Target Market Project
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Target Market Project

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This was a research heavy project in which I compared two barber shops in CA and developed a niche target market for a new shop. I researched Lather One in Fullerton and Elite Barbers in Brea. ...

This was a research heavy project in which I compared two barber shops in CA and developed a niche target market for a new shop. I researched Lather One in Fullerton and Elite Barbers in Brea. Research included professional interviews, client interviews, and industry and market research.

Based on my research, I developed a comprehensive written report totaling 42 pages. It included a detailed comparison of the two shops and a plan to successfully market a new barber shop to a different niche market by better identifying and satisfying customers' needs.

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Target Market Project Target Market Project Document Transcript

  • EXECUTIVE BARBER SHOP Andrew Cleary BUSN 230 - Introduction to Marketing Les Harman May 14, 2013
  • A) The Marketing Environment 1. Industry Potential: Traditional neighborhood barber shops such as Berry’s Barber Shop are on the decline as the economy is still recovering (A #7, 10). Higher overhead and the desire to work part time forced Berry to rent space from another barber instead of continuing to operate his own shop. Another reason the number of shops was declining is due to the fact that many people are getting their hair cut less to save money (P.I. #3). But there are others who are still willing to spend money to look and feel good despite tough economic times (A #1). The number of people enrolling in barber school also on the rise and the profession is projected to grow at 12% from 2008 to 2018, which is still slower than the national average professional growth rate (W.S. #7). The number of barber shops, barbers, sales, and payroll have all increased from 2002 to 2007 from 4,060 to 4,293, 13,221 to 14,789, $505,989,000 to $567,790,000, and $225,951,000 to $257,808,000 respectively (W.S. #10). 2007 also showed growth from 10 years prior, but it was very slight as the economy as a whole is still recovering. As the economy continues to recover and consumer purchasing power grows, the barber shop industry will continue to grow as well. Shops that bridge the gap between expensive salons and cheap chains often provide exceptional atmosphere and focus on the social aspect of a barber shop; these are the types of shops that are experiencing greater growth (A #3, 4, 5, 6). Appreciation for quality, old-school men’s grooming in an entertaining environment is growing among men (A #2, 3, 6). The growth of barber shops is hindered by many men choosing salons rather than traditional barber shops because of their high quality and variety of services, however, many barber shops are also emphasizing exceptional quality and a higher variety of services (W.S. #1, 2; A #2; P.I. #2). Implications: Opening a new barber shop would face a tough market, but there is a rising demand for barber shops with exceptional quality in both hair services and atmosphere that is driving the industry’s moderate growth. Finding an area with men who value both their looks and a fun, social experience and meeting those needs is working for many new shops. A new shop must be different from both salons and quick cut hair services to tap into the niche market of quality cuts with a casual and entertaining environment. 2. Current Trends: The barber shop industry is in the middle of a revival in the atmosphere and perception of shops. A major trend in barber shops is the resurgence of the social aspect of the shops where men can enjoy meaningful conversation about politics, sports, or anything else that may come up (P.I. #1, 9; A #3, 4, 5, 6). It is becoming more of a cultural experience for men than simply part of a to-do list. The atmosphere of these newer, trendier shops merge the old-school feel with the upscale environment of boutiques and salons. This is evident is Elite Barbers’ spacious shop with comfortable seating and TV’s to create a high-end feel while offering quality classic hair services. A man was able to buy a closed barber shop in San Jose and turn it into a profitable business by following the same model of creating a space specifically tailored to men with sports on TV and memorabilia on the walls (A #10). Shops such as these also mirror the focus of high end salons on quality and service with added value in hot towel treatments and neck massages (A #2, 6; W.S. #1, 3, 4; P.I. #6).
  • Many shops create an enjoyable environment by offering drinks to their customers and thoroughly decorating with antique barber tools and unique art or posters (W.S. #6, 12; A #2, 3, 6, 10). Lather One displays art from locals and offers customers drinks upon arrival. Another trend is barber shops offering additional services besides simple haircuts such as fades, shaves, beard trims, lineups, and shampoos (W.S. #1, 3, 4). The most important factor is the emphasis on quality with men becoming more concerned with the way they look and an increased expectation of excellent quality of haircuts as well as the other offered services (C.I. #3, 4; P.I. #2; W.S. #1, 4, 6). Customers want an authentic classic barber experience such as old-school decorations and friendly staff combined with premium quality services and atmosphere. A barber shop that opened in New Orleans in 2010 was named “best new barber shop” that year, and embraces the old-school feel with antiques and classic decor (A #6). The shop also offers drinks and has a gift shop for women, with the back of the shop reserved for men to get their hair cut. This type of high end barber shop is a prime example of the new, trendy shops that are driving the resurgence of the barber shop industry by mixing the classic atmosphere with a fresh vibe. Implications: A new barber shop seeking to be competitive in today’s market must provide exceptional quality, a variety of services, and an entertaining atmosphere. Many men value the social aspect of barber shops so a friendly and engaging staff could be the difference between a one time stop and a lifelong customer. Blending the laid-back atmosphere of traditional barber shops with the premium experience of a salon is the perfect way to create an appealing atmosphere. Decorations and extra details such as complimentary drinks enhance the customer experience. 3. Competitive Factors: The two primary competitors are Lather One and Elite Barbers. Competition is high between the two shops because they serve a similar area and appeal primarily to the younger, trendy crowd (P.I. #5). Their direct competitors are Straight-up Barber Shop, Classic Barbers, Sunny Hill Barber Shop, and Sport Clips who also serve men’s hair care needs in the same area. Indirect competitors are Supercuts, Lux Aveda Salon, and Salon Amerige. The number of barbers and barber shops is growing, meaning an increasingly competitive market. (A. #1, 2) Older barber shops are failing to meet customer’s needs and many are declining in light of shifting customer expectations (W.S. #2; A #7, 10; C.I. #6). With so many convenient options regardless of location, the market for barber shops is extremely competitive especially with other options like salons and cheap chains also competing for customers. Barber shops aim to generate business based on customer referrals (P.I. #1, 2, 3, 9; C.I. #4, 5, 6, 10, 13). Many prospective customers turn to reviews on Yelp.com to determine where they go to get their haircut which means shops image online is very important but not directly controllable. (C.I. #2, 3; P.I. #4; W.S. #6, 12). Implications: The best way to generate business is from customer referrals; this means that customers’ expectations must be exceeded to the point that they are excited and want to talk about their experience. Lather One has thrived by providing consistently excellent quality that
  • has encouraged many referrals. Many customers also turn to Yelp.com to review shops where they have had a particularly good or bad experience, which has a huge impact on prospective new customers who check the website for information. Shops should encourage customers to leave positive reviews while eliminating the bad experiences that lead to negative reviews. Elite Barbers has been able to climb the ranks of Yelp.com in only 13 months and is featured 4th among Orange County barber shops, which has led to many new customers choosing the shop and growing their client list. 4. Technological Factors: Customers expect to be able to pay with credit cards. Online reviews are becoming increasingly important especially with the ease of posting and reading reviews from smartphones based on the customers’ location (C.I. #2, 3). Having a reliable phone system is very important for customers to make appointments and receive information. Taking pictures of haircuts as a barber can be a good way to demonstrate styles and skills to clients. Some shops provide computers or at least wi-fi for their customers to use while they wait (W.S. #8). Decor and amenities also can include flat screen TV’s and quality sound systems to achieve a contemporary atmosphere in the shop (A #10; W.S. #8; C.I. #6). As far as the technology used for the haircuts, most shops stick with the classics: scissors, clippers and straight razors (A #2; W.S. #3, 4, 5). An aesthetically pleasing and informative web site is also expected from a quality barber shop (W.S. #8; C.I. #1, 6). Irvin at Elite Barbers plans to set up security cameras to enjoy the ability to monitor the shop when he is away. He also wants to have recordings of the shop’s activity in the event of a theft or a lawsuit (P.I. #7). The widespread use of social media and smartphones have a significant impact on the way potential customers find and chose between different barber shops. Location-based apps such as Yelp or Maps allow people to find convenient places to get their hair cut. They also have access to reviews shared by previous customers (W.S. #6). Reviews on Yelp are a major decision making factor for many barber shop customers (P.I. #4; C.I. #2, 3). One barber shop owner has experienced tremendous success by personally connecting with clients through various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. His business netted 20% profit on $2 million in revenue in 2011, he opened a third shop in 2012 (A #4). He is also expanding his business to include an online-only store and style advisory website for members. Implications: In a society where technology is increasingly playing a larger role in everyone’s lives, it is important to stay up to date, even in an industry that values simplicity and old-school traditions. The barber shop industry keeps the actual hair service products very basic by clinging to simple scissors, clippers, and straight razors. There are two ways to address the issue of additional technology: embrace it fully or make a point of keeping it out or invisible for a more classic flavored shop. Elite Barbers and Lather One take these two separate approaches and are nearly equally successful. It is also crucial for a successful shop to have a positive online presence to attract those who seek information on their smartphones or the internet. Intentionally connecting to clients via social media and encouraging them to share their positive experiences is a great way to boost a shop’s online presence.
