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NEW Guest Artist: John Allan on the Men's Market

841s6006When I started John Allan’s in 1988 my goal was to bridge the gap between professional salons and men by offering a fresh approach to men’s grooming and departing from the traditional barbershop. I wanted to create an environment that would be more comfortable for men—one that combined the services of professional stylists with the ambiance of a luxury men’s club and not your typical high-end salon for women. Today, with five clubs and thousands of clients and members in New York City and Chicago, plus distribution of a global hair, skin and shave line, I am excited to be able to share some of my experiences with you.

I’ve found that men are often ignored, almost an afterthought. Half the population is male and yet salons are not drawing them in—just simply accepting whoever comes through the door. I hope to change that and help change your business.

To understand your demographic is to effectively market to it. For example, one salon in Wisconsin learned that dedication to men requires more than carrying men’s products; it’s a great start but education and follow-through build loyalty. In my clinic we not only teach men’s core cutting techniques, we support it with discussions on design and marketing to men. The Wisconsin salon got that and created a separate men’s section in their unisex area, increasing their revenue by $60,000 that year.

Once a man becomes your client, it is important to gain his trust and loyalty. When you use a product on a guy during his haircut, that’s the sell because he is being educated. A hard sell at the front desk won’t build loyalty, especially if he spends $15 to $20 on something he won’t use, leaving him feeling cheated. Marketing products to men is an evolution that grows in layers. Today it was hair and styling products, next time it will be an exfoliating cleanser or pre-shave because we earned their trust.

When you show commitment to men, they will respond. Establishing a designated area for men to get services was the perfect example. In the coming months, I will discuss how you can better set up your salon to cater to specific goals. I’m also interested to know what you think and what questions you may have. I will be bringing you experiences from my club, giving you insight from the floor, from the stores, and from my members, who will talk about their experiences at John Allan’s and what works for them in style and in life. Together we can march forward and add stability and ideas to the industry through technical support, systems support and marketing support. I am looking forward to this opportunity to speak to you through American Salon and hope we will make a difference. Email me at ja@johnallans.com.

John Allan has been a pioneer in the men’s grooming industry for more than 20 years, creating renowned luxury destinations for men that combine the atmosphere of a private club with a full grooming outpost. Along with his men’s clubs—there are several in New York and a new club in Chicago—John Allan also has an award-winning product line that offers everything from shave products to hair and skin care. John Allan is now distributing his products at salons throughout the country and certifying stylists in his cutting methods and business-building techniques.

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