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My search for a local salon that does hard gels (did not find one by the way) left me with a few questions. I started to get curious because a few of them seemed to scoff when I mentioned a brand specifically. One salon even said there is no difference between acrylics, one brand is as good as another one. They also attempted to convince me that a coat of uv gel over acrylic was the same as a hard gel. Needless to say I didn't book with them. :-\

How important is branding? I would think that if good money is spent on a particular brand than you would want to stand behind it an talk about it.
Unfortunately, it sounds like you spoke with some salons that are more interested in the mighty dollar than they are in using quality products to produce stellar results. You have to use quality products and stand behind your work.

There are plenty of pro products that are not advertised directly to the consumer (e.g.; Cosmo, Glamour, etc.) that are quality products. Any salon that isn't willing to invest in good products or educate their clients on why they stand behind the products that they use is not worth the time and definitely is not deserving of my hard earned money. I want to be serviced by an experienced technician who is using quality products that work best for my nails. Not someone who's trying to meet their quota for the day!

(Did I just rant about this? lol...sorry. It upsets me when some salons try to sell consumers a whole lotta nuthin. Gel topcoat over acrylic is the same as hard gel?!?! What a bunch of nonsense!)

Bowie, MD
I have a long marketing background, so this question is right up my alley! Smile

You are right in saying that if you have a quality product, you would want to stand behind the brand - that is, in many industries. I've found that nail products are one area that most consumers just don't know a whole lot about. Sure they know polish brands, but that is really about it.

The true job of marketers is to make people recognize their brand - and this is something you can do as a salon owner or nail tech. Make sure your clients understand the difference between what you use vs what the other people use. Explain why you want to use 3-free polishes or the wearability of specific acrylics. Not only will you build the value of the product in their mind, but you brand yourself as a knowledgeable resource and trusted advisor.
I agree!! As I am just starting out I want to educate my clients that I'm using quality- so far the clients I've had the privilege to work on and I have spoke about their past experiences in nail salons.... .no bashing on my part just understanding and discussing the proper ways & experiences they should have at a salon or during an appointment!!
An interesting thread as I just posted something about pricing and I think these two things are related.

Do you think that a brand with an expensive price tag is seen as having a better quality? Or do clients look more at the experience level of the tech using the products?
My salon name is my brand; the products I use support it, not the other way around.
Jamie is as usual totally correct. You guys are the brand and that's what you need to develop. It's what allows you to charge higher prices, attract the best customers and win customer loyalty. A good tech can use any product, but of course some products are easier to use, more reliable and look better with wear than others. But the customers mostly buy you not your brand (although I have to give credit to CND for bring customers to salons who wanted Shellac and almost making that a ubiquitous name for gel polish - kudos to them).

ENUK - a higher price does suggest a higher quality but we all know that isn't true in every case. If we are talking about products here - I think customers today look for the pedigree of the company (companies that have a good story like Apple always do better), and they are looking for value. Value doesn't mean cheap - it means you get more than you expect for the money you spend - like a Gucci Smoochi handbag in a sale.

If you ask me - a lot of product companies have a pretty thin story today. Where's the talent and where are their competition teams? How did they produce such wonderful products without nail tech talent directing the chemist(s)?

Personally, I think that more and more nail techs will come to realise they expect and need more from their suppliers. In the future, it won't be enough to only sell product - techs will come to realise they need a partnership where the supplier also has the ability to help them develop and to create their own brand. Those techs that don't will only be able to compete on price - and that's a losing game.
I totally agree that I am the Brand! I market myself through the finished product. Which is the work I do on the hands of my loyal clientel. I am the total package! I don't feel that this is bragging. I feel that through hard work, you market your skills as a total professional package! It's your satisfied customers that market your work for you. Everyone of my clients have a new nail story to tell me when they come in for thier next appointment. The really cool thing is,when they shop in the surrounding towns, people ask them if I do thier nails!
But I do feel that there are a lot of price wars going on out there. But it's because Techs need to educate the public. The public needs to know that we Techs are all at different skill levels! I also feel that when the general public thinks about getting thier nails done,they think, I need to get to the mall! If a women goes to a salon that doesn't have a Nail Tech, they don't think about seeking out a Tech in another Beauty Salon. They just head to the mall. Price does not = quality nails. But Mall nail salons = low price.
It doesn't matter if you head to the mall,or you head to a more expensive Beauty Salon. If you don't know the quality ahead of time, that will be applied to your nails,then how are you gonna be able to judge how much you are willing to pay for the service? These are the questions that I used to ask people who called for pricing!
Dr. J has the right Rx for this malady! You are always going to be your own brand, no matter what you use as a product, because your hands are your applicators and finishing tools. Okay, product does have an impact to a certain extent, BUT what is your biggest impact in the finished piece you turn out, what is the thing you always bring to EVERY nail you do that you have total control over..........YOU!

I know I do great nails. I know that I can send my clients out into their lives with strong, healthy, great-looking nails that they can be proud of wearing. Now don't get me wrong.....I'm not arrogant because I know there are a LOT of techs in the world that are better than I am. I may have won 2nd place in novice fantasy nails last summer at Premiere Orlando but that doesn't mean there aren't a lot of techs out there who can make my nails look they've been hacked by a blind monkey with a chainsaw and a paint roller. Continuing education, constant practice, and learning from constructive criticism will all help me constantly improve my performance and that's as important to me AND my clients as the product I put on them.

I will never Vidal Sassoon or Betsy Johnson but I am my own brand.
If there was only one product that everyone had to use the succesful techs will still be the cream of the crop. The brand of product does not make the nail tech. I am not saying that all products are the same what I am trying to say that on a level playing feild the most succesful nail technicians will still rise above the masees!