Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Salon Industry Trends

The drive of the socially conscious, more skeptical, consumer will shape the salon industry of 2011 and 2012
The Salon Industry has Changed
Any salon professional, stylist, colorist, or salon owner who has weathered the storm of the salon industry over the last couple of years can tell you one thing for certain; the industry has changed. If you want to be a successful salon professional in 2011 you have to be intimately familiar and fully understand the top 5 trends that will have a profound impact on the salon industry in 2011, 2012, and beyond.

Skepticism Will Grow About "Big Beauty"

Big Beauty is a Big Liability for Salons
In 2011, salon professionals will learn that only transparent niche boutique brands will serve to enhance their image and reputation. Big beauty brands will only increase the skepticism of their already untrusting clientele.
The events of the last couple of years have left people angry and distrustful. Salon clients are not immune to these feelings. They are weary, distrustful, and cautious about big business, big government, and especially big beauty. Over 85% of Americans gave corporate America a grade of F in a recent survey. Your association with “Big Beauty” product brands like L’Oreal, Redken, Wella, Schwarzkoph, Clairol, and other mega-brands will force you to defend your products to your suspicious clients for most of 2011.

TIP: Transparency is everything. Associate yourself with a small, socially responsible, environmentally responsible, ethical niche boutique brand.
Conscious Consumerism will Overtake the Salon Industry Over the Next Couple of Years
Salons that deal with Conscious Consumerism will Stand Out and Thrive
In 2011 salon clients will demonstrate a heightened conscious awareness of the impact that their purchasing decisions will have on their environment, their health, and their overall wellbeing.
Over the last couple of years, clients have been asking their salon professionals questions which, up until recent times, they were not previously asked. The topics of some of these questions include the ingredients of the products used on them, if the products were tested on animals, whether or not the products are vegan, if the products contain any animal byproducts, and where the products were manufactured. If a salon professional has not been hearing these kinds of questions from their clients than, the odds are, their client’s have been drawing their own conclusions and moving on. Salon clients have determined that they no longer want to feel guilty, unhealthy, or that they have sacrificed their beliefs in order to look great. In short, salon clients have demanded that their salons help them feel good about making themselves look beautiful. In the years to come, if you don’t provide this essential service for your clients, they will find someone else that will.

TIP: Certification Matters! Look for products that contain certified organic ingredients (certified by the USDA or the United Kingdom Soil Association), meet all of the stringent European Union regulatory requirements for cosmetics, and are certified by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) as being 100% cruelty-free and Vegan. Your clients will feel good about you making them look beautiful.

Organic Salon Industry Trend Remains Strong

The Organic Salon Segment Will Continue to Enjoy the Fastest Growth Rate in the Salon Industry

According to a recent Health and Beauty Industry report from a J.P. Morgan research analyst, while the broader salon industry contracted by 2% per year for the last three years, the organic salon segment grew by 16.7% per year.
The general public has been revitalized with an increased sense of personalresponsibility for their health and wellbeing. Salon professionals are beginning to learn more about the occupational dangers they face from their concerned clients that read about the latest salon-cancer-causers on the Internet. The unprecedented growth in the availability of information that the Internet combined with advanced research which has publicized conclusive evidence on the dangers of many of the carcinogenic toxins in beauty products (which were assumed safe for years), salon clients have been flocking to organic salons to seek more natural, organic, and healthier services which have also been providing them with superior results. Consumers are instantly impressed by the lack of foul and toxic chemical odors in the air of their local organic salon and the inviting aromas create an environment associated with health and wellness.

TIP: Any salon professional considering taking a more organic, natural, health conscious, and environmentally friendly approach to their salon services should start with thorough research and due diligence into the product ingredients and reputation. Organic Salon Systems is the worldwide leader in organic salon products and has an impeccable reputation for distributing the most natural, organic, and healthier alternatives that do not sacrifice overall product performance or quality.

