When you first opened the doors of your hair or beauty salon, did you have a clear target demographic in mind for who exactly your salon would be aimed at? As a new business, it’s likely you were happy for any clients at all!

Maybe you had geared up your salon to suit a younger clientele? Perhaps you were targeting a more mature clientele or a a male only clientele? It’s highly likely that you did once have a clear direction but perhaps over time, you’ve found yourself positioned somewhere in the middle? If you do find yourself wondering who exactly your salon is targeting, we hope you’ll find this article useful.

We have previously discussed:

Here, we outline the benefits of effectively positioning your salon towards a particular demographic. It is really important to have direction within your business as failure to do so can cause you to waste valuable time and money.

Not having a clear direction presents challenges…

At Salons Direct, we love discussing salon business led topics with the experts of our industry – we recently caught up with Joe Emir from the award-winning salon, Inanch London, he told us:

“It’s best to devote your efforts to your core target demographics than to spread yourself too thin across all demographics.  For example, if your core target demographic are those with high disposable incomes that desire the best service and treatments, they wouldn’t want to be in a salon environment that has a mixed client demographic which includes discount hunters filtered by the likes of Groupon.  Focus on quality over quantity and spend more time and energy to your core demographic.”

Put yourself in the shoes of your client and ask for feedback…

Take a walk around your salon floor and ask yourself what does your decor reflect? What do your promotional/marketing images reflect? Who are you selling to? If you aren’t sure, rope in a trusted friend or family member to give you their opinion. Often, when you ask someone who is removed from the situation, you can get a clearer and less biased picture. You never know, you might be wholly surprised by the feedback you receive. Examine your current client base..

We also recommend taking a look at your recurring customer base – who are your regular clients? By examining this area, you will get a feel for the kind of client that feels most comfortable and represented within your salon business.

Once you have identified and segmented a demographic, you can drill deeper to find out what their interests are and what their aspirations may be. Once you know that, you’re able to adjust the vibe of your salon to best suit who is coming through the door!

Maybe you want to branch out?

It’s important to not make any rash changes within your salon that may deter existing clients. However, if you are looking to expand your horizons to other demographics, it’s a good idea to start by encouraging existing clients to ‘refer a friend’ or a family member. With this method, you are leveraging an existing relationship and building your client database in an organic way. To help entice people to take part, you could put together a treatment package deal that gives your existing client and their referred client a % off their next treatment.

Award winning celebrity hairdressers, Richard Ward, shares 3 key areas to examine when it comes to targeting your salon

How do you diversify your salon to cater to all demographics?

While having a wide appeal can be important, what is key is to make sure you offer specific areas of expertise within your salon and really hone your team’s skillsets in different areas. Today’s client is better educated and more informed on hair than at any other time in the past. They know what they want, how to achieve it and have higher expectations – a ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t work any more. Client-facing teams need to act like the experts they are and offer well-informed and personalised advice. 

How do you use promotional imagery to cater to all demographics?

The imagery you use needs be quite editorial and achievable for your salon demographic; anything too avant-garde or dramatic can be off-putting and out of reach for the average client. it needs be aspirational yet attainable imagery that a cross-section of clients can relate to. You will never be able to appeal to everyone, but a beautifully created, carefully selected image can provide inspiration for a huge audience. Beautiful hair is timeless!

Is it better to focus your business on one demographic, or try and spread your services to appeal to everyone?

If you concentrate on your team, identify and grow their strengths and market them accordingly, you will find that you can appeal to a much wider demographic – but do be aware of who your core client base is. It’s much better to grow and maximise the business you already have in your chair than to be constantly searching for new business at the cost of your loyal regulars.

In conclusion…

By really understanding your existing clients and how they help make your business successful, you can get a feel for the right kind of demographic that suits your salon and move forward in a productive direction that feels right.

Time for more salon management advice? The small things your salon clients notice, but you don’t | Why you need a handbook for your salon employees | Salon furniture for all budgets and styles