How hair salons can create and market the perfect bridal package

03 Oct 2018

Bridal hair and beauty specialist Anna Sorbie shares her expertise in how hairdressing salons can cater to their bridal clients

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The bridal market is extremely lucrative and it’s growing all the time as brides consider their hair and beauty an investment worth making. As a result, salons are keen to get involved in this profitable industry.

This means that brides have their pick of bridal hair and beauty experts, which in turn means the competition in the bridal hair and beauty industry is vast, so it’s crucial that your salon remains ahead of the game. You need to successfully set yourself apart from the competition with bridal packages that are attractive, well priced and better than your competitors in order to attract new bridal clientele. There are a few key factors that make a bridal package attractive to potential new clients, so first and foremost it’s important to ensure you get these foundations right.

Experience is everything

It should go without saying that your salon’s bridal styling must be carried out by experienced stylists who are broadly skilled and technically highly trained, with experience across the board – from hair-up to extensions. A bridal stylist must also be highly personable, warm and open, and must be extremely flexible, so make sure you pick your salon’s bridal styling team carefully. Word of mouth tends to be a salon’s greatest marketing tool, and a bride is far more likely to recommend a stylist who they felt was open to their suggestions, helpful and likeable.

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Set your price points

Alongside this, bridal packages should be competitively priced. While it is feasible to expect to charge brides more for a bridal package than for a standard appointment, check out what your competitors and local salons are charging for similar services and charge competitively. It is fair to charge more for bridal packages, but it’s just as important to make sure that your services are reflected in the price. When pricing up your services, remember to take into account all the additional extras that you wouldn’t necessarily offer with a standard styling appointment – glasses of champagne, for example – as well as the additional time your bridal stylist will need to invest into the package – time spent creating a mood board of ideas, for example.

Also remember to factor in any travel costs involved if your stylist will be styling the bride at the wedding venue, or at her home, rather than at your salon. Bridal packages should ideally include more than one appointment: a primary consultation is essential, so that the stylist can get to know the bride and understand her personal style, the wedding style and the style of the wedding dress. This is also a great opportunity to offer initial treatments and give the bride a timeline – advise her when she should book her colour, cuts and treatments in the run up to the wedding.

Most brides expect a hair trial – and it is particularly advisable for brides who would like an up-do or a very complicated style, or might need clip-in extensions for their desired look. This additional appointment gives your bride the peace of mind that you’re able to give her the exact style she wants, but from a financial point of view it’s an extra channel of revenue for the salon.

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Make it memorable

Make your package one that your bride will remember. The key to keeping your business successful is your customer – they are your most valuable and important asset. Clients, particularly brides, want to feel relaxed and treated like a special guest, not just another customer. Listen to their needs and expectations, and keep them informed every step of the way. Talk about the products you are using and explain why; ask if there is anything that they don’t like and ask what they do like.

Throughout the process, the bride should be made to feel as relaxed, and pampered, as possible. Extra touches – a glass of champagne at the ready, an extra head massage before styling – needn’t be expensive but will go a long way to ensuring you have a very happy bride – not to mention one who will then recommend your salon to her bride-to-be friends.

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Stay ahead of the trends

You must continually evolve to ensure your business doesn’t stagnate – styles and trends change on a regular basis and brides are always looking to organise the best wedding possible. Make sure your packages are regularly reviewed and kept up to date and as your salon grows and evolves, ensure your packages do, too.

If, for example, you have a hair salon that offers beauty treatments, include nails, spray tan and fake lashes in your bridal hair package. If you don’t offer beauty treatments at your hair salon then think about what you can include in your package that will make it stand out from the rest, such as a bridal hair package that includes a relaxing head massage or a course of conditioning treatments, for example.

Think outside the box. You could put together a bridal package that goes beyond the traditional ‘trial and style’ on the day. For example, you could offer a bespoke ‘newly engaged’ or ‘wedding planning’ package, that includes a year’s worth of cuts, colours and treatments in the months leading to their wedding day.

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Extend your reach

Not only are brides keen to make sure their hair, beauty prep and make-up are on point for their big day, they’re increasingly booking their bridesmaids and bridal party to a hair and beauty session, to ensure that they also complement the bride’s style, making extended bridal packages a potentially lucrative venture for any salon business. Salons should look at offering packages for bridesmaids, mothers of the bride, and groomsmen too. Offering brides a one-stop-shop with a range of treatments to suit their entire bridal party in one package holds lots of appeal to brides and is a cost-effective way for the salon to use appointment times.

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Know your market

When it comes to marketing your packages, there are plenty of platforms that reach brides. Promote your salon’s packages in local press, bridal magazines, and at bridal shows and wedding fairs. Ensure you subscribe to key titles and are in attendance at the biggest wedding shows such as The National Wedding Show. This will also give you the opportunity to network and build up contacts.

Think about your strengths and what you would like to be known for. Have your staff successfully completed training in a prestigious institution, have you won any awards or been recognised in any way, or do you have an exclusive partnership with another respectable business or brand? Ensure that you emphasise anything that sets you apart from other bridal businesses in your area, as this will let clients know exactly what makes you different and why they should choose you.

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Embrace the digital world

Don’t forget to shout about your salon’s bridal packages on social media, at every opportunity. This is particularly important during the winter months, as brides-to-be start to plan their summer wedding. Your website and social media channels are incredibly important, so update them regularly with feedback from customers and before and after shots of your work. Also use these platforms to share your expertise and anything newsworthy within the industry, as this will further boost your Google ranking.

Add the special touch

Finally, remember that it’s the little touches that can make all the difference to the overall client experience that they may not receive elsewhere. Opening up some bubbles, presenting them with the latest bridal magazines, or giving them some sample products to take home and trial will make your client feel special and will help ensure they recommend you to family and friends, and potentially your clients of the future.

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Above: Anna Sorbie

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