Society is teaching clients to expect more from the companies in which they do business. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the new buzzword among consumers who are looking at a company’s philanthropic endeavors, employee treatment, client relations and environmental sustainability efforts before making purchase decisions. Even if you don’t consider your spa a corporation in nature, clients find your concern for social responsibility just as important.
Introducing Social Responsibility
It was found that 52% of Americans bought at least one product or service from a company because it stood up for or advocated a social or environmental issue. Similarly, 50% of Americans have boycotted a company’s products and services upon learning that it behaved irresponsibly.1 The bar has been raised high for businesses in today’s transparent world of social media firestorms and viral messaging. In large corporations, you will find social responsibility departments that organize ways to improve their operations and monitor the public’s social perception of a business, as it is now deemed a critical piece of a company’s overall success. Fifty-five percent of consumers are willing to pay more for products from a socially responsible company.2
No matter the size of your spa operation, your own clients likely still hold you accountable for your positive contributions to the community—whether you know it or not. Clients like to know you care about the community in which your business resides, and they take pleasure in knowing their money can go a little further by supporting companies who support other missions. Getting involved in your community through supporting a positive cause is an incredible way to not only give back to others who need it most, but it’s also a reliable way to boost your visibility in the community and increase your credibility to potential customers.
A New Spin on Spa Events
Hosting events within our spas is nothing new, but with so many spas and salons using event marketing to grow their businesses, how are you going to make your event stand out? One powerful way is to combine your regular spa events with a philanthropic effort that benefits your business and your community. In today’s society, most people communicate with others digitally, and many occupations require six to eight hours in front of a computer. Give your clients an evening to relax and do good through your new take on spa events. Marketers have found that live events provide attendees with a valuable opportunity to form in person connections in an increasingly digital world, which is especially important as our business is all about the personal relationship.3
Giving Back Without Giving it All
So how can you get philanthropically involved with the most impact and give back without breaking your own bank? The opportunities are endless, and there’s a full spectrum of levels of involvement you can engage in that won’t cost you your bottom line or require immense time commitments. When it comes to philanthropy, it is essential to do what feels right to your soul and align this with your business and personal philosophies more than anything.
Who Should Benefit?
Begin by choosing a charity or cause to support that you feel a real connection to. Think about your ideal client and target demographic. What issues do they care about? It was reported that 87% of consumers will purchase something because a company advocated for an issue they care about. However, more than 75% of consumers would refuse to buy a product if they found out a company supported an issue contrary to their beliefs.4 While this shouldn’t alarm you, it should serve as a caution to stay away from controversial topics and dicey political issues where your personal opinions may not be received as well in a professional setting.
Think local when looking for causes to benefit. This is where you can have maximum impact. What social causes, charities or current events keep your clients awake at night? Trying to support a cause that your ideal clients care nothing about will be an unnecessary uphill battle. The closer the issue, the more awareness you’ll get. From natural disasters that have left local areas bare and in need to particular community members who may be going through hard times, the appropriate causes are bound to spring up as an opportunity to help.
Before making any big decisions, be sure to ask yourself, “will this involvement enhance my spa’s brand identity, and not muddle it?” If your spa brand is about lush indulgences and luxurious extravagance, an environmental minimalist cause, no matter how positive, will only confuse your clients. As I mentioned, it has to feel right. When it feels good to do good, you won’t be able to keep your clients away from your positive spa events. So, let’s discuss several ways you can create and host events that directly benefit your community.
The most obvious way to give back is to host a special event for your clients and have some of the proceeds directly benefit a specific cause. These types of events can require a significant amount of effort. However, their impact can be long-lasting and even adapted to become an annual event that clients look forward to. Try out a client appreciation day where you promote specific packages and offer once a year savings, and in turn, donate a percentage to a cause, or opt to host a fundraising event with bubbly libations and tasty snacks where clients can write checks to support efforts. Bottom line, the opportunities are limitless.
