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Posted: June 5, 2007, from the June 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.
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Partnerships, word-of-mouth and community involvement also help to build a spa’s reputation. For a brand, these tactics can grow its reputation while encouraging consumers to take the experience home through its product line. At the same time, a brand spa, with its tightly controlled environment, has the advantage, because the consumer has already made a brand choice by making an appointment.
Brands must be careful when entering the spa industry, as a limited selection, lack of qualified staff or uncontrolled growth can reflect poorly on a brand’s image. In China, the Melee Group International has created a network of spas in partnership with department store operator Sunlight Group. The brand has focused on service quality and creating a stable staff. As a result, its growth has been defined largely by market readiness for its brands, reflecting a single strategy for the segment.
Retail and service combine to drive the spa industry toward future growth. Brands looking to capitalize on this trend must offer consistency in both treatments and retail offerings that mimic the treatment experience in order to grow both brand reputation and market share.