Today I experienced the perfect example of how to stand out in a crowded market and achieve top prices. I was so excited about my experience at a local salon I just had to write about it.
Pricing is more than figures, a lot of it is psychology. Price low and your brand is seen as cheap. Price high and your brand is seen as high quality. Of course to price high you need to meet expectations and have the belief in those prices. To achieve a great price you need to differentiate. In a highly competitive market, business owner often make the mistake of trying to compete on price. This only attracts price driven customers who will just move to your competitor when the offer a lower price. If you can create a great experience or product, you attract the sort of clientele who will be loyal and price is not an issue.
Well today I experienced first hand how to create a premium service, in a highly competitive market. A truly 5 star haircut experience. Let me explain. West Lothian is full of hair salons. I mean the market is so saturated you almost cringe when you see another salon being opened up. Then six months later you see them close due a lack of trade. Being an accountant in West Lothian, supporting small business, you would think I would support local salons. With my curly hair it has been difficult to find someone I trust with my hair. So for the past 5 years, I have been extremely loyal to my wonderful hairdresser Robbie in Edinburgh. Well expect for the year I was off on maternity leave and I tried various salons in West Lothian and was actually depressed by the state of my hair. No one could cut my hair like Rob. But the time spent traveling in could be better spend.
Today I bit the bullet and tried a local hairdresser. I had heard good things about this particular salon and their website impressed me. The fact I could book online was a great starting point too. When I turned up I was blown away. I mean WOW! The service on arrival was fantastic, the salon had a great atmosphere but what I didn't expect was to be given a menu of complimentary services. You are given a choice of three different types of head massage (I opted for the one with essential oils), a tea of the month (jasmine green tea which came with borders biscuits) and a hand massage when you are getting your hair blow dried. There are also massage chairs at the back wash. The salon also sources sustainable products and have even introduced vegan products as some of their clients are vegan.
Now that is what I call creating a different service in crowded market. Because of this service I will go back again just for the experience (for the record the haircut was exceptional too - sorry Rob). I will also tell a lot of people about the service. But what they do probably doesn't cost them that much extra. Okay so they use some essential oils, hand cream and some posh tea but the overall costs probably aren't excessive. But what they are doing is similar to offering the pampering you get in business or first class compare to economy. Perfect example of how to value price.