By unlocking the power of the next generation's consumer influence, today's skin care and spa professionals are poised at the forefront of a burgeoning market driven by the spending prowess of tweens, teens and Gen Z.
There’s no denying the buying power of young consumers. In addition to having more disposable income, individuals under age 18 are also likely to have an influence on the spending habits of their parents and caregivers.
Personal Care Marketing
According to a report published in 2022, entitled “Global Teenage Personal Care Product Market 2022-2026,” young consumers are a major driving force in sales of skin care, cosmetics, hair care and other beauty products. Analysts estimate that by 2026, the global market for personal care products in this category will be worth about $8.81B, accelerating at a CAGR of 6.5% per forecast period.1
And that’s just on the retail side. In recent years, the market for personal care services that cater to teens has also demonstrated rapid growth, creating exciting opportunities for licensed skin care and spa professionals.
A Tech Savvy Market
From crafting specialized service menus and educational consultations, to mastering targeted marketing on social media platforms, businesses are aligning their practices to resonate with this tech-savvy, discerning clientele.
But, it's not just about services or marketing; it's about creating an inviting atmosphere and fostering a genuine connection with young consumers. Building a brand that not only speaks their language, but also understands their unique concerns and preferences is key.
Whether you’re interested in carving out a new specialized niche as an expert in teen skin care or thinking about expanding your offerings to accommodate more young clients, there are many ways to position your business to the next generation. The following steps can help get you started.
Step 1. Create a Specialized Menu
If you are just getting started with offering services for younger clients, a great place to begin could be as simple as designing a teen facial to add to your treatment menu. This will likely be a modified version of your signature facial, adapted to include age-appropriate products and modalities. Teen facials can be offered as a standalone service, or as a series, focused around specific concerns like acne management.
As a supplement to skin care treatments, you may also want to consider offering educational classes or one-on-one consultations for teen clients. Teaching young consumers how to properly care for their skin, apply makeup, use popular beauty tools, or choose the right products can be an incredible way to connect with young clients and help them develop healthy self-care habits.
For solo practitioners, adding these services can quickly lead to referrals from your existing clientele. Meanwhile, for spas or salons with a team of providers, another avenue for catering to young consumers and generating organic referrals would be group offerings such as birthday spa parties or special event makeover packages.
Of course, when it comes to ensuring that you’re ready to serve young clients, a significant portion of your focus should be on curating a selection of retail products and tools that you recommend for young skin.
Understanding that teen consumers are constantly bombarded with advertising for beauty and cosmetic products, licensed skin care professionals have an opportunity to help these clients by making high-quality options more accessible. As with any professional practice, providing supportive home care guidance will be the key to getting your teen clients the great results they’re seeking.
Step 2: Find Your Ideal Clients
Once you’ve decided on the specifics of how your business will serve young clients, it will be essential to develop a marketing strategy that speaks directly to your new audience. As you may have already guessed, the place to reach most next-gen consumers will be on social media platforms.
What this means for skin care and spa professionals marketing their services to teens, is that you will do well to get comfortable with platforms like TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, and other emerging social media apps. Creating content for these channels may seem intimidating, but is one of the best ways to quickly build rapport with potential customers. The good news is that because young consumers favor quick, informative, and entertaining content, there’s no need to overthink those 15-second video clips. Showing up authentically, and having fun, while sharing your expertise as a licensed professional is all you need to do to ensure that the right clients find you.
In addition to a presence on social media, skin care and spa businesses that serve young clients will also want to maintain their own website and/or online booking page. Because Gen Z consumers are likely to schedule and shop from their computer or smartphone, your business’ landing page should be informative, easy to find and mobile-friendly.
Step 3: Build an Appealing Brand
As your skin care or spa business begins to attract more teen bookings, your next focus should be on solidifying your brand with an end goal of retaining your new clients and inspiring them to send more referrals your way.
On the surface, establishing yourself as a business for teens will require you to put careful thought into creating your brand aesthetic. Whether you’re choosing a color pallet for market materials, furniture for your waiting area, or a playlist for your treatment space, your goal should always be to make sure that your young clients feel welcome and comfortable. With that said, it will be equally important that your overall business model and philosophy as a practitioner aligns with serving teen customers.
For example, some questions you might ask yourself include: Are your price points accessible for young clients on a budget? Do you take appointments in the evenings or on weekends, outside of school hours? Do you enjoy the challenge of helping clients who are new to skin care or tackling difficult chronic concerns like acne? All of these are important points to consider when positioning your practice for this niche.
Lastly, as a spa or skin care professional working with young consumers, a best practice will be to cultivate an active awareness of current cosmetic industry trends, and conversations around beauty that your clients are exposed to. The more you can speak to what teens are seeing and hearing on social media, the better you’ll be able to position yourself as an expert and a resource for those seeking your services.
Youth Driven Marketing
Working with tween, teen or Gen Z clients, spa and skin care professionals have a rare opportunity to have an influential impact on the next generation of consumers, guiding them to develop healthy lifelong habits and a positive relationship with self-care. As the demand for teen-centric services and personal care products continues to expand, there’s never been a better time to leverage your professional skill set – and passion for helping others – to serve this exciting, ever-evolving market.
Jenny Leazer-Ragolia is a writer and NCEA-certified licensed esthetician. Throughout her career, she has worked as a hands-on skin care practitioner, business owner, blogger, and print media journalist, as well as in the retail cosmetics industry. Currently based on the East Coast, she now works as a full-time copywriter, using her love of storytelling to create content for brands and businesses worldwide.