Premium Fees for Organic Salon Services Will Continue for the Foreseeable Future

Consumers will continue to expect, and be willing to pay, a substantial premium for organic salon products and services

On average, salons charge between a 12% and 16% premium for organic salon products and services. Salon clients that demonstrate an affinity towards organic salon products and services have demonstrated a willingness, and even expectation, to pay such a premium for organic products and services.
In the day of brands like Whole Foods, Figi, Prius, and Apple; environmentally friendly, socially responsible, natural, sustainable, and organic brands are in high demand. Because consumers generally recognize and appreciate that the worthwhile initiatives related to supporting products with integrity come at a cost, they are willing to support them by contributing their fair share by paying a premium for the product and services they believe in. As the world becomes more aware and sensitive to the issues facing our environment, population sustainability, personal health, and overall wellbeing; this trend is expected to accelerate through 2011 and beyond. The salon market has not been immune from this phenomena and salon clients have been willing, able, and even expecting to pay premiums between 12% and 16% for products and services over and above their chemical-based alternatives. More interesting is that salon clients have indicated a heightened level of sincerity about products or services that are marketed as organic, eco-friendly, cruelty-free, or vegan that are priced comparatively to competitive products that are known to be made with less integrity.

TIP: Consumers have demonstrating a willingness, and even an expectation, to pay a premium for our products or services. Although product cost only comprises about 10% of a salon’s overall service fee, consider companies that do everything possible to keep costs down by being centrally distributed, eliminating the costs of Salon Sales Representatives, and running the most efficient operation possible. Keeping costs down allows manufacturers to even offer organic products at a competitive, if not lower overall costs, of their non-organic competitors.

Selecting Non-Diverted Products and Personal Service Quality Will Remain Key

The two best indicators for future salon success are....

The best indicators for salon success in 2011 will be (1) a salon professional’s ability to sustain its existing client based through client loyalty; and (2) a salon professional’s ability to attract new clientele through differentiating their products and services.

It is common sense that salon professionals will be successful if they are able to keep more of their existing clients through developing strong client loyalty and attract new clients through standing out from the competition. The trend to watch for the future is that each of these goals has much less to do with the actual quality of your service or personality and much more to do with your product selection.

In a recent survey of highly recurring salon clients, the most frequent reason they listed for going back to the same stylist again and again is that they were not able to purchase the same products their stylist used. In fact, another survey of hair color clients listed the inability to match their formula with store-bought brands as the number reason to going back to the same colorist religiously. Stylist are licensed professionals and have all been trained in the basic skills needed to do most cut and color services. It is the products we select, our creativity, and the way we combine all three (products, creativity, and training) that defines our unique skills. After a client sits through the same service several times, they inaccurately believe that they would be able to do the same thing if they were able to source the same products. When a manufacturer decides to divert your once salon-only products (this is always the manufacturer diverting the product despite their elaborate stories denying any knowledge of it and fighting against it), some of your clients are going to leave you to try it on their own. Some of them will be successful, many of them will not come back to you over embarrassment about their attempt. It’s always easier for them to look elsewhere and reestablish themselves with a new stylist. This is the inherent danger of salon product diversion for the salon professional. Avoid it by never carrying any products that are manufactured by a company who has ever sold products through non-salon retail chains. Their goal is to dupe you into payingthem for the privilege of building up their brand. Once you have build up enough brand loyalty for their product, they will steal your clientele (and many other salon professional’s clientele at the same time) by diverting your products to the local Target, WalMart, or CVS for lower prices. We’ve seen it a million times. But, in 2011 salon professionals will fight back by only buying products manufactured by companies that do not have an existing distribution channel to the retail chains. This will allow salon professionals to build sustainable, growing, valuable businesses.

To attract new clients in 2011, salons will have to differentiate themselves from their competition. This concept is nothing new. In past years, this was done through having the best image and reputation as possible. In 2011 and beyond, differentiation will be measured by having your salon’s ethos aligned with your targeted new clients. Because organic salon clients have a strong ethos towards natural, organic, and environmentally responsible products and services, and they are expecting to pay a premium for such products and services, this is a highly effective way to differentiate your salon services. As importantly, the organic salon sector has been the fasted growing segment in the broader salon industry for the last three years and is expected to continue to trend in that direction for the foreseeable future.

 TIP: Only consider product manufacturers that operate strictly within a non-diversion Pledge as a company mandate. Make sure that none of the salon products that we have ever sold have ever been sold through a non-salon channel. Organic Salon Systems prides itself on being the most Purely non-diverted full line of organic salon products available in the world.


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