Spa Fundraising Nights
Some spas are taking fundraising and marketing to a whole new level, where they join the ranks of local restaurants and shops in allowing non-profits to host a special event at their spa as a fundraiser. You will find this type of community fundraiser done by a lot of schools and youth programs. Most events are held on evening weeknights and are a meet and greet style event, where minimal services are offered the actual night. However, products, packages and services are on-sale for the limited time, and a percentage (20% seems to be the standard) is donated to the charitable organization from the event. This benefits you because they bring fresh faces into the spa and you get the opportunity to earn new business through educating them about the benefits of spa therapies and networking, with your kindness in helping the cause they care about being the common thread.
"Allow not-for-profits to host a special event at your spa as a fundraiser."
Promotional Events Are Still Events
If in-person events or larger scale events are not your forte, another way to give back to your community is by working with a local women’s shelter or social services entity to help those in need of basic toiletries. You can create a promotion where you invite all clients to clean out their beauty cabinets or closets and bring in their unused lotions and potions to donate to those in need. Your spa can serve as the drop zone for the products, and to reward your clients for getting rid of their products, you can offer them special pricing for purchasing new products that your spa retails. This benefits you tenfold. You get random products out of your client’s hands, and you have the opportunity to help the community and sell new products to your clients. As a bonus, find a unique way to showcase the products piling up in your spa and take a photo. You can use this for promotion on your website and social media, as well as for next year’s efforts.
A different spin on this could be hosting a toy drive for children in need during the holidays. If clients bring in a toy to donate, you can offer them a discount on an at-home skin care device that you retail. Think toys for tots, with a spin for the spa-goer.
Networking Your Niche
If acne is your niche, you could reach out to local youth groups such as Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and teenage church groups and offer a short educational program on acne care and causes. Naturally, you’ll want to hand out business cards and brochures for future appointments. Goodie bags with small product samples to show the young generation the value of professional skin care products wouldn’t hurt either.
Green Your Spa
If you’re looking for more of a long-term cause to get behind, take a page from the hotel business book by adopting sustainable business practices in efforts to support the environment by using more eco-friendly products and supplies where you can. Be sure to let your clients know through signage and conversations that you are adopting this practice because you care about the environment and your business’ footprint. From the coffee and tea you serve in your waiting area to the paper you write your notes on, all the way to the sundries and products in the treatment room and laundering and recycling practices you use, there are many ways to incorporate a greener approach. You could offer a unique service that donates a designated amount every time the treatment is booked to replenishing trees cut down in the Amazon Rainforest. Clients love to know when their money goes a little bit further.
Celebrate the Service People
The military and local service people are wonderful groups to give back to. Some spas offer an ongoing appreciation program to those that serve, whether that is 15% off on Tuesdays through Thursdays or some kind of upgrade, your offerings certainly won’t go unnoticed. Take it a step further by offering this to spouses of those that serve, and you will see the popularity surge. To promote the event, you can drop off materials at local police and fire stations, as well as military bases. Don’t forget to post on community forums like NextDoor.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Not sure about going after these efforts all on your own? Team up with other local organizations and agree to sponsor or support their efforts. For instance, fun-run fundraisers or women’s golf tournaments might be a great thing to get involved in, because you will gain exposure to an untapped market of perfectly opportune clients waiting to be introduced to you. Other ideas include joining forces with other established community events and fundraisers and setting up a table at the event. Fashion shows, trunk shows and pageants are all great places to start, but you don’t have to limit yourself there. You can provide brochures and offer specials for the event, agreeing to donate a portion of the proceeds to their cause.
Do Good, Feel Good
There are so many ways you can get involved with your community, all the while raising your brand awareness and growing your clientele. Find what resonates with your business philosophy and start planning how you can make the most meaningful impact. Combining the benefits of helping those in need with doing something you love (skin care), is sure to bring you a feeling of happiness…because it feels good to do good!