By Duncan Pape – BY THE DESIGN
When you need award wining marketing for your spa, you want your brand to be the first thing your ideal customer thinks about. You want to be the leader in your industry, the go-to expert, a trusted name in your industry…in other words, you want your brand to be Top of Mind.
A strong brand is capable of communicating your company’s personality (values, mission and vision) well, and it will have the ability to colour perceptions of your business. However, without a branding strategy and marketing strategy designed both for your customers and your staff, to put your brand “out there” and keep it top of mind, that brand will not only fail to be the go-to you want it to be, it will suffer from a serious lack of brand awareness.
So how can you make your brand the first brand that comes to mind?
When I ask you to name a model of car, a type of cell phone, a designer clothing brand and a brand of peanut butter, one name quickly comes to mind for each category.
This didn’t happen accidentally. The branding and marketing experts for your favourite (or most popular) brands followed a formula for landing their products in the front of your mind. There are certainly variations of strategy, depending on industry and market; however, attaining top of mind status generally follows this formula:
1 Make an Emotional Connection.
This is by far the most important one for me. With Today’s spa consumers are less concerned with facts than with how a brand makes them feel. Emotional satisfaction (or the elimination of a negative emotion) is factored in whenever a customer calculates the net benefit of doing business with any brand. Know what emotional experience your ideal client and staff is hoping to encounter or avoid, and then find ways to deliver that.
2 Remain Present.
Rarely will a consumer make a purchase immediately after learning about a brand for the first time. A consumer will have to be exposed to a brand message 20 times before he or she makes a purchase. Know where your ideal client can be reached, and be there (with a good media mix) on a regular basis. Know what’s happening in your industry by being part of the relevant groups within the industry.
3 Be Available.
After consumers become aware of your brand, they’ll want to learn more about it. This can only be accomplished if your brand is accessible visually as well as by employ solid SEO(Search Engine Optimisation) tactics for internet search. Build a branded, informative and relevant website. Create social media pages on those channels that best serve your ideal client ( remembering your new client are the Generation Y, Digital Natives, Generation Me). Purchase the domain names that relate to your brand. Track analytics and make adjustments in order to acquire the greatest amount of traffic with the least effort. And always remember: The greatest brand is only great as long as it’s available to the consumer; otherwise, the next brand becomes the greatest brand.
4 Consistently Offer Value.
Ideal clients, potential clients, new clients and old should all feel the value when they interact with (or simply observe) your brand. A regular blog that contains helpful information that is of interest to your ideal customers will accomplish this, as will your informative and expert engagement with them on social media.
5 Be Unique.
Too many brands think they can become top of mind by imitating their competitors. All this does is solidify the competition’s top of mind status, by reminding people of that brand. Instead, find a gap, an unsolved problem or a new way of solving it. Attain top of mind status by being the one brand that’s different from all the rest.
6 Create a Buzz.
At its core, marketing is about getting attention. And the best way to get attention is to start people talking about your brand. What will make your target audience talk? And recommend your brand to their family and friends? Study their behaviour. Learn what’s important to them. Find out what they like to talk about. Only then will you know how to get their attention, keep it…and put them to work for you, getting other people’s attention.
If you employ these tips for creating top of mind awareness, I’m confident that you will see results. Keep it up,and be involved on a daily bases on the floor and not in your office as your business dose not operate from there. People will start coming to you for expert advice and will refer your brand to others. You will notice an increase in ideal clients coming to you, with less and less effort required from you.
This article and other spa management articles are available in Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Spa Magazine – issue 71. To subscribe visit: www.lesnouvelles.co.za
About Duncan Pape: He has 16 years of experience in the fashion and beauty industry from retail, distribution marketing, to training and spa consulting. Duncan has worked for one of the largest distributor of skin, hair and nail products in South Africa where he perfected his skills in sales and training.
He studied at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology to become a trainer’s trainer and has worked as a brand manager for various spa groups and brands.
He is currently creator and contributed to the creation of the brand Langaro Lifestyle Centre, which won Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Day spa Award in 2014 and currently has been awarded World luxury Emerging Spa in Africa Award 2016.