Spas

How to Create your Spa Branding Strategy from Scratch in 7 Easy Steps

How to create your spa branding strategy from scratch in 7 easy steps

In high-touch industries like spas, client’s trust and satisfaction are always considered as key points for measuring your success. 

Even though customers have shifted their opinion about safety standards post lockdown, one thing has always remained constant; the process that goes on behind selecting their spa.

For an unassuming client, the first step in filtering is always based on the reputation of the spa, elegance of the infrastructure, quality, and quantity of services, etc.

Your perceived service quality, trust that your clients place on you, the credibility of your spa, and even at times justifying an opportunity to charge more are directly proportional to your branding campaign.

Whether you just opened your doors to the world or are a veteran in the industry with a loyal client base, this in-depth how-to guide will help you develop your own branding strategy to take your spa to the next level.


What is a brand? Why is it important? The recipe? 

Before we dive into the nuances of branding your spa, let’s first cover our basics. 

Branding is often misinterpreted and misunderstood by being reduced to its visual component. 

However, brands in their most fundamental form are patterns of familiarity, meaning, trust, fondness, and reassurance that exist in the minds of your clientele. 

It’s a way you can distinguish yourself from your competitors and consistently stay a step ahead of the curve. Even though it’s a very difficult concept to tie down to a few words, we can say with confidence that it’s a very dynamic and perceptual process.

Let’s see why having a strong brand is quintessential for a spa:

  • It promotes recognition and familiarity to your target audience. 
  • It helps you set yourself apart from the competition and project a unique vibe.
  • It extrapolates on what sort of business you are and how you want to be known.
  • It generates leads and referrals. 
  • It helps you to form a strong emotional connection with your customers.
  • It represents you and your company in a wider arena and the promise to your customer. 

Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room

Jeff Bezos

Your brand is generally displayed to the rest of the world through your:

  • Logo and typography associated with it.
  • Color palette and theme you use.
  • Social media presence. 
  • Mode and cadence of communication with your customers.
  • Through the nuances and ease of appointment scheduling.
  • The tone and voice through which you project your establishment.

In short, we can call the recipe for successful branding as, 

Your Brand = Your perfect client persona + Your spa’s personality

Now that we have understood what spa branding is and why it is essential for you to grow and expand, let’s see what all you can do as a spa owner to establish your own successful brand that people all around will recognize, learn to love, and appreciate.


Subsections

  1. Know your customer 
  2. Establish your spa brand’s identity
  3. Aim to have a consistent spa branding strategy
  4. Ensuring an all-round smooth experience for your customer
  5. Use the right marketing collaterals 
  6. Create your vibe 
  7. Give your spa brand an online presence  

1. Know your customer

Knowing your customer? Buyer’s persona? Confused? Well, let us clear that out for you.

Buyer’s persona is your perfect client modeled from the data you collected and represented with a set of unique characteristics. 

When you create a buyer persona, it helps the brand to identify and understand the existing as well as prospective customers and boost business revenue. It also helps to contextualize your inbound marketing efforts and strategy in general. 

Having a well-built buyer persona also helps in prioritizing leads and shaping your brand message. 

When it comes to spa branding, the buyer persona always forms the foundation upon which the other branding methodologies are stemmed from. It will also provide guidance into logo designing, color palette, and the various mediums through which the brand would proliferate.

It helps in avoiding red flags when it comes to the demographic you intend to target. To create your ideal customer, you can try answering the following questions and then collate them to form a fictional representation of your client:

  • What compels your ideal client to come in?
  • How do they first hear about you? (Word of mouth, flyer, social media, advertisement, etc.)
  • Are they working (Part-time, full-time, flexible work schedule, 3rd shift workers) or retired?
  • Where do they usually spend their days? 
  • Do they view their massage the same as a dentist or doctor appointment? (Are they getting regular therapeutic treatments for a condition?)
  • What do they need most out of a spa day? 
  • What is the household income?
  • Who are their friends and colleagues?
  • Where are they most likely to engage with your brand?

2. Finalize your spa brand’s identity elements

a. Design a logo

When it comes to spa logo design, you have the freedom to use a lot of creativity, as long it matches your brand promise.

Make sure the logo appears at places where your customers can engage with them the most, for example, your website, booking page, etc. 

