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When you think of salon branding, you may assume it’s simply the products and services you offer. But truthfully, branding goes way beyond the basics. It’s the message you send to your customers about what to expect when they walk through your salon doors. Clients (and potential) clients have a wide range of choices when it comes to salons these days, which makes salon branding more important than ever.
- Salon branding should show what sets your salon apart from the competition.
- Effective salon branding starts with knowing your target customer.
- The branding should remain consistent across all digital, printed, and in-person marketing efforts.
What Makes Salon Branding Important?
Effective salon branding is a key strategy for running a successful business. Your salon brand is what sets your salon apart from the many others likely located in the area and offering similar services. It also keeps you at the top of mind for both your existing clients and potential clients. As you develop your branding, it conveys your mission, style, approach, and values, which can all lead to attracting and retaining clients. Whatever your brand says about your salon, it’s important the message is consistent, clear, and you keep building upon it.
How to Create Effective Salon Branding
Follow these strategies to create a solid foundation and plan for your salon branding.
Know Your Salon’s Target Audience
Your target audience refers to your target clientele, or the types of clients you hope to attract. When you narrow down the type of customer you feel you can serve best, then you can tailor your branding message to fit your audience. For example, if your target audience is a parent or parents of young children who need services, then your branding message might center around the challenges parents face when bringing their children in for haircuts.
Construct a Profile of your Ideal Salon Customer
Constructing a profile of your ideal customer is a way to deepen your understanding of your target demographic and what appeals to them. Create a customer persona by identifying critical information, such as average income, where they live, if they prefer trendy or more traditional styles, their age, and gender. You can even assign them a name, so it feels more personal when branding.
Define Your Competitive Advantage
Every salon has a unique selling proposition, or USP, whether you know it right away or not. The best approach is to define your USP as soon as possible, and build your branding around it. Your USP may be your stylists who are on the cutting edge of the latest trends, or you offer a full suite of both salon and spa services.
Clarify Your Mission, Vision, and Values
It’s essential to have a mission, vision, and/or values statement so you set the tone for your salon business. Not only do your customers need to know what you strive to achieve as a salon, but your employees have something to point to as well. A good mission statement defines what your business goals are for both the short and long term. A mission statement spells out the purpose for what you do, while a vision statement typically centers around a longer-term goal.
Determine Your Salon’s Personality
Once you have the target audience, customer persona, UVP, and mission/vision/values statement, you can use this information to determine the characteristics the salon brand will convey. This means giving your salon a personality and using it throughout your messaging, visual aids, social media, even your in-store music selection.
Come Up with a Tagline
A tagline is a short statement that demonstrates your salon brand’s tone of voice. There are ways to make taglines more effective, it needs to be short and sweet, while conveying the overall message of value or service. It may be helpful to hire a copywriter for a one-off project, or get help from a marketing agency. Once you do have a tagline, be sure to use it consistently, including on social media, your website, app, and any printed materials.
Develop Your Salon Logo Design
A memorable logo reflects the salon’s branding, both with color and the font, as well as overall design. It grabs attention, sets the tone, and becomes one of the first elements people see when they come across your business. Like a tagline, you can easily hire someone to create a logo and then use it consistently across all marketing channels.
Create a Brand Style Guide for Your Salon
A brand style guide is a company document that clearly outlines the “rules” of your salon’s brand style. It’s a living document that provides details about the messaging used when communicating with your clients and across marketing channels. It can include colors used, fonts, parameters for pictures, and any other information related to marketing. This helps maintain consistency, especially if you have different employees focusing on different aspects of your brand, such as social media or as a local media liaison.
Align the Salon Interior with Your Branding
Branding is not only used across media and advertising channels, but it’s something you can focus your customer’s attention on once they walk through the salon doors. There are numerous methods for aligning the interior of your salon to your brand, including:
- Display the same logo used in marketing in a prominent position
- Stick to the same colors used in media and marketing materials
- Choose furniture for the waiting area that compliments the overall brand, such as trendy or conservative
- Have your mission, vision, and/or values statement printed and displayed so customers can read it right away
- Carefully choose photographs and art that aligns with your overall brand
Ideas for Using Branding in Salon Marketing
Another reason why branding is so crucial to the marketing efforts of a salon is because of the vast number of places (or channels) where your salon’s brand is (or can be) displayed. If you want to make the message as consistent as possible, consider these ideas:
Develop a Salon Website that Reflects Your Brand
Your salon website should reflect your brand both from a visual standpoint, such as colors, font, and logo, plus from a messaging standpoint. It’s a great tool for displaying your mission statement as a salon, plus offering all the critical information so customers can easily book an appointment with you.
