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What Product Mix is Right for Your Spa?

By: Deedee Crossett
Posted: March 28, 2011, from the April 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
skin care professional in skin care facility's retail area

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Something to think about

  • You have a competitive edge with multiple brands. By using more than one line, the owner or spa director can use this to their advantage. If there is enough potential volume in the account, then sales representatives will work for the client in order to gain the full account.
  • Find out about minimum order requirements. If you love one brand’s lip treatment and another brand’s oily skin cleanser, will they let you carry both lines?
  • Research possible contraindications. Not all lines are made to work together. The effectiveness of each product might decrease depending on the other products you are using with it.
  • Make sure that, if you work with multiple lines, they all have a different target market. It’s not cost-effective to have multiple lines that all do the same thing.
  • Ordering, inventory and product check-in takes longer with multiple lines.

Private label

Price

  • The cost of individual products is usually lower than a branded line.
  • In some cases, opening orders can require larger purchases. This can be expensive for a small spa to invest into an entire line, include the packaging, labels and other details.
  • You can control the markup; there isn’t a suggested retail price. You are not competing with another spa that sells the same item. If you pay $10 for the cleanser and want to charge $50 and your clients will pay for it, you’ll be making a significant profit.

Marketing support

  • You create it! You pay for it and there are very few restrictions.
  • Your brand will match your spa, your vision, your mission statement, the color on the walls … whatever you want.
  • “By having my own brand, I’m building my company. I’m in everyone’s medicine cabinet every morning, and they are using my spa’s brand. They are always thinking about us,” says Shelley Constantini, CEO of Bella Pelle Skin Care in San Francisco.

Education

  • There may be some basic guidelines; however, you will be responsible for all treatment protocols.
  • If you are buying from a completed line—meaning you are not formulating it yourself—they may have online education that you can access. Of course it will not be specific to your brand, but you’ll be able to gain product knowledge and train your team members.

Perks

  • For spa professionals who really want to be scientists working in a lab, this might be as close as you can get.
  • There is a market for the clients who want everything so unique and so special. This offers an opportunity for them to feel like they have something that no one else can get.
  • Retail can only be purchased from you, and clients have to come back to your spa or order it on your website to get it. You’ll never have them walking into a mass market venue to buy the product that you recommended.