Your booking page is a wonderful platform to show off your logo and ensure that you have an option to customize the look and feel of your page in your spa scheduling software

A logo does not sell (directly), it identifies

Paul Rand

Here are some trends you can follow and take advantage of when it comes to logo designing:

  • An abstract ornamental symbol, or lettering. Gold is the most popular, with normally what looks like a metallic gradient running through to make it look like a shiny jewel.
  • Circular shapes are ubiquitous in beauty or cosmetic logo design! It is probably to represent a zen-like completeness a wellness center might give you in body care.
  • Royal imagery is a uniquely repeating theme. Whether it’s a crown, or king and queen, or any other type of regalia, many upstarts in the spa world go for this.
  • What trend would be complete without flowers and birds? These iconic symbols are spread all over the beauty industry.
  • When showing plants, spas are very insistent upon showing the stems and branches, whereas with a regular plant logo you often only see the colorful greenery such as the leaves or grass. It has an oddly calming effect as you trace the lines of stems to their origin.

It’s always ideal to hire someone who knows what they are doing and then guide them towards your vision when you are finalizing your logos.


b. Define your brand tone and voice

“Better watch your tone with me!” 

It’s highly likely that you have heard, said, or been told a dialogue similar to this. Hasn’t it made you wonder that even if the situation warranted such a tone if the delivery had been a bit better, it’d have actually made a difference?

To create and provide a service is one thing but how you holistically deliver it in a neat package is what differentiates you from the crowd.

The way you do this is by making your brand’s tone and voice distinctive and memorable. 


Brand voice 

This represents your brand’s unique perspective, and the values you stand for. In other words, this is your brand’s overall personality. 

Now to evaluate and decide your spa’s brand voice, assume that your spa is a person and the personality traits it would have.

How would it talk if it was personified, phrases it would use, and the way it would carry itself. 

If you combine all the above, you would arrive at your brand’s voice. Always remember that this personality must be consistently applied across your brand. 

It would stand out in your emails, newsletters, website, social media, etc., and would end up being a distinguishing factor from your competitors.


Brand tone 

Your brand tone should be something that captures your brand and your customers’ value and serves as a single package. It must resonate with the manner in which your target audience primarily communicates and be relevant and appropriate with your key demographic.

In short, it can be considered as the persona your brand takes on and how it proceeds to communicate with its customers. 

You should consider creating a brand tone because it builds connections, trust, and a memorable image of your brand with your customers. 

There are multiple types of tones that you can try to emulate, some of them being,

  • Funny or serious.
  • Formal or casual.
  • Respectful or irreverent.
  • Enthusiastic or matter-of-fact.

As different purposes require different measures, your tone of voice may vary from time to time, depending on your audience (if you have more than one persona), media (the medium you used to project your brand), and the goal you are trying to pursue.


c. Develop your mission, vision, tagline, and slogan

Disney: To make people happy

IKEA: To create a better everyday life for the many people

Microsoft: Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more

Are these visions or missions? Taglines or slogans? A bit confusing right!

So let’s see what’s the difference between mission, vision, tagline, and slogan and why is it important for spa branding? (ps. those are their vision statements by the way)


Mission statement

It’s a short, written statement, typically anywhere from a sentence to a paragraph in length, a mission statement succinctly describes the core purpose of your company and its future aspirations.  

These inward-facing statements are rarely intended for the public but instead clarify an organization’s purpose and ultimate goal to staff, and even investors.


Vision statement

While a mission statement tells your audience and/or team where your company is focused today, a vision statement describes where you’re headed tomorrow. 

It’s where your company aspires to be after achieving its mission.

Without a vision and a mission, your company can be termed as a ‘Bull’ set free in the busy streets of the corporate world

Henrietta Newton Martin

Taglines

A tagline is a formal line of copy often about the business itself and is frequently placed below the logo. 

They seldom position the brand but evoke emotion or compel an action instead, often exceeding mere description

  • “Just Do It” – Nike
  • “Think Different” – Apple
  • “I’m Lovin’ It” – McDonald’s
  • “Because You’re Worth It” – L’Oreal

Slogan

A slogan is about your product or service and is less formal, telling your audience what you do, why you do it, and why they should pick your spa. 

For example:

  • “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.” – MasterCard
  • “Can You Hear Me Now? Good.” – Verizon
  • “Semper Fi” – The U.S. Marine Corps

d. Create your positioning statement 

A brand positioning statement serves as a guiding force that every creative asset will be measured against. 

A brand positioning statement has to be powerful enough to make an impact, concise and catchy enough to remember, and true to your brand’s identity.

