I see so many small business owners, especially in the beauty industry, who struggle with defining a strong and clear brand for their business. I want to help with that, because branding your salon or independent beauty business may be the single most important thing you can do to ensure that your business continues to grow and succeed.
This is the fifth in an epic series of posts on how to build your salon or independent beauty business brand starting from scratch, all the way through branding your client’s experience every time she sits in your chair. Previous posts can be read here:
- Building Your Vintage Beauty Business Brand
- Choosing A Name For Your Salon
- How To Visually Brand Your Salon: Your Logo
- Branding Your Salon With Color
How Your Salon’s Decor Reinforces Your Brand
Have you ever entered a restaurant where the interior looks like a garage sale and your mom’s Pinterest account drank tequila shots together until they threw up? Or one where the furnishings, wall colors, and art were clearly an afterthought or from a bargain bin somewhere? Or worse, where no thought at all has been given to the decor, and the flourescent overhead light and beige walls look like something out of a prison movie?
Sometimes the service or food in these places is awesome enough for you to return, in spite of the shabby surroundings, but it probably won’t be at the top of the list when you’re looking for a spot to take a date or an out of town guest.
Believe it or not, as a former salesperson for a major professional beauty product distributor, I’ve been in many salons that fit the descriptions above. Just as in the restaurant business, atmosphere and attention to detail matter when you want to impress a guest and secure their continued business.
In an industry so focused on looks and visual appeal, the very existence of which is entirely about attaining physical beauty, why in the name of Vidal Sassoon don’t more salon owners try to get their salon’s decor right?
I have said it before and I’ll say it again, ladies and gentlemen, your branding should be at the forefront of your mind in every decision you make regarding your salon or beauty business. Remember your brand’s guiding list? Tape it somewhere you can refer back to it again and again. Refine and edit it over time if you need to, but always keep in mind the vision you have for the brand you’re building.
When you’re ready to pick out a paint color, choose a wallpaper, buy reception area seating, build or buy stations and chairs, or choose mirrors and art prints for the walls, always make sure your choices fit with the theme of that list. This doesn’t mean you can’t go for an eclectic look with your decor or that you can’t shop with a budget. It simply means that you are laser focused on telling your brand’s story, and that you have a clear vision for what your salon’s decor says about you and your brand.
Your Ideal Customer
Remember the exercise where we defined your target customer? Just as with all the decisions you’ve made so far, keep her in mind when you decorate your salon. Who is she? What are her tastes? Shop for decor through her eyes.
Is he a hip 20-something? What industry does he work in? What are his favorite bands?
Too many salons make the mistake of trying to serve everyone instead of defining their target market and shaping their brand (and their decor) accordingly.
Location, Location….You Guessed It, Location
When decorating your salon it’s important to keep the area where your business is located in mind.
Are you located in a historic neighborhood? You’ll want to work with the building’s character and choose rich accents from the period.
While you do want to stand out from the crowd, be sure not to go with a theme that is so out there for the locale that you run the risk of clients just not “getting it”. A slick, glossy all white and chrome interior will probably be off-putting in a small, rural city or town, no matter how much you might love it.
Tell Your Story
Keep in mind the sorts of styles and colors you generally do. Just as we talked about branding yourself as a specialist in one area, or niche, whether it’s vintage, color, or eyebrows, you want your decor to reflect the hair, makeup, or nails that you so expertly produce.
If you primarily execute asymmetrical cuts and vivid fantasy colors, your salon’s decor should reflect your edgy vibe.
Do you specialize in vintage pincurls and victory rolls? Forties or fifties touches in your decor can carry your branding through.
Remember that you are telling a story about yourself and your business with every detail. From your signage to your business cards to your wall color to your furniture and everywhere in between, be consistent and be thoughtful. This is what will set you apart.
Have you done anything unique with your salon’s decor? Let me know in the comments!