October 2008

Jerry Tyler

Blue Highways | by Jerry Tyler


A Brand Differentiates You From Others in the Beauty Marketplace

With the uncharted waters of the economic times in which we are living, it is time to reassess ourselves as individuals and company brands.

Many industry professionals, albeit talented, full of passion for their craft and ready to take on their future success, have no idea of their brand identity or the part it plays in today’s market.

While branding alone does not guarantee success, having an identifiable brand does differentiate you or your business in the beauty marketplace. It establishes who you are and where you are placed in the market landscape.

Having an identifiable brand makes you unique; it says who you are and what you stand for, and hopefully this will resonate with your intended client base. Notice I used the word “intended.”

You have to begin with a clear picture in mind as to the customer or client base you wish to acquire. You have to know what motivates them to visit that special stylist or salon; figure out what attracts them to it. What do they look like? What is their fashion profile, income and educational background?

What other brands do they purchase or see themselves as customers of? Are they Cadillac or Prius? Are they Armani or Juicy Couture? Are they college bound or college educated? Do they collect fine art, or do they collect tattoos? Who is this satisfied client in my chair receiving all the amazing expertise my brand has to offer.

Then comes the hard questions: Am I or my salon the place they will want to be in? Am I in alignment with the culture they desire to be in? Do I look the part?

If I desire a high-end big-ticket clientele, do I provide services on the level they will require? Do I have the advanced and cutting-edge skill sets to provide current and relevant answers to their fashion and beauty needs?

Do I need to upgrade my image and wardrobe to look the part to appeal to that high-profile client? Do I have the customer service and communication skills to care for and connect with my intended clients? Does my perceived value meet or exceed the client’s expectation?

These are all important points to consider and make the needed changes to assure meeting your target client’s needs and upholding the integrity of your special brand.

In the realm of branding I always advise using the “be, do, have” model.

  1. What do you want to be? What do you want to be perceived as? Who are you? What are you?
  2. What are you going to do to achieve this? What positive action steps are you going to take? What resources will you require to get it done? What timeframe will you set yourself to accomplish what you want to be?
  3. Most importantly, what do you want to have when you have fulfilled the first two? What is your reward? This requires you to begin with the end in mind. Know your ultimate destination before you start the journey.

Developing yourself or your business as a brand is a creative and challenging journey that evolves as you go. The demands of our ever-changing beauty industry require us to actively assure our continued success now and in the future.

Jerry Tyler’s column Blue Highways is his “Road Less Traveled” perspective on the solutions and challenges facing the beauty industry. Jerry Tyler has been a stylist since 1975 serving as the former artistic director for Vidal Sassoon Academy and currently as Director of Education for Carlton Hair salons. He is also a licensed cosmetology instructor and has served as President of the California State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.


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