Eschewing Obfuscation

If I could get the entire industry together and talk us all into agreeing on one thing, today that one thing would be to come up with clear, distinct terms for services and products. Specifically, gels.


At this point there are so many different brands, formulas, colors, and viscosities of gel products on the market that the industry professionals who develop, manufacture, market, distribute, and use them can't keep them all straight, let alone the consumer.


We have light-cured and "no-light" gels. We have builder gels and gel polishes. We have urethane methacrylates and urethane triacrylates and some acrylates I don't even know about. We have thin gels, thick gels, color gels, gel sealers, and gel-cushioned insoles in our shoes! OK, you and I know that the gel insoles don't belong on that list, but do your clients?


Besides the issues of types and usage of different gels, there's also the problem of brand. Thanks to CND's fabulous marketing (and I say that only partially sarcastically), every potential client who calls me now asks for "Shellac." And, about 70% of the time, they don't even want gel-polish, they want extensions and not even always gel extensions! The other 30% of the time? They want gel-polish. I think I've only had one count her, one — person who has actually, specifically wanted Shellac, the CND product.


But people don't know the difference between all the options in products and services that are now available and they're being bombarded with more names and terminology faster than they can assimilate them. And the professional market isn't doing much better at keeping up.


But it's not their fault. I can't blame them. There's so much conflicting information out there. And every salon has a different name for their services — one salon does "full sets of pink-and-whites," another does "solar nails," another offers "Forever French enhancements."


It makes my head spin, I can't imagine how confused the average consumer is.


And you know what? We're only hurting ourselves. The client wants to be able to walk into a new salon and order her service without having to go through a complicated translation process. If she's used to getting "pink and white acrylic" she does not want to see "Permanent French organic polymer resin" on your menu. She doesn't know it's the same thing, and she doesn't want to spend 20 minutes trying to understand a whole new menu.


We need to agree on clear, concise, universal terminology so our clients feel confident booking services knowing they will get what they expected and so techs can feel confident booking their services knowing their clients will be getting what they expected.

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