  • 5. Political/Legal Factors: Each state has different laws regarding barber licenses, but they all have some level of requirements. Barbers must be licensed through state approved programs and pass a final test with both hands-on and written aspects upon completion of barber school (W.S. #11). The owner must obtain a license for the shop, generally after passing an inspection (W.S. #9). Some states require barber shops to obtain a business license as well, but regardless, as with any business, a legal business structure should be created and documented upon opening. Business insurance is also advised in the case of anything going wrong in the shop or with a haircut resulting in a client lawsuit. Lawsuits are always possible because the barbers are working with many sharp and hot objects that could result in customers getting cut or burnt (P.I. #6, 7). As mentioned in Technological Factors, the owner of Elite Barbers plans on installing cameras in his shop for additional protection in the event of a lawsuit or theft. Implications: Prior to opening a new barber shop, the owner must either go to barber school if he wants to cut hair himself, or ensure that the barbers working at the shop are properly licensed in the state he is opening. Additionally, barbers must be instructed to take extreme care at all times to avoid making a mistake that results in a client getting injured or a less than prefect haircut. The owner must also have the shop inspected by state officials and obtain a license for the shop himself. Finally, when opening the business, the owner should document the business structure in accordance with state laws. 6. Social/Cultural Factors: The trend in barber shops is creating exciting atmospheres to combat the boring experience of a chain haircutter or basic hair salon (A #2, 3, 6). Men want an authentic experience catered to them, an experience that gets them in touch with their manhood while getting their hair cut (A #2, 10, 6, 9; C.I. #1, 5). They recognize that there is an appeal to getting their hair cut in an environment made specifically for them. This social trend is evident with Samsung’s decision to include a barber shop in their nationwide commercial for their Galaxy smartphone that featured NBA superstar LeBron James (A #8). There is obviously a cultural appeal to classic barber shops if Samsung decided to include one in their ad. The shop is seen by many as more than a place to get a haircut, but a gathering place to hear stories or maybe see a celebrity. The overall social atmosphere of barber shops is becoming more of a priority among consumers (A #3, 4, 5, 6, 8; P.I. #1, 2, 9; C.I. #1, 4, 5, 6). A social factor that is damaging to the industry is that it is more socially acceptable now for men to visit salons, however, it is also more acceptable for men to spend more on hair care, which is good news for high end barber shops (W.S. #2). Although it is now acceptable for men to frequent salons, many are realizing that they want a more manly experience when they get their hair cut, which is driving the growth of barber shops that provide a quality overall experience (W.S. #5; A #2, 6, 9, 10). Also, men are becoming increasingly concerned with the way they look and are willing to set aside more time and money to ensure they receive a quality haircut (C.I. #3, 4, 5; W.S. #1; A #2). Men are beginning to appreciate the social aspect of going to the barber shop as well with many customers citing relationships and good conversation as qualities that they like about their favorite shops and barbers (C.I. #1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10). Owners and barbers who connect to their customers on a personal basis generate more repeat business and referrals (A #10). Many newer
  • barber shops are also taking advantage of social media to connect with current and prospective clients as discussed in paragraph two of Section #4. Posting photos on Instagram and Twitter is a good way to display barbers’ skills and foster social discussions online. Even a few clients posting text or especially pictures highlighting their positive experience at a barber shop can go a long way because of how interconnected this generation is through the internet. This is a natural expression of the traditionally social nature of the barber shop, only now social media allows shops to connect with a higher volume of people regardless of their location (A. #3, 4). Implications: New barber shops have the advantage of a renewal in men’s appreciation for the culture of the classic barber shop, a place with unique character and a center for social interaction. A new shop should present an inviting and social atmosphere to cater to increased expectations of this kind. It is not enough to hire barbers that cut hair well, they must also be very outgoing to foster an upbeat, social environment. Taking advantage of social media and online reviews is another necessity to compliment traditional word of mouth referrals. The most important take-away here is to create an environment that clients will be excited to talk about and share their experiences with others. 7. Consumer Behavior Factors: 1) Quality of haircut (C.I. #3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16) 2) Good recommendation from trusted source (C.I. #2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 13, 16) 3) Affordable price (C.I. #1, 3, 4, 5, 9, 11, 12, 16) 4) Conversation and relationship with barbers (C.I. #1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 14) 5) Shop is tastefully decorated (C.I. #1, 5, 6, 9, 10, 13, 16) 6) Short wait times (C.I. #1, 6, 7, 12, 15) 7) Availability of appointments (C.I. #1, 6, 7, 11) 8) Special discounts (C.I. #1, 3, 4, 16) 9) Additional services such as straight razor finish (C.I. #7, 8, 14) 10) Good music playing (C.I. #7, 8, 10) 11) Convenience of location (C.I. #2, 3, 7) 12) Cleanliness of the shop (C.I. #7, 10) 13) Barbers who view their work as a craft (C.I. #5, 6) 14) Drinks offered (C.I. #7, 8) 15) Availability of Parking (C.I. #8) Implications: When opening a new barber shop it is extremely important to exceed all customers’ expectations without fail because of how intensely the industry is driven by word of mouth. Men are very prone to talk about their barber experiences because of the social nature of the industry, and this leads to either positive or negative referrals to their friends. This could either help to grow the client list, or contribute to a negative perception of the shop. The barbers must know the latest trends and how to sculpt customers’ hair to their desires. An engaging and friendly staff is also a factor that can make or break a customer’s experience. Location and availability of barbers is also key to meet customers’ needs for time and convenience, however many customers are also willing to endure long drives and waits for their favorite barbers.
  • B) The Competitive Analysis Competitor #1 Lather One Positioning Map #1: High Quality Haircuts Average Quality Haircuts Lather One Haircut Quality: Customers of Lather One praise the attention the barbers pay to the quality of their work (C.I. #4, 7, 8, 10). High quality is something that the owner as well as each barber stress as the way they differentiate their shop (P.I. #2). This approach seems to be working because their high quality haircuts generate many referrals to keep their business growing. Haircuts take longer at Lather One than some other barber shops because the barbers take time to ensure that each cut is exactly what the customer wants, and take especially longer than chain haircutters that emphasize speed. Shop Atmosphere: Lather One takes old-school barbering to its utmost expression by embracing a classic atmosphere and decor to compliment the classical barbering techniques that are used. There are no televisions or wi-fi, but magazines are provided as the only entertainment besides conversation with the barbers. The shop looks like it could have been pulled straight from Modern Atmosphere Old-Fashioned Atmosphere Lather One Elite Barbers Classic Barbers Straight-Up Barber Shop
  • decades past with retro styling throughout the small, utilitarian shop (P.I. #6). The customers appreciate the old-school style (C.I. #1, 4, 10). Positioning Map #2: Extremely Friendly Barbers Moderately Friendly Barbers Lather One Price: Lather One falls on the higher side of the price scale at $25. It is the most expensive barber shop in the area, possibly because it is also the smallest with only three chairs and can not do business at a high volume. The high price does add perceived value to the shop. Since excellent quality is their top priority, the high price adds validity to their claims (P.I. #2). Customers do complain about the high price, but they continue to return because of the excellent service they receive (C.I. #4). Barbers’ Friendliness: Customers of Lather One often praise the shop for the barbers’ friendliness and the engaging conversation that occurs there (C.I. #1, 4, 7). However, one customer reported that he felt the service was not as friendly as he would have liked, which was one of the reasons he did not return (C.I. #5). The owner and barbers at Lather One recognize Lather One Elite Barbers Classic Barbers Straight-Up Barber Shop Low Price High Price
  • that relationships with clients are important and that exceptional conversation can be a point of differentiation from competition (P.I. #1, 2, 9). Primary Target Market Analysis #1 Primary Geographic: Since all of Lather One’s business requires customers to drive to the store, its geographic location is the most important. Located in downtown Fullerton, Lather One serves the northern Orange County, CA area. The majority of its customers come from Fullerton, Anaheim, and Brea. The downtown location adds to their classic vibe. The shop’s owner is a native of Fullerton along with a couple of the barbers, meaning they have a strong tie to the area (W.S. #4). #2 Primary Benefits: Lather One claims to emphasize high quality and strong customer relationships as its benefits (P.I. #1, 2, 9; W.S. #4). Customers validate these claims (C.I. #1, 4, 7, 8). Setting itself apart in these ways allows them to generate many repeat customers and referrals as well as to charge a premium price. These goals are achieved by the barbers genuinely valuing their customers and engaging them in conversation. The barbers also take time to ensure that their clients are completely satisfied with their haircuts. #3 Primary Psychographic: All men need to get their hair cut, but only certain ones choose to visit barber shops. Such men value the social atmosphere of barber shops compared with a quick cut at a chain salon where the haircutter is more concerned with getting clients in and out than connecting to them on a relational level. Another psychological factor is some men visiting barber shops because they do not feel comfortable going to salons, although this is becoming less common (W.S. #2). Additionally, there is a rising trend of men wanting to revive the classic role of the barber shop as a place of manly conversation. #4 Primary Demographic: Since Lather One is a barber shop that serves men only, they have a somewhat specific demographic. However, they do not target any specific age, ethnicity, or class of men (P.I. #1). Their relatively high price means that lower income men can not afford to pay a premium for their premium service, eliminating one market. Their barbers are able to relate to the wide demographic of people that visit, which is an advantage because most people feel welcome in the shop. Product Objectives & Strategies Examples Product Objectives: Since it opened, Lather One has aimed to be a place of exceptional haircut quality with strong relationships among the barbers and their clients (P.I. #1, 2, 9). Since they do not advertise, the barbers rely almost exclusively on their relationships to generate repeat customers and referrals (P.I. #1, 2, 9). Their high quality cuts add to the probability of getting repeat customers and referrals as well as allowing them to charge a premium price. Each barber knows that they must make their clients feel valued and ensure that they are completely satisfied with their experience. Lather One accepts walk-in clients as well as appointments.
  • Product Strategies: The objectives previously outlined are achieved by a strong commitment from all barbers to providing a premium experience to each client. Their phone service is exceptionally friendly, and customers are able to easily find out if the shop is busy or book appointments (C.I. #7, 8). Customers are greeted immediately with a smile and a warm welcome. Drinks are offered to customers to add value to their experience. The shop has combinations of water, soft drinks, beer, and whiskey in stock at different times. Customers can expect engaging conversation throughout their visit, with the barbers constantly bantering with one another and the customers about a wide variety of topics (P.I. #6). This makes for an entertaining atmosphere that provides much more value in the shop than simply a place to get a haircut. The barbers find out exactly what their clients want, and they make sure that it is received before the clients leave. This is achieved by the barbers taking sufficient time throughout the entire haircut experience: learning precisely what a client wants when he first sits down, during the haircut to ensure no mistakes are made, and at the end of the cut to verify that the client is completely satisfied. All barbers finish off each cut with a straight razor to line the hair up, wipe off the shaving cream with a hot towel, and finally massage the client’s neck and shoulders (P.I. #6). All of these strategies combine to provide a premium haircut experience. Providing this premium experience drives growth by encouraging word of mouth advertising. Satisfied customers share their excellent experience with their friends and post favorable reviews on Yelp (W.S. #12). Product Strengths: - High quality haircuts with added value in straight razor lineups, hot towel treatment, and massage leave customers feeling satisfied (C.I. #4, 7, 8, 10). - Good conversation and relationships adds value to the haircuts and keeps clients entertained (C.I. #1, 4, 7, 8). Product Weaknesses: - Since quality is their main point of differentiation, any poor customer experience can be very damaging to their image (C.I. #5; W.S. #12). - Some men can not tell the difference between an average and excellent haircut, or do not care enough to pay a premium for premium quality (P.I. #6). - Providing such high quality haircuts takes additional time, meaning lower client turnover and failure to receive customers who are crunched for time (W.S. #12; P.I. #6). Pricing Analysis & Strategies Discussion Haircut Straight-Razor Shave Beard Trim Industry Norm $10 - $40 $15 - $40 $5 - $15 Lather One $25 $35 $10 Elite Barbers $15 $20 $7
  • Pricing Objectives: Lather One employs the meeting competition objective for its pricing strategy. Although they charge the highest price among barber shops in the immediate area and are on the higher end of the pricing spectrum, they do not meet the criteria for a prestige objective. This is because their price is closer to the middle of the spectrum for the industry than the high end, and there is no attempt to appeal to customer’s desire for status. They do emphasize the quality of their product, but as more of a good value than an exclusive or prestigious experience. With only three chairs in the shop, they can not serve a large volume of customers, so they must charge a higher price than other shops that serve more customers at once. The owner knows that she can charge a higher price since it is accompanied by a high quality experience. Lather One offers a comparatively higher quality product than its competition so they are able to charge a higher price. Pricing Strategies: Barber shops that lack differentiation in quality and experience are forced to differentiate themselves by price. This is not the case for Lather One. Some customers say the price is high, but continue to return; others say the value matches the price (C.I. #1, 4, 8). Lather One does not need to worry about what its competitors are charging because its point of differentiation is the customer experience, not price. They are able to charge a higher price because the significant price/quality relationship in the barber shop industry means customers relate their price to their high quality. The relatively high price is justified through the excellent customer experience that they provide. The low end of the barber shop industry is highly elastic with customers who value price switching between non-differentiated shops for the lowest price. The mid to high price range is more inelastic with clients having more loyalty to their barbers and shops. Unless a shop raised its price by $10 or more, it would not likely see many clients leave based on a price change. Conversely, charging $20 instead of $25 would not mean significantly more business either. They do offer a college discount of $5 off, bringing the price down to $20 for students. This is a smart move since the shop is close to Cal State Fullerton and Fullerton College. They also receive a substantial amount of business from Biola University. This discount makes sense because college students have less of a disposable income and it is a large market for the area. Pricing Strengths: - High price mixed with high quality validates consumers’ expectations (C.I. #4, 8). - Low elasticity in their market of mid to high price range means high loyalty (C.I. #1, 4, 7, 8). Pricing Weaknesses: - High price is too much for some to pay for a haircut (W.S. #12). - They will lose customers if the experience does not match the high price (C.I. #5; W.S. #12). Place Objectives & Strategy Examples Discussion Place Objectives: The owner, Ana, opened the shop in downtown Fullerton because she grew up in the area and has strong ties to the Fullerton community (P.I. #2). The location of a barber shop is very important in the industry, and Lather One is able to take advantage of a good location.
