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Capturing the Tween/Teen Market

By: Melinda Taschetta-Millane
Posted: August 1, 2011, from the August 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Older teens, 15–17, can receive services at Paradise Mist Spa, but all services require parental consent, and a parent is required to be in the room with the teen. Overall between both spas, about 20% of the client base is made up of tweens and teens, and that number continues to grow. Paradise Mist carries the Janssen Cosmeceuticals and Pure Fiji lines. The Enchanted Lagoon Kids Spa carries ME! Bath. Both spas carry PEACE Spa skin care products. For a step-by-step teen facial from Paradise Mist Spa you can add to your spa menu, see Refresher Facial Treatment.

The Face Place Spa, Hanover, Massachusetts. Louise Alibrandi, owner of The Face Place Spa in Hanover, Massachusetts, tells a little bit of a different story. “It’s been a difficult recession, and we’re still treading water, but it’s OK because we have an established business,” she shares, adding that it was extremely important to her that her long-term, dedicated staff remained happy with their profession and continued to earn enough to survive. “I decided to reach out to the younger market because I like working with acned skin, and I love working with kids. There is a connection. I also really wanted to appeal to their mothers. A lot of them are having the same problems as everyone else with their skin. They just don’t have the money to spend on themselves, but they will spend it on their kids for a birthday party. Once they come into the facility, they develop a different opinion of the whole thing—I just need to get them through my door so they can experience it. So we created the Pink Menu.”

Alibrandi’s strategy to appeal to moms through their kids worked. The Face Place Spa opens its door to the younger generation usually one night a month, either Sunday afternoons or Friday evenings, immediately after closing, and offers the fun services featured on this special menu, including mini facials, manicures, pedicures and a makeup consultation for groups of six for $275. Additional girls can be added for $30 each. Alibrandi works the event in a rotation, and while the girls aren’t busy having a service, she keeps them occupied making flip-flops adorned with yarn and flowers out of inexpensive supplies found at the local dollar store. Although the ages can range from 6–13, Alibrandi says that the majority of the partygoers are the younger girls. And because the spa is located at the bottom level of a mall, the girls usually continue on to eat pizza and have a slumber party afterward, and the mother of the party girl gets a $25 gift certificate toward a future treatment. Product lines used in the spa include Clarisonic, Environ, jane iredale, Repêchage and Yon-Ka.

During the parties, Alibrandi says the conversations can go in a million different directions, but she tries to spend most of her time with the younger girls educating them about the importance of a clean face. “As a team, we all agree that we want these girls to have something positive to take home with them, so we all make it a point to say something that they can remember that someone said to them as a professional, such as ‘You have such beautiful eyes.’

“I’m doing it to get exposure,” she continues, emphasizing that the parties themselves are not huge moneymakers and need to be staffed by three team members, as well as herself. “It’s moms bringing in kids, looking for a unique birthday party. It actually has been bigger than Girl’s Night Out for us; I’ve gotten some excellent clients out of it, and some great mothers return to my facility. I look at it this way: If I get one client out of every birthday party, that’s incredible. We create an experience for them, and it’s a lot of fun.”

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