“God only created so many perfect heads. All the rest, he covered with hair.”
Two weeks ago I got my haircut. If you know me personally, or if you’ve seen my picture, you can guess that cutting my hair is not a huge and complex job. In fact, it’s a pretty fast and easy task.
I’ve had this particular hair style for most of the last decade. And, I get my hair cut, on average, about once a month. So, I’ve probably been in the barber’s chair about a hundred times with a trained hair care professional looking at me and thinking, "this is going to be easy money!"
Many times I’ve thought to myself, I should get a discount because I save them so much time.
If the average male haircut takes 30 minutes and mine takes only five minutes, then I have saved the hair care industry about 42 hours of time over the last decade. The value of this time is probably about $1500 depending on how much a person charges.
Until two weeks ago, I just considered this my little gift to the hair care industry. Nobody ever offered me a reduced price because it took less time to cut my hair. Once in awhile, I’d mention it, in a joking way. But, it never worked. I have always had to pay full price for a service that takes 80% less time than most people.
But that changed two weeks ago.
Over the holidays, I stopped in our town’s newest hair care place, Fantastic Sams. It’s a well-known franchise that is still trying to gain market share here in Minnesota.
The haircut and the accompanying banter was about average. But, what really thrilled me was when I paid, the lady uttered words that were music to my ears: "You get our Bald is Beautiful discount" she said.
At first I thought she was kidding. It turned out she was dead-serious. She knocked $2 off my haircut. Just because I was bald!
Okay, so saving $2 is not a life-changing event. But, it made me smile. And, more importantly, it made me feel good about this hair salon so it’s more likely I’ll return in a month.
Even better, their "Bald is Beautiful" discount gave me a story to tell. I’ll bet I told 15 people during the following week. And, now I’m blogging about it!
What I really like about this is that it’s great marketing. First, I had no idea they had such a discount. She offered it to me without being prompted. That impresses me. It says this company wants me to come back.
Also, they’re being authentic. We both know they save a lot of time when they work with bald guys. Why not give a little back? It’s fair and it’s reasonable. And it makes customers like me feel better about doing business with them.
I think they’re targeting a great niche.
About 30% of men over 30 are balding and this percentage grows as they age. And you know we bald guys tell each other about things like this so the word will spread fast.
It’s a perfect example of what Mark Hughes calls buzz marketing. It’s something worth talking about, if only for a moment. And, it has a well-established (and growing) group of people who might be interested. So, the potential buzz power for this idea is big.
This reminds me of another "bald marketing" strategy employed last year by a restaurant in Lodi, California. They made big news by offering discounted meals to bald men. They were written up in the Associated Press, Fox News, and even Entrepreneur.com. They got publicity all over the world.
Just for giving some bald guys a break.
I’d call that smart marketing!