  • Their product is available exclusively at their single location, and they also partner exclusively with a local pomade brand and sell their product. Their phone service is very friendly and allows potential customers to obtain information or make appointments no matter where they are. The only other customer contact point is their website. It is very basic but does a good job of clearly providing important information as discussed in the Website Objectives section. The main purpose of the website is to encourage customers to visit the shop for a haircut. Place Strategies: Lather One is located at 126 W. Commonwealth Ave. in Fullerton, CA. The downtown location turned out to be a great place for a barber shop. Fullerton has a population of 137,183 and the surrounding cities are similarly sized. There are few barber shops in the general area for the number of people living there, but Classic Barbers, a direct competitor, is located right across the street. The small store only allows for three barber chairs and a very small waiting area, limiting the volume of business that can be done. Another negative aspect of the location is the lack of parking (C.I. #8). Place Strengths: - Location serves a relatively large population. - Downtown location adds to classic atmosphere (C.I. #1, 4, 7). Place Weaknesses: - Direct competitor right across the street. - Lack of parking (C.I. #8). - Cannot serve more that three clients at once, meaning long waits. (W.S. #12) - Old-school atmosphere comes off as dirty to some customers (C.I. #7, 10) Promotion Objectives & Strategy Examples Discussion Promotion Objectives: Their primary promotion objectives are to increase awareness, provide information and differentiate from their competition. They aim to provide such a good experience that their customers will feel compelled to tell others about the shop. Promotion Strategies: Lather One’s promotion strategy has always been a combination of word of mouth, their sign out front, and their website. By providing outstanding service, the barbers hope they will receive referrals by clients sharing their experience with their friends, explaining why the shop is unique and giving them information about it. Their website promotes to prospective new customers by providing information about the shop, emphasizing its classic atmosphere, high quality, and friendly service. The website promotes to new customers by providing information such as the phone number and address so customers who wish to return can book additional appointments and find the shop again. Their sign consists of their name painted on the side of their building, which is on a corner so it is visible from a wide angle, and a rotating, red, white, and blue barber pole to indicate their status as a classic barber shop.
  • Promotion Strengths: - Utilizes word of mouth, the most effective method of promotion. - The best way to differentiate is to provide customers with a good reason to share why they choose Lather One over other barber shops, which is accomplished by providing a premium experience. Promotion Weaknesses: - Word of mouth does not reach a very large audience. - No control over what customers share with their peers - they could share unfavorable or insufficient information) Website Objectives & Strategies Discussion Website Objectives: www.latherone.com - Lather One’s website aims to provide some basic information about the shop’s services and atmosphere. It displays all necessary information for discovering their services and pricing structure, what to expect from the shop, and how to locate the shop and make appointments. The website does not offer much value to existing customers other than providing contact information to book additional appointments. It appears that it is aimed more at bringing in new customers who do not know anything about the shop (P.I. #6). Website Strategies: The homepage explains that all barbers use old school methods and emphasizes high quality and friendly atmosphere. In bold and a larger font at the bottom is an invitation to call for an appointment. There is a video featured on the homepage showcasing the shop and featuring Ana talking about her history of cutting hair. She explains in the video that shop patrons can expect good service in a comfortable environment with cool people. There is a page that lists out all of the services available at the shop with prices, and another with a brief biography of the owner. The shop’s hours are nowhere to be found. Website Strengths: - Clearly and concisely presents all important information except for the hours. - Video of owner adds a nice personal touch. Website Weaknesses: - Some customers are unaware of its existence (C.I. #1) - Very basic: lack of store pictures, no information on all barbers, and looks outdated. - Hours are not listed anywhere on the website. - No social media interaction.
  • B) The Competitive Analysis Competitor #2 Elite Barbers Positioning Map #1: High Quality Haircuts Average Quality Haircuts Elite Barbers Haircut Quality: Customers of Elite Barbers do not rave about the quality the way that Lather One clients do, however most are pleased with their haircuts and see the shop as an excellent value (C.I. #3, 15, 16; W.S. #6). The owner does not stress quality as a major point of differentiation, but he did fire a barber that was receiving complaints about his abilities (P.I. #7). Overall the quality of the barbers is adequate to position the shop as a good value. Since it is not especially remarkable, the shop differentiates itself in other ways such as environment and price. Shop Atmosphere: The shop looks and feels like a barber shop, but not a classic, retro shop. It does include many elements that give a shop character, such as quirky decorations and art, but has a clean, modern feel. The owner intentionally differed from the old-school atmosphere because of personal preference and as a way to be different from the other shops in the area (PI. Lather One Elite Barbers Classic Barbers Straight-Up Barber Shop Modern Atmosphere Old-Fashioned Atmosphere
  • #7). There are three big screen TV’s pointed both at the waiting and haircut areas. The shop is designed with modern, high contrast styling without a lot of color, giving it a very modern feel. Positioning Map #2: Extremely Friendly Barbers Moderately Friendly Barbers Elite Barbers Price: Price is one of the main ways that Elite Barbers tries to differentiate from its competition and attract new customers. They charge $15 for a haircut or $20 if it is by appointment, offering a digital coupon for $2 off through Yelp. They are able to serve a high volume of customers, allowing the price to be on the lower side of the spectrum. The lower price also allows them to best serve their younger target market, which has less of a disposable income. Customers praise their price as a good value (C.I. #3) Barber’s Friendliness: The barbers at Elite Barbers are reasonably friendly, but not excessively. Customers feel welcome and compliment the good customer service, but praising the barbers’ friendliness and conversation is not as common as with customers of Lather One and other shops (W.S. #6, 12). There has never been a complaint of anyone feeling unwelcome there, which Low Price High Price Lather One Elite Barbers Classic Barbers Straight-Up Barber Shop
  • means that the shop has an overall friendly atmosphere. Their level of friendliness is definitely a positive factor in the customer experience, but it is not exceptional enough to be a major one. Primary Target Market Analysis #1 Primary Demographic: Elite Barbers targets men from the ages of 18-30, and serves men from 16-50 (P.I. #7). Most of the customers are between 20 and 40 years old. Their moderate price allows men from various classes to afford their product. The shop atmosphere appeals to the younger crowd with its modern styling and the music that they play. Since price and shop atmosphere are the shop’s main points of differentiation, the fact that they cater to 18-30 year old males makes the demographic the most valued aspect of the target market. #2 Primary Geographic: Located in Brea, CA, Elite Barbers serves the populous areas of Brea, Yorba Linda, Fullerton, La Habra, and Rowland Heights. Most customers come from these areas, but some drive from further away places such as downtown Los Angeles and the Inland Empire (W.S. #6). Place is important because customers must physically go to the store. The store’s location is excellent because it is on a major highway and is adjacent to a spacious parking lot. #3 Primary Benefits: The benefits that are stressed by Elite Barbers are the modern, friendly atmosphere, short wait times, and good quality at a relatively low price (W.S. #3; P.I. #7). They offer a variety of hair services such as cuts, shaves and trims. The shop also carries a good variety of hair products for sale. Customers benefit from choosing Elite Barbers because they enjoy the unique, modern atmosphere and a good value for quality haircuts. #4 Primary Psychographic: Elite Barbers does not really target a specific type of man, anyone can feel welcome there because of the friendly atmosphere. The modern styling is very simple and can appeal to anyone’s taste. It is not exceptionally rugged as some other barber shops that draw a rougher crowd are, but it still feels masculine. Those who want to sit and be entertained by T.V. while they get their hair cut can do so, but the shop is quiet enough to enjoy conversation as well. Product Objectives & Strategies Examples Product Objectives: Elite Barbers offers a premium customer experience from the quality of their haircuts, clean, modern atmosphere, short waits and great customer service. They take walk-in clients as well as appointments. The shop’s contemporary decor sets it apart from competition and creates a clean, modern feel. There are many options for customers to stay entertained such as television and video games. They aim to provide an experience that exceeds customers expectations based on their prices and position themselves as an excellent value (P.I. #7).
