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How to Reach the Teenage Client Featured

Written by  Bella Schneider, P.M.E.
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The teen market is a true niche market with huge potential. Teen services are not something you just add to your menu. They are the population of the future. If you really want to go after this marketplace, which is ever-growing and surging, you have to dedicate yourself to the Internet, social media and a culture engaged in real time that constantly changes. You need to be plugged in at all times, all the while building long-term relationships. Marketing to the teenager is all encompassing and takes thinking about a realistic approach to a very trendy and competitive marketplace.

Marketing to the Teenager

Client Location
Marketing to the teenaged client needs to be reflective of your spa or salon’s location. Who is your target market? You need to make sure your location has both exposure and easy accessibility for teenagers. Some of them have transportation limitations. Personally, I determined that the teenage market would benefit my Palo Alto area spas because they service multi-generation families and are located in direct proximity with three major high schools. In my San Francisco location, where this is not the case, I decided to put less emphasis on the teenage market. 
In addition to location, you need to create the right ambiance for this demographic. Cool and hip design elements make teenagers feel like they belong. Add a nail bar, an eyebrow bar, or a television with music videos to your salon component. Incorporate design elements that help teenagers feel like they can get “in and out” quick. Teenagers love munchies, cool music, and delicious drinks or smoothies. Make your location have an exciting, party-like atmosphere that can entice the teenage client. Teenagers want cool and new, not Zen and relaxation.

2-ladies-drinkingCreativity
To attract teenagers, you need to create a menu of services that directly caters to them. I suggest creating a menu that strictly contains teen services, separate from the rest of the spa menu which can be handed to them a la carte. Teenagers do not want to have to read your whole menu of services and they want to know that they matter. Show them they do by giving their menu a strong name that appeals to their marketplace. For instance, I named our teen menu “LaBelle Darlings.” I made sure to incorporate the name into services and products that appeal to a teenage clientele (as in specialized treatments, birthday parties, prom promotions, et cetera). Make sure to choose vendors who can assist you with this marketplace, through products and educational materials specialized for this clientele. A good vendor can supply you with collateral and samples that will help you promote products and services that will compete well in the marketplace. This relationship helps remove the burden of having to do it all yourself in this ever-evolving market. 
Additionally, it is important to market to mothers with teenagers by displaying the teen menu throughout the spa and by including it in product bags. Advertise your teen menu by increasing its visibility to its target audience. You can do this by running advertisements in high school newspapers, donating services to school raffles, passing out flyers at school events, and providing coupons at speaking engagements. 
Current teenagers are the first generation that has grown up totally online. This is why it is so important to leverage the powerful mediums of technology and social media. Go at this through intelligent public relation efforts. Befriend teenage bloggers through parties, service sampling or product giveaways. These ideas can get you more bang for your buck. One positive blog can give you visibility to an entire list of followers which can be in the thousands. Monitoring online feedback is also crucial. Teenagers look to online resources when searching for spas and salons. They are highly influenced by their peers. Therefore, incentivizing your current teenage clients to bring in their friends through e-mail or in-store coupons is key.

Build Your Brand
Build relationships and cross-market with local dermatologists to build your reputation and the aesthetic component of your business. Many dermatologists do not have an aesthetic component to their practices and are eager to work with an aesthetician. This is crucial to enhancing client results; especially in cases where a teenager needs dermatological intervention for their skin problems. Having a dermatologist that respects your work validates your brand worth and position in your community.attract-the-teen
You are going to have to realize that if you want to attract the teenage market, you have to find a niche that makes your business outshine the competition. Teenagers are attracted to what is new and hip, so differentiate yourself either through your style, the types of services you offer or the way you offer them. You can do this by surveying your local teenagers or by analyzing their favorite brands for clues into what attracts them.

