Finding Yourself as a Business:
How to Define Your Salon, Spa, or Shop’s Identity
Identity—it’s a confusing concept, especially when it comes to talking about your business or brand’s unique identity.
A business’ identity—called a brand identity—is made up of a bunch of moving pieces which are both tangible factors (like your logos, your typography, your aesthetic, etc.) and intangible factors (like your goals, your message, your values, your attributes, and so on).
Understanding brand identity is hard enough—seriously, it’s a tough concept. Finding and defining your brand’s identity? Well, that can be exceptionally tough.
But having your own identity is exceptionally important in the cut-throat beauty world—it’s what sets you apart, shows customers (potential or established) who you are, and clearly defines your goals. In other words, your brand identity is what comes to mind when people hear your brand name or see your service.
Are you ready to establish your identity but feeling a little lost on where to start? You’re in the right place.
We’ve laid out a few helpful tips for defining your salon, spa, or shop’s identity here!
What Exactly is a Brand Identity (And Why Does Your Salon, Spa, or Shop Need One?)
Think about a big-name, household brand everyone (not just stylists or beauticians) know and love. For simplicity’s sake, let’s use Apple. Even if you don’t personally own or support Apple products, when you hear that brand name, you visualize their products, probably remember a commercial or two, and definitely have some kind of grasp on what the brand is all about.
All of those details encompass a brand identity, and big names like Apple, Google, Coca-Cola, Walmart, Visa, etc. are an excellent example of that. But it’s not just the big kids on the commercial block that succeed here.
There are thousands of small businesses that are killing the brand identity game—in fact, you can probably name a few shops in your own community that are absolutely crushin’ it when it comes to outlining who they are and ensuring they’re staying at the top of their customers’ minds.
At the end of the day, your brand identity is a concept, but overall, it should clearly outline your salon’s purpose, its values, its attributes. It’s what your target audience can connect and relate to—it’s the first thing that comes to mind.
It’s very important to define your own identity because it’s what sets you apart from your competition, it’s what shows customers who you truly are, and of course, it’s what people are going to cling to in order to define your business.
How to Find & Define Your Salon, Spa, or Shop’s Brand Identity
It’s a big task, but it all starts with small steps. Here are a few ways that you can begin the process of outlining and defining your salon, spa, or shop’s identity in the beauty world.
Establish Your Place in the Market & Know Who Your Audience Is
It’s crucial to know where you fit into your current market and to know who your target audience is. Without knowing these two pieces of the puzzle, you’re likely going to spend your valuable time and energy working in the wrong direction.
Understand who you’re trying to reach, what problems you’re trying to solve, and know where you stand in your market. Define your strengths, your weaknesses, your opportunities within the community, and what possible threats or competitors are standing in your way.
This will give you a better idea of who you’re trying to reach and how you can connect with that audience.
Lay Out Your Goals, Visions, Missions, Attributes, and Purpose
Take it a step further and (literally) describe why it is that you exist. Seriously, what’s the reason you’re in business at all? What problem are you trying to solve? What defined purpose is at the forefront?
Use this exercise to build a foundation of emotional connection with your audience so they can clearly grasp why you’re there and why they should be excited for you.
Ask Yourself How You Want to Be Seen By Your Customers
Gather your employees, friends, whoever’s opinion you value and do a quick brainstorm sesh based on this question: how do I want my customers to see my salon, spa, or shop? What’s the first thing you want them to feel when they see your branding? What’s the biggest takeaway you want them to have? What’s the most important intangible aspect of your brand that you want reflected right away?
Define your brand’s value by answering questions like:
- What do I offer that my competitors do not offer?
- What are my biggest strengths?
- Am I highlighting those strengths in my salon’s identity?
- How am I truly differentiating myself from the crowd?
- Am I accurately expressing the brand personality I want my customers to perceive?
- If my brand was a person, how would I describe it? Am I building my brand to accurately represent those descriptors?
The more you can define how you’d like your brand identity to be perceived, the better you’ll be able to implement ways to make that happen in the tangible parts of your brand identity and connect with customers.
Brainstorm How You Can Take Those Intangible Factors & Bring Them Into Your Brand’s Aesthetic
When we talk about tangible factors that make up your brand’s aesthetic, we’re talking about things like your website design, your logos, the typography you use, the colors, etc.
Remember, your identity, at its core, is not all about the look, but it is vital that the look of your brand supports and espouses the intangible parts (like the values, the mission, the purpose, and more).
Our best advice? If branding (in the tangible aspect) just isn’t your thing, work with a professional who can help you accomplish this.
If that’s not in the budget right now, study up with free resources and videos to help further your understanding of how to bring these two pieces of brand identity together in a cohesive way. It’s all about consolidating the look and the feel of your shop, salon, or spa’s brand!
Without a clearly defined brand identity, it can be hard to take the crucial next steps in your own venture. That’s why establishing who you are and why you exist early on is exceptionally important to your business’ success.
Have some tips for defining your brand? Want to share your identity outlining success stories? Good! We’re here for it (and the community is, too). Drop your advice, insight, or anecdotes in the comment section below and share your knowledge with the industry you love.
Looking for more Elite Beauty Society tricks of the trade? Keep up with our regularly updated blog for a ton of tips, advice, and insight that’ll help you navigate this tricky (but rewarding) industry beautifully!