  • Product Strategies: From a prompt, friendly greeting and complimentary beverage when a customer first enters, to the assurance that he received the the exact haircut he wanted, Elite Barbers aims to deliver an enjoyable experience overall. Barbers take their time to ensure their clients are satisfied with the haircuts they receive. The barbers use old-school barbering techniques such as straight razors, hot towels, and spicy bay rum lather (W.S. #3). They are also friendly and able to carry on conversation with their clients, but the larger shop and younger crowd means constant banter throughout the shop as in classic barber shops is more rare. The shop environment, a main point of differentiation, is very modern, which is unique for the industry (P.I. #7). As discussed under the first positioning map, this is achieved by contemporary styling featuring a tile floor and a high contrast, mostly greyscale color scheme. The decorations include custom sunglasses on display in cabinets and some artwork on the walls. The televisions and sound system are prominently displayed to add to the modern vibe and provide entertainment. Customers can also enjoy a variety of magazines to entertain themselves as they wait. Product Strengths: - Modern atmosphere is unique and differentiates the shop from competition (P.I. #7; C.I. #6, 16). - Entertaining environment with the televisions, music, and magazines. - Good quality haircuts position the product as a good value for the price (C.I. #3, 6, 15, 16). Product Weaknesses: - The modern atmosphere may not appeal to those who have a renewed interest in the classic barber shop vibe, which is a major trend (A #6; C.I. #1, 4, 7, 10). - Those who only care about perfect quality or conversation instead of the modern atmosphere may be disappointed (W.S. #6). Pricing Analysis & Strategies Discussion Haircut Straight-Razor Shave Beard Trim Industry Norm $10 - $40 $15 - $40 $5 - $15 Lather One $25 $35 $10 Elite Barbers $15 $20 $7 Pricing Objectives: Elite Barbers employs the meeting competition objective for its pricing strategy. Price is meant to be one of their main points of differentiation. They charged $18 for a haircut when they opened, but realized that it was too costly compared with their competition so they lowered it to $13 to better attract customers. After a while, the price was raised to $14, and now they charge $15 with the goal of gradually raising it to $20 once the shop is more established. The shop can serve six clients at once with plans to expand to seven, meaning they
  • can charge a lower price and make up for the lower margins by doing a higher volume of business. Pricing Strategies: The price falls on the lower side of the industry norm, made possible by a decently high volume of business, but the shop’s objective is not volume. The product offered for the price is portrayed as a good value and is viewed as such by customers (C.I. #3, 7, 15, 16; W.S. #6). Because of this, Elite Barbers meets its competition by employing a value pricing model. This is a successful strategy as long as customers agree that the product is a good value, which they do. The barbers also try to increase revenue in light of the low price by up-selling additional services such as shaves and selling hair products (P.I. #7). An additional strategy for increasing profits is charging $20 for haircuts by appointment. They customer receives extra value by eliminating the wait, and the shop drastically increases its profit margins on the cuts. The lower end of the barber shop market is fairly inelastic unless a customer has an especially strong relationship with his barber or barber shop. Since one of Elite Barbers’ main points of differentiation is by price, they could fall victim to another shop dropping its prices and stealing customers. If the plan to increase the price is implemented, the shop could lose some customers to their main competitor, Straight-Up Barber Shop, which charges $13. This would happen only if Elite Barbers fails to differentiate in other meaningful ways. The shop providing consistently good haircuts with friendly service in a fresh, modern atmosphere has created a good amount of happy customers that may stick with the shop in light of price increase. The low price can also create an expectation of poor quality because of the high price/quality association in the barber shop industry. This positioning may deter some potential customers who are conscious of the close price/quality relationship, but this effect is minimized by the shop’s many positive reviews. However, this could also be a positive if customers try the shop anyway and are surprised by the quality, seeing it as a good value. Pricing Strengths: - Price on the low end of the spectrum attracts price-conscious customers (C.I. #3; W.S. #6). - The quality atmosphere and haircuts at the low price position the shop as a good value (C.I. #3, 6, 15, 16). Pricing Weaknesses: - Fluctuating prices may confuse or frustrate some customers. - Low price may deter some customers who make decisions based on a preconceived price/ quality relationship. Place Objectives & Strategy Examples Discussion Place Objectives: The owner, Irving, wanted a spacious shop that did not feel cramped, and he achieved this with the location he chose. Customers receiving haircuts and those who are waiting are close together without feeling cramped. He also noticed the opportunity for a new shop in Brea because of the lack of a lot of competition in the area. The shop is located in a fairly highly populated area to increase the number of potential customers. The shop’s location meets
  • customers’ needs for time and convenience because it is located on Imperial Highway and close to the 57 Freeway. Their phone service is excellent with calls taken quickly, and their website looks very well put together and provides all of the information necessary to find the shop and book an appointment. The shop’s high placement on Yelp, number two for Brea, is another valuable place of customer contact. Place Strategies: Located at 860 W Imperial Highway Brea, CA 92821, Elite Barbers primarily serves residents of Brea, Yorba Linda, Fullerton, La Habra, and Rowland Heights. Although there are some other barber shops in the area, none are extremely close. There are enough potential customers for each of the competitors to penetrate a decent part of the market. These factors indicate that the shop is positioned in an excellent location, an important advantage considering that a successful barber shop requires bringing customers to its location. The website provides another good customer contact point. It is tastefully designed, matching the shop itself, and provides important information such as services and prices, hours, address, phone number, and what to expect from the shop. Place Strengths: - Large shop creates a comfortable space and allows a large volume of business (P.I. #7). - Plenty of parking in the large adjacent parking lot. - Located on a major highway and near a freeway, which allows the shop to serve a large geographic area and customers to get to the shop quickly (C.I. #3). Place Weaknesses: - Not very visible to those driving by. - Some other direct and indirect competition in the area. Promotion Objectives & Strategy Examples Discussion Promotion Objectives: Elite Barbers’ main promotional objective is to differentiate from its competition. They position themselves as different primarily in the areas of shop atmosphere and low price. Elite Barbers aims to accomplish this primarily by using their strong online presence on Yelp and Facebook to reach out to new potential customers. They also rely partially on word of mouth from satisfied customers. The shop’s name on their sign suggests that they are in a class of their own. Promotion Strategies: Since many customers search for prospective barber shops on Yelp, Irving, the owner, pays close attention to the reviews that are posted. He is able to comment back to correct misconceptions or offer remedies to those who post negative reviews (W.S. #6). The $2 discount that is offered through Yelp is an additional method of differentiating by price and providing an extra incentive for prospective customers to try the shop than simply good reviews. The business cards that the shop gives out includes icons for Yelp and Facebook along with their phone number and website. This encourages customers to leave reviews and connect with the shop after their haircut as well as providing the necessary information for them to return for
  • additional visits. The shop has a Twitter account but it has been idle since November 2012. Their sign is on their front window and is not bold enough to be easily seen from the street. Promotion Strengths: - The modern shop atmosphere is unique compared with other barber shops that practice old- school barbering (P.I. #7; C.I. #6, 16). - Their strong, positive online presence takes advantage of their target demographic’s heavy use of social media and Yelp to receive information and view reviews (W.S. #6; P.I. #7; C.I. #3, 16). Promotion Weaknesses: - Shop’s sign is bland and can not be seen from the street. - They do not differentiate by substantial factors such as remarkable service or quality, which limits the scope of word of mouth promotion. Website Objectives & Strategies Discussion Website Objectives: www.elite-barbers.com - Elite Barber’s website aims to provide information to potential and returning customers about the shop’s services offered, prices, hours, atmosphere, and commitment to quality. It suggests connecting with the shop on Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp to boost its online presence with a call to “Show us some love if you feel we’re doing our job right!”. Website Strategies: The website explains Elite Barber’s space as a blend of a barber shop and a man cave. It says the atmosphere is old-school, but not old fashioned. It shows large pictures of the shop to showcase its modern feel. It emphasizes the variety of cuts that the barbers are skilled in as well as the short wait times. On order to see the address or phone number, visitors must click the “contact us” link. This is a negative quality because it creates an extra step between prospective customers and crucial information. The website is valuable to existing customers because the character of the website resembles that of the shop and is a good reminder of the shop’s crisp atmosphere. Website Strengths: - Aesthetically pleasing design with pictures captures the eye. - Most important information is clearly displayed on the home page. Website Weaknesses: - Phone number is not on the home page, making it more difficult for customers to book appointments. - The one posted Yelp review and Twitter feed are out of date, which suggests apathy on the part of the ownership.
  • C) Time-Out 1. Ethical Issues & Action Plan A) Situation: There is a homeless man who walks the street around my barber shop, which is located in a nicer area and the target market is higher class men. He is very socially awkward, has a hard time carrying on a conversation. He looks like he has a history of heavy drug and alcohol use and sometimes comes into the shop drunk. I have noticed people treating him very poorly. Some stop to give him some money, but most try to avoid him. Most of the men who frequent the shop seem to have a very low opinion of him. He likes to walk into the shop and sit in the waiting area, sometimes trying to strike up conversations with customers but mostly keeping to himself. This makes many customers feel uncomfortable and threatens my goal of positioning my shop as a prestige product. I have asked him to leave, but he continues to keep wandering back inside. I thought about calling the police on him for loitering, but I also have compassion for him and feel that it is too extreme and a poor showing of my Christian faith. B) Personal Tension: The tension comes from my desire and conviction as a follower of Christ to show compassion toward the underprivileged men in my community. I feel like the Holy Spirit is specifically calling me to help this man and display Christ’s love to him. His loitering in the shop creates a very uncomfortable situation for everyone, but I know that pushing him away like everyone else is not what Christ would do. Jesus would fully accept him into the shop’s community as a display of love. However, I also know that allowing him to stay around would upset a good amount my high class clientele and could drag down the reputation of my shop. It is a very awkward situation because I feel horrible when I make him leave, but I do not want him to stay either because of the impact he has on my business. Even a couple customers that complain to their friends or leave a review online that a homeless man was making them uncomfortable could deter a substantial amount of business since the industry is driven so strongly by recommendations. This is especially important because this situation occurs soon after opening the shop, so it is extremely important to establish a good reputation. I know that it will be impossible to uphold my mission statement’s goal of creating a luxurious environment with a homeless man in the shop. Having to call the police could create a bad reputation as well if customers witness a big scene with them coming and confronting him. C) Ethical Dilemmas: The dilemmas are trying to fulfill by calling to represent Christ to the homeless man and the community while maintaining my shop’s reputation as a high class establishment. I know that there is an opportunity to display God’s love to this guy and set an example for my customers, but I am afraid that allowing him to hang around will negatively impact the atmosphere of my shop. The Bible is very clear on how important it is for Christians to show love to the poor and I feel obligated to show acceptance to this man. I know that if I do not become more stern or call the police that he will continue to return and damage the shop’s atmosphere. I do not know how to balance my desires to execute my
  • business plan and show God’s love to this homeless man and others who may witness my actions. D) Biblical Principles: 1) Caring for the poor - Luke 11:41 “But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.” - James 2:1-9 “My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, ‘Here’s a good seat for you,’ but say to the poor man, ‘You stand there’ or ‘Sit on the floor by my feet,’ have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?...If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.” - Matthew 25:40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’.” - Proverbs 14:31 “Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” 2) Displaying God’s love - John 13:34-35 “Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” - Hebrews 13:1 “Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters.” - Romans 13:10 “Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” E) Plan of Action: In order to ensure the success of my business, I would need to make sure the homeless man did not continue to hang around the shop. I would invite him to coffee or a meal to explain the situation to him and try to display God’s love and only involve the police if he continued to return. F) Rationale: Although the best way to show God’s love would be to allow him to continue to hang out in my barber shop and welcome him to the shop’s community, the reality of the situation is that I have a very specific business model that caters to a high end clientele. His presence in the shop is immensely damaging to the prestigious atmosphere that needs to be sustained, and the only way to ensure the highest probability of success is to make sure he stays off of the premises because of the effect his presence has on customers. My hope is that reaching out to him for a conversation would allow me to see where he is coming from, while also explaining my situation and hopefully providing the opportunity to offer him some encouragement as well. Unfortunately, the number one priority has to be keeping him out because of the nature of my business.
