Men and women are different. It’s true, if somewhat politically incorrect. Salon owners need to embrace this difference and realize it’s more than skin deep. It’s not difficult to show your male clients you’re aware of and respect those differences. Start by making small, but important, choices.
Know your audience. Services geared toward men should sound like manly services. The Better Man in Cincinnati knows this, and so lists their services with names such as the Sports Manicure and the Executive Manicure. How different do you think that service is from your current Deluxe Manicure? But it sure sounds different, doesn’t it? And because of that, men view the manicure as a maintenance service instead of an indulgence. Salons like Bliss, with multiple locations, know the importance of correct wording and have gone so far as to trademark the name of their manicures for men: They call it the Manly-cure. If you’re just breaking into the male market or trying to increase your current male clientele, you could start by printing a separate, small service menu listing options that are “for men only.” Give the services creative, male-sounding names even though the treatments (though maybe not the scents) are similar to the ones offered to women. If it’s difficult to come up with creative names for your services, you could model your menu after Modern Male. While they include creative words such as detailing and polish in their menu, they also name services (such as facials or massages) after the benefit they give, such as Revitalize or Calm. But, the name may not be the only thing that needs changing. “Our men’s services are similar to our women’s services,” says Karrah Creek, salon director at The Better Man, “but men want more conditioning of their hands and cuticles.” Also, techs may encounter more problem nails in male clients. Services intended for men could be modified to include problem-specific treatments, such as intense skin treatments or nailbiter’s manicures. Techs may find they want to invest in continuing education (or check out your back issues of NAILS) to learn more about how to handle disorders such as calluses, fungus, and sports-related nail injuries. AREA 4: YOUR THEME
The atmosphere and colors of a salon speaks volumes to clients. Create a soothing, calm environment through use of neutral colors and decorations. Be aware of areas that make a silent statement: the bathroom and waiting area, for example. Avoid a soap that leaves a flowery scent. Choose magazines specifically for a male audience. Pay attention to the program on TV— not every man loves watching Oprah. Many salons and spas offer refreshments. This is another place silent statements are made. Instead of offering wine only, offer a male guest a beer. Ask yourself what it would take to attract men to your salon. “It’s not science,” says Pat Murray, owner of Black Tie Spa in Norwell, Mass. “Give them a couple of leather chairs, a wide-screen TV, and a beer.” AREA 5: YOUR SPACE
You may not be able to turn the waiting room into a sports bar, but you can offer some privacy to men who are brave enough to schedule services such as pedicures and manicures. If you can’t designate floor space, consider an appointment block that’s exclusively for men. This could be after hours, early hours, or even at a two-hour stretch on certain weekdays. To get the word out, ask current clients to tell the men in their lives. Run a “male sale,” offering 10% off services scheduled during that time frame. The important thing to remember is that it’s awkward for many men to get a haircut in a predominately female setting. Now imagine him rolling up his pants and soaking his feet in bubbles. They may enjoy a pedicure as well as we would — but they are dealing with apprehension that doesn’t accompany our experience. Think that’s an exaggeration? Female employees asked Murray if they could move the manicure table out of the pedicure room and in front of the fireplace during the busy Christmas season to allow for double bookings. “No freakin’ way!” exclaimed Murray. “No man is going to get a manicure in front of other men!” We need to remember that the salon industry has unwittingly pushed men away from the salon experience, offering barbershops as the male alternative. Now that we’re inviting them in, we need to take deliberate steps to think of the salon from their point of view. Kocak says the need for privacy is especially acute in a salon that offers acrylics. Men don’t want to sit next to two women chatting while acrylic nails are being applied. It simply looks like too feminine of a service to most men, and they don’t want to sit nearby at an identical desk receiving what could be perceived as the same service. If you don’t have the space to create a permanent “men’s room,” consider a mobile nail desk that could be moved behind a room-dividing screen. Create privacy. “Just put it in a place where they can still see the TV,” adds Murray.
|MAKE YOUR SALON MORE MAN-FRIENDLY|
|*||Be on time. Men don’t like hanging out in the waiting area .|
|*||Keep conversation light. Discuss current events and business and sports news.|
|*||Include images of men in the salon, on your website, and in promotional materials.|
|*||Give male services manly-sounding names. Consider a separate service menu for men.|
|*||Use neutral colors in your decor.|
|*||Avoid flowery scents in the bathroom.|
|*||Include magazines for men in the waiting area.|
|*||Pay attention to the TV programming.|
|*||If you offer alcohol, include beer as an option.|
|*||Offer privacy, even if it’s just a screen.|
|*||Consider an all-male appointment block|
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