Men-as prospective clients-require different approaches and attitudes to entice them into the salon. Before you decide to market to the opposite sex, you need to make sure you salon and your service menu are ready for them.
Ah…the never-ending battle: Trying to get and keep men in your salon. It may not be as hard as it used to be. With the booming spa industry comes new services and new attitudes. Whereas men used to only go into salons before and after hours so as not to be seen and labeled feminine, now they’re booking manicures, pedicures, and massages during their lunch hour so they can spend time getting pampered and groomed.
More and more members of the stronger sex are realizing the there’s no shame in wanting to appear easy on the eyes.
“We service men from ages 3 to 83, but our typical male clients are the businessmen, politicians, and lawyers who have realized that part of their job is to look well-groomed,” says Madrina Robelllo of Madrina’s Nail & Hair Studio in Gulf Breeze, Fla.
Besides looking good, men have realized that grooming is also beneficial to their overall well-being.
“My typical male client is a blue collar worker who’s very active and woods 14-hour days,” says Roberta Linfield of Nails Etc. in Alberta, Canada.
“They generally have cracks or calluses on their feet that need attention every couple of weeks.”
Besides instilling confidence and preventing real foot ailments, the bottom line is that men ultimately decide to come into the salon because it makes them feel good.
“The media, magazines, and celebrities have made it OK for a man to get a manicure,” says Olivia Collins of Bellezza in Atlantic City, N.J. “Men aren’t necessarily getting in touch with their feminine side, but enhancing their masculinity.”
A Threesome, Anyone?
Let’s face it-men don’t relate to feminine service descriptions like “Luxurious” and “glowing.” In fact, they may even be embarrassed to ask for such services. To make it easy for them, try adding services with names specifically tailored for men.
For example, Tony Cuccio, president of Cuccio Naturale, thought that men were an untapped market when he launched his Cuccio for Men line last year. With the line come menus with service ideas such as The Threesome, which includes a manicure, pedicure, and neck massage-serviced by two or three technicians, and the Gentlemen’s Hand Facial.
“The bottom line is that men like being catered to by women,” says Cuccio. “The Threesome is a unique service idea because it has three women working on one man at once and it makes him feel like a king.”
At M & M Wellness Center in Silver Spring, Md., owner Maisie Dunbar brings in the male clientele with her service menu’s masculine offerings.
“The Handy Mandy is described as a manicure plus exfoliation for those hard-working hands,” explains Dunbar. “It’s our most popular treatment for males.”
George Schaeffer, president of OPI, says that just about any service a salon offers fro women can be adapted to capture a man’s attention.
“Offer a ‘Power’ manicure or pedicure or an ‘Executive’ service, instead of using the traditional warm and fuzzy language used to attract women,” recommends Schaeffer.
At Madrina’s, the spa’s male clients opt for sports manicures and pedicures. “For men’s manicures we use a non-scented lotion and buff the nails to a high shine with a buffing cream, and for pedicures, men usually get a longer foot massage since no polish is involved,” explains Robello.
Pedicures seem to be one of the easiest ways to hook men on nail services. “No man can resist a foot massage” says Linfield.
Cuccio agrees: “The pedicure business and men is really stating to explode because men realize that feet are part of their body just like women did 20 years ago,” he notes. “But the thing that’s really starting to rope men into getting pedicures is fashion. Years ago men would never wear open-toed shoes because it was considered feminine. And now last summer, one of the biggest trends was men wearing open-toed sandals.”
Ambience Is Key
One of the biggest reasons men hesitate to enter a salon or spa is that they’ll feel uncomfortable. Salons that court men are successful in guiding them toward nail and spa services when they provide a non-threatening environment in which men can be men, even during a manicure.
“Men don’t want to walk into a salon and get a manicure or pedicure in the middle of a bunch of gossiping women and surrounded by pink walls and Cosmopolitan,” says Collins.
You may say you service men, yet expect them to sit in a pedicure throne in-between two women, feeling uncomfortable and exposed. In addition, it may make a woman feel more uncomfortable having a man sit next to her when she went to the salon get away from it all. Making all clients feel comfortable in a salon requires having treatment rooms or a section of the salon set aside for male services.
“Our salon has a neutral décor, we play soothing music, and clients get a neck-ease pillow so they can sit back and relax,” says Dunbar. “I’ve been told it’s a relaxing atmosphere for everyone.”