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Expert Advice

ABS, the Three-Booth Show

Anne Moratto | March 24, 2015 | 11:36 AM
IVAN ZOOT

The 2015 America’s beauty Show is all wrapped up, and a great event was had by all.

Every year I post my impressions of the show as it relates to the guy hair game. This is my posting for 2015.

There were a of booths and displays at ABS this year. Subtract the nail booths. Ignore the skin care stuff. Disregard the make-up. Just focus on hair. There were only really three booths at ABS. Well, there were a lot of booths, but all of them really fell into one of three very clear categories.

The hair business is really all about the guys now.

I have been preaching the guy hair game for a long time. Now the entire industry is listening.

Booth category number one: The Guy Brands

There is a clear presence of brands and products specifically and exclusively targeting men’s business. The biggest and brightest star in this constellation is, of course, American Crew. Their booth has grown. Their look is polished. Their models and looks are all right on message. They look the part of the category leader that they are.

A number of other players are 100 percent in this guy game. Other examples are Woody’s, Johnny B, Exclusive, SportClips and newcomer GIBS. They have products to share and ideas for salon pros to build guys business. They are eager for you to know them and to get to know you and how you can work together.

Pure guy stuff, 24/7/365.

Booth Category number two: The Me toos

This is the category of vendors who are in the game in any and many areas but have a men’s offering to attempt to carve out their share. Redken, Paul Mitchell, TIGI and many others have guy-specific offerings to provide their minions with a piece of the guy game. I spent a good portion of the weekend supporting my friends at John Amico, a vast and well established brand with a whole category of men’s products within their universe. Seems like everyone wants a piece of guy hair action and cash.

Booth category number three: The support team

This is all the rest of the show who are here to help you get your piece of the guy game. I include in this category of vendors all the scissor guys who are showing more razor handles and barber length shears. The cape guys with more camo and guy-print patterns and the sundry guys with clipper combs, neck dusters, etc. Of course the clipper companies have their place in this sector.

I also put in the group the abundance of non-technical business support partners. This group contains, too, the financial services brands with credit-card processing and the software guys with management tools. The growing trend toward booth rental, suite rental and independent work opportunities is not going away. Guy hair plays a HUGE role in this development. Most of the financial services and software guys have entire systems specifically targeted at solo pros working on their own.

So either you ARE the guy game, you are in the guy game or you support the guy game.

Which is it for you?

I have always been in the guy game. I am happy to have all of you in here with me.

Happy clippering.

Ivan

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