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7 Steps of Successful Private Label Product Retailing

How to private label without losing your mind.

Starting your own private label hair products can be daunting.

When you start receiving all of your custom products all at once, it can be overwhelming just seeing all the cases from your delivery.  The biggest reason why we recommend a Salon Owner or Distributor who’s thinking about starting a product line to start small is because of this exact reason.  Your Branding Specialist will ask what your existing top selling products from your retail and curtail what you’re familiar with to your own private label product line.

Aware Branding is not in the business of pushing products down your throat.  We believe that when our customers are successful, we both reap the rewards of that success.  With a $999 Introductory Offer, you will notice that it only comes with 6 retail products and 24 pieces of each sku (per size, per bottle).  In our experience, we have seen the difference between a customer who starts with 25 different private label product line to a 6 to 10 sku product line as their Phase 1 opening order.  For example, successful salons have started with our Color Retention System that contains 6 products with a Hair Spray and a Gel.  That’s only a total of 8 products!  With a smaller sku, each staff member at the salon gets to really focus and hone their craft on how use while recommending the product.

Once you receive your product line, we recommend you follow these 7 Steps of Successful Private Label Product Retailing.

Step 1 – Establish a Retail Culture

QUALIFY: Talk to your client’s needs, wants and objectives.  They made an appointment to see you for a problem with their hair.  They are looking at you for a solution and a highly fashionable look, not the latest news on your family’s drama.

Focus on what they would like their new hair style to look.

  • Something quick
  • Achievable at-home style
  • Versatility
Talk about how the products that you’re using solves their angst about their current hairstyle.
  • WHAT – are you using?
  • WHY – are you using that product?
  • HOW – do you use the product at home?

If you don’t know the problem, how do you expect your customer to believe in what product you advocate?

Educate your customers and you won’t ever have to sell a day in your life.  Your focus as soon as a customer sits in your chair should always be extending the positive impact of the visit.  Your customer is your walking billboard of advertisement. Once they walk out of your salon, anyone they pass by will notice your work.  Maximize the time you invested with your customer and recommend the products you used to ensure the look will be recreated day after day!

Imagine what will happen the following day after that client washes their hair?  Will your work get the attention it needs?

Step 2 – Education

While stylists may have learned how to cut and style, rarely are they taught how to recommend products.

Nervous chatter gets to the best of us. The smallest things can throw you off however, if you focus on your client’s daily issues with their hair, your client may never stop talking and there goes your rapport!

Clients feign for product education.

If there’s a product that you are using and it drives attention to their best qualities, they would probably buy a few of them.  You just have to share your information and knowledge of application.

Step 3 – Recommending

“It’s a disservice to clients if the stylist is not recommending products for at-home care.”

With the proper consultation, using the same language as your customer maximizes the effect of your recommendation.  “Sally, you mentioned earlier that you would like to have less frizz when you get ready for work and achieve a shinier/healthier hair.  After I towel-dried your hair, I used a dime-size of this Amazon Oil which works as a humidity-resistant that eliminates frizz and thermal protector from your flat iron.  Going back to what you’ve mentioned on reducing split-ends in between visits, this Amazon Oil will condition, strengthen and protect your hair daily from the heat you apply to your hair.”

Clients WELCOME recommendations from you because that same client, carved out hours of their precious time to spend it with you.  Be heard and express your opinion!  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  The worst that can happen is they say, “No. Thank you!”

Step 4 – Merchandising & Strategic Selection

Create an exciting retail environment that mirrors your style.  Starting your own private label product means you have to ensure you have enough inventory on hand at all times.  Remember, your custom private label shampoo and conditioner are made fresh to order.  This ensures the maximum shelf-life of your products. (Note: private label shampoos, conditioners and styling products have different shelf-life.  Consult with your Branding Specialist to ensure efficacy of your product)

Support your own private label product by ensuring that it becomes your premier line of products offered by your staff.

Rotate, rotate and rotate items!  Keep the salon fresh and clients guessing where their favorite product have been placed.  Get customers to discover new products on their own.

Use display items and product focuses weekly. Never allow display units to collect dusts and placed in the same place ever again.

Step 5 – Promotions

Utilize our resources!  Your Branding Specialist will contact you regarding our monthly promotions that in turn, you pass on to your customers.  May it be a customized water bottle or tumbler that bares your salon name on it, highlight it and give it away!  The idea of your promotion is to drive attention to the salon and to your own private label products.

Share product or salon promotion on social media.  Have someone tag a friend to enter a chance to win their favorite private label shampoo or hairspray.  Place a window banner.  Get your custom branded mirror cling.

Start an internal and external contest.  Be sure to be upfront with terms and conditions and ensure your staff knows how to communicate these promotions with excitement.

Step 6 – Incentives

Establish staff accountability.  Give your staff realistic and great incentive programs.

To do this, your staff needs a role model and it begins with you.  The success of your private label brand benefits you, the brand owner.  Have fun with it and include your staff!  Give your stylists all the tools they need to be successful while incentivizing your top retailers!

Step 7 – Measures

Your salon profit should always be considered and measured at all times.  What’s your gross margin dollars or what’s the ROI on any of your promotions?   Identifying and understanding how your salon operates helps you keep the doors open.  Which national brand or private label product contains the highest profit margin?  Starting your own private label hair care line gives you a minimum of 60% profit margin.

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