The UK’s main wedding season tends to fall within the summer months of May through to September with an August peak. Couples place their bets on the preconceived notion of warm weather, with guests, comfort levels and an aesthetically appealing photo album in mind (forget smudged mascara, mud stained dresses and frizzy rain drenched hair!). Hair and beauty salons do however have the potential to receive a steady flow of business throughout the entire year with marriages taking place every month. The bridal demographic therefore needs to be fully understood and subsequently catered to effectively.
Alternative wedding ceremonies and venues are still all the rage and there is a new ethically attuned requirement for more natural and eco friendly settings such as elegant historical buildings and gardens. A preference for innovative and edgy themes has also been predicted for 2017 and this dynamic trend incorporates unused warehouses and technological imagery where it seems that the wedding reception resembles that of a rave!
It is important for salons to provide hair and make-up which complement the client’s proposed wedding concept. Colour palettes, dress styles and locations should all be considered. For example nude make-up shades and braided waved hair would project refined bohemian luxury which would harmonize well with a garden venue, and smokey eyes and a sleek bun would better suit a non conformist, futuristic and digitally advanced affair.
Brides are ultimately anticipating a meaningful and life-altering experience on their special day. Their appearance and salon relationships can only add to this and their fond memories of a fairytale type function. It is crucial that trust is formed between the bride and their chosen salon and that clients are listened to. A consultation and hair/make-up trial are a must and a goodie bag containing branded products is an effective gesture of gratitude. Comfort is of utmost importance and so refreshments could be served by staff on the wedding day.
There may be other guests within the bridal party that wish to benefit from the salons services (make-up, nails, hair, facials) and open evenings can provide them all with styling options alongside some fun and fizz. It is also important for clients to have a consistent stylist assigned to them with whom they click. This is in order to accentuate their day and alleviate any anxiety. Positive word of mouth is also likely to lead to further salon referrals.
Social media is a cost effective advertising tool, which if implemented correctly can uplift a brand and gain a wider more engaged exposure. Any wedding creates additional expenditure and many couples need to balance their budget, so salons should include competitive pricing in their advertising output. Online reviews, images, followers, likes and comments can considerably sway clients’ opinions. Convenience in the form of location, parking and bridal service lists should also be positively promoted. Online platform Facebook has a tool where adverts can be targeted to those who have an interest in certain local (wedding) venues and this is a profitably promising link to be utilised.
Salons should regularly oversee their social media marketing and Twitter and Facebook have a customer service capacity where queries and feedback can be acknowledged and dealt with promptly. The salon's website and social media pages should have a friendly tone of voice and a meet-the-team section can additionally install clients' faith. Creative bridal content needs to be spread consistently across all platforms and special offers shared for online enticement (a handful of hashtags should also be thrown in for good measure). Search Engine Optimisation will boost the salons personal profile and an online website enquiry/appointment booking tool can benefit clients with limited time. The web content should include any community/charity work and ultimately represent a salon with authentic aims and values.
Reputation irrefutably underpins the authenticity of all businesses’ marketing efforts. The salon's substance can only be credibly judged by those who have visited and their individual and impartial word of mouth has a huge bearing on footfall. Customers should be able to relate positively to their salon experience. The interior design, staff, pricing and contemporary concepts (digital tablets to choose hairstyles etc.) all impact on this. Online and offline marketing can be bridged and ‘selfie’ photographs of clients could be placed on social media and tagged/shared virally. The salon's social media links can also be included on staff business cards with in-house flyers incentivising individuals through competitions and give-aways.
Branding also has an unconsciously significant influence, as a professional and stylish name and shop front often reflects the establishment’s internal efforts. A hint to bridal hair care and beauty should be included in the shop window to attract the desired audience who may be passing.
Marriages typically involve lots of precise planning and many businesses' products and services are amalgamated to assemble a meticulous day. Salons can utilise and unite with those in the industry by networking with local florists, caterers, photographers, bridal boutiques and venues. There can be an exchange in marketing and the salons discounts, flyers and business cards can be promoted to a relevant bridal populace and vice versa. The World Wide Web also provides access to networking groups such as the ‘Meet Up’ app, ideas can be shared and rewarding professional relationships built with other businesses within the community. The salon could also have a presence at local wedding exhibitions and fairs and hold a prominent position with catwalk involvement and live hair and beauty demonstrations.
Network connections can be converted to the salon's online sphere and fellow companies promoted across social media. The salon could also advertise within popular wedding magazines and blogs. Clients are ultimately the key network link as the opinions of friends and family hold significant substance for those looking for memorable hair and beauty services.
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