Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Marketing: Truth or Lies?

Some days I struggle to think of something to blog about. Today, this topic came to me. I was catching up on my emails (comprised of work, personal and the beautytech mailing list). I was reading a thread of nailtech emails with regard to Gels, Soak off Gels, Gel Polish and other variations of basically the same enhancement.

One of the girls said, "I personally have a lil bit of a problem with marketing that is misleading. There was a campaign in recent years in national print media about “manicures that last three weeks”….but it was really for traditional liquid and powder enhancements. Unrealistic expectations and “spin” don’t make for loyal clientele…for me, at least."

It got me thinking about our industry from a few sides. As a Manufacturer, as Salon owner and a technician and how very different the thought process is for each one. For example: As a manufacturer the market gets increasingly more competative. We are constantly striving to put together marketing campaigns that will grasp our focus group and pull them in. If the manufacturer of that "gel polish" simply called it "color gel" the competition is steep. There are hundreds of color gels out there. But by calling it something new "gel polish" he is setting his product apart from the competition and hoping to spark an interest and build his business.

Now how does this relate to a Salon owner? Well, isn't his or her job to draw customers to her salon? And if every salon within 10 miles of her offers "color gel" wouldn't it then be smart of her to market something "new and exciting" to set her apart from the competition?

And how do we lose this thinking at the tech level (such as the tech I quoted)? Well, as technicians we hold our clients hands. We talk about their personal lives and build trusted relationships. In some cases we become their psychologist / best friend. Somewhere along the way, in all the feelings, we tend to forget we are running a business and feeding our families!

So where do we draw the line between truth and lies? It's ok to call your service "gel polish" and not "color gel" but to say "this product will take 10 pounds off your waistline and make you look 20 years younger by coating your nails" is a lie. Don't let your personal feelings and relationships with your client get in the way of running your business. With competition on every corner of every block be smart and market your services to make them unique and set them apart from your competition. It may be the difference between being busy or looking for another job!

(writing from Valencia, CA today)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It's a New Day.

I shudder to think what kind of life you must lead if you haven't seen or heard about the 44th Presidential Inauguration for the United States of America. That is, assuming you are American. And even if you aren't, it really is amazing how excited foreigners are about the swearing in of President Obama.

I've been getting emails from my customers all over the world congratulating me on our new President. Like it's my birthday or like I just got married. I've found it pretty exciting that everyone is turning to see where we are going to go next with our new President. I am personally looking forward to repairing our relationship with the rest of the world. As a World Traveler the reaction to "I am from the United States" changed drastically over the last six years. I remember feeling a sense of pride from the reaction of others when I said I was American. Now, in the last few years, I've had to really keep quiet and refrain from saying I am from America out of fear for my safety.

I do not expect that everyone is happy about the changing of the guards, but I do think we are all hopeful of what new changes are going to take place and will those changes repair our broken economy AND our relationship with the rest of the world.

Will.I.Am wrote a song that I feel is a good reflection of how most of America (mainly the middle class haha) is feeling. His video can be seen on at:

It's a New Day

(writing from Valencia, CA today)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy New Year!!

Yet another year has come and gone. I swear the older I get the faster they go by.

So my blog question today, for all of you, is, "Have you set your New Year's Resolution"? I find there are two types of people. The type that set Resolutions and those of us whom don't.

For me, the word is kind of synonymous with "temporary". And can give us all a feeling of failure. While I've never been one to set a "resolution" I certainly have been a life long goal setter.

You do not have to limit it to your personal life. In fact, I find that we tend to keep our goals more realistic in our professional life. So my first suggestion is to keep it real. Don't set yourself up for failure. Baby steps. I like to set several goals that are simple and can be completed in a shorter time line. Then I set one big juicy goal that will take some commitment on my part, but the rewards are totally worth it. So I really would love to hear what kind of goals you've set for yourself for 2009. Perhaps something you've decided to do could become a great suggestion for someone else.

My simple goals professionally will be:
Keep my desk organized. I am KNOWN for my disorganized desk (even though I know where everything is).
Increase my education contribution to the industry. For example, I'm about to finish our Star Nail DVD (a HUGE undertaking) and am looking to help a friend launch her new Association for the Nail Industry.
Be more consistent with my blogging.
Step up my artwork and continue to try to come up with new innovative ideas for my shoots.

(there's more of this stuff)

My big Juicy Goal:
To increase Cina Sales. I just missed my 2008 Goal by about a teeny tiny margin. This goal kind of goes hand in hand with my education goal. I need to step up my seminars to show techs that they A) do not need to be artistic at all and B) can make a ton of money doing nail art. Awareness is key for me to do this. Cina is my baby here at Star Nail. It gives me such a thrill to see it continue to grow. It gives me an even greater thrill to see Mr. Tony Cuccio excited about "Nail Art"!!!

And constant goal... Always LOVE what I am doing. I have been blessed with a career that I absolutely LOVE!!! And I am thankful for that with each passing day.

(writing from Valencia, CA today)