Marketing Disruption at The Hair Salon

What happens when you take away something at the core of a business? Can you imagine a fast food restaurant without food? A carpet store that doesn't sell carpet? How about a beauty parlor that doesn't cut hair?

Drybar is a hair salon whose tag line is no cuts, no colors just blow outs.

In the wonderful marketing book called DIFFERENT by Youngme  Moon the Harvard marketing professor describes brands that are different in important ways. I wrote a review about it last year and have mentioned it often in my blog posts. Last week I heard of a wonderful example when a business takes something away from a category to make it new, inventive and worth sharing. 

Imagine a hair salon that doesn’t cut hair. It is the perfect example of REVERSE BRANDS where something is removed that is typically found within the category. IKEA is one example given in DIFFERENT where unlike other furniture stores; they don’t assemble the sofas or tables. You do the work. Ikea takes away something common to the category of furniture stores. 

Alli Webb created Drybar. It was imagined as a place that woman would go only to get their hair blown out. They don't do coloring or cuts. All they do is blow dry your hair to give a woman that look of coming out of a salon- without the expense.

She started out of her house, then her car and eventually opened up stores in several cities. She wanted to create an alternative space to a beauty parlor. Today they have 26 stores in 7 cities and a product line for the perfect blowout. 

I love that this is a highly focused business model that is simple to understand with a powerful emotional hook. She isn't trying to be all things to everyone- she is snipping at a small segment and filling a gap. 

What she has done is to tap into a segment of affordable luxury. She filled the gap of getting people to feel great about themselves without the high cost of a going to a fancy salon.  In interviews she describes it as an emotionally transformational experience for woman who want to feel good about themselves. This is escape with a lot of pampering but it’s at an affordable price of $35 per visit. I don't know what a it costs to go to a beauty parlor for the works but I'll be it is over $100 and possibly a lot more with all the bells and whistles. 

She has created her blue ocean not competing with other salons but just focusing on one simple service and ignoring all the rest.  Instead of adding features like spas, massages, manicures and other services she took away things toward simplicity and the essence of an experience. If you are looking at a new product launch or starting a new business, what can you learn from this success?

Drybar is an idea that blows me away. 

Note:  When I am not clipping ideas to share with my readers, I am writing about unraveling marketing into easy to understand strands. If you enjoy these posts, won't you share them on Facebook with your friends or Tweet them out on Twitter? Thanks. 

Labels: , , , , , ,