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The power of brand experience to win business

Day spa image

Why I paid double the price for the same service

While here I move away from my client focus in professional advisories, I believe that the basic principles of brand and service are the same in any business, and we can learn something about winning sales in any business from the examples we see in everyday services. Here’s a story from the day spa.

I recently booked some beauty appointments in preparation for a holiday, where I will be part of the bridal party for a friend’s wedding. Because I had limited time and several appointments to make, I thought I’d try a different salon to my usual, as it was closer to home and significantly cheaper.

After a very frustrating 20 minutes attempting to book, with no results, I then spent the following 1 minute booking all my appointments at my usual place, that was a little further away and DOUBLE THE PRICE.

Why did I pay double the price? Because their brand is worth it. Here’s how it went:

ATTEMPT 1: New salon, 5 minutes from home, half the price

First impression: Good. I’d previously walked into the salon, looked at their beautiful, locally-made natural products, and spoken with the very knowledgeable owner/founder.

Time taken to attempt to book: 20 minutes

Booking experience:

  1. I called the number on the leaflet I picked up from the salon listing their services. The number didn’t connect. I tried again – still not working.
  2. I found the website, which was extremely out-dated and daggy. It didn’t offer any information at all about services, just their products for sale.
  3. I looked again at the leaflet and found, in very small type, another generic booking website listed for making bookings. I typed this in, wondering how this general booking website was going to find my salon, and how long that would take. Didn’t matter, because the website wouldn’t load (and there’s nothing wrong with my Internet connection).
  4. I scrunched up the leaflet and threw it away.

ATTEMPT 2: Usual salon, 15 minutes from home, double the price

Realising I don’t have time to find an email address, email my request, and wait for them to get back to me, I dialled my usual salon, which I have in my contacts list on my phone (ok, I could have gone down the road and walked into the first store, but by now I was annoyed at this waste of time during my work day). While on the phone to my usual salon, I flicked to their website to double check pricing – yep, double the price.

  1. In 1 minute I had all 4 appointments scheduled for my preferred day and time at my usual salon.

Call me crazy, but I am MORE THAN HAPPY to pay double for what is probably the same quality service, just because they made my experience seamless, and their brand is professional.They pay attention to detail, and busy people expect the details to work.

It saddens me to see shops closing and businesses unable to keep up with the competition – when a little attention to detail to brand experience could have ensured their success! These days, updating a website doesn’t cost much, and researching your competition to see what is being done well doesn’t take that much effort. We all get busy, but this is no excuse – for a business to thrive (let alone survive), you MUST pay attention to the details and strive to continuously improve.

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