The fact that they have not yet created the standard marketing tools, such as brochures and ads, does not mean that they have not been developing and executing a marketing program. The Fanone brothers have been thinking about their business from a marketing perspective and have recognized that marketing is necessary to the success of their business. Their marketing is under way.
A few years ago, they moved the location of their salon and took full advantage of the opportunity to create a new and exciting environment for their customers. The new salon was so interesting they were featured in an industry magazine. They also participate regularly in hairdressing shows, as featured presenters, to increase recognition of their company name. They have reached a level in their profession that many competitors would do anything for. They have accepted offers from manufacturers to represent certain lines of products. And have their own line of products, sold worldwide.
The Fanone brothers were very specific about the type of employees they hired, seeking people with a good attitude toward the business and customers. The brothers want to make sure that they are building the best possible team in order to take full advantage of future, more traditional and new media marketing efforts.
A continuing discussion revolves around the demographical and psychological profile of the customers they want to attract. The atmosphere they have created in their salon is of utmost importance.
The Fanone brothers regularly review the history of the salon and its past sales. Where did they make money and where did they give it back? What aspects of the business provide the most satisfaction? Are there cycles to the business with up and down times? Can they create promotional opportunities to smooth out the business over the year?
Are they taking advantage of the latest technologies? (Setting appointments on-line through the Internet is an interesting possibility.) Where do they want to take their salon in the future? What lessons can they learn from other salons (anywhere in the world) that are a few steps ahead of them? Can they identify and model themselves after a successful salon (or chain of salons) that is in a position in the marketplace that they want to be in?
The brothers continually review competitors’ literature to assess their position in the marketplace, promotional offers, target group identification, and product endorsements. These small business entrepreneurs want to know all they can about their immediate competition in their neighbourhood and around the world.
They participate in various hairdressing shows, making sure that they are featured onstage demonstrating the latest in hairdressing techniques in order to consistently reinforce their position as a leading edge hairdressing salon. Despite all of these activities, when they are asked whether they are conducting a marketing program, they answer that they are still preparing one.
These two hardworking, thinking entrepreneurs have recognized the importance of marketing and are determined to take full advantage of it. In fact, they are already marketing their business. Every day and through interactions with customers, suppliers, and staff, they are marketing their business because they are aware that every day and every interaction is another opportunity to fine tune their marketing efforts. When they decide to start a more traditional marketing program, they will be well prepared for it. Although these days who is to say what is traditional and what is new?