Q&A on the Spa Industry with BW Confidential
BW Confidential, January 13-26, 2011
US-based Coyle Hospitality Group speaks to BW Confidential, an international business-to-business publication for beauty and wellness executives –
How can the industry better communicate to the consumer?
CHG: Consumers are far more savvy and educated so they are more selective as to where they spend their money. To be more consumer-centric spas should remember the basics: identify your true target market and develop strategies to attract and retain them. Many spa directors say that they aren’t seeing the “right” traffic or aren’t bringing in the “right” consumer from their marketing efforts, but not all of those efforts are tailored to the “right” demographic for every spa.
What do you see as the barriers to growth for the industry?
CHG: Given the economy over the past 24 months, many spas have been trying to attract business, but not necessarily business they can retain. Operators should take a step back and really look at their best consumers, instead of just trying to attract traffic. This can be by asking the most loyal clients what they prefer about the spa and tailoring marketing and development focus on those areas. It also helps to bring in a third-party quality-assurance company to give objective feedback from a consumer perspective.
Being truly focused on the consumer is the major challenge today. The discounting frenzy and the rush to generate new business have contributed to this. The industry’s supply has grown and with diminished and more selective demand due to the economy, spas are fighting harder for market share. Remembering that retention is not simply about getting people into the spa but how their experience is when they get there, is a fundamental principal but one that can fall by the wayside.
How do you see the industry evolving?
CHG: We think we are going to see a lot more niche marketing, with more themed spas and specialization in smaller locations. We are seeing that trend already with US chains such as Hand and Stone and Massage Envy, which drive home their expertise in massage in their marketing. For full-service spas, the focus will continue to be toward giving an exceptional guest experience to justify the higher spend and time commitment.