Positioning is not what you do to a product; it is what you do to the mind of the prospect           

Al Ries

Your positioning statement should go something like this,

We offer {product/ service} for {target market} to {value proposition} unlike {the alternative}, we {key differentiator}. 

Eg: We offer a sustainable and relaxing spa experience for the beauty and health-conscious to stay refreshed and not break your bank. Unlike other spas, we offer only organic and sustainable solutions to satiate your woes.


3. Aim to have a consistent spa branding strategy

Let’s have a look at some examples, shall we?

Netflix: Signature red color with a clean, bold typeface.

Coca-Cola: Bright red and white colors with their widely recognizable typeface.

McDonald: Golden and red arches

How do we recognize these brands before our mind even registers the text?

Through consistent and reinforced branding. 

The more consistent your messaging, the more consistent your branding becomes, whether via words, design, offerings, or perspective. Always approach your content/service/product with the intent of keeping it consistent with your spa brand.

Here are some guidelines to help you get on the right track:

a. Use your design elements and logo consistently

  • There’s nothing worse than seeing different versions of your logo that are either stretched out of proportion, in a different color palette, or pixellated. 
  • Make sure that our staff has access to the right (and of good quality) logo that can be shared or used in presentations/brochures.
  • Design templates and cover photos for your staff that they can then share on various platforms.

b. Integrate your offline marketing events into your online branding efforts

  • If you received an award at a trade show or are participating in a community event, make sure it reaches your online audience as well.
  • When your business is being recognized as the forerunner in various leadership roles in your industry, it projects a professional image to your audience and be part of your branding efforts.
  • Don’t forget to add your brand name and logo to any photos/videos that you share.

c. Keep your brand’s tone and personality consistent across channels

  • When communicating as a brand either offline or on various online channels (website, social media, etc.), it’s essential to keep a consistent tone and personality.
  • If your brand is friendly and approachable on Twitter, it should reflect a similar flavor on Facebook and Instagram.
  • It can maybe be a bit more formal on Linkedin, but it should never sound like it’s coming from another brand altogether. 
  • You can always adjust your mannerisms but at the end of the day, your spa brand’s personality must more or less remain the same.

d. Try to participate more in channels and platforms that go along with your brand’s identity and buyer persona

  • It’s normal to get swayed by various platforms and marketing trends that pop up every now and then.
  • “Everybody is on LinkedIn, so my spa should be too”. Before being swayed by peer pressure, always stop and think if you are following the crowd into a platform that doesn’t cater to your buyer persona or are you being an early adopter to the next big thing. 
  • Like in real estate, location can be considered as an important aspect in your branding efforts to drive up your quality leads. 

e. Consider aligning your brand with the right and relevant influencers

Influencer marketing is very hot right now but makes sure you don’t burn your hands (or even worse, your house) 

Before choosing  your influencer, consider asking these questions to yourself:

  • Does this influencer appeal or is relevant to my target audience? (with respect to age groups, geography, gender, etc.)
  • Do they generally talk about issues that are directly related to pain points that your services can address?
  • Are their personalities complimentary to my brand’s?

4. Ensuring an all-round smooth experience for your customer

A smooth brand experience is essential because positive experiences inspire the audience, facilitate deeper connections, and most importantly deliver results. 

A positive and hassle-free brand experience can often mean the difference between being chosen over your competitor or losing the sale.

However, it’s extremely important to create a consistent brand experience. Brand consistency helps to create lasting customer relationships and increase your brand recognition. 

Your customers no longer compare you just to your direct competition. You are being compared to the best service they have ever received. 

Shep Hyken

Let’s take a look at the buyer’s journey of a spa to ensure the smoothest experience for your client:

Appointment Scheduling

  • Your customer can hear about you from various places; friends/relatives, social media, flyers, advertisements, etc.
  • Appointments are always the hardest step in spa treatments and usually take a lot of back and forth calls to get one sorted.
  • By offering online spa booking, they will then be able to schedule an appointment immediately, regardless of whether you are open or closed.

Confirmations

  • No-shows are always a hassle and results in a waste of revenue and resources.
  • By sending out automated email/SMS confirmations, you can try to minimize this gap.
  • Personalize these messages and your customers will feel like they are valued even before they step into the spa. 

To protect your business from client no-shows and last-minute cancellations, check out our blog


Customer Service

  • Does your client have any allergies? Do they prefer a quiet environment? What if you knew the answers to all these questions before they even stepped in, won’t that be awesome?
  • You can make use of intake forms that customers can fill out during their appointment scheduling online.

