Business Insider: Salon Branding Tips

Authenticity and consistency are a salon’s greatest friends. Make no mistake, salon branding still need to evolve to keep up with fashion and industry trends, but flip-flopping can be a turn-off. And if you change or diversify too quickly you can leave your customers behind.

Think of it this way… do you like tattoos? The biggest reason people don’t get them is the commitment. Even if you love it, over time you can start to question it, want to change it, cover it up, or learn to downright hate it. By then, you’ll know it’s all too late and that mum was right. Your brand is a kind of tattoo as well, the only difference is you need to have one. But here’s the good news… your brand can evolve and change.

First Big Tip

Your logo is not a brand.

So, learn how to separate them. Treat your logo like a permanent tattoo and switch your focus to more flexible brand values. A logo’s combination of shapes, colours, fonts and even words can be meaningless without a brand. Brands are more like people – to know them, you need to know what they stand for. And we all want to be beautiful, inside and out.

Now, whether you’re starting up or re-booting a salon, close your eyes and picture the brands you admire most. Like an old LP collection, your brain will flick through a mental catalogue of logos. That’s how our over-stimulated Instagrammable brains like to organise things. It’s also the power of a logo, but it’s not the brand. So, think about the values that you enjoy behind the logo.

Second Big Tip

Give serious thought as to your ideal client.

Then give some very serious thought to the sort of person you are. A salon’s culture should come from the heart, so that when your values are reflected in your brand it’s a truly beautiful thing; especially to clients who share your vibe. On the other hand, holding on to the façade of a brand that isn’t really you can be exhausting - particularly when you’re already on your feet most of the day.

Third Big Tip

You can always add value to your brand without the need to start all over again or change your identity.

Think about new client value-adds, fresh music vibes, staff training, the clothes you wear, coffee you serve, products you stock, in-salon promotions, or the advertising you run... it goes on. This is how brands continue to breathe and build on brand equity to stay relevant over time.

It means that even if your logo is stuck in 1980, you can still move on and improve the perception of your salon by extending your brand’s values with very little cost, or even no cost. The point is, try not to over-correct or make dramatic changes all at once. It can be expensive, plus major change can confuse and spook customers. Which, in turn, can make them re-consider their options, sometimes for better but also for worse.

Bonus Big Tip

Always do your sums.

It is quite possible that you’ve seen an emerging new gap in the market at just the right time. And maybe you have just the right place to make it work. If so, double check your sums and make it big, but also beautiful, and well thought out.