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Branding Relaxation

Posted: June 5, 2007, from the June 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Destination and resort spas encapsulate, in part, the spa experience through brands that help create a unique and individualized spa experience. The entire ambiance of the experience encourages consumers to take time to enjoy it. Day spas are about repeating the experience on a regular basis while maintaining wellness. Because of the correlation between sales results, brand exclusivity and the space devoted to products, Aveda works with each of its locations to embody its experience and create signature spa treatments for individual locations.

“All of Aveda’s products and services begin with the professional in mind. We work with an expert and develop the professional treatment. We then identify what are the key products that would enhance the guest experience—which would be the retail component. We then have a complete spa offering: professional authentic spa treatment, professional spa product and retail spa products,” said Howland.

Payot, the Puig-owned Paris beauty house, recently opened a Paris spa that matches products with an experience that encompasses a range of spa treatments developed more than 80 years ago at Payot’s original institute, along with its biotherapy products.

Men, as a target consumer, are not neglected in the growing spa segment. Moxie, with its 30 doors, developed a men’s skin care line designed to achieve treatment grade results. The products, created in its skin care spa, include 15 retail SKUs and 12 professional products. Each product is formulated with natural skin care supplements to complement the natural trend and appeal to men who want to be pampered. Other spas, such as Taiwan’s Marry Me, include fitness machines as well as facial and body tools to define its spa experience. Marry Me also offers makeup, nail treatment and fashion shows. The result is a brand spa that offers products and pampering services with a definite nod to the natural and wellness trends that appeal to a specific consumer base. Spas looking to add supplementary offerings must create consistency between the image and quality of the spa and its traditional services. Brand spas also reflect the conflicting desires of consumers in the beauty segment—ease of repeat purchases with the ability to discover something new.

Day spas, a growing segment of the industry, run into different challenges. “In order to be a successful spa owner, you must have excellent business skills and human relations skills, as well as a passion for helping others,” said Ross. “A lot of people assume that if they package the product and put it on the shelves, it’ll get purchased. That just won’t happen—the retail products need to be part of the treatments in order to be successful.”