A Brand is the words, images, thoughts and feelings that come to mind when someone thinks about you, or interacts with you and your business in some way. It’s the real estate about you in someone else’s heart and mind. Most spa owners are very clear about their brand when they first open, but over time, as businesses evolve (i.e. services, products and staff change), the brand’s original concept can dilute and the message you want to deliver is not always the message your clients are getting. It’s at this point when your brand may just need a ‘reboot’.
As a small business owner, you want every word and image on your brochure and website to represent your core attributes, values and beliefs. A reboot requires you to step out of your role as spa owner and into the role as your client to uncover shortcomings and inconsistencies. Focus on keeping what works, discarding what no longer fits and adding what makes sense.
Here’s a quick checklist of branding strategies designed to entice clients and keep them loyal and engaged with your business.
1. Clarity of Purpose:
Be abundantly clear about the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘how’ and especially the ‘why’ of your brand. Why does your business exist, and why are you passionate about it? Who are you (innovative, luxury-minded, health-conscious), what services do you provide, and how will you convey that message i.e., your business name, tagline and descriptive copy should represent exactly what you do, so clients won’t be left guessing what your brand stands for.
2. Spotlight your Uniqueness:
Whenever clients interact with your business--via phone call, visit, social media view--it’s known as a brand touch point, an experience that determines their view of your particular brand culture. So make each touch point a chance to showcase your uniqueness, your you-ness. Stand apart from the competition by putting your own spin on products, services and methods.
3. Creative Content:
Your brand culture--the special ‘magic’ clients experience in your treatment rooms--should resonate in everything you produce. Blogs, e-blasts, online newsletter and brochures should be crafted in the same voice--yours! Likewise, let your business personality shine through in podcasts, social media postings and in-office event. Generic or lackluster messaging won’t cut it.
4. Converse in your own Brand's Language:
It’s your vital ‘talking point’: All verbal communication--on the phone, in person, via webinars--should be in sync with your brand. Whether your conversational style is chatty, soothing and zen-like, authoritative or technical, make sure you use the same tone across each brand touch point.
5. Emotionally Connect:
Aim to resonate with your target market on an emotional level, to establish a “like-know-trust” rapport. Nix the hard-sell copy or medical jargon; instead, talk about how your products and procedures can make patients feel, by improving appearance and self-esteem. Touching testimonials, dramatic before-and-after photos, and strategies to connect clients with one another are all smart ways to strike that emotional chord.
6. Care about your Craft, Clients and Staff:
Make it clear you stand for something--by promoting philanthropic ventures in your community, and by demonstrating a real commitment to your craft, staff and clients. Brands with a heart and social conscience win points with a clientele that’s savvy and smart (particularly millennials).
Finally, make sure your brand identity rings true in every venue and across all marketing platforms--from your spa décor to your Facebook postings to your banter with clients--so the image you project is crystal clear. Being consistent, clear and caring is the way to build a powerful brand that clients keep coming back to.
The ultimate goal? To position you as an authority in the industry and create authentic messaging that emotionally connects with your target market by humanizing your brand. After all, a powerful brand is vital to increasing client acquisition and helping you gain loyal, committed customers which, in turn, increases your bottom line.