Salon Marketing: Branding

resources imageThis is the first article in a five-part series that details exactly what you need to market your salon and make it a success. Some people think salon marketing is as simple as placing a classifieds or a yellow page ad, but if you have competition (and you most certainly do), you can earn a majority local market share by successfully branding your salon.

Importance of a branded image

Branding is important because people purchase on emotion. When it comes to salon print marketing, they're seeking an image, which is why your own image is crucial to success. It's important to identify and promote your branded identity so you can connect with your target audience at a glance. If your salon is not branded, then you're just another salon. There's nothing that separates you from the competition.

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This reduces your potential customer pool to make choices based on factors such as price, convenience and preconceived notions. Without a branded identity, you have no control over preconceptions and therefore you're forced to either compete on pricing and location alone. This is not a way to grow your salon. Cheap does not outsell quality.

How to identify your branded image

Instead, you should compete based on public perception, which you can control with a branded image. To identify your branded image, you have to consider how you're different from your competitors. What do you offer that they don't (or that they don't promote)? Perhaps you have world-class stylists, provide hair color services, or additionally offer tanning and spa services. You might be the "one-stop salon," the "chic salon" or the "discount salon." To help you define what type of salon you are, consider the features and benefits you offer your clients. Understand the distinction between the two. For example, having more world-class stylists is a feature ? guaranteeing that clients will look great when they leave is a benefit. List all of your features and benefits, and pick the most important that also differentiate you from the competition to base your brand on.

Branding through design

Skilled graphic design can transform your salon's branded identity from a concept to a visual motivator. This image is what the world will see, and your clients will perceive the ideals and emotions that your image expresses. The power of design is limitless, especially when you incorporate sound brand identity design principles for your salon. Your salon colors, logo, corporate identity package, website, and other marketing materials are all a reflection of your brand; so familiar, cohesive design must be applied to all mediums. The goal is for your prospects to be able to glance at your material and instantly recognize who it's from and what you stand for. When you achieve this, you've developed a powerful salon brand identity.