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Reaching Consumers

Melinda Taschetta-Millane December 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

In early October, I had an amazing precursor to Spa Week at Kohler Waters Spa at Burr Ridge, Illinois. I had the pleasure of talking with spa director Miriam Huntley, and experienced the new Skin Authority Transformation Facial. As most of you already know, Spa Week is a wonderful way to get new customers through your doors to educate them about the importance of professional skin care and a prescribed home-care regimen, something this industry is working hard to do more of. Since its humble beginnings in 2004, Spa Week has enabled millions to take advantage of the therapeutic benefits of the spa with its signature $50 treatments.

As per its mission—stated on—the goal is to introduce a new generation of consumers to the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and to open up the spa industry to the masses. Spa Week’s goal is to make “wellness” more than just a word—but to make it a reality.

I wanted to hear more about how spas are reaching out to the consumer market and enjoyed the opportunity to learn more from Huntley. “Spa Week enables us to get consumers in the door who may not know about our business,” she said. “Once they are here, the staff is able to provide them with information in regard to their skin and how they can best take care of it.”

We know that today’s consumer is more knowledgeable than ever; with the abundance of information on the Internet, in consumer magazines and even via infomercials, sometimes it’s difficult to separate the facts from the hype. But this is where you—the professional—come into the picture. “Today’s consumer is very savvy,” emphasized Huntley.

The spa opened its Burr Ridge doors four years ago, pretty much at the start of the recession, and Huntley admits that knowing what its clients need has helped this spa stay on top. “Times have been interesting. There is still a value to wellness, though,” she was quick to point out. “People have found that even during these tough economic times, they still need to care for themselves. So the discretionary dollar is really part of their wellness routine.”

This is a challenge that every spa faces—getting people to walk through the doors—and it ties right back into Spa Week, as well. For this industry to grow and spread the word about wellness, it’s all about getting the word out about the benefits of professional skin care and a routine maintenance program.

Huntley’s advice? “Skin care is probably the one thing in this industry that is always changing,” she said. “You need to be on the pulse point of that, and you need to be in touch with what is up-and-coming.”

Several articles in this issue will help you tap into the pulse of today’s state of the industry. On Page 46, my article on “Industry Trends: Coming Full Circle,” which details how spas are changing the way they do business. And on Page 56, you will find Part III of Mario Montalvo’s “An Industry of Progress” series, which examines the industry’s past, present and future.

I think Huntley summed up the spa sentiment well when she said, “At Kohler Waters Spa, we really stay true to the spa. It’s all about wellness.”