Offensive Salon Marketing & How To Do It


Sorry if this sounds confusing, but when I say offensive, I don’t mean “offend” I mean… Attack.

Perhaps you’ve had a situation at your salon where a competitor starts seemingly attacking you. Either making comments about you online, or nicking elements of your own marketing or campaigns. On one hand you want to go round there and shout at them to get their own ideas, or even get in a tit-to-tat and do the same back.

The problem is, no-one wins*.

Firstly, (and this is important) your clients see through it – they are cleverer, smarter and more loyal than you think. If you have concentrated on making your salon the best it can be, with great therapists, giving great treatments in a nice environment, then you already have a fan-base.

Yes, your clients are fans.

They can’t be won over with cheap gimmicks. And, if any of them can, they will either be back soon when they realise all that glitters is not gold, or they will be off chasing the next great offer (and if they are a serial offer chaser perhaps they aren’t the clients for you).

Secondly, it’s very distracting for you as a salon. Concentrate on YOU. Get better, be more proactive, care more.

The amount of times I have looked in admiration at a business from afar, usually buoyed on by people telling me how well they are doing, only to see them start to fail.

You, me and everyone… concentrate on you being better, because you can 100% control that.

Ultimately, as salon owners, we are in the business of people, and, people demand excellent customer service, especially if they are paying for it away from the lower end of the market.

*But, what do you do about it

Oh go on then. Let’s play. Sometimes it’s hard to let it go right, your business is your baby and someone is attacking it! Personally, I’d get creative. Because the thing is, the rules of marketing have changed.

Let me repeat…
The Rules. Of Marketing. Have Changed.

When people attack your beauty salon, your clients and observers on social media, etc. get it. They see it for what it is. You know why? Because they trust their own voice, and the voices of their friends, rather the voice of an organisation or celebrity endorsement.

They can see through the charade of traditional marketing.

Don’t get into an argument, come out the bigger person. And, humour. Humour goes a long way.


We came into our salon today and a competitor had parked a branded car right in front of our salon – on double yellow lines on the wrong side of the road to the way it was facing. Bit suspect right?

Whilst some of the team got angry (seeing it as an attack on trying to steal clients) I saw opportunity. Here’s where I come back to my comments above. Let me remind you…

Your loyal customers love you. You know it, may not believe it, but why not trust it?

So, rather than me go on the attack back, I thought I’d have some fun and hand the ‘marketing’ conversation over to our clients on Facebook. Four hours in and we have had over 1200 views, five shares and 25 likes… and counting.

facebook salon photo

People like to laugh, they have a voice now thanks to social media, and they are itching to get stuck in when it matters to them.

One Step Further Perhaps?

Oh, I also set up an Adwords campaign using their brand name. And, considering tanning is only a small part of our business, but a massive part of theirs, I’m thinking of offering free sunbed sessions next month.

See, sometimes I can’t help myself… but I do have fun.

If you have had similar issues, I’d love to hear about them, please comment at the bottom of this page. I may be able to share some ideas to help 🙂


About Author

Working in Hampshire (UK), I have a beauty business with four salons. I'm the guy that sits in the office doing marketing and numbers. My experiences are based on these skills.


  1. Our salon and the salon across the street are not visible from the main road so we both often have newer clients going to wrong salons. We are kind enough to direct their clients to their location but they on the other hand tell our clients that they do not know where we are!!! And on several occasions have actually either lied and said they were us or told the client that since they were there already that they could service them! Unbelievable!
    I’ve spoken to the owner about this and of course she says she’s not aware of that happening!
    Any suggestions of how to handle this in the future?

    • In terms of your competitor stealing clients, it’s a hard one that I have no clear answer to. But, I would look at what I could to control it happening.

      Personally, on this one, I would utilise a booking-in procedure whereby if a client hasn’t been to the salon before and call or book online. Either automatically, or manually, before their appointment they get sent an SMS text or email directing them to the salon, with clear photos that they can refer to – just to reduce the possibility.

  2. Hi I am a beauty therapist, working mobile and home based and in a salon on a sessional basis, as well as recently opening my own quaint little salon.
    I had a recent issue with a beautician moving fairly near to the area, who works from home aswell. Only they’d contacted my clients from my contact/friends list on social media. Telling them that they were moving to the area and so if needing any beauty treatments then to get in touch.
    Now I understands it’s all competition but to deliberately target my customers this way was underhand. Shouldn’t simply announcing it via social media and flyers simply be enough? I’m not just being over sensitive right? The other thing is that this other therapist knows me and is supposed to have been a friend. This makes the whole situation worse.
    It hasn’t happened since -that I know of. As my clients have not said anything. But they were the ones to inform me before.
    What would you have done?

    • Hi Beau, Not sure how they got your client details from Social Media, unless it’s followers in Twitter or Instagram. Yes, it’s not on, and smacks of laziness. Social media is very easy and open. I would build a closer tie by either doing email or text message marketing. That way, you keep getting to talk to your clients direct. Failing that, keep being better, sharing better stuff on social media and their laziness will show through. The key is to build up loyalty to you – above and beyond anyone competing against you on price or quick promos.

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