A salon owner I know recently contacted me because a new salon was opening up in the same small town with a very similar name. She was obviously getting nervous and wanted to combat any threat.
It’s a common problem which you can’t do too much – especially of the salon name is different. Firstly, it’s very difficult to chose a unique salon name unless you use your own name. You could also set up your business then trademark the beauty salon name to protect yourself and even then you may end up having to go through expensive legal wrangles.
We have had this issue twice where, despite a trademark in place, a salon opened up less than 10 miles away with the same name. We also had a mobile therapist mimick our logo and name. On both accounts, we didn’t do anything, because (a) We didn’t fancy the legal costs, and (b) they weren’t really a threat to our business.
So, how do you protect your salon?
Firstly, don’t panic, especially if you are already established. As long as your marketing to existing customers is strong and you have easy ways for people to find you online (the time of booking) they are in the harder position. They have to differentiate themselves.
Ultimately, if your salon is good (great) then there is no reason why you will suffer.
Don’t Get Too Defensive
An immediate response may be to get defensive and explain to clients through your website or Facebook Page that it’s not you. All you will do is bring more attention to them. Perhaps you may also showing that you are threatened, which in turn may make your clients wonder why.
Marketing Ideas To Protect Your Salon Name
So, if it were me and a salon opened up near mine, with a similar name, here is what I would do.
Build Your Brand
Without doubt, reputation is the one thing above all others that will help your salon prosper. Many salon rely simply on Word of mouth and being Remarkable.
Make Sure Your Therapists / Stylists Are Creating Relationships
People buy people. Make sure your team are armed with great tips and techniques for developing client relationships and make sure they are helping to push your brand to clients.
Develop a salon loyalty scheme that has value for your clients. One that is clearly branded and keeps people coming back to your salon.
Google Adverts Online
A quick and simple way to get the attention on the web is to run some Pay Per Click adverts (Adwords) on Google. Bearing in mind Google is a good place to start for many clients I would run an advert with my own brand name and the competitions variation as keywords so that when people look for “new salon name in your town” your advert pops up.
Use Their Name On Your Website
If your salon name (and the competition salon name) use generic words, I would use them in my content on my website. There are two ways to do this:
- In the words on your website. If your new salon competition is called something like “Natural Beauty” or “The Beauty Room”, you can build these phrases into your website content (making sure you don’t forget your local town name). Eg. When you visit our beauty room in *town*, you will experience a natural beauty treatment.
- If your competition is a specific name (and this tactic is questionable) you could include it in your image alt tags. When you upload an image to a website, you can put some text behind the image which is invisible to full-sighted people visiting your website but counts as content. This is also good if your salon competition as a generic (see point one).
I have used this second tactic quite well when a girl left our salon and set up a new salon 1/2 mile away. I used her salon name as a description under and image.
Ultimately, it’s frustrating to think that someone maybe setting up a salon business close to you, trying to hang off your coat tails. But, I like the think that competition is actually a good thing.
You can’t just ‘want to be the best’, you have to be the best – not the best in the world, just better than the competition.
Don’t get dragged into price wars or run negative campaigns, it’s belittles the idea of being the best. You need to remain positive, aggressive (in the sense of sales and marketing) and concentrate on being the best you can. If you focus in on this you will come out on top.