MP: Approximately what percentage of your clientele is male? Do you have a strategy for attracting more male clients?
CS: Men comprise about 35% of our clients. The industry norm for higher-end salons is 5-10%, so we do very well with men. We make a conscious and consistent effort to attract men to Cetana. Our initiatives include internal and outward-facing signage targeting men, and giving prominent positions on our shelves to men’s products. Men are not an afterthought for us – they are a core part of Cetana’s clientele.
[Salon side-bar. It was really interesting to hear Jay and Nick talk about male clients’ habits and tendencies. We learned that men are much more cost-sensitive than women are, and tend to begin with junior-level stylists who charge much less than the senior stylists do. No surprise here, right? Let’s be honest – many manly men are used to paying $20, give or take, for a haircut, which is half of what even a junior stylist at a high-end salon charges.
We also learned that when a given male client’s junior stylist graduates to a more senior (and thus pricier) level, one of two things tends to happen. In some cases, a man who has seen the value of a better-looking and longer-lasting haircut remains loyal to his stylist and stays with him or her despite the price bump. Other times, a male client asks to transition to a more junior stylist for budgetary reasons.]
MP: Why are your male clients coming to you – what is their motivation for choosing a premium salon like Cetana instead of a low-cost option?
CS: One of the most common reasons is that some clients have specific needs a barber shop or lower-end salon simply cannot meet. For example, Asian men have thicker hair and it can be challenging to cut it well. Or a client may want a specific type of haircut that is complicated to execute properly, and the skill set of a well-trained, experienced stylist is required.
Another reason is that a man may have gotten feedback from someone that he needs to improve or update his look. Typically, this type of friendly advice comes from a significant other or a friend. One variation on this reason is an even more specific motivation for a given client. It could be incident-driven – such as wanting to look great for an important interview, or the first week on a new job. Or it could be to try and get more dates – we have had clients who come in and say they are just tired of being single and want a haircut to help them attract that “special someone.” And some men just love the experience of getting a haircut and all the tangential services that go along with it.
[Salon side-bar. MP readers may remember the almost religious experience described in our posts from 04/25/14 (click to read) and 04/29/14 (click to read), chronicling a haircut at a high-end salon.]
Finally, a more straightforward reason has to do with location and demographics. Cetana is close to a lot of start-up companies and other offices, making it a natural choice to walk to for a number of working men.
Thanks for reading, MP followers – and watch this space for the final part in this series!