Teaching the Teenager
Any program that has a skin or body component must incorporate education. As an aesthetician, teaching the teenager means undoing the faulty information they received from constant exposure to the Internet, reality shows, pop culture role models and movie stars. It is important to collaborate with parents, who usually bring them in and pay their bill. We often have to prove to parents that there is value in our services. Oftentimes, parents look to us to collaborate with them. Frequently, parents say to me, “She/he won’t listen to me. Can I bring her/him to you for a consultation?” Sometimes when a teenage client is brought in they are resentful and worried – which is why it is important to win both their trust, and the trust of their parents. 
For the teenage client, I suggest offering a free 15 minute consultation and product recommendation session. Ask teenage clients to bring their current products to the consultation. I suggest trading some of what they use for your own products – it is a great hook! You can promote this by offer a special discount for product trade-ins on their product you find inappropriate for their skin type. At the same time, it allows you to learn more about their individual preferences to customize a program that meets their goals. I also recommend offering facial and eyebrow series at a discount. This creates an ongoing relationship with your teenagers, while helping them commit to a service they will see real results from. 
Adolescent skin generally produces more sebum than more mature skins, due to hormone changes. Although a teenager’s skin is usually well hydrated, excess sebum can contribute to acne. A teen facial should promote a clear, healthy and glowing complexion. It is essential to include deep purification, as well as an educational component that teaches how to care for the skin. In addition, most teenage clients dislike treatments that cause pain. For this reason, providing menu options that are more delicate and sensitive will ultimately win over the teenager. This type of client tends to be embarrassed about breakouts and skin problems. Therefore, make sure to apply facials gently and to use a nurturing tone while communicating. This will allow the teenager to be relaxed and open to new information. However, be aware that this client does not always disclose the true causes of their problematic skin. Furthermore, the teenage client also tends to be quite active and they typically do not protect their skin as they should – making it absolutely necessary for you to provide them with all of the basic tools to properly care for their skin. Be mindful of the fact that although purification is the key to proper skin management, particularly to the teenager, extractions need to be balanced with a relaxing massage and pleasant fragrances to compensate for the pain. At the conclusion of the service, apply a blemish balm (BB) cream or a tinted SPF so they leave looking better than when they came in. The ultimate goal is for them to leave with a positive experience, not focusing on or remembering how painful the service was. influenced-by-peers

No matter the service, it should be used as an opportunity to educate your teenage clients to facilitate brand loyalty. Whether it is a manicure, a blow dry, or a makeup lesson, every interaction is an opportunity to create a relationship. Teenagers tend to be trendy, but they also cherish positive role models. By creating a more holistic approach, they will feel connected to you, enabling you to turn them into a loyal, long-term client. Combine this education and relationship building with fun, funky and convenient services so they do not get bored with you. Novelty combined with expertise is crucial to keeping their attention.

Keeping the Teenaged Client 
First and foremost, keeping this client starts by providing them with results. Teenagers are very sensitive and self-conscious. Their looks influence their whole social life. As such, if they see results with you, they will come back. Provide teenagers with clean skin, fashionable and easy to wear hair, great makeup that is delicate yet different, and nail services that last. This will contribute to them becoming repeat clients and them referring you to their friends. 
Products are a major component of sales to teenagers. You need to have products that are customized to their particular needs. Cool and fun packaging is central to attracting this market. The name and product information should speak directly to them; particularly, acne focused products that eliminate pimples, mask breakouts, and help them heal from acne scarring. If they find a product that works, they will come back for more and they will tell their friends about it. 
Teenagers are extremely price conscious because they have limited income or because they need to get the money from their parents. As a result, they continually need to be incentivized through vouchers, treatment series and loyalty programs such as, “buy one, get one free,” “spa dollars,” or other discounts that lure them back into your spa consistently. strong-relationship

As I have mentioned before, the most important component to build their repeat business is to build a relationship with them. Teenagers are not interested in hanging out with older people. They like to be where people are young, hip and fashionable. Therefore, stay up-to-date with the reality shows and the latest in music and fashion. You need to be able to talk to teenagers and relate to them at their level. Make sure to match teenagers to the appropriate staff members. If you want to make teenagers your marketplace, you need to constantly update the spa with new offerings and fresh ideas so that it always appeals to them. 
Help your teenage clients feel important by linking into their social networks. Ask for their opinions, commentary and photos to include in your social marketing pieces. Incorporate their feedback into the creation of new services and products so they feel heard and valued. To keep the teenager, make sure to not only service the individual client but her friends and peers as well. Make your spa or salon into their social “hangout,” the place where they go together to spend time or to feel good about themselves. 
I have had clients come to me as teenagers who are now bringing in their own children. If you helped them as a teenager, they will remember you when their child is a teenager. This is also a great time to attract male clients. Many teenage boys are desperate for help with their breakouts. If they are introduced to the spa environment early on, they develop a comfort with spa services that is often harder to bridge in older male clients. If you decide that you want this marketplace, devote yourself entirely to understanding their particular psychology through teen magazines, pop culture and social media, and your spa will become a place they will want to go – simply because they are seen for who they truly are. 
I have been in business for 36 years. When I first started, I was that much younger and so were my clients. Today, my spas cater to three generations. If you intend to stay in this business for a long time, starting with teenage clients is a great entry into long-term relationships. If you are looking for a model that you can duplicate, staying with this one niche and growing marketplace is a great place to begin. If you execute your services well, not just market them well, it is a win-win situation.

Bella-Schneider 2014Industry pioneer Bella Schneider, P.M.E., combines more than 30 years of experience as CEO and founder of 5 Star Formulators and the award-winning San Francisco Bay Area-based La Belle Day Spas and Salons. An internationally-renowned authority on clinical salon skin care, Schneider launched her signature product collection in 1976, armed with a degree in economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and a passion for healthy, beautiful skin. One of the industry’s foremost educators, she also operates the Palo Alto, California-based Center for Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Esthetics.

Read 1516 times Last modified on Wednesday, 25 February 2015 19:44
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