Health is something we all want – to look good, feel good, and live longer. Beauty – young, old, fat, thin, male, female, black or white, we want to be beautiful. Wellness – this is an optimal state of being that concerns an individual’s health; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
In our industry we need to be aware that it is no longer enough to just offer ‘beauty treatments’. We need to be engaged in a holistic approach, one where we are aware of fitness, nutrition, sleep, hydration, anti-ageing and all rounded health. It doesn’t mean we have to be Yogis or offer alternate healing , but we should be able to talk to our clients in an informed manner, about everything but specifically Wellness.
We need to be able to spot the trends, re imagine our products and services to redefine the future.
Look at what percentage of your business is focused on the future and think ahead of how you can offer treatments and services ten times better than you are doing today.
These trends are not just for women. Women are of course the main source of income for Spas, but there is a huge leaning towards men and teens becoming regular visitors too. Men like to be indulged and pampered. They like to have their nails done and have less wrinkles. Teens enjoy facials and may even be more aware than ‘us’ of their eyebrow shape, their inner beauty and their diet.
This trend of men and teens can be attributed to health awareness and to the all famous word, Wellness. The Wellness Lifestyle Industries have expanded by 62 % since 2010. That is huge.
There is a significant shift away from just pampering and towards this overall wellness. It includes anti-ageing and preventative health. Clients today are focused on results and have said they would be more likely to visit or return to a Spa, if they know that their treatments will deliver measureable results.
We need therefore to constantly improve, exceed customer expectations and keep up with trends, train, educate and be forward thinking. We need to think out the box. Today clients expect the best – and they deserve it. We need to deliver. It doesn’t mean we need to re-invent the wheel, but we have to spend time and attention ensuring that we are trained, looking to the future and able to give the client what they expect. People do not want trendy anymore. They want tangible.
It is also important to sell your Spa the right way. If you are going for anti-ageing and beauty, then focus your marketing in the right direction. But be very aware of the growing number of people who are interested in overall Wellness. Many Spa menus now include yoga or Tai Chi classes, meditation or self discovery courses. Read up, learn and stay aware of these new trends.
Some of the latest trends include Mommy Spas, Champagne Pedicure Lounges, Kids Spas, Himalayan Salt Saunas and even Spa Cities. Ten years ago the idea of a Kids Spa would have been unheard of!
Medical Aesthetics is probably the biggest growth segment in our industry with an increased collaboration with the health and medical industry. Keep up to date with medical aesthetics, new equipment and product technology and other specialist services. Have the right certificates and staff and make your customer feel assured that they are coming to the right person. Be aware of new medical and aesthetic advancements.
Awareness comes on many levels, not just medically. The world is in huge trouble with climate change and Spas need to be more proactive in addressing environmental concerns. More and more Spas are sensitive to the environment and may be solar powered, have their own vegetable gardens and recycle. It’s a great thing to do, as long as you maintain levels of comfort and luxury, and don’t force your green initiative down your client’s throat!
Green initiatives come back to teens though. This new generation has grown up super aware of the environment, super aware of money and also super aware of technology. They like an environmentally friendly Spa. But they also don’t like to be asked to put away their phone during their back massage. Spa etiquette has evolved. It’s okay to have your phone out, but please, put it on silent!
Of course, we don’t just mean teens, we mean Millenials. Millenials are the children of the baby boomer, or of Generation X. They are kids born from the silent generation, born in the 80’s or 90’s. They are not silent though. They are hip, on top of things, super aware and super advanced. They work hard and play hard but are also incredibly stressed. They need to earn and work harder than ever before and their lives in this crazy world are busy 24/7. They carry their laptops with them, are always on the phone or their i-pad and have their heads face down in a screen. But also – they’re in tip top shape. They go after the holistic word – Wellness. Think about designing a Wellness App!
So while the environment has changed and the economy has changed, the one thing that has not changed is stress. The basic reason people go to spas is to manage stress. Today’s people are constantly exposed to the news, to social media, to their emails and to work. There is very little down time. Offer that down time. Offer a sanctuary. Offer peace and quiet.
Think about the tourist market too. After cultural tourism, wellness is the next biggest market. That is quite staggering! Almost every visitor to a new country or city visits a Spa. Package ‘wellness tourism’, offer something indigenous and unique and emphasize the ‘feel good’ factor. Market your Spa to visitors and offer something authentic and African.
And finally – look to the future. Read magazines. Visit other countries. Network. Attend conferences. Take a new subject and add to your degree or your diploma. Be aware of new machines and technology. Do not be scared of change as technology is enabling our new generation and we need to embrace change.
Stay focused. Remain true to the ethos of your Spa and be innovative. Don’t go after rainbows, but focus, think creatively and most importantly – keep up with the future!
Author: Debbie Merdjan is CEO and founder of the Camelot Group – A group of companies encompassing health & skin care training through Camelot International with 10 branches, product distribution through Marine Spa Distributors, Spa Consultancy and a network of 16 Camelot Spas and 6 Camelot Wellness branches throughout Southern Africa.
Debbie has been in the industry since 1982 and by following her passion for health, wellness and beauty co-founded Camelot International Health & Skin Care Education in 1985 and opened her first Camelot Spa in 1997. Debbie won the Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Spa Ambassador Award in 2013.