Use Social Media as a Salon Branding Tool
Think of social media as an extension of your brand, instead of an afterthought. There are so many fun and effective ways to incorporate your brand across social media channels, including highlighting different services, products, stylists, your mission statement, and any other message you’d like to focus on.
If the social media calendar seems too overwhelming, you can use scheduling tools to plan ahead or hire it out. Whatever you do, you can also add links so customers can easily book an appointment too.
Create a Salon Brochure Highlighting Your Brand
Brochures are a fantastic tool to use when you’re at networking events, trade shows, vendor meetings, or any other in-person event you may be attending on behalf of the salon.
Provide Branded Business Cards for Your Salon
Branded business cards are another visual tool, plus it provides a quick reference for your contact information. Again, you can use the same colors, logo, font, and tagline that you use during all other aspects of marketing. If there’s room, you can also include the mission statement of your salon.
Send Clients a Branded Salon Email Newsletter
Email is a tried-and-true method for communicating with potential and current clients. You can go into greater detail and provide helpful links in a way you can’t often do with social media. Encourage your clients to sign up for an email newsletter with a discount or promo code or free product.
Email marketing can be used to make announcements, tease upcoming events, recap your work within the community, and basically any other information you think your clients might value.
Partner with Influencers
Partnering with an influencer may seem way out of the budget, but you can work with local influencers who are typically less expensive but with a loyal following. The key is to partner with someone whose audience mirrors your target audience and clientele, while aligning with your salon’s mission and values too.
Leveraging Client Testimonials for Salon Branding
Client testimonials can make the difference between a client who is thinking about booking and one that actually does. People want to feel their decisions are validated. Reviews are powerful and are especially impactful among the Gen Z demographic. You can use client testimonials in a variety of places, including:
- On the salon website
- Google reviews
- Social media channels
- Printed out and displayed in store
- In the email newsletter
If you’re unsure how to effectively solicit a review, try offering an incentive, such as a free add-on service, a coupon, or free product.
Additional Tips for Establishing a Memorable Salon Brand
You want a branding message that resonates with clients. These are not only potential customers, but they are people who put trust in you and your stylists to deliver on an essential skill. If you want your salon branding to be memorable, remember:
People expect your marketing to match the experience when sitting in the salon chair. You should always remain authentic with your clients and provide the best service possible.
Offer Something Unique
There is quite a bit of competition for salons, which means you have to differentiate yourself when possible. Whatever you do find to set yourself apart, such as advanced training, extended hours, or flexible bookings, should be communicated as much as possible.
Keep Your Salon Branding Consistent
It’s vital to keep the tone of voice, content, font, color scheme, and messaging consistent because it sets the tone for what your customers can expect. Plus, it allows you to focus on the customers you most want to serve and create more value with your marketing with a tailored message.
Average Costs of Salon Branding and How to Cover Them
Building a strong brand identity for a beauty salon is a crucial investment for long-term success. However, the costs associated with branding efforts can add up quickly. Below are some estimated costs to consider when establishing a beauty salon brand:
- Building a website: A professional website can cost anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the complexity and design.
- Logo design: A logo is a key element of a salon's branding. The cost of designing a logo can range from $100 to $1,000 or more.
- Hiring marketing professionals: Marketing professionals can help with branding strategy, social media campaigns, and other marketing efforts. The cost of hiring marketing professionals can vary greatly, but it is not uncommon to pay several thousand dollars per month.
- Running social media campaigns: Social media is a powerful tool for promoting a salon brand. However, running effective social media campaigns can require an investment in both time and money.
- Hosting special events: Hosting special events, such as a grand opening or a charity fundraiser, can help build brand awareness and attract new customers. The cost of organizing special events can vary depending on the size and scope of the event.
Fortunately, there are financing options available to help salon owners cover these costs. These options include:
- Beauty salon loans: These loans are specifically designed for salon owners and can be used to cover a variety of expenses, including branding efforts.
- Business credit card funding: Business credit cards can be used to cover branding expenses, but it is important to use them responsibly and pay off the balance in full each month.
- Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding platforms can be used to raise funds for specific projects, such as building a website or hosting a special event.
In conclusion, establishing a strong brand identity for a salon can be costly, but there are financing options available to help cover these expenses. Salon owners should carefully consider their branding strategy and financing options to ensure that they invest in their brand effectively and achieve long-term success.