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Introduction:

According to Kotler (2003, p.15) The marketers task is to build a marketing program or plan to
achieve the companys desired objectives. The marketing program consists of numerous
decisions on the mix of marketing tools to use. Proper marketing leads to better profit.
Case in focus:
The intention of two individuals opening a hair salon named A Cut Above in Dhaka,
Bangladesh. The salon provides services that include haircutting, shaving, facials, hair colouring,
dandruff treatment, manicure, pedicure, massages, etc. The individuals who are about to start
this business seek advice regarding the issues that should be focused on, for effective marketing
programmes.

These issues include the 7Ps of marketing, market segmentation, marketing

communication and the importance of customer service.


The proper use of the marketing concepts for effective marketing programmes:
The 7Ps of Marketing: According to Lancester and Reynolds (2004, pp.15 and 407)
The four Ps of the marketing mix are Product, Price, Promotion and Place, but when it
comes to service marketing 3 new Ps are added which are processes, people and physical
evidence. They are the key issues that should be focused on for effective marketing.

1) Product: The Product is the first thing that customers scrutinize in order to know its
benefits decide whether they should buy it or not. In the case mentioned above, the
product is a service. Kotler ( 2003, p.16) suggests that the product should comprise of
many elements which include variety and quality which are both applicable to this
service. The hair salon already has a variety of services, but to mingle in the minds of
individuals, it should also have trained barbers, hair loss therapy, shower and locker
facilities, a separate section which is just for hair styling and a comfortable waiting room
in order to gain popularity. The following are the descriptions of how these strategies
could help the hair salon:

Trained barbers: The employees should be trained properly by professional so that their
work is perfect and appreciated by the customers. If the customers are satisfied they will
return again and recommend the service to their acquaintances.
Hair loss therapy: Hair loss is a problem that many individuals face and always try to
find a solution for it. Doing some research on the proper nutrition for hair and using some
natural products used abroad by individuals to solve this problem, a therapy can be
developed which will attract many customers.
Shower and locker facilities: After a haircut, taking a bath is a necessity, and the way
back home is a hassle, when someone has a tight schedule. If the salon provides a shower
facility, then the customers can take a shower and then go anywhere they want to. The
clothes they wear during the haircut have hair all over it after the haircut. The customers
can keep fresh clothes inside the lockers which will be in a separate room, and after the
shower they can wear them and leave. They can even go to any occasions from the salon.
This will help them and they will recommend this service to their acquaintances.
Separate styling section: The hair styling section will be a separate section, where the
customers can come and the staff responsible for that section would provide them with a
catalogue, from which they can select a style that suits them and the staff there would set
their hair in that manner. This will earn some extra revenue for the shop, and if the work
done is good, it will also help them gain popularity. Customers on a hurry can just come,
style their hair and go to any occasions.
Comfortable waiting room: The waiting room should be well decorated, with a
television, separate smoking room, coffee machine, and magazines. This will help the
customers pass their time if they have to wait and they will return if the experience is
comfortable for them.

2) Price: The price in this business is a huge factor, because the competitors will always try
to give a lower price. Lower price is always an advertisement itself. Many services could
be combined together and offered at a lower price. However it is an effective tool to draw
the attention of people. It could be used in various ways, such as:
Buddy Discount: Many people like to take their friends or colleagues to the salon, so
that they can gossip during the haircut. Buddy discount is a discount provided when
customers arrive with friends or colleagues, and they both need a haircut or any other
service. This will make the customers bring their friends or colleagues with them, which
will help the hair salon.
Family Discount: Sometimes fathers often accompany their sons for a haircut, this
happens usually when their children are young and both get haircuts. Family Discount is
provided to families who come together to the hair salon and each use a service. This will
attract the middle aged individuals.
Weekend Package: This is a package which will consist of a haircut, shave, manicure,
pedicure, facial, full body massage and a coupon from a nearby restaurant. This will
attract many customers who are idle during the weekends.
Wedding Package: This will consist of haircut, shave, hairstyling, manicure, pedicure
and facial for a Bridegroom on all of the wedding rituals and for five of his
acquaintances. If there are more people then there will be additional charges. This
package will be beneficial because nowadays this is a trend in this country.

3) Promotion: This is focused on the methods used to make the people aware and interested
about the services provided by the hair salon. The customers coming to a hair salon are
usually, the people living nearby the location of the hair salon. The objective of the
promotion in the initial stage would be to educate the people, about the services of the
hair salon to the residents of the area where the hair salon is situated. This could be done
in various ways, using:
Free haircut during the first week: The hair salon could provide free haircut for the first
three days after its opening, and the customers would provide feedback about the service.
This will help them gain publicity and also help them realize their shortcomings.
Posters: Poster, mentioning about the initial free service have to be put up on most of the
walls, in the area surrounding the location of the hair salon, one week before the
inauguration.
Leaflets: Leaflets and brochures should be sent inside the popular newspapers to the
people living in the area where the hair salon is located at.
Banners: Banners should be put up near schools, colleges and universities in the area
surrounding the location of the hair salon.
Newspaper and Magazines: After one week of the inauguration, advertisements about
the facilities, package deals and discount should be published on newspapers and popular
fashion magazines.

4) Place: The location should be given the highest priority when marketing a hair salon,
because it helps to decide the market targets and the price. The location would be best if
it is a residential area, with a few schools, colleges, offices nearby, for publicity. The
residential area would always be a best option because most people get a haircut in the
hair salons which are near to their house. Dhanmondi would be the best option because it
fits all the criterias. Though it has many hair salons, the separate styling section is
missing in most of the hair salons in Dhanmondi and that gives The Cut Above a
competitive edge. People are often reluctant to style their hair in the same section where
they had finished getting the haircut, because they are uncomfortable with the scraps of
hair flying around in the haircutting section.
5) Processes: Lancester and Reynolds (2004, p.407) describes processes as the efficiency
of the process in the delivery of the service. The customer satisfaction is determined by
the processes of the service and this can be a vital issue. The processes could include
many aspects, such as:
Hygiene and