Consultation/Service

  • Make sure each customer is treated with the same respect and care. It truly goes a long way.
  • Finding the right balance between their desires and what is realistic with the given time as well as their budget shows your commitment towards your craft and to your customers.
  • Always consider upselling as an activity in trust-building with your clientele.

Check-out and payment

  • The main hurdle is over but what comes after is just as important.
  • The check-out process is your last chance to make a strong and lasting final impression on your client.
  • Provide them with various and secure payment methods.
  • If the customer requires more sessions to complete their treatment, make sure you pe-book them before the customer leaves. 

5. Design your marketing collaterals

a. Invest in a spa brochure

One small solution to a myriad of branding problems can be a professionally designed and strategically distributed brochure. 

Brochure marketing is one of the most cost-effective and successful means of branding.

Here’s how brochures can help you expand your spa brand:

  • Brochures help build trust and reliability with customers because if time and effort are put into a brochure, then the customer will assume the same about your services. 
  • It provides the space to tell the story of your spa business and includes all the major details a customer is looking for, such as location, pricing, packages, and even your business’s hours. 
  • They can be used on their own or in conjunction with other marketing initiatives and can be mailed to clients, handed out at events, or placed in high-traffic areas for individuals to grab on their own. 
  • You can generate curiosity and description by changing the names of the services you provide.
  • As a bonus, you can even include coupons or discounts inside the flyer to generate immediate sales for your spa business. 

What’s even better? Brochures can be passed along from person to person, making it great for referrals!


b. Form your brand story

Consumers are seeking brands that humanize themselves, connect and build relationships, provide valuable content, and communicate in a real and thoughtful way. 

Worried about how you should form yours? Here are some guidelines you can follow:

  • Define your core message
    • Identify your clarity of purpose.
    • Spotlight your unique philosophy.
    • Identify the message you want to deliver.
  • Uncover your voice
    • Position yourself as an industry authority.
    • Create authenticity to humanize your brand.
    • Build an emotional tie with your target market.
  • Create all content
    • Establish signature brand language.
    • Create positioning statements, service menu, and supporting copy.
    • Develop a digital personality.

6. Create your vibe

a. Enhance your interior design and experience

Form, Flow, and function

Spa guests must have an instant feeling of relaxation and harmony when they need to step into your space.

Decor, color, music, and scent each play their part in telling the story of the spa and help set the mood and determine the experience. 

A cohesive style that affects everything from the color of the walls to the color of the towels and style of furniture needs to remain consistent throughout the spa experience, no matter if it is contemporary or traditional.

It is not enough for a luxury spa design to only look good; it also has to work with a logical layout. 

Guests need to flow easily from busy to active to quiet areas of the spa, without too much disruption between the areas. 

 For example, a gym would not be placed right next to the treatment rooms. 

The flow and function of the spa, even the parts the guest does not see, will all influence the first impression the guest will have of their stay. 

It subconsciously creates a sense of brand awareness to both the customer that walks in for the first time and to the one that’s been a regular for a long time.

The following are two trends that are commonly observed in high-end spas. 

  • Natural materials and herbal illustration
  • Less photography, more illustration

b. Utilize the power of music

While you may not want your spa to sound like a loud nightclub, the point is that creating a soundscape in your spa further solidifies your brand identity. 

So, offer due consideration to the background tunes playing in your spa.

Music has the opportunity to reinforce your spa brand everywhere your clients see you. 

Including music to represent your business across the customer life cycle can be a powerful selling & retaining asset. 

The sound environment will be the element that best accompanies your customers towards a state of relaxation and well-being.

Choosing and including the right music from the start is a powerful way to enhance your customer’s experience and make you stand out from your competitors.


c. Create your unique scent 

Have you ever walked into a random spa just because of the lovely, enticing smell that is wafting out of it? Have you ever lingered in a shop that smells great and just felt happy to be in there?

What do you think the results would be if there was a mindful intention behind the scents and fragrances your guests are experiencing while they are at your spa? 

Bonus points if you sell those fragrances! 

Spa owners who use ambient scenting, or diffuse a pleasant aroma in a space, do so in order to influence customer behavior. Their intention is to create a pleasant atmosphere with a scent that eventually nudges customers towards a purchase of their product. 

You can follow the guidelines to utilize this neglected but highly efficient branding technique:


Create your signature scent

  • Make a unique scent that evokes feelings of tranquility and serenity. 
  • Make sure this scent is also consistent with the decor and incorporates some unique elements of the spa.

