So, it actually does look like a magazine, to be fair.

Killian Vigna: That’s an absolutely brilliant idea for client retention, as well, because if I knew that that’s what you were doing, that every month you were changing your theme, I’m going to want to come back and see what the next month’s theme is going to be. I’ll get my hair done a lot sooner. A lot more regular.

Rowena Doyle: Like, it’s like… Yeah, like if you’re always the same… Like, you know, people just get a bit bored, or they just kind of become… like a mundane customer, just coming in now. And then all of a sudden they might just find themselves somewhere else. So, I think it’s a really… Like I would follow them, and I would look at ideas that they do, and take it from a big perspective. Or a small perspective in terms of even the way they change the location of their till sometimes just to like keep it more exciting. Like, that’s such a simple thing. But obviously when they started their strategy, they made sure that that was movable, and so that like basically people wouldn’t like go to the same place. And they could use the walls differently, so yeah it’s very good.

Killian Vigna: I really like that answer there. I really like the whole idea of look outside your industry. It’s such a, it’s just something that we’re always going on about because even in your own day-to-day, if you’re just focusing on what other people in your industry are doing, eventually the industry is going to flat line, nearly, because everyone is just copying each other in that one little clique, or that one little circle. Where, by looking into other industries, there’s always innovation, always new developments.

Rowena Doyle: Yeah. You’ll get way more, you’ll get a lot more ideas. I think for anyone in business, like, I mean I know myself, as well, like I don’t try to look too much at what other kind of styles of my business, I try to look at completely different businesses, as well. And once you sort of get into that, you start to kind of get, “Oh, God, actually. We could try something like that and nobody else, as you said, is doing that within our group.”

Killian Vigna: Yeah. So, like some really good information there. And I think it’s some brilliant stuff to really kick off the 30Days2Grow, this whole visual mark-… Sorry, this whole visual merchandising. I keep saying, “marketing.” I don’t know what’s going on there today.

Rowena Doyle: Do you call it that as well?

Killian Vigna: Yeah because it is kind of, it is essentially marketing at the same time, as well.

Rowena Doyle: Yeah, it’s essentially, like we’d use the word visual marketing, as well. Visual identity because it’s all kind of merged together now. Like, it used to be sort of one separate role within a… Somebody like a big, like Selfridges, used to have that person as one, two, three different people. But they’re all in the same kind of team now, it’s all just sort of the same people because, you know, it’s all just… It’s all just visual, really.

Killian Vigna: Yeah. Like you look at the windows of Macy’s and stuff in America, like it’s always changing. So, for anyone, especially in this week’s that our theme is visual merchandising, or marketing, do you have any like, I suppose, quick get started steps? Or next steps from here for anyone that is looking to change it up a little bit?

Rowena Doyle: Yeah. Like I think … I think I said this at the summit. What we get people to do a lot of the time is take photographs of your space, and print them out, and go and look at them with maybe someone from your team like the person we talked about earlier. Or someone else, it doesn’t matter. Or maybe not someone even, somebody else that doesn’t work in your salon. Somebody’s opinion that you trust, and look at those photographs, and then look at your kind of, your VM and your and your visual marketing from that perspective. Not so much when you’re in the space because you’re totally distracted by everything that’s going on. And I think when people do that, they see a very different view of their space. So, I think it’s a good, simple thing to do. It doesn’t take that much time. And, again, maybe like, you know, finding somebody in the business and sitting down with your team. And if you can pinpoint someone who’d love to even try it, I think is a really good plan.

Killian Vigna: So, you recommend let your own staff kind of just come up with their own new ideas, and just I suppose A/B test stuff. So, like, what’s the worst that can go wrong? Today, the display looks like this. Next week, the display looks like that.

Rowena Doyle: Just, yeah. And get them to make a little plan, and like we always say to people, “Just measure it, as well.” Like, in terms of say it’s because, you know, something works and you sell products, then, you have somewhere to start.

Killian Vigna: I’m just thinking you could nearly have… So, your staff members, so the guys who do want to take this on as a job or responsibility, you could nearly do like an incentive with this. So, if it’s Mary taking charge of it this week, what sales does she get? And if it’s Jessica doing it next week, what sales does she get? So, could do a little like gamification, bit of competition going on there?

Rowena Doyle: Yeah, of course. Like, all competition is good. Healthy competition. Once you keep it healthy.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Killian loves the competitions.

Killian Vigna: I love a bit of competititance, competit-… Yeah, can’t even say the word.

Rowena Doyle: Yeah, yeah. Good teams will love that approach. Like, if they’re a strong team, they love to just have something like that. And maybe there’s a pin board out the back of the, you know, where their staff area is. Or offices, and they might put their pictures up on that, and to kind of keep like a story board of everything. So, we say that to a lot of clients, especially in retail. Like, we’re not always the most creative and visual, so I always urge people to get a big, massive pin board and just get images that they like, or aspire to. That even if they can’t do right now, but they might do it in six months or a year, and pin them all up. And that just keeps people thinking about it, and motivated about it, and yeah. Gives you kind of aspiration.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: You could even use the little save option in Instagram. Where you can save photos.

Rowena Doyle: Yeah. Just keep it on your, like, agenda.

Killian Vigna: What are those things they call this, like a brand board? Or a creativity board? Where like that you just take colors, pictures, inspiration, and you just… Very similar to what you’re saying there, but you’re just kind of pinning it all to the board and you’re coming up with your whole plan then, isn’t it? Is it a brand board or something?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: White board?

Rowena Doyle: Yeah, like a [inaudible 00:36:10] Call it brand board, visual board.

Killian Vigna: It’s a board with a lot of images.

Rowena Doyle: Yeah, it’s a board with a lot of images. And they can be fun, too, for the staff to do. And like, as well, if that person who you kind of identified on your team, they could kind of start it off, and yeah. Kind of gives them like almost like a focus of what it’s all gonna look like. Because sometimes people will, you know, they’ll have all these ideas, but to actually put them into, you know, to start them off they might need to just get it all out somewhere. So, that can actually work for a lot of people.

Killian Vigna: Well, listen, Rowena. That’s absolutely brilliant, there’s some loads of information there, and it’s definitely good for kick starting this 30Days2Grow campaign. I was about to say competition again. What’s wrong with me? And it was great to get an insight to what you were actually talking about in the workshop at the Salon Owner’s Summit.

Rowena Doyle: There’s a lot of information there.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: No, but it’s great because it’s an area that I think that a lot of people feel a bit intimidated by. Especially if they don’t really know how to go about in the first place. So, no, I think this is gonna be very, very helpful for many, many people.

Rowena Doyle: Good, good. I’m glad.

Killian Vigna: Well, thanks very much.

Rowena Doyle: Thanks a million.

Killian Vigna: So, that was Rowena Doyle talking about the visual merchandising, and just covering a bit more information to what she’d already given you from the workshops in the Salon Owner’s Summit. So, it was good to get her on the show, and just share all of that knowledge with everyone.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, absolutely. And it kicks in at a perfect time on week one of #30Days2Grow, retail week. So, for anyone who doesn’t know about #30Days2Grow, we’ve been talking about it for quite a few weeks now, but essentially it’s started on April 1st, Sunday, and every day for 30 days, we provide you with a simple and easy to execute challenge that’s designed to get your clients coming back in more often, spending more. And along the wa,y we provide you with exclusive tips, ideas, templates on how to accomplish each of the tasks. So, if you want to join, it’s not too late. We’re at the very, very start of the challenge. You can join on www.30days2grow.com, and that’s a 30 and 2 numeric. So, if you want to register there, it’s free and we’ll get you all the details through email. So, unless you have anything, Killian, on your side?

Killian Vigna: Yeah, it’s just pretty much the standard. If you have any feedback, feel free to leave us a review on iTunes, or on Stitcher, we’re always looking for suggestions on how to improve the show.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So, have a wonderful week, good luck with the retail, and we’ll catch you next Monday.

Killian Vigna: All the best.

Thanks for reading!


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