the importance of uniqueness in business

Being unique: why it’s important, and how to make your clients know about it

1 Feb 2021 by Paul Gray

One of the worst fates that can befall your salon, spa or clinic is to become a commodity – being just another hair and beauty business that’s no different from those down the road. It’s important to have a point of difference in your business. Be a voice, not an echo.

In marketing speak, this is known as a unique selling proposition (USP). Deciding on your USP is probably one of the most important business decisions you can make. It’ll make everything easier if you can make your salon, spa or clinic stand out from the crowd! Just remember that you can’t be everything to everyone.

Quote: It’s important to have a point of difference in your business. Be a voice, not an echo.

What is a unique selling proposition (USP)? 

A USP is a clear statement of what a client can expect when they visit your salon, spa or clinic. When you know who you are, you know how you can serve. And that’s what makes marketing and businesses successful.

Having a strong USP speaks directly to your target audience and it tells them exactly why they should visit your business. Don’t forget that your USP will only work when you’re meeting some sort of demand or need.

We’re all unique, but are you communicating that across to your clients? Take some time to reflect on your uniqueness and your salon’s main points of difference. These three questions are a great guide to finding out your USP:

1. What makes your business different? 

How do you serve your clients in a unique way?

2. Who is your target market? 

What’s special about them and how well do you know their needs and desires?

3. What’s the story of your business? 

What unique story could you tell?

What is a USP statement?

Real life examples of unique selling propositions in the hair and beauty industry

To give you an idea of what USPs are being used by hair and beauty businesses, we spoke with award winning salons and asked them what makes them unique.

Hush Hairstyling’s USP

We’ll be starting with Hush Hairstyling from Christchurch, a finalist in three categories in the 2015 Kitomba NZARH Business Awards [now called The Industry Awards]. Check out what Hush Hairstyling owner Brooke had to say. 

What makes Hush Hairstyling stand apart from other salons? 

“Hush Hairstyling is ALL about quality and consistency. From day one, high emphasis has been placed on documenting the way we do things in order to keep the business scalable and ensure that our values and professional beliefs shine through in everything we do.

From the very first moment of customer engagement, it should be clear that the atmosphere, professionalism, quality and consistency of service received at Hush is as higher a level as we can possibly provide.

“To achieve this, we run a continuous improvement program. If anything isn’t right, or could be improved, we manipulate our standards and procedures to try to be better. We then monitor the results to see if our changes have been effective.

“Our clients expect the best from us and recommend us because of it. We provide an emotional experience to our clients, to keep them coming back. We believe this always beats a standard commoditised service that they could get anywhere.”

Kitomba blog hush hairstyling

What role has this unique selling proposition played in the success of your business? 

“We’re open with our customers about the way we like to run our business. They understand that we value their feedback because it helps us to improve their experience. This means that they can see the improvement, and understand where it comes from, which builds loyalty. Our loyal customer base really is the heart of our success!”

USP: La Villa Hair & Beauty

Kristal Sargent, from award winning La Villa Hair & Beauty in Lower Hutt, shared what makes La Villa unique and how it’s helped her business succeed.

What makes La Villa Hair & Beauty stand apart from other salons?

“Everything we do at La Villa Hair & Beauty is for the benefit of our clients. What differentiates us from our competitors and makes us stand out is our strong focus on customer service, mixed with our unique setting and top quality craftsmanship.

“To me, this is a combination that comes together as one unique selling point. I wanted to create more than just another hair salon amongst other shops on a busy street corner, so I created something that I believe to be fresh and different.

“We are extremely service driven and very much about the complete hair and beauty luxury experience from start to finish. Everything has been thought out – from the central city location with free parking, to the private tranquil gardens where people can bathe in the sun with a glass of bubbles and feed the ducks while their colour is processing.”

“We offer specialty coffee, a range of herbal teas and have individual lolly jars on each styling bay. Clients can browse the net or add to the pampering by painting their nails with our complimentary nail polish.

“Every new client receives an email thanking them for choosing La Villa the day after their first visit. They then receive a follow-up call from their stylist, to check that they are still totally happy with everything a week after their service. We recently launched an invitation to our clients to subscribe to our new quarterly newsletter, which will be bursting with information, inspiration, latest trends, specials, and advice for the season ahead.”

What role has this unique selling proposition played in the success of your business? 

“With the main point being customer focus and retention, I believe that the mixture of our setting, customer service, and quality craftsmanship, has brought about a fresh approach within our industry. This has created loyalty, excitement, and word-of-mouth, which are all things that this selling point as a whole, has played a role in. This brings new clients and interest to our door, therefore success.”

La Villa Hair & Beauty team

What’s your unique selling proposition?

Do you know what makes your salon, spa or clinic truly unique? Tell us in the comments! 

If you’re unsure what sets you apart from your competitors, it’s time to find out! Simply follow the steps outlined in this article and you’ll create your USP. Then, it’s time to tell the world. 

View our marketing guide to find out everything there is to know about marketing a salon, spa or clinic, including expert tips and tricks you can implement straight away for immediate results. 

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Editor’s note: This post was originally published on 17 March 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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