Beware the rising tides

Do you go your own way? Simon Tickler, managing director of Salon Success, explores why differentiation is the key to survival in today’s salon industry

Imagine you’re on an island – that’s our industry. The waters of cost and trend pressures are starting to rise and making that island smaller… where do you stand as the tides rise?

“There will be winners and losers, and certain approaches you make will decide if you’re above the tide,” warns Salon Success managing director, Simon Tickler.

On stage at Salon Smart 2019, Simon pointed out how the one-on-one human connection hairdressers have with consumers is incredibly special (and increasingly rare in a world where shopping has become a solo, online activity). He encouraged salons to create in-depth content in this busy world that illustrates their point of difference and can demonstrate your place in the local community.

“25 per cent of retailers believe technology makes client engagement more difficult,” said Simon, “but we have that engagement physically with people every day.” From the random acts of kindness by Pret a Manger, to the Museum of Ice Cream selfie emporium, he challenged attendees to think about how they extend client experiences.

It’s less about the accumulation of things, and more about providing experiences, and remember that scarcity creates demand. As a salon, consider events and streaming, and also what you’re wrapping around the journey in the salon. There’s no one right answer…

And now that everyone’s a brand, how do you create a brand that everyone can connect to? It’s the three ‘F’s – feeling, form and function. “What emotions are we trying to generate? In what form will they take? And how will we get it done,” asked Simon. “Once you know, educate it and manage it.”

“We are not a product company. We see ourselves as an education and marketing business and celebrate 40 years of helping hairdressers stay one (or more) steps ahead. Everything we do is geared towards helping salons be more successful and having fun doing it – if it ain’t fun, we ain’t doing it right!”Simon Tickler