Incorporate the signature scent

  • To brand your spa with this scent, be sure to incorporate it throughout your spa. 
  • Put this scent into the cold towels and bathroom products such as shampoo, soap, and body lotion to strengthen the scent memory.

Use the scent in retail

  • Incorporate the signature scent into some retail products such as candles, linen sprays, and reed diffusers to generate additional revenues.
  • It would allow guests to create a spa ambiance in their homes.

Give gifts

  • Give guests a small take-home gift that incorporates the signature scent somehow.
  • Whether it be a small fragrance rollerball, a sample linen spray or temple cream, it will strengthen the emotional connection the guest has with the experience. 

d. Use lighting to adjust the mood

Lighting doesn’t only help customers see your products, it also contributes to the shopping experience. 

Inside the relaxation areas, the light needs to be merely soft and — if possible — indirect.

Don’t assume that a very bright environment will necessarily be positive for your customers. 

Use dimmers — This way the therapists will be able to choose the most adequate atmosphere. During the massage, they can keep a dim light. When they need to clean up the room, they simply have to increase the light intensity.

You can also use the intake forms in your appointment scheduling tool to take customer preference.


7. Create your online presence

a. Expand your social media presence 

Having brand consistency across all the touchpoints is a challenge for any spa, let alone each social network. 

It is also essential to create different branding personas for each of the social media as the demographic that each caters to will be very different from one other.

The following guidelines will help you in utilizing social media as one of your primary brandings,

  • Maximize your visual content – the right and relevant kind of it.
  • Remember to weave in value-driven content.
  • Establish a consistent posting cadence as well as style.
  • Be active & engage often.
  • Leverage testimonials or UGC (user-generated content).
  • Make contacting you & finding your website easy.
  • Use the “book-now” feature on various social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to drive the audience from social media to your booking page. 

Social Media puts the “public” into PR and the “market” into marketing.

Chris Brogan

b. Launch a website

Especially in the covid-19 era, your website is also a place to provide key information and assure your guests that you are open and thriving while upkeeping the latest safety standards.

Here are some useful tips in creating and using your website as a means to branding your spa,

  • Get inspired by other successful spa websites.
  • Decide on a domain name – a professional web address – for your spa.
  • Pick a website builder that fits you and your spa needs.
  • Design your new spa website.
  • Add all important information about your spa in the right place and try to avoid cluttering and crowding of information.
  • Update images and videos to make the website reflect your spa’s vibe better.
  • Set up an online spa appointment booking software to navigate the perils of online booking and to improve efficiency and customer satisfaction. (Appointy as a Product plugin)
  • Make it a medium, as well as a general, practice to display testimonials. 
  • Make your spa’s website visible in search engines by publishing Search Engine Optimized (SEO) content that is specifically curated for your target audience.
  • Promote your spa’s website to potential new clients while mailing lists and social media.

Conclusion

Spas are no longer just service suppliers — they’re becoming lifestyle partners, entities with which consumers are building relationships. 

Once inside, make sure the brand’s identity influences all signage from merchandising to wayfinding. Try creating specific initiatives that are designed to encourage customer loyalty and increase brand awareness such as customer retention programs.

Spas have the opportunity to display their brand identity on everything from the employee wardrobe and hang tags to floor treatments and shelving units.

Don’t assume that telling your customers what your brand is will actually make it so. If changes are to be made, make them where the rubber meets the road — not in a company memo. 

Real branding change must come from action. 

Adding a branded product line to your retail offerings also helps build customer loyalty while improving your brand’s visibility and credibility. Apart from all the above, keep yourself updated with the latest industry trends and apply those to your spa. 

Learn and introduce new services or massage techniques and provide them to your customers. Bonus points for taking a customer’s feedback and training your staff on those techniques to cater to an ever-wider clientele. So bookmark this page in case you want to refer to them later and engage in various spa branding practices with the latest the world has to offer. 

So take a sip brand-y and start your spa branding journey if you already haven’t. 

We wish you the best of luck!


About Appointy

We at Appointy, help business owners grow and run their businesses with our online scheduling software. This blog was a part of our ‘Manage your Business’ category, where we provide expert tips, resources, or simply talk about the challenges that small and medium businesses face every day. 

If you have any thoughts on this blog, or would like to chat about your business struggles and achievements, let us know in the comments below. 

We love a good talk!