Offering awesome services differentiates the good salons from the not so good ones, but when it comes to building client loyalty, it takes a little more than a great manicure or set of pink-and-whites to keep customers coming back. Branding your salon ranks right up there with having to-notch customer service skills and a detailed service menu.

By offering clients a strong brand, it makes it easier for them to differentiate you from the rest of the pack. Plus, your brand helps give your salon an identity. The winner and honorable mentions of NAILS’ Best Salon Brand Contest are proof that a strong logo and good follow through on a variety of promotional materials can help make a salon memorable in the minds of clients.

Winner: Dante Lucci Salon,

Rocky River, Ohio

Owner: Gina Lucci

The brand: One look at this salon’s materials and you immediately feel the young vibe of the salon. From the fun, playful logo to its signature purple and lime green color scheme, you get the sense that you’re in for a good time at Dante Lucci.


We loved the consistency carried through in the different promotional pieces, including a “welcome to the neighborhood” card and a 10-year anniversary mailing. All of the pieces look professional, including a four-page newsletter that covers makeup, hair, skin care, and nail topics.

Honorable Mention: Lux Spa, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Owner: Jacques Reiss

The brand: Clean is the feeling you get when you see this salon’s materials. The light blue and white logo echoes the salon’s clean, cool, minimalist feel. The promotional pieces incorporate white as the main color with spare touches of the blue and black.

 We thought it was clever that most of the services on the menu incorporate the “Lux” name, helping to give the salon even more of an identity.

Honorable Mention: Heaven & Earth Salon and Spa, Pottsville, Pa.

Owners: Kim and Scott Greis

The brand: Just take a look at the salon’s menu and you know this is no ordinary salon. The menu is made to look like a matchbook, even incorporating a nail file on its cover. This is a salon full of spirit and spunk. The rest of the salon’s materials, including a gift card, business card, and frequent buyer card, all feature a funky, retro feel. The use of bright colors helps give the materials a hip look.

So, How Was It?

Step one in improving your business is determining what needs fixing. Your best source for feedback on that score are the people who pay your salary your clients. Some may have specific concerns, some may simply have a sense that things aren’t how they’d like them to be. In either case, you can start a dialog with a client satisfaction survey. Typically, these surveys ask a series of questions requiring only a box to be checked or an option be circled in response. They also provide space for detailed client comments and an optional spot for the client’s name.

Jennifer Purdue, owner of Details Nail Salon in Bloomington Ill., distributes survey forms to new clients both in person and by mail. For her, the most valuable responses on the form are the client’s rating of her overall salon experience and the cleanliness of the salon. “When you’re at the salon every day, you can stop seeing things,” she says. She recommends speaking to clients in person for even better feedback. “I might ask, ‘How was that new service?’ or “How can I help the technician get better?’”

Mary Metscaviz, owner of Awesome Nails in Grayslake, Ill., includes the question, “Were you informed about the products used on you today and if so, did you purchase any?” “This lets me know if my team is taking care of their clients’ needs by prescribing treatment products,” she says. “If cards come back and the client says she was not informed, then it’s time to hold a team meeting and go over the benefits of each product we use.”

The Internet is an increasingly popular way to survey clients, easy and convenient for both the salon and the guest. Clients of Indigo The Salon in Greensboro, N.C., can quickly check a few boxes and return the survey with a single click. The flexible format also allows those with strong opinions to commend a particular staff member or elaborate on areas the salon fell short of their expectations.  


Customer service/front desk:

  • Did you have an appointment or walk in?
  • How long did you wait?
  • Were you seen on time?
  • Was there adequate parking?
  • Was your scheduling phone call handed courtesouly and promptly?
  • How did you hear about us? (for first-timers only)


  • What service did you receive?
  • What other service are you interested in?
  • Did the technician listen to your needs?
  • Did the technician encourage you to try other salon services?
  • Please rate your technician’s knowledge and professionalism.
  • How satisfied were you with the results of your service? (on a scale of 1-5)

The salon atmosphere:

  • Please rate the cleanliness of the salon (on a scale of 1-5)
  • Did your technician explain our sanitation procedures?


Open-ended questions:

  • How can we make your salon experience more enjoyable?
  • What was your overall impression of the salon

Whether you hand out survey cards in the salon or offer an opportunity for feedback on your website, it’s important to make responding quick and easy for the consumer.

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