  • S.W.O.T. Analysis Strengths: - Consistently provides highest quality haircuts. - Extremely friendly staff who enjoy their work and create meaningful relationships with clients. - Shop is decorated like a classic barber shop with modern amenities such as TV’s tastefully integrated. - Located in an area without another high quality barber shop. - Offering more services than most barber shops such as dyeing, shampoos, and shoe shines. Weaknesses: - Most men are already loyal to a certain barber or stylist so must be given a compelling reason to switch. - Charging a premium price makes my shop too expensive for a large amount of men. - Advertising to get customers in the door at first will be tough without money to spend. - I am not trained as a barber, so it will be difficult to judge potential barbers to hire based on their skill at cutting hair. - High prices may erode tips, upsetting my barbers. Opportunities: - There is an increased market demand for high-end barber shops. - Mixing modern amenities with old-school styling creates a unique, captivating atmosphere. - Men’s culture in general is starting to appreciate barber shops more. Threats: - Competition from high-end salons and other barber shops. - Reputation of the shop could be ruined by even a couple bad customer experiences. - Finding a staff to consistently deliver outstanding experiences to customers could be difficult. - Nobody is aware of my shop or has a reason to believe that it is an excellent experience. Competitive Advantages Problem #1: Long wait times (C.I. #5, 7, 11, 12; W.S. #6, 12) Solutions: Some customers stated or wrote online that they switched shops because the wait for their haircuts was becoming too long. Others praised the availability of appointments at the shops with which they are satisfied. Although long waits can be seen as a good thing because they mean that the shop is popular and may increase the perceived value to customers, it should be sought to be minimized. Executive Barber Shop will remedy this by having six barbers working during peak times. Another way is by accepting appointments, which requires diligently answering the phone. Customers who must wait will be appeased with comfortable seating, complimentary drinks, and entertained by music, TV’s, and provided with iPads to use. Walk-in customers will be advised with a conservative wait time by the receptionist to eliminate unrealistic expectations. If any customer complains about the wait, or the receptionist notices
  • that they are experiencing an excessively long wait, they will be offered an additional service such as a facial hair trim or shoe shine at no charge. Customers will choose Executive Barber Shop if they can avoid waiting for a haircut or experience a minimal wait in an excessively comfortable and entertaining environment. Problem #2: Too high of a price (C.I. #4, 5, 8, 9; W.S. #6, 12) Solutions: Although I will be charging a premium price for my haircuts, the quality of the haircuts, service, and shop environment will justify the price for those who can afford it. My shop is not concerned with cutting any costs and must charge a relatively high price to provide a premium experience. Men who appreciate a top quality experience will feel so satisfied with every aspect of the shop that they will feel that they still receive a good value at the high price point. Also, the high end of the barber industry is fairly inelastic, so retaining customers will not be a problem once they experience the shop’s premium experience in the quality of the cut, service, and atmosphere. Additionally, the reward system for repeat customers will add value to their haircuts and help justify the high price because they are receiving free services as they continue to return. Problem #3: Customer does not feel valued or welcome (C.I. #5, 7, 11; W.S. #6, 12) Solutions: Barbers at my shop will not be allowed to give special treatment to their friends by allowing them to cut lines or change appointments. I will hire a friendly, outgoing receptionist to greet every customer with a smile and offer them a beverage. All of my barbers will be selected for their friendliness and desire to create meaningful relationships with their clients. I will also implement a rewards system so repeat customers feel valued, offering free additional services after three visits. It will be a progressive system that will increase the value of the service over time. For example, it would start with something small like the choice between a shoe shine or facial hair trim and after three more visits include a complimentary straight razor shave or hair product. After the third stage of three visits the customer would receive a complimentary cut. This will all be kept track of at the shop in the computer system so the customer does not need to carry a rewards card. A conscious effort from all employees to make customers feel welcome upon arrival will create positive first impressions, increasing the customers’ perception of the overall experience. Problem #4: Customers disappointed with their haircut quality (C.I. #5, 9, 13; W.S. #6, 12) Solutions: Providing each customer with a haircut that he is completely happy with is the top priority. This is especially necessary to justify the premium price. Executive Barber Shop will be staffed with experienced barbers who know how to ensure that their clients are totally satisfied before they leave. If an incident arises where a client is dissatisfied after returning home and after washing and restyling his hair, I will have a policy that they can come back and get the problem fixed for free. This will be communicated to each customer upon the completion of his haircut as well as displayed on a sign in the shop to give customers peace of mind about their haircuts. In order to get dissatisfied customers from other shops to give their business to my shop, excellent quality haircuts must be provided to every existing customer to generate word of mouth advertising and positive reviews online.
  • Problem #5: Dirty shop environment (C.I. #7, 10; W.S. #6, 12) Solutions: I will stress to all employees that the shop must be kept in pristine condition. Barbers will not be allowed to have messy workspaces and must completely clean up after every haircut or shave. The receptionist will keep an eye out for any additional messes and clean when necessary, making sure drinks left behind by customers are thrown away and the magazines are lined up nicely. At the end of each business day the entire shop will be completely cleaned so each day begins with a pristine shop. Paying extra attention to cleaning will drastically increase the customer experience and dramatically raise their perception of the shop, even if it is subconsciously. Intentional Marketing Strategies for 3rd Product A) Quality/Consistency: The first way to ensure quality and consistency is a very meticulous hiring process in barbers will be screened for skill and experience as well as a friendly, sociable personality.Nobody who can not prove that they can consistently provide their clients with an exceptional experience will be hired. This will ensure that the most important customer contact points, the barbers, are up to the quality that is promised. If any customer is unhappy with his haircut, he will be informed that he can come back for a complimentary fix as well as an additionally complimentary haircut. Secondly, all promotional services will be done at cost to the shop, not the barbers. For example, repeat customers will periodically receive free services as part of my rewards system and the barbers will be paid the same amount as if the customer paid for the service to ensure quality. The third control is over the shop. There will be a policy that the shop looks pristine at all times, a difficult task with all the hair scraps and products, but one that has a big impact on the customer experience and a requirement for a prestigious barber shop. B) Employee Satisfaction & Training: To ensure quality performance, a receptionist will take are of the logistical aspects of the shop, such as greeting customers and answering the phone. This will allow the barbers to focus on their craft and give their clients undivided attention. Customers will benefit by receiving a prompt and friendly welcome to the store or when they call on the phone. Training will involve periodically briefing the barbers on new hairstyles as well as stressing the importance of friendliness and good conversation with customers. The goal is to hire very experienced barbers who truly enjoy the art of cutting hair, which means additional training in the actual barbering techniques is unnecessary. The barbers will be trained to provide the additional services of shampoos, hot towel treatments, and scalp massages. The high prices will allow the barbers to be paid well to compensate them for providing outstanding service. C) Customer Service: The most important and most effective way to ensure that employees provide excellent service is to be very meticulous in choosing which barbers are hired. A good number of barbers have a true passion for cutting hair and take great pride in their work, these will be the ones that work at Executive Barber Shop. Hiring barbers such as these who are also very outgoing and personable makes the chances of customers not receiving great
  • service much smaller. Customer service will be emphasized to all employees as the top priority. For example, the receptionist will be told to treat customers as guests in order to create a welcoming and comfortable environment. Barbers will provide extra services beyond the haircut such as a shampoo, hot towel treatment, and scalp massage to provide an extraordinary customer experience and make them feel valued. Upon leaving, customers will be told that they are automatically entered into our rewards system and will receive additional free services every third visit. D) Research: The first research method will be instructing the staff to encourage social media interaction so clients can comment on what they especially liked or disliked about their experience in a place and time that is convenient for them. The biography sections of all social media pages will encourage interaction by posting suggestions, complains, and compliments. Admittedly, many will decline this invitation, but making the shop available through social media is a great way to connect with customers and could yield some helpful results because of its personal nature. The social media accounts will be run by the receptionists and they will compile a report each week breaking down the compliments and complaints so the areas that they like can be strengthened those that they dislike fixed by remedying past failures and anticipating future needs. The second method of research will be to offer comment cards with an offer for a free service such as shoe shine or beard trim upon completion. The cards will focus on generating suggestions on how to improve the customer experience such as suggestions for additional services and finding out what is most important to the customer regarding their experience. Purpose Statement/Mandate Executive Barber Shop is committed to providing customers with an outstanding old-school barber shop experience in a luxurious environment that leaves them looking and feeling their best. All barbers are committed to creating long-lasting relationships with their clients based on genuine care and dedication given to each haircut and shave. Executive Barber Shop is a place unlike any other. We aim to set the standard for the premier barber shop experience and create a place where the discerning man feels at home.
  • D) Executive Barber Shop Positioning Map #1: High Quality Haircuts Average Quality Haircuts Executive Barber Shop Haircut Quality: As a primary point of differentiation, Executive Barber Shop will stress excellent quality in all of its services, especially the haircuts. Barbers will take care to discern exactly what their clients want for their cuts as well as taking the time necessary to shape their hair exactly the way they want. I will only hire experienced barbers that are proven in their techniques and consistency to ensure that every customer is given the exact haircut they desire. Shop Atmosphere: Executive Barber Shop will provide customers with a pristine atmosphere that feels fresh and modern, but has a classic barber shop flavor as well. Although it will employ retro styling, it will not look old fashioned. It will be modeled after classic barber shops with dark wood and light tile and stone and constructed with high quality materials for a luxurious feel. Decorations will include antique barber tools and empty old product cans on display in glass cases. The sound system will be hidden and the TV’s will be imbedded into wood cabinets to maintain a classic environment while still providing modern amenities. Styling the shop this way will appeal to the trend of old-school barber shops while providing an upscale, contemporary feel that will differentiate the shop and compliment the premium price. Lather One Elite Barbers Classic Barbers Straight-Up Barber Shop Executive Barber Shop Old-Fashioned Atmosphere Modern Atmosphere
  • Positioning Map #2: Extremely Friendly Barbers Moderately Friendly Barbers Executive Barber Shop Price: Based on the high price/quality relationship in the barber industry and the relative inelasticity of the higher end of the pricing spectrum, Executive Barber Shop will be justified in charging a premium price. By providing an exceptional customer experience from start to finish and added value in additional services beyond the haircut, Executive Barber Shop will differentiate from its competition in ways other than price. Customers have no problem paying a premium price for a satisfying experience at the barber shop (C.I. #1, 4, 8, 10, 14, 15). The high price will be a reflection of the quality experience as well as the reason I will be able to provide an exceptionally elegant environment. Barbers’ Friendliness: The barber industry is entirely based on the barber/client relationship. Employing exceptionally personable barbers is the main key to success. Clients who like their barbers as people are more likely to forgive mistakes and refer their friends. Barbers’ have an incentive to be friendly because it translates into more business for them. Customers will experience good conversation and strong relationships because the barbers will be hired for their engaging personalities as well as the quality of their work. They must demonstrate that they are very outgoing and genuinely want to create relationships with their clients to be hired. Low Price High Price Lather One Elite Barbers Classic Barbers Straight-Up Barber Shop Executive Barber Shop
  • Primary Target Market Analysis #1 Primary Demographic: Executive Barber Shop will market to a specific demographic of 30-45 year old males in the middle upper and upper classes because they will make up the bulk of the clientele, however I expect some clients from the 18-60 year old range as well. The high price will eliminate the lower end of the market, leaving a narrow target demographic. The reason the target is 30-45 year olds is the fact that that range has more of a disposable income and many need to stay looking sharp for their jobs. It is important to recognize that the target is a slightly more mature audience that has different expectations than the younger crowd and to tailor the environment to the older group, although the shop can appeal to anyone. #2 Primary Benefits: The benefits of Executive Barber Shop are high quality haircuts, extremely friendly service, a comfortable and entertaining environment, and additional services such as shampoos, scalp massages and complimentary beverages. Customers will chose Executive Barber Shop over the competition because the experience contains a combination of benefits that can not be found anywhere else and they know that they will be looking and feeling their best when they leave. Differentiating in these ways allows the shop to charge a premium price and generate good reviews. #3 Primary Geographic: Since customers must physically come to the shop to get their hair cut, the location is important. Placing the shop in a wealthier area is necessary because of the more affluent target market. Convenience is a factor in deciding where people get their hair cut, and it may be more of a factor for my target demographic because most of them would be busy in the prime of their careers. However, some people are willing to go out of their way for an exceptional experience, which is the main point of differentiation, not convenience or speed. For that reason, location is not as important of a factor as long as it is in a nicer area. #4 Primary Psychographic: Landing in the lower side of the prestige market, Executive Barber Shop appeals to men who value luxurious experiences. Since the industry at its core is about someone giving another person a haircut, Executive Barber Shop obviously adds a lot more elements to the experience. Some men simply want to simply get their hair cut and do not care for any additional experiences. Those men are not part of the target market; Executive Barber Shop is for men who appreciate extraordinary experiences. The shop offers pampering and luxury that some men enjoy, but others see as unnecessary, further narrowing the market. It is important to know that the type of people that are drawn to this type of shop may be pickier or harder to please so focusing on customer satisfaction is especially important, but ultimately Executive Barber Shop appeals to a wide variety of people with different views, hobbies and lifestyles.
  • Product Objectives & Strategies Examples Product Objectives: The number one priority of Executive Barber Shop, from opening day, is to provide customers with the very best haircut experience. The goal is to exceed expectations at every point of contact. The first aspect of the product is the period before the haircut or service, wether the customer walks right in for an appointment or waits for an opening; he should feel welcome, comfortable, and entertained. Second is the shampoo and explanation to the barber what he wants his haircut to look like; he should feel valued, relaxed, and know what to expect from the cut. This is an opportunity to find out if he would like any additional services such as a shave, trim, or shoe shine. The third and most important aspect is the haircut and services themselves; the barber must take care to deliver exactly what was requested. Finally, the customer will have his hair styled and prepare to leave. He will be given the opportunity to purchase a variety of hair products as he checks out. The barber must be friendly and respond to the client’s interest in conversation throughout the entire process. The objective for offering a reward system with free services is to exceed expectations, increase loyalty, and allow customers to sample new services with the hope that they enjoy them and purchase them in the future. Product Strategies: Upon entering the shop, customers will be greeted by the receptionist and offered a water, tea, soda, or beer. There will be smooth jazz softly playing on the shop’s sound system. He will be asked if there is anything he prefers to watch on television and offered an iPad to use while he waits. The waiting area will have comfortable leather couches and a coffee table with magazines such as Men’s Health, GQ, Car and Driver, and Sports Illustrated. Next, he will be introduced to his barber if he is a new customer and taken to receive a shampoo and scalp massage while explaining what he wants his haircut to look like. He will be given the option to add a shave or any other service. The barbers will take care to learn exactly what their clients want. He will then receive an old-school haircut with scissors and clippers, finished off by being shaped with a straight-edge razor for a clean finish. The barber will double check with the client to ensure that he is completely happy with how the cut looks regarding length and proportions before applying the appropriate product and styling the hair. Before the customer leaves he will be able to purchase the product that was used on his hair as well as high quality combs, shaving creams, and razors. He will also be asked for his name and phone number to be added into the computer system that keeps track of visits. Every third visit he will receive a complimentary bonus that follows a pattern of increasing value. The first being the choice between a shoe shine or facial hair trim, the second a free haircut or free hair product, and the third a complimentary straight razor shave. Why? Executive Barber Shop differentiates from competition by meeting customers desires for short wait times, services beyond a simple haircut, a luxurious environment, high quality haircuts, and exceptionally personable staff. Customers value these elements and are willing to pay a premium price to receive them (C.I. #1, 4, 7, 8, 10, 14, 15).
  • Pricing Analysis & Strategies Discussion Haircut Straight-Razor Shave Beard Trim Industry Norm $10 - $40 $15 - $40 $5 - $15 Lather One $25 $35 $10 Elite Barbers $15 $20 $7 Executive Barber Shop $35 $40 $13 Pricing Objectives: Executive Barber Shop will position its price based on the prestige objective. Its haircut cost at $35 is on the high end of the industry spectrum, limiting the target market but creating an image of luxury and exclusivity. While lower end shops differentiate by price, Executive Barber Shop differentiates by providing a uniquely enjoyable customer experience, which allows the shop to charge whatever price it chooses. The high price is necessary because the shop will be located in a wealthy area, requiring high rent. The many complimentary services offered as well as the start-up cost to create a pristine atmosphere is high, both contributing to the necessity of a high price. The price will be justified by providing an outstanding product. This price point directly competes with the lower end of the prestige salon industry and the high end of the barber shop industry. Pricing Strategies: Price is not a main point of differentiation unless it is regarded as so by customers because it is higher. Because of the high perceived price/quality relationship in the barber shop industry, the high price makes sense in customers’ minds. They will expect a premium experience based on the price, and most men in the target market will be happy to pay the price to receive the outstanding experience. The price is similar to if not slightly below the prices of the lower end of the prestige salon market, which can be considered direct competition based on the price, services offered, and likelihood that one or more are located in the same wealthy area. Being similarly priced and offering an experience tailored exclusively for men positions Executive Barber Shop perfectly to bring in men who are used to paying a high price for haircuts by offering a better experience. The addition of value through the quick acting rewards system is another way the high price is justified. The rewards will entice men who would not normally pay $35 for a haircut, but want a premium experience, to pay the high price knowing that they are recouping some of the cost through the free offerings. Once customers experience the shop and begin to form relationships with the barbers, they will continue to return even if the price needs be raised slightly. Slightly lowering the price at this part of the spectrum would have minimal impact on demand for the shop’s services because the high end barber shop market is fairly inelastic.
  • Why? Customers are willing to pay a premium price for a premium product in this industry (C.I. #1, 4, 7, 8, 10, 14, 15). Executive Barber Shop must charge a high price to offer the exceptional services outlined in the product section. The overhead required to accomplish all of the product objectives demands a high price in order to turn a profit. The inelasticity of the high end barber shop market indicates that a shop that provides a captivating experience need not worry about comparing its price with competitors. Place Objectives & Strategy Examples Discussion Place Objectives: Since a barber shop requires physical attendance and convenience is a factor that affects customer behavior, Executive Barber Shop should be located in an affluent community or a place where a good amount of established men work to appeal to my target market. Since the shop is very unique in its offering, competition in the area is a minimal concern unless there is another barber shop with similar product objectives and pricing. Location on or near a major highway or freeway should be sought after as well because it increases the distance from which it is convenient for customers to visit the shop. Ideally the shop should be located in an area completely void of direct and indirect competition, but the chances of finding such an area are very slim because there are barber shops and salons in nearly every town. Place Strategy: One strategy is to buy a barber shop that was forced to close and remodel it. The shop’s equipment could be purchased with the shop and either restored or used for decoration. This would be much cheaper than converting some other space to a barber shop. The problem with this strategy is that there is most likely a competitor in the area that is strong enough to take the shop’s business. Depending on the competitor that would probably not matter, however, because of the excellent product that Executive Barber Shop would bring to the market. The place strategy could be completely based on buying out an existing shop that had closed like Tony did (A #10). The other option is to pick an area with a large concentration of men in my target market. If an existing shop can be found in such an area, that would be ideal, but the reality is that it would be difficult to find one. Instead the shop will be created in a wealthy area containing a substantial amount of men between the ages of 30 and 45, preferably without any direct competition in high end salons or other barber shops. However, salons would not be much of a threat because their male clients would likely switch to Executive Barber Shop unless they have an exceptional relationship with their current stylist. Other barber shops could be a threat, but coming in and offering a better experience would lure customers away. If the other shop is lower priced with a poorer overall customer experience, the target markets would be different and competition minimal. Providing additional methods for customers to interact with the shop is important. The receptionist will always be available to answer the phone to answer questions and book appointments. The website will provide all important information as listed later in the Website Objectives & Strategies Discussion section. The final point of contact is through social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Customers will be encouraged to contact the shop using any of these methods with questions, complaints, or compliments.
  • Why? The barber shop’s location is important because many customers value convenience (C.I. #2, 3, 7). Ideally the shop would be far enough away from competitors to limit direct competition for the same market. It is important for customers to have the ability to connect to the shop through the phone or internet because people want instant information without having to be physically present at the shop. Promotion Objectives & Strategy Examples Discussion Promotion Objectives: As a new barber shop, the primary promotional objective is to increase awareness and provide information. Prospective customers in the target market must be reached with the necessary information about where Executive Barber Shop is located, what it has to offer, and how to contact the shop. The secondary objective is to differentiate from competition since all men already get their hair cut somewhere else. Executive Barber Shop must communicate that it offers a unique experience that can not be found anywhere else. This can be done partially by making the benefits of the the shop known, including extremely friendly barbers, high quality cuts, and the availability of additional services all in a luxurious atmosphere. The signage out front will provide basic information about the shop Promotional Strategies: Along with the rest of the barber shop industry, Executive Barber Shop will seek to grow its client base mainly on word of mouth. This can be accomplished most effectively in person as satisfied customers tell their friends, family, and coworkers, but many customers also turn to Yelp and other online review services to comment on their experiences at barber shops. Barbers will encourage their clients without pressure to leave positive reviews when they are satisfied with their experience by providing iPads in the shop, making it easy for happy customers to leave a quick review. Executive Barber Shop must consistently provide an outstanding customer experience for clients to want to share with their friends or post positive reviews online. The most effective strategy is to ensure that customers always experience a top of the line product. Barbers will have personalized business cards with their own names to give out to clients, but the cards will all look the same and contain the shop’s phone number and website, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Yelp information. The shop will feature a sign with the name and phone number. The hours will also be listed. There will be a classic barber pole near the door that indicates old-school barbering methods are used in the shop and it has a retro atmosphere. To increase awareness when Executive Barber Shop first opens and allow prospective customers to taste the first-rate experience, there will be a two week period of free haircuts. This will be communicated with a large, colorful yet tasteful sign in front of the shop that states the offer and emphasizes that the cuts normally cost $35. Barbers will visit lobbies of office buildings and offer complimentary shoe shines, explaining that it is one of many excellent services offered at the barber shop and that they can try the shop for free for two weeks. They will be able to showcase their work cutting hair with pictures and begin to build relationships with prospective clients. Emails will be sent to local businesses’ HR departments, letting them know that they can offer their employees free hair cuts. The HR department will be able to forward a professionally designed digital flyer to the employees containing information about the
  • shop including hours, price, services offered, pictures, and that the shop differentiates by providing an exceptional customer experience in friendly service and outstanding quality. The flyer will also be featured on the home page of the web site during the two week free haircut period. Customers will want to return because they will have experienced a unique and outstanding haircut. They will also be encouraged to return by the receptionist entering them into the shop’s rewards system with their free haircut counting as their first. The goal is to create positive relationships with new customers, encouraging repeat business and stimulating word of mouth advertising. Executive Barber Shop will consistently provide the excellent experience outlined in the product section from day one so all customers are satisfied from the beginning and will want to share their experience with others. Why? The barber shop industry is driven almost exclusively by word of mouth advertising, either in person or online (P.I. #1, 2, 3, 4, 7; C.I. #2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 13, 16). Consistently providing customers with exceptional experiences is the only way to sustain a positive image through word of mouth. Letting new customers try the shop for free when it first opens is important because men have no reason to switch where they get their hair cut without an incentive. Allowing them to experience the shop’s unique product offering for free gives them something to talk about, increasing awareness for the shop. Website Objectives & Strategies Discussion Website Objectives: The primary goal of the website is to make it easy for men who are interested in the shop to find its location, phone number, services offered, and hours of operation. This applies to both new and existing customers. It will also be incredibly easy to make an appointment. The secondary goals are to give customers who have never seen the shop a taste of its atmosphere and to encourage social media interaction from existing customers. Website Strategies: The website will be professionally designed to match the retro yet pristine atmosphere of the shop and optimized to bring it to the top of search engine pages. The color scheme will be the same as that of the shop. All important information such as address, phone number, services list, and hours will be clearly laid out on the home page in large font. There will be a version of the website optimized for viewing on smartphones that contains the above information on the main page as well. The shop’s mission statement will be provided on the home page as well as pictures of the shop to scroll through. There will be a page with brief biographies of each barber containing their picture as well as pictures of their work cutting hair. Links to the shop’s Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and Google+ pages will be provided at the top of each page on the website. The shop’s appointments schedule will be integrated into the website so customers can visit a page and see when there are openings. They can click an open section of the calendar and book their appointment straight from the website. They can choose between receiving a confirmation text, email, or tweet that will contain a personalized message from their barber. The
  • success of the website can be measured by the number of appointments booked online, social media interaction, and how many people visit the site. Why? Having a superb website is a way to differentiate from other barber shops. It is a continual point of customer contact that they can access at any time or place. It is important to ensure that the site matches the feel of the shop and provides visitors with quick access to the information they desire. The ability to book appointments online and use of social media appeals to the trend of people’s increased internet usage. It is important to anticipate customer’s desire to use technology to stay relevant. A strong social media presence is necessary because of the innately social barber shop atmosphere and is a great way to receive feedback from customers and maintaining a strong brand image.
  • E) List of Works Consulted Web Sites Web-site #1 - salon-business.com “Barber Shop Industry Forecast and Market Trends” 3/11/13 Men now expect a premium atmosphere and additional services beyond a simple haircut such as color or shoe shine, and they are willing to take more time out of their day and pay a premium price for such amenities. Formerly, these services were unique to salons, but they are becoming common in newer, higher end barber shops. Useful for Marketing Environment. Web-site #2 - business.highbeam.com “Barber Shops” 3/11/13 Traditional single proprietor barber shops are on the decline as many men are choosing salons or corporate chain shops. Socially, it is more acceptable for men to visit salons and spend additional time and money to receive premium hair treatments that were formerly reserved for women. Useful for Marketing Environment. Web-site #3 - elite-barbers.com - Competitor Website 3/25/13 Trendy but with an old school feel. Offer cuts $16, fades $20, shaves $20, beard trims $7, and line-ups $7. Hours 7am-10pm. Link to twitter. About section of website is all filler text. Aim to be the ultimate barber shop experience. Useful for Competitive Analysis. Web-site #4 - latherone.com - Competitor Website 3/25/13 Old school barber with upscale quality. Barbers take pride in their work. Offer cuts $20, shaves, beard trims, line-ups, and shampoos. Focused on best quality and friendly atmosphere. Useful for Competitive Analysis. Web-site #5 - artofmanliness.com - “Rediscovering the Barbershop” 4/1/13 History of the barber shop industry. Barber shops in general are important for men because barbers specialize in men’s hair and the atmosphere is more catered to men. Useful for Marketing Environment. Web-site #6 - yelp.com - Elite Barbers 4/10/13 Customers are pleased with the quality of the cut and the modern decor. Many praise the low wait times and spacious shop. The large adjacent parking lot is also mentioned by many reviewers. Most customers are near to the shop but some drive 30 minutes or more because they like the shop so much. Useful for Competitive Analysis and Marketing Environment. Web-site #7 - bls.gov - Barbers, Hairdressers, and Cosmetologists 4/14/13 Industry is projected to grow at 14%, average for all occupations. Barbers specifically are projected at 7% growth, less than average and stemming from an increasing population in general. Useful for Marketing Environment.
  • Web-site #8 - blogtalkradio.com - Technology at the barber shop 11/3/09 Credit card machines are recommended for client’s convenience. Reliable phone system is important. Wi-fi should be available to customers for long waits. Barbers can take pictures of their cuts to display to clients. Play an iPod with a variety of music or play music through Pandora.com or Pandora app to keep a good atmosphere, and easily keep music playing through a quality sound system. Flat screen TV’s with sports and movies with surround sound can add ambiance to a shop. Useful for Marketing Environment. Web-site #9 - smallbusiness.chron.com - What Licenses Do I Need to Open a Barber Shop? Each state has different laws regarding barber licenses, but they all have some. Barbers must be licensed through state approved programs and pass a test. The owner must obtain a license for the shop, generally after passing an inspection. Some states require barber shops to obtain a business license as well, but regardless, as with any business, a legal business structure should be created and documented upon opening. Useful for Marketing Environment. Web-site #10 - census.gov - Industry Statistics Sampler “NAICS 812111 Barber Shops” 4/21/13 In 2007 census, industry had grown from both 2002, a down year, and 1997. The number of shops, employees, payroll, and sales had all increased from previous years. Useful for Marketing Environment. Web-site #11 - education-portal.com - “Barber Vs. Cosmetologist: What’s the Difference?” 4/22/13 Barbers specialize in cutting men’s hair and trimming/shaving their facial hair. Cosmetologists learn to cut both men and women’s hair as well as a variety of other salon and spa services such as coloring and manicures. Useful for Marketing Environment. Web-site #12 - Yelp.com - Lather One 5/4/13 Customers like the high quality cuts and personable barbers. Many praise the great conversations that are enjoyed in the shop. Customers also enjoy the complimentary drinks and the art from local artists on display. Articles Article #1 - “Hair Salons and Barber Shops: A Growing Industry” Athena Jones, CNN; 10/15/11. The number of barber shops are on the rise despite tough economic times. Enrollment in barber schools is also up. An interviewee attributed the trend to people wanting to look and feel good despite tough times. Useful for Marketing Environment. Article #2 - “America’s Best Men’s Barber Shops” Jim Shi, Travel and Leisure; Feb. 2011. Appreciation for good, old-fashioned grooming is on the rise in the US. The best barber shops in the country feature complimentary drinks and entertainment, classic decor, and art. The shops also offer premium hair products and treatments. Useful for Marketing Environment.
  • Article #3 - “In Brand they Trust” Christopher Hann, entrepreneur.com; 3/20/12. Focused on customer trust and making the haircut experience fun. Serve both men and women far below salon prices. Offer free beer after noon. Installed jukeboxes. Social media involvement. Useful for Marketing Environment. Article #4 - “The Gent’s Place Puts a Modern Twist on Barbering” Alex Knapp, Forbes.com 4/20/12. Owner connects personally to clients with social media. Offers free cut in exchange for information. Useful for Marketing Environment. Article #5 - “The Cutting Edge” Kingsley Kanu Jr., Aisha Sylvester; Black Enterprise, May 2008. Barber shops should strive to be places of quality discussion to succeed. Useful for Marketing Environment. Article #6 - "The King of the Barber Shop Resurgence" - Tim Donnelly; INC, April 2011. Trend of merging classic barber shops with hip boutique salons. Industry experiencing growth. Value on craft and social aspect. Useful for Marketing Environment. Article #7 - "After 30 years, Barry Burns is moving his throwback barber shop from Glen Avenue" - Helen Zhao; Journal Star, 3/28/13. Classic barber shop merging. Combo of men getting older and increased overhead. Loyal customer base, everyone in there always knows each other, but business has slowed because of economy and society getting less social - more appointments than walk ins and waiting. Useful for Marketing Environment Article #8 - “Escobar Barber Shop in Little Havana gains fame with LeBron James’ commercial” - Jorge Ebro; The Miami Herald, 2/16/13. Escobar Barber Shop is seen as a place to hear stories and see celebrities occasionally, much more that simply a place to get a hair cut. It was chosen by superstar Lebron James for a location in his Samsung Galaxy television commercial. Useful for Marketing Environment. Article #9 - “At the Sharp End” - Evening Gazette - 4/30/13. Some men do not feel comfortable going to salons and getting their hair cut alongside women. The shop serves both men and women, but divides the shop into two sections. Focus is serving the local area the best that it can. Article #10 - “Management Lessons of a Barber Shop” - Rahul Asthana; Forbes Magazine - 7/31/2012. Barber shop closed because of recession. New ownership charged $5 more and was able to bring in a large number of clients. A combination of the owner’s personality and the fact that he remodeled the shop to resemble a “man cave” with televisions and men’s magazines to entertain customers and create an atmosphere geared towards men caused the shop to become immensely
  • popular. The new owner was successful because he provided value at every point of the customer experience. Professional Interviews Professional Interview #1 - Ethan, Barber at Lather One, 3/16/13. He has been a barber for four years, worked at Lather One for just over 1 year. Has build a large clientele based on referrals. He aims to build trust and relationships with his clients. They receive a lot of repeat business and have a very diverse clientele (age, race, economic status). Useful for Competitive Analysis. Professional Interview #2 - Anna, Owner and barber at Lather One, 3/16/13. Has been cutting hair for twelve years. Native of Fullerton. Relies on clients’ referrals rather than advertisement. Lather One differentiates from competition by emphasizing quality and good atmosphere. Useful for Competitive Analysis. Professional Interview #3 - Sherry, Owner of Style Cuts, 4/1/13. Has been in business for fourteen years. Her salon serves both males and females about evenly and offers full salon services. She advertises to specific neighborhoods and offers a low price. Her aim for the shop is a simple and homey feel which allows her to offer discounts and keep prices low. She gets business from many families and enjoys many repeat customers. She has noticed people getting their hair cut less as they try to save money in tough economic times. Useful for Competitive Analysis and Marketing Environment. Professional Interview #4 - Chuck, Barber at La Mirada Barber Shop, 4/1/13. Has been cutting hair for two years. His shop peaks on Fridays and Saturdays. They have received business from good reviews on yelp. They focus on a laid-back atmosphere in the shop. Useful for Competitive Analysis. Professional Interview #5 - Brandon, Barber at Elite Barbers, 4/1/13. Has cut hair for five years. Elite Barbers tries to attract the young and hip crowd like Lather One as opposed to the more classic barber shops in the area. Useful for Competitive Analysis. Professional Interview #6 - Andrew Cleary. Having researched this industry for three months and visiting the competitors’ shops, I consider myself an expert in this industry. Professional Interview #7 - Irvin, Owner and barber at Elite Barbers, 5/2/13. Barber for three years, shop open for thirteen months. Targets 18-30, most customers are 20-40. Undercuts competitors price to grow clientele. Differentiates by shop atmosphere and price. Promotes on Yelp with discounts. Wants to instal cameras for peace of mind and potential legal issues. Main competitor is Straight Up Barbers. Offers drinks to customers. Trend is men looking for a different/unique shop environment. The barbers increase profits by unselling services such as
  • straight razor shaves and carrying a wide variety of hair products for sale. Useful for Competitive Analysis and Marketing Environment. Professional Interview #8 - Adrian, Owner and barber at La Mirada Barber Shop, 5/11/13. Barber for eight years, shop open for five years. Goal is to provide a good value in a low price and excellent quality haircuts in a laid back environment. Keeps customers entertained with a TV and video games. He has build his client list mainly on word of mouth and Yelp reviews without doing any advertising. Useful for Competitive Analysis and Marketing Environment. Professional Interview #9 - Drew, Barber at Lather One, 5/11/13. Has been cutting hair for five years and worked at Lather One for three. Likes to take his time cutting hair and enjoying conversation with his clients. He receives new clients mainly from referrals. Likes working at Lather One because of the laid back atmosphere and fun people. Useful for Competitive Analysis and Marketing Environment. Customer Interviews Customer Interview #1 - Dave, Male early 20‘s, customer of Lather One, text messaging interview 3/18/13. Biola Student, Friend. Repeat customer because of positive first experience. Likes the atmosphere, personable service, affordable price, ease and availability of appointments, and reliable employees. Would recommend improving the student discount and that they make a website. Useful for Competitive Analysis. Customer Interview #2 - Joe, Late 20’s, customer of La Mirada Barber Shop, 4/1/13. First time at the shop. Decided to go there because of favorable Yelp reviews and convenient location. Useful for Marketing Environment. Customer Interview #3 - Ed, Early 30’s, customer of Elite Barbers, 4/1/13. Second time at the shop. He enjoys the low price and good quality. First visited the shop because it is near to his home and he saw a deal on Yelp. Useful for Competitive Analysis and Marketing Environment. Customer Interview #4 - Jacob, Male early 20’s, customer of Lather One, email interview 4/10/13. Friend. First visited Lather One after being recommended by a friend. He is a consistent customer, visiting once or twice a month whenever he needs a haircut. Most important attributes of a barber shop are quality of the haircuts first with the personality of the barbers second. He likes the ease of conversation while in the shop the best and the barbers’ friendliness. He also likes the shop’s retro atmosphere. Only complaint is the high prices and limited college discounts. Useful for Competitive Analysis and Marketing Environment. Customer Interview #5 - Lorenzo, Male mid 20’s, customer of Uptown Barbers, email interview 4/15/13. Friend, Biola Student. Chooses barber shops over salons because of quality and authenticity, because barbers seem to enjoy what they do. Does not mind waiting for a quality haircut. He enjoys the good prices at uptown barbers, the best price for great quality. Did
  • not think the quality of Lather One was up to par to its price and the shop did not seem as inviting. Has never had a bad experience at Uptown Barbers after being referred there by a friend, and he likes the barbers’ friendliness. Useful for Competitive Analysis and Marketing Environment. Customer Interview #6 - Tony, Male late 20’s, customer of Elite Barbers 4/22/13. Just received his second haircut at Elite Barbers. Chose the shop in the first place at the personal recommendation of a friend. He likes the personalities of the barbers and the culture of the shop, specifically how the barbers view their job as a craft and provide good quality cuts. Likes the clean, contemporary decor blended with the classic atmosphere. He likes their use of technology in the TV’s, sound system, and web site as well as the ability to make appointments on his phone. He appreciates the classic atmosphere without feeling like he is going back in time with regards to the modern decor. Useful for Competitive Analysis and Marketing Environment. Customer Interview #7 - Mike, Male mid 20’s, customer of Lather One 5/2/13. First time customer who decided to try it out after calling on availability. He was pleased at the ease of making an appointment. Liked the personality and conversation with his barber as well as the high quality haircut. Praised the shop atmosphere and music. Left his old shop, Classic Barbers, which is right across the street, because of the long wait times and did not feel like a valued customer there. His only complaint was that the shop could have been kept up a little nicer. He felt the high price was a good value due to the great experience. Useful for Competitive Analysis and Marketing Environment. Customer Interview #8 - Ken, Male upper 30’s, customer of Lather One 5/2/13. Enjoyed the availability his appointment over the phone, high quality, good music, and fun conversation with his barber. He wished there was more available parking close to the shop. Had no problem paying a higher price for his good experience. Useful for Competitive Analysis and Marketing Environment. Customer Interview #9 - Robert, Male mid 20’s, customer of Sport Clips 5/9/13. Friend, Biola Student. Likes Sport Clips because of the reasonable price and cool atmosphere. Visited Lather One at a friend’s recommendation once and liked the classic atmosphere and conversation, but decided it was too expensive to justify returning since the quality was not any different than Sport Clips. Useful for Competitive Analysis and Marketing Environment. Customer Interview #10 - Kyle, Male upper 20’s, customer of Lather One 5/9/13. Friend, Biola Student. Has been to the shop a handful of times after being referred by a friend. Likes the retro atmosphere of the shop with the old school boom box and local art. Also appreciates the high quality haircuts and has no problem paying a high price for them. Complained that the shop is dirty and the floor is concrete. Useful for Competitive Analysis and Marketing Environment. Customer Interview #11 - Mitch, Male lower 30’s, customer of Straight Up Barber Shop 5/9/13. Second time visiting the shop, but says he will not return. He said the cut itself is a good value,
  • but the wait is too long and it appeared that the barbers’ friends were getting special treatment. He said he saw another frustrated customer leave before getting his hair cut. Useful for Competitive Analysis and Marketing Environment. Customer Interview #12 - Andrew, Male mid 30’s, customer of Straight Up Barber Shop 5/9/13. First time visiting the shop. Likes the inexpensive price, the quality of the haircut, and the use of a straight edge razor. Only complaint is the wait time, but plans on returning during a non-peak time because he liked his experience. Useful for Competitive Analysis and Marketing Environment. Customer Interview #13 - Adam, Male upper 20’s, customer of Uptown Barbers 5/11/13. Has been getting his hair cut at Uptown Barbers for almost a year after switching from basic chain salons with average quality. He first visited the shop at the recommendation of a friend and has provided recommendations of his own to his friends since then. Likes the quality of the haircuts and the classic atmosphere of the shop. Useful for Competitive Analysis and Marketing Environment. Customer Interview #14 - Davis, Male lower 20’s, customer of Sport Clips 5/12/13. Friend, Biola student. Has been going to Sport Clips for a little over a year. Likes women cutting his hair with good conversation. Good quality haircuts. He opts for the more expensive MVP package which includes a hot towel treatment, scalp, and shoulder massage. Useful for Competitive Analysis and Marketing Environment. Customer Interview #15 - Roy, Male mid 30’s, customer of Elite Barbers 5/12/13. He has been getting his hair cut at Elite Barbers for over three months. He likes to be able to call ahead to gauge the wait time. He likes their attention to detail and is happy to pay a higher price than he is used to because of their good service. Useful for Competitive Analysis and Marketing Environment. Customer Interview #16 - Scott, Male upper 20’s, customer of Elite Barbers 5/12/13. It was his first time at the shop and decided to try it out because of the Yelp deal and good reviews online. He likes the modern atmosphere with the TV’s and the fun, careful barbers. Plans on returning because of the good value. John Gilligan’s project, “Gilligan’s Island Surf Shop” was consulted for formatting purposes.