While a small salon might not have the buying power of a large franchise operation, they can certainly look the part with a well-designed business identity – and it all starts with an amazing logo.
With two major salon franchises near her salon and who knows how many more on the way, Kristin D’Ambrosio has become an expert in small-business survival. In addition to quality tanning units and EFT membership programs, she says Barefoot Beach Tanning is able to compete with the “big boys” because of her branding efforts. Key to the campaign is her salon’s logo, which is widely recognized by the tanners and non-tanners of Marietta, GA. Utilizing 15 years of experience in retail sales and management, Kristin wants to show other mom-and-pop operators her concept of “branding on a budget,” starting with creating a memorable, yet affordable logo.
Here’s some good news for owners of small salons – you can create a dynamic and memorable logo without busting your budget. “While large salon chains can hire top-notch, professional graphic designers to make their logos, owners of smaller salons have to be more creative,” said Kristin. “For example, if you’re located in a college town, you can work with a graphic design student who needs work samples for his or her portfolio. You can also ask your tanners if they or anyone they know does graphic design, then barter your salon services with that person to design your logo. Either way, you can often get the work done for free or at a very reasonable price.”
There’s more to creating a memorable logo, Kristin says, than just combining a font you like with your favorite colors. “No matter how cool you think it looks, I’d recommend staying away from something such as silver palm trees on a black background,” she explained. “The logos used by successful tanning salons and other businesses are often clean, direct, and they utilize strong shades of blue or red. To the people in the community, your salon’s logo will be synonymous with your business, so take your inspiration from many successful examples, then work with your designer to make your logo look clean, professional and eye-catching.”
Once you have a logo you’re happy with, it’s time to brand it within your community. “The key to successful branding is repetition and consistency,” Kristin said, “so make sure to include your logo in every marketing and promotions piece you use. If you’re on a budget, you can still use it in all your low-cost/no-cost marketing such as social media and e-mail blasts to get it out there in front of people. Another key component in branding your logo is your salon operation – if you keep your facility clean and your service friendly, these are the qualities people will associate with your logo when they see it.”
Kristin D’Ambrosio purchased Barefoot Beach Tanning from its previous owner and took over operations on October 1, 2004. For nine years, she operated the salon at its original location until changes at the shopping plaza allowed her to relocate nearly a mile down the road. Due to her business savvy, the 13-unit salon continues to offer UV and sunless tanning to a growing client base in and around Marietta. Read more about her story in our Salon Spotlight!
A 14-year industry veteran, John "Ribby" Ribner has written hundreds of
articles for IST Magazine and, as Director of Editorial Content, has also
helped guide the publication's evolution. Ribby is a graduate of Central
Michigan University's journalism program and has brought many years of newspaper reporting experience to his position of Head Writer. He is also the author of three novels, "Legacy of the Bear," "Prophecy of the Bear" and "World So Dark."
Copyright 2020 ist Magazine