July 2009

Debating the Dirty D-Word – Diversion

Diversion — the Dirty D word of the beauty industry – some will Deny that it exists, some think it will Destroy us; some can’t see the harm; Do you know what it is all about?

What if instead of looking for someone to blame, the beauty industry as a whole, starts looking at how to make a change?

After hearing many complaints about diversion from salons, distributors and manufacturers, Charlene Abretske concludes that each have their own ideas where diversion comes from. But when it comes to the area of professionalism, the beauty industry does not take itself seriously. She suggests that salons compare themselves to the medical profession and actually prescribe products for home care. Being an advocate for your clients is important and doing so will make a huge difference in your professionalism.

Of little debate is the emotional punch that diversion has on some salon pros losing their passion for retail. Read Gordon Miller’s personal experience with a group of hairstylists. He believes the influence of salon and spa pros over their loyal clientele can easily diminish any urge to buy professional products from the drug store. Diversion is bad for the industry, but the disincentive for stylists to consult and educate clients how to best maintain their hair at home, can be dangerous for the beauty industry.

Jerry Tyler takes a classic film noir direction to his column this month. Through his quest to uncover the truth about diversion he discovered there is no single solution to this challenge and every new discovery only reveales a new mystery to solve. Read about his quest and if he discovers a solution to the diversion dilemma.

No matter what your reaction to product diversion, pretending it does not impact your business won’t make it go away. Marketing expert Elizabeth Brown offers actions you can take to make your business diversion-proof. When it comes to retail products in the salon, there is often a huge hole where your message should be.

Choosing to retail a private label brand is another option to negate the affect diversion has on your business. Judy Culp shares how to make a private label brand work for you. National or private label, whichever path you decide to take, it is important to research the product and make sure it is the right fit for your salon or clinic.

In this economy it is imperative we form a united front to help the beauty industry remain strong and resilient. Retailing is an important part of any salon’s bottom line. Professional product manufacturers need to support the salon industry, and in turn, the salon industry supports the manufacturers by selling the professional products. When that happens, we can all work together towards an abundant future.