While many aesthetic beauty and healthcare companies project an image of glamour to lure clients, one beauty salon realises the importance of a personal touch and focuses on the essence of individualism in every step of its marketing campaign.
According to Pink Yuen, chief operating officer, Modern Beauty Salon Holdings Limited, the company's competitive edge comes from the professionalism of its staff. All the company's beauticians have acquired or are studying for internationally recognised certifications, with generous subsidies from the company. The quality service levels are accompanied by top-of-the-range products, which meet every possible aesthetic client need, regardless of individual age and lifestyle.
"From beauty treatments and styling to fitness classes, we have something for everyone," Ms Yuen reveals. "We also offer personal care services for men, as many of our clients like to bring their partners along."
The emphasis on one-stop services is closely linked to a strong client culture, which is at the heart of the company's marketing philosophy. "For example, we recently opened a Japanese restaurant in Causeway Bay linked to our beauty salon which promotes a healthy diet as an integral part of any effective personal care regime," Ms Yuen explains.
Modern Beauty Salon seeks to reach its prospective clients through a variety of direct channels. Large-scale promotional activities such as dance performances and skincare demonstrations, are regularly held in local shopping centres to introduce the salon to the public.
Online marketing has been another effective tool, since it attracts many customers to the company's website. "We also use the internet as a channel to learn about customers' needs for new products and services," Ms Yuen adds.
Among the company's recent public events, Ms Yuen feels the fundraising activities for Sichuan earthquake victims have been the most far-reaching, and have also helped consolidate the company's reputation as a socially responsible corporation. "The primary goal of these events is to raise funds for the needy, though it goes on to reflect our management's moral standing. Nowadays, customers often consider cooperative spirit as the first criterion when gauging a company, and in deciding where to spend their money,"she says.
Behind all these campaigns lies the hard work and dedication of a committed marketing team. As Ms Yuen notes, strategic thinking is an important attribute for senior marketing professionals who are responsible for designing the company's image and promotional campaigns, as well as budget control. Staff at the middle level oversee the organisation of large-scale activities and networking with other companies, while junior staff focus on telemarketing and contact with customers.
Concerning potential recruits, Ms Yuen offers clear advice, "Candidates must be able to think out of the box. During interviews I ask them to prepare a proposal on how to bring new business to the company. We look for daring and creative concepts from people who know how to execute ideas in a responsible manner. An outgoing and sociable personality is a must. Good communication skills are also essential."
Candidates with the right attributes can look forward to a fulfilling career at Modern Beauty Salon, says Ms Yuen. New associates work as assistants to senior officers or managers, before starting their own marketing projects. "Most newcomers fare exceptionally well after becoming familiarised with the company's operations," Ms Yuen contends. "Staff at all levels have ample chance to prove their capabilities, as everyone presents project ideas and results to the management at monthly meetings."
In addition to marketing strategy and skills workshops, there are abundant on-the-job training programmes to get staff up to speed with the latest trends and products. Depending on an individual's specific interests and capabilities, the choice exists to take up campaign threads related to road shows and publicity events, or focus on cooperation with other corporations. Employees can also switch to other job functions as the listed company stresses long-term prospects and developmental support for its staff.
For aspirants looking to break into the field, Ms Yuen explains that hard work is a pre-requisite and dedication to customer service the vital key to bringing in new business. Candidates should also familiarise themselves with the personal care industry, as well as the strengths of the company they intend to join, in order to choose the right entry point for themselves.
"Marketing is much more than an office job in our industry," Ms Yuen concludes. "Therefore it is crucial to have a real understanding of products and services as well as customer expectation, and to instil those insights into marketing campaigns."