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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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By understanding your clients’ motivations and needs, and having the right relationships in place with parents and physicians that may be needed for optimal skin care, you can build a game plan for your facility to offer the best experience for these specialty clients, as well as their parents.

“Spa-goers everywhere are becoming savvier about spa services—and that does not exclude tweens and teens,” says Mallari. “It’s not just a luxury splurge; it’s becoming a part of their daily routine. Girls see their moms or older sisters taking care of themselves and they want to do the same.” She emphasizes that you really have to know your products, your ingredients and who your client is, and be able to work with them in order to create a value and become top of their priority list. “If they are happy, then they are getting results. There is also something empowering to consumers about making their own decisions. They have the choice to go where they want, and we can give them what they are seeking.”

Horejs explains that it is important to develop a good referral relationship with a dermatologist for the clients who need a service that goes beyond the scope of your license. And, she emphasizes it’s important to educate both parents and teens about how professional skin care can affect the skin. “More and more people are seeing skin care as a necessity, as a normal part of their grooming routine. A lot of that has to do with the education from the media,” she says. “Talk with parents and tell them what you can do for their teen. Definitely be sympathetic to teens and their issues, emotionally and physically, and choose a good product line, something that you believe in and know works. Make sure you give the teens a game plan, and tell them what they can expect to see in six months.”

Alibrandi strongly recommends having a strategy, but also be willing to roll with the punches and remain flexible. “You can anticipate all the problems that you might have, but sometimes you just have to set it into motion. Be professional about what is going on; it may not work in the way you thought it was going to turn out, so you’re going to have to make changes as you learn to do it differently,” she explains. “The things that you worry about the most as you are getting started might not ever be a problem. I always tell my staff that we just won’t know for sure until we’ve done it four or five times.

“Skin care is part of what people will do, even through a recession,” she concludes. “They want better, healthier skin. This industry is not going anywhere, and we just need to buck it up during these recession periods. The reality is that this industry is growing.”