PERSPECTIVES: Industry Leaders Address Branding Basics
Separating yourself out from the crowd and making sure your message is heard above the din is the hallmark of branding success. We asked salon leaders to answer the question: “How do you ensure that your brand message is consistent and clear to all your customers?”
Jay Williams, Principal, genesis| be the brand, Reading, PA
“Your brand is not what you say about you—that is advertising—but what they say about you. A ‘brandable’ experience is defined as signature, spectacular and sustainable. Everything you do around your brand needs to run through these filters. ‘Signature’ not only in what you do but how you do it; does what you are doing and how you are making your clients feel make you unique to your client? Or can they get his experience in a number of places? ‘Spectacular’ in that it ‘wows!’ your clients. Do they leave saying ‘that exceeded my expectations’? ‘Sustainable’ in that the ‘wow’ response is what the clients say every time.
“Your brand will be evaluated and defined by the products you carry, the people you employ and the service you offer. Private label product has become a tool of choice for the industry leaders to help drive this ‘brandable’ experience when it comes to product because the private label product reinforces and reminds the client of the ‘brandable’ experience in-between visits. Education and training are cornerstones for your ‘brandable’ people experience, an elevated experience, meaning exceeding the client’s expectations, and consistent experience in process (think Nordstroms, Disney, Apple) will ensure your client is clear having a clear and consistent brand message. Signature+ Spectacular + Sustainable = ‘Brandable’ Experience.”
Howie Goldklang,Owner, The Establishment (locations in Milwaukee and Los Angeles) and Southpaw Men's Salon in Los Angeles
“My wife and I own three salons, one of which is a men's business, and brand messaging is something we work on every day. As we’ve grown as a company, we learned creating a similar look and feel for all ads, Facebook posts and Instagram posts creates a consistent voice and through line for your brand. As an example, use the same spot in the salon and same filter for all Instagram photos. Gone are the days of my personal posts getting mixed in with salon posts on Instagram. For salon owner, get a personal Instagram and get off your salon’s account. Your staff will thank you.
“The best way, however, to ensure our message is consistent and clear is to hold high standards for our level of customer service. It's really the customer service that will ultimately set your brand apart and exceeding client expectations is a universal language that everyone and every brand will clearly understand.”
Jason Backe, Co-Owner/CEO ted gibson salon,New York, NY
“At ted Gibson, we are always striving to send out a clear brand message. Our brand is aspirational, chic, modern and, at the same time, accessible and approachable. All of our printed materials, videos, emails and social media are reinforcing that message. Our salons are designed in a similar theme and our ted gibson advanced academy teaches techniques and trends based on what we do in the salon and with our celebrity clients, every day. On a more fundamental, daily level, we start with a morning meeting. We call it our huddle and it happens 15 minutes before our first appointment time. This mandatory meeting is when we communicate our daily goals and the numbers from previous days. We also talk about what Ted is doing – what celebrities he is working with, what magazines he is working for and what television shows he is on. Our entire team is reminded every day what our mission is and what our brand identity is.”