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)