At the Industry Vision Summit, which was held at Club Intrigue in Atlanta on July 28, MODERN SALON Media Publisher Steve Reiss moderated a panel session which included key leaders whose daily decisions are shaping the future of the industry. The panel, which was also live-streamed, included: Pat Parenty, President of Professional Products Division at L'Oreal USA Inc, Andrew Biazis, the COO of Keune, Trevor Attenborough, the President of KAO USA and Salvatore Mauceri CEO of Wella North America.
To watch a LiveStream copy of the webinar: CLICK HERE
Club Intrigue is a unique educational forum for stylists and salon owners founded by Jeff South, who also owns Intrigue Salon in Atlanta. The monthly educational workshops are held in the salon space after hours and are open to stylists and owners regardless of product affiliation.
Here’s a snapshot of the dialog from the Industry Vision Summit:
Reiss: “How healthy do you think the industry is?”
Attenborough: “Growth is slow, averaging 3-4% a year, but it’s steady and moving in the right direction.”
Parenty: “Healthy at the base level, but I don’t like the beauty sectors outside the professional realm are growing and rebounding faster than we are. There are threats there.”
Mauceri: “I am an optimist and I think it’s healthy, but we need keep it that way by attractring more people to our schools and address things that are important to salon owners. And we all need to embrace digital as a part of how we operate.”
Biazis: “I agree with Pat, we’re growing even during tough times, but there are increasing threats. When you have clients who can get a color formulation via Skype or a mass market that used to have 3-4 feet of shelves with professional products and now they have a whole aisle, that’s troubling. I did a 10-week tour of salons and asked them what a company needs to do to earn their business. The number one thing they told me was personal attention, and we can’t just talk at hairdressers, we have to listen.”
Reiss: “How would you finish the following sentence? I know I’ve walked into a great salon when…”
Mauceri: “When you have a bunch of individuals working as one, where the salon owner has developed a culture when the strengths of the individuals complement each other. That is so important.”
Biazis: “I like when a salon is very busy. A crowded salon means they are doing something right.”
Attenborough: “You know when you talk to an owner—you can tell the ones who have made conscious choices for their business that have put themselves in the path to success.”
Reiss: “Given what is happening with technology, what will the salon of the future look like?”
Biazis: “What you might see is the use of a lot of sophisticated video to give clients visuals of what might happen with a recommended, cut or color.”
Mauceri: “Digital will mean there is more interaction with the salon. The client is at the chair and they are on their own social platforms but they will be more involved in what is happening in the salon. “
Parenty: “Clients will get checked-in quicker, and checked-out faster and they’ll spend more time at the shampoo bowl, which is every client’s favorite part of the service. You’ll know so much more about your client and you’ll be able to anticipate their needs.”
Reiss: “What is one piece of advice you’d offer anyone who is entering the industry?”
Biazis: “Whoever you touch in the industry, please try and learn from everyone of those people. Listen to them and ask them questions. That is the best way to learn.”
Attenborough: “I had a great piece of advice given to me starting out and it was that you’re only as bright as the stars that surround you. So look for the right people and if you have them around you, you’ll be successful.”
Parenty: “Approach the industry asking what is your dream, what is your ambition? You can be as successful as you want to be. Go find the right people to get you where you want to go. Everybody likes to help everybody in this industry.”
Mauceri: “I would say that that people will be more successful if you focus on their strengths. Tell a newcomer about their strengths. You can recognize your development areas and fill that gap with someone who can help you.”
Reiss: "What industries should beauty be borrowing from?"
Parenty: “The restaurant industry. They’ve done some innovative things that have changed the experience recently—some have put the kitchen in the middle of the restaurant and let customers see the magic that used to be happening in the back. They also update their look more frequently. On average, restaurants change their design every six years, salons change their look on average every 15 years.”
Reiss: “How can stylists stay relevant in a swiftly changing world?”
Attenborough: “You have to evolve. You can’t separate the painter from the paintbrush. Hairdressers have to always be thinking how they can better serve the client. They are very creative people and they listen to the people around them. That’s the original version of social media.”
Parenty: “We have to be important enough to the consumer that they will come to our salons and buy their services from us and spend their money.”
Mauceri: “The point of difference is the experience we can create for clients. On the social side, you look at kids and they are talking to hundreds of people—they go wide, where we used to go deep. We had relationships with people. So it is a balance of broadening the reach but making sure we preserve the experience the clients who are sitting in the chair.”
Reiss: “Where are we falling down?”
Parenty: “The business practice aspect is not our strength. We love fashion, we want to be inspired but when you get into 2014, you have to understand what your clients are looking for and you have to really run a business. It is a business process and we have to get all those independent owners to understand that and move in that direction. The key is getting a little more business while ramping up the technical and creative side of the business.”
Mauceri: "We are challeneged to make sure the client has an experience in the salon. That's what we own that makes us different than other channels. Sometimes we get away from that, but we need to build on it."
Reiss: “What do we have to be aware of in respect to changing consumer loyalties and expectations?”
Biazis: “I’ve been disappointed that the industry as a whole has not promoted the benefit of going to a salon. I think our associations have not merged together enough to create a unified campaign. Remember the ‘Got Milk?’ campaign, or the ‘Pork: The Other White Meat’ campaign? We haven’t given the consumer enough information on what it means to go to the salon. That you are going to walk out the salon feeling like a million bucks and it is going to lift your self-esteem so high you will feel like you can do anything. Still, hairdressers are not portrayed in the most favorable light. Only 45% of the public goes to a salon. That is the challenge, and the opportunity. We have to band together as an industry to get the industry healthier.”