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Industry Trends: Coming Full Circle

By: Melinda Taschetta-Millane
Posted: December 1, 2011, from the December 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa in Tucson, Arizona, recently launched its Focused Stay programs.

Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa in Tucson, Arizona, recently launched its Focused Stay programs.

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Today’s consumer wants choice, simplicity and a good, meaningful deal, which all ties into adding value. This industry has worked hard to avoid the discounting trend that so many businesses have resorted to, and has thought up creative ways to add value instead. The Coyle report concludes that word-of-mouth is still, by far, the most effective form of marketing your services, and shows that offering exclusive, consistent service and incentivizing existing clients to promote your spa to friends and family is also effective. (See Consumers Want Choice for additional effective marketing options.)

Consumers are more educated and demand results. Access to skin care information and education is more widespread and important today than ever before, thanks in part to the consumer press and the Internet. The spa of tomorrow is going to be as much an educational and wellness resource as a treatment facility; this is a trend that is not going away.

The driving force in skin care will increasingly be centered around anti-aging products that are safe, effective and offer documented results. As this industry moves forward, the growth will be in treatments and products that offer skin care solutions—not hype.

Consumer education remains key. As a good example of the desire for this education, www.spaevidence.com is a new online portal available in white label format, so it can be linked to spas’ websites to enable operators to present the evidence as part of a client engagement program. In addition, it’s been designed to be user-friendly for consumers. Its creator Susie Ellis says, “The aim is to present the evidence—good or bad—so decisions can be made in an informed way.”

Industry professionals must work to shift the consumer mindset. You realize that consumers have choices. Emphasize your education. Share your knowledge. Far too often you hear stories of consumers going to reputable department store makeup and skin care counters that claim to have the magic bullet, but provide no education to explain to the consumer how or why the product works. The professional skin care industry strives toward the shift in consumers’ perceptions of skin care products and services from an indulgence to an ongoing part of their lifestyles. And it is your job to continue to teach consumers that the best way to experience these ongoing results is through professional skin care.