When we think of what hair salons sell, most people think they sell hair styling products and services. But in reality, they sell more than that; they sell an experience and an opportunity to help someone be a better version of themselves. This is true for barber shops, day spas, or with any other business that uses the beauty salon business model.
Hair salons cater to a basic human need — the desire to look and feel good. However, the interpretation of this need varies dramatically for different types of people. It’s essential to understand the broad spectrum of potential clients to narrow down your target effectively.
The success of a hair salon doesn’t just hinge on skillset and quality, but equally on its ability to identify and cater to the right target audience. Your target audience not only determines your marketing strategies but also the décor of your salon. Not to mention the services you offer and even the music you play. If you are targeting the wrong market for your business, you may wind up wasting time and money resources that could’ve been used elsewhere.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the various potential target audiences for a hair salon and determine which one may be the best fit for your business.
Age is a pivotal demographic when determining the target market for a hair salon. Each age bracket has distinct hair care needs and styling preferences. For instance, teenagers might be drawn to bold, trendy hair colors and cuts. This is because they usually want to express their individuality. Young adults, settling into the professional world, might seek a balance between trendy and sophisticated styles.
Middle-aged clients may prioritize treatments addressing hair thinning or graying. And, seniors might focus on basic grooming and maintenance.
Recognizing these variations allows salons to tailor services, products, and marketing strategies more effectively, ensuring they resonate with and cater to the specific desires and challenges of each age group. Here is a quick breakdown of the needs of hair salon customers by age.
- Teenagers (13-19): With the budding desire to express individuality, teenagers often seek trendy haircuts, vibrant colors, and unique styles.
- Young Adults (20-35): This age group is experimental yet is settling into the professional world. They might oscillate between edgy styles and more sophisticated looks, also being the group most likely to invest in regular grooming.
- Middle-aged (36-55): Often seeking more refined, age-appropriate, and easy-to-maintain styles. They might also be the group most interested in hair treatments, given concerns about hair thinning or graying.
- Seniors (56 and above): Tend to prioritize basic grooming and maintenance, often loyal to a style they’ve loved for years.
While traditionally salons have been associated with women, there’s a burgeoning market for men’s grooming, with the modern man becoming increasingly conscious about his hair and overall appearance.
Urban Millennials and Gen Z
Urban Millennials and Gen Z represent two of the most influential and dynamic consumer groups in today’s marketplace, and their impact on businesses, especially sectors like fashion, beauty, and technology, is profound. These cohorts, born into the digital era, not only hold substantial spending power but also influence broader consumer and cultural trends. Millennials, being slightly older, are well into their professional lives. Gen Z, on the other hand, is the barometer of what’s current and cool.
One of the defining characteristics of these groups is their digital interconnectedness. Their immersion in a world of social media means that their consumer preferences, experiences, and even grievances are shared instantly and broadly. This networked reality offers businesses both an opportunity for expansive reach and the peril of rapid negative feedback.
Both of these generations are remarkably value-driven in their consumer choices. They are more likely to engage with and be loyal to brands that resonate with their personal beliefs and values. When they identify with a brand or product, they don’t just become customers; they become advocates, often introducing their peers to their latest finds. In essence, tapping into the preferences and values of Urban Millennials and Gen Z is more than a mere tactical move for businesses.
- They are trend-conscious and open to trying new styles and products.
- They have a higher frequency of visits, given their desire to stay updated with the latest trends.
- Social media influence means they’re likely to share their new look on platforms and who gave them that look.
Working professionals have a unique position in life. Their steady incomes and evolving responsibilities make them a lucrative and influential consumer group.
At the heart of understanding working professionals is their purchasing power. Established in their careers, they generally have higher disposable incomes than younger demographics like students or those just entering the workforce. This financial stability allows them to make more substantial and frequent purchases. Professionals will often prioritize quality and longevity over price. Whether it’s luxury goods, high-end services, or premium experiences, working professionals tend to opt for choices that echo their achieved status and success.
Their consumption patterns are also influenced by their daily routines and responsibilities. This means that a salon that targets this market may want to appeal to their desire for efficiency and convenience. If a solon is looking to target this market, they should consider doing things like allowing the customer to book appointments online quickly and easily.
Another critical aspect is trust. Working professionals are discerning. You’ll find that they prioritize businesses that have a track record of reliability and quality. If your salon prides itself on being able to offer that, you should market to this audience. However, keep in mind that, because of their loyalty, it may be difficult to lure these people away from their regular salon.
The Conscious Consumer
If you are a unique and niche salon, you may want to target the conscious consumer. These consumers often exhibit informed, ethical, and value-driven purchasing behaviors. Usually, they are meticulous researchers. Before making a purchase or aligning with a brand, they often delve deep into understanding the product’s origins. They also want to know the company’s ethos and the broader impact of their purchase. Once they find a brand they can get behind, they are usually loyal to it.
However, there’s a flip side to their loyalty. Conscious consumers are also vocal advocates for transparency and accountability. If a brand is perceived as inauthentic in its claims or fails to live up to its ethical promises, conscious consumers are likely to switch their allegiance. But it doesn’t stop there. They may also become vocal critics, leveraging social media and peer networks to share their grievances.
One defining feature of conscious consumers is their willingness to pay a premium for products and services they believe in. While price is a consideration, it often takes a backseat to what they value. For them, the added cost is a worthwhile trade-off.
With the world tilting towards sustainability, targeting eco-conscious clients can be a game-changer. They prioritize:
- Organic and cruelty-free products.
- Sustainable practices, from reduced water usage to recyclable packaging.
- A holistic approach to beauty, including advice on nutrition and overall well-being.
Psychographics have to do with your target market’s lifestyles, values, and personalities. These insights provide a deeper understanding beyond basic demographics.
For example, some customers may be driven by social status. That may mean that they prioritize luxury treatments. By understanding these motivations and beliefs, salons can design specific things that are appealing to that market. Maybe you can customize the ambiance. Essentially, psychographics enable salons to align their services and brand image with the intrinsic motivations of potential customers.
Positioning Your Salon
Now that you’ve gotten a better understanding of some of the best audiences to target for a hair salon, how do you reach this market? Many ways will help. The way a salon positions itself will be a major determining factor in how well the marketing works. Here are some important things to consider.
- Branding: If targeting younger audiences, a modern, vibrant brand image is crucial. For the eco-conscious, a calming, earthy vibe might be more appropriate.
- Services: While basic haircuts and treatments are staple offerings, consider specialized services. For the younger crowd, this might mean trendy color treatments, whereas for professionals, hair spa services and treatments to combat hair damage might be appealing.
- Marketing and Promotions: For millennials and Gen Z, a strong online presence, including active social media profiles, is essential. Regular promotions, loyalty programs, and student discounts can be beneficial.
- Training: Ensure your staff is trained not just in the latest techniques, but also in customer service. The latter is especially crucial if targeting higher-income groups or professionals who expect a premium service.
Identifying the best target audience for a hair salon is a dynamic process. That is why it should be one of the first goals for a salon business to have. There are many factors like the salon’s location, its vision, and current market trends that need to be considered. Remember, in the beauty industry, a salon doesn’t just sell haircuts or treatments; it sells experiences. And, you’re selling a person a better version of themselves. Tailoring these experiences to resonate with your chosen audience will pave the way for success.