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What Trends Will Make Your Business More Profitable? With Exclusive Commentary From Leslie Lyon of Spas2b Inc.

Posted: February 1, 2012

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4. Eco-cycology. This involves brands taking back their products and recycling them responsibly. I have clients who take back empty jars and packaging, and recycle them for their clients; they put their tea bags and towelettes into compost; but what about joining an organization such as the Global Soap Project, who recover discarded soap from hotels and reprocess them into new bars for worldwide distribution to vulnerable populations?

5. Cash-less. Forego your credit card and pay for purchases by waving or tapping your smartphone onto the electronic reader. And when you subscribe to Google Wallet, it also allows you to redeem coupons, get sales promos and loyalty points. Although this may be an initiative for larger spas to get involved in, it's all about technology and now you don't just need to get online, you need to get onboard. High-tech spaing ... isn't that an oxymoron?

6. Bottom of the Urban Pyramid (BOUP). Your ability to cater to the low-income consumer holds unprecedented opportunities this year. BOUP consumers have materialistic and aesthetic desires too. The Indian government is subsidizing tablet computers; ATMs are finding ways to make services available to illiterate populations; and PepsiCo is test-marketing smart-food to BOUP consumers in India. Spas have been doing no-frills, advantage pricing and online discount sites for awhile now, but are you marketing those deals to the BOUP consumer?

7. Idle sourcing. Crowd-based problem-solving will continue to shake up business processes and force innovation, but idle-sourcing is making it even less difficult for consumers to contribute. With this trend, the consumer voluntarily signs up to allow Company A to capture automated real-time data through their smartphone, within Company A's specific areas of need. One example is Company A detecting street bumps and pot holes through smartphone sensors. Not sure where spas fit into this one, unless you have treatment beds that detect back or neck discomfort, or heating blankets that beep when they cause hot flashes beyond what might be normally acceptable in a woman my age!

8. Flawsome. Brands that behave more humanly, including showing their flaws, will be awesome! Profit and personality can be compatible. Spas haven't always been great at flaunting their Flawsome; in fact, some would say over-promising with minimal flexibility in response to disappointment has made them nonflawsome; anti-flawsome; no-can-do-flawsome ... you get my drift. So this trend is timely for spas. Working with the ever-present risk of disappointment, it's just good judgment to show generosity and humility when faced with your flaws.