THE WORD ‘Salon-Only’ used to mean a firm bond between the product company and loyal salon owners, but over the last decade or so this once sacred word has been dwindled down to, in some cases, mean nothing. It has become like a bank note that is now worthless and cannot be cashed.
WITH THE INFLUX of large multinational companies buying up once salon-only brands, to gain market share over the last fifteen years, the industry (especially retail and colour business) has been on a downward spiral. These companies do not just dip their toe into the supermarket and pharmacy market, they are swimming in it... Not to mention the blatant selling of their products online direct to consumers!
To make matters worse, these multi-nationals gained their initial credibility through the hairdressing industry and from the multitude of dedicated professionals, through-out Australia, whom week in and week out loyally endorse their products at the basin, at the styling station a who then recommended the products to their customers, so they can maintain their hair at home.
SOME OF THESE giant chemical companies bid three to one above the real value of the companies worth to outbid their rivals, so they could gain further market penetration into the hairdressing industry. The result was these once salon-only product companies lost their heart and soul, including their salon-only ethos.These conglomerates have swallowed up much of the market without giving a hoot about the industry whom made them.
FOR YEARS SALON OWNERS have worked hard to convince clients that having their colour in-salon ensures a professional result (Which we all know is true) Do these companies mind if the consumer purchases their products (Colours and retail) through a bona-fide hairdressing salon or a supermarket? The short answer is no because they (the multi-national) wins either way!
To add to the insult, now many of the big players array of products (the same ones they can get from your salon) are available on-line for consumers (your customers) to buy from the comfort of their home or office. Delivered to their door and in a lot of cases cheaper than you can sell them. It can be summed up in two words, 'CORPORATE GREED. If we are not careful, soon customers will only come to a salon to have their hair cut or styled.
Retail has dropped off significantly with many customers choosing to get their products at a discount shampoo shop the next time they are in a shopping mall (or on-line.) As they stroll past these stores they see promotional packs by the same companies hairdressers endorse in their salons, for often half the price you offer them. Or even worse they get their shampoo, conditioners and styling products (by the same company) from the supermarket when they dotheir weekly shopping.
When is enough enough? And when is the word, ‘Salon-Only’ Salon-Only?
IT IS VITAL FOR OUR INDUSTRY TO BE STRONG, vibrant and like a light on a hill. Respected by the consumer and elevated in the eyes of customers; not pushed aside like an illegitimate industry that is used and abused....A great way to make a start is to:
1/ Boycott and sell off all companies products in your salon that are not Salon-Only or whom own brands that are not Salon-Only. Be firm about this, these companies give with one hand and take away from the Hairdressing Industry with the other hand.
2/ Step out and CREATE YOUR OWN RANGE...It makes good business sense to have your own range of natural, certified organic, salon-only hair care products to promote your own salon name. Many accomplished hairdressers and salon owners, whom in the past have embraced and promoted multi-national product companies, are now looking for something new and exciting to give them an edge over their competitors. In the past this was out of the league of the majority of salon owners, but now we have made it possible.
From the desk of: Jamie Hibble
(Long term advocate of Salon Only brands and Create Your Own Range Enthusiast)