What Self-Care Concepts Redefined in 2020
By Christo Demetriades, COO, LunchboxWax
The self-care industry continues to pivot; reevaluating franchise development efforts amid the pandemic.
All eyes were on the self-care and personal services industry as businesses halted operations across the country earlier this year. The main question on many people’s minds when it came to salons included: are salons resilient and if so, how will they prevail?
For many concepts within the franchising space, operations were tested and executives had to take a strategic approach in addressing changes as the situation evolved. At the same time, leadership had to think proactively about their approach to reopening.
While working through these challenges, another major focus had to be franchise development. How could concepts continue to drive growth while many of their locations were closed? Many saw lead flow happen gradually in some cases and skyrocket in others. Though, it was evident that a deciding factor for qualified individuals was whether they saw your business as pandemic-proof. It was imperative for brands, now more than ever to communicate their company’s resiliency.
There were many impressive strategies executed this year and below are a few takeaways on how when faced with a challenge, franchises can refocus and continue to prevail.
Streamline New Product Launches
While salons were closed, a lot of businesses had innovative projects in progress, and with changes to the operational focus, it created more time for brands to revisit these ideas and bring them to life. Not only could a new product create a new point of sale for your franchise locations, but it also showed that your brand could continue to move forward during a time when some thought it was not possible.
From a retail line to system-wide shifts, all brands have exciting updates in the works at all times. Deciding when to announce these changes comes down to which time period you see the launch being the most valuable to position your business as a trailblazer. Take time to refocus and look at what can be done with the new energy and time available. Success can be defined in many aspects and keeping your brand name at the forefront of customer’s and potential lead’s minds is crucial.
At LunchboxWax, we have a self-care + beauty retail line that we are adding to and during the pandemic, we launched DEFINE, the brand’s first eyebrow collection. Speaking from experience this was a valuable way to hit on all the points mentioned above and moving forward with this launch despite the climate of the industry was the right move.
Update the Areas Where Consumers Interact with the Brand
Consumers were interacting with their favorite brands all through 2020, even if appointments were not happening. During this time, how did you continue to reinforce your brand and keep those that frequent your business engaged?
A common place people come into contact with your brand is on social media and through your website. It is important to reevaluate how this comes across to those that are interested in your business specially to ensure timely and appropriate messaging is present — on the consumer and franchise development side. For us, we take a unique approach to social media and by consistently posting images that trigger a thought of LunchboxWax, we’ve done our job in establishing that brand knowledge.
For many franchise concepts, the website is a crucial element in attracting various potential franchisees. Our brand had discussed doing a website update and came to the executive decision to move forward with this amid the pandemic. We had areas that we wanted to improve, specifically the way our franchise opportunity was presented to qualified candidates. Taking the time to consider an area that has room to evolve can set your concept up for success and even showcase the reasons your brand is the right investment for franchisees.
Franchise development efforts may have vastly improved after positioning your brand as resilient, but you did have to rethink the way you approached communication in every facet of your work to get there. Not only was constant communication internally important to existing franchisees, but you also had to continue conversations with those interested in joining your brand.
The entire industry quickly learned that the key to continued success was connecting virtually. From virtual discovery days to franchise development webinars, we all maintained some sense of normalcy and these efforts were a fantastic way to drive brand awareness. These pivots proved there is room for many concepts in the resilient category and they will be a valuable tool moving forward.
With 2021 quickly approaching and many brand’s experiencing an upward climb from the first half of the year, it is an amazing time to reflect on what your business did to accomplish its wide success. While consumers continue to stop by your business and franchise development is on the up and up, how did you get here?
After being reopened for a handful of months, salon concepts across the beauty industry saw a massive influx in customers and also on the franchise development side. It is obvious now more than ever that Americans consider beauty an essential service and I’m amazed at the creative approaches taken by many brands. There is light at the end of the tunnel and I’m confident salon concepts across the industry will continue this momentum into the new year.
Christo Demetriades is the COO of LunchboxWax. For more information and franchise opportunities for International Franchise Association (IFA) franchisor member LunchboxWax, click here.