• Prepared for the Holidays?!

    The busy, holiday season will soon have you scurrying around, more than a little preoccupied, as party prep services shift up a gear. With greater footfall in the skin center it makes sense to also focus on retail promotion and merchandising to maximize revenues.

    November and December are critical business months. Without a strong marketing and retail strategy for the holiday period, you risk not competing effectively with other businesses that are making the most of increased buying.

    Many of your suppliers will already have planned for you, with a selection of special offers and ideas to make your retail space pop with exciting displays and festive branding. If you had not considered how to maximize this time of year, pay attention and get cracking. You may not be too late to order limited edition sets or gift wrapping tools.

    As weary shoppers become desperate for interesting and meaningful gifts, use the opportunity to promote what you sell. It’s not all about the pre-boxed set, you know! Something bespoke, something unique, something no one else thought of… now that’s a gift worth giving and worth getting!

    With a little creative thought you could put together mini home treatment kits that fit a range of budgets, or offer to package up a personalized home care regimen. A neat box or travel bag loaded with product and a few useful or thoughtful extras like exfoliating gloves, facial sponges, aromatherapy candle or other essentials could make the perfect gift. Why not try having a selection of extras that the customer can choose from to make each gift completely personalized.

    Every business should keep a stash of little “wish lists” to give to clients. Not all clients can afford to take every product we recommend, but at this time of year it may be that someone else could purchase that desired product for them. A wish list usually takes the form of a card that has your logos and contact details on the one side and space on the other side to write in the products they are wishing for. This can be handed to their loved one who then knows exactly what they would really love under the tree and exactly where to get it. If you offer a delivery or drive-by and collect service, make sure this is mentioned on the card. I know many a man looking for the simple solution to the gift dilemma!

    And be sure not to ignore your gift certificates. Whether for specific services or monetary value to be used on services and product purchases, many customers love the flexibility of this type of present. Vouchers will bring in valuable new clients for you in the early part of the New Year.
    Want an extra boost in sales? Why not hold a fun and engaging event? Customers can come along with friends and family (the more the merrier, of course) to something festive that educates about skin and showcases your fantastic gift offers.

    Get into to the spirit of giving and provide your customers everything they need for a wonderful, thoughtful and stress-free, festive season!

  • Time to Give Thanks

    annet croppedOne of the topics I share with students is the importance of saying “thank you” to our clients. Of course this topic is also highly apropos considering the time of year, but I’m not talking about mass mailed postcards or eblasts (insert client’s name here), or a quick, gratuitous “Thanks!” as your client departs. No, I’m suggesting a deliberate face to face, eye to eye, hand holding verbal interaction with your client, where you clearly communicate your gratitude.

    Why do we need to do this? As surely, our regular clients know we are thankful for their patronage, right? Not really. The fact is, after time we often take our clients for granted and we forget about their schedule balancing act, the drive in nightmare traffic, or the hellish task of finding parking. Also ponder for a sec the volume of professional service and product options your client can select from outside of your treatment space–like forgoing treatments altogether by using an at home skin or hair removing gadget. Or visiting a spa with a low monthly fee that is in a convenient spot, is open late, and has free parking. Do we even want to touch upon the daily dump of Groupons in their morning inbox, touting “70% off your first Microdermabrasion Facial!”??

    The choices? Crippling. The competition? Brutal. The deals? Desperate and flabbergasting. The unique point of difference? YOU. The supreme quality, genuine, expertly trained, authentically grateful you. This simple, heartfelt act, when spoken with real intent, goes a long way to demonstrating appreciation. It secures loyalty, gains more clients, and above that, it’s just a decent well-mannered thing to do.

    Communicate and practice these simple steps:

    • Tell your client that you recognize that she has many choices of where to receive services and buy products, and that you acknowledge and appreciate her business and continued loyalty to you.

    • Add that it’s vitally important to you that you go beyond her expectations every time, and if there’s anything you can do to make her treatments or results even better, to please let you know.

    • If she is ever disappointed or dissatisfied, she must please, with all honesty, communicate this so you can address her concerns and ensure her experience is superior next time. This is how much you value her and want to keep her as your client.

    So let’s give it a shot and see your clients bloom and smile when you surprise them with a Random Act of Thanks!

  • Getting the Most out of Vitamins

    In the past decade, scientific studies have supported the use of topically applied vitamins in skin care products. At The International Dermal Institute, we have been researching how we can optimize the delivery of these actives into the skin. Knowing that liposomes, liquid filled bubbles made from layered phospholipids, could be filled with vitamins and used as a delivery vehicle, we wanted to see if we could maximize the use of this technology. Our research revealed that while liposomes provide enhanced delivery of actives into the skin, they do have a few limitations- one of which is the amount of vitamins that can be loaded inside.

    So you can imagine how excited we were when we found a more advanced liposomal structure that is the result of high pressure homogenization; this new, smaller type of structure enables a higher amount of actives to be loaded into the bubble and represents the next generation in liposome technology. When liposomes come in contact with our skin, the phospholipids, being very similar to the skin’s natural membrane lipids, allow the liposome to fuse with our skin’s membrane, delivering its contents. In the case of these newer liposomes, more actives can be delivered. We have found that they work very well with Retinyl Palmitate, (a derivative of Vitamin A), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E) and Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (a stable derivative of vitamin C).

    When comparing these encapsulated vitamins vs. their non-encapsulated counterparts, studies have shown higher effectiveness with the encapsulated forms. For example, studies comparing collagen stimulation when an empty liposome is used, vs. free Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP) and encapsulated MAP, show that MAP stimulates collagen almost three times more than empty liposomes; however, encapsulated MAP was over 25 times more effective than the empty liposome.

    This advanced form of technology enables cosmetic chemists to maximize the amount of actives delivered to the targeted site to optimize skin health. Look for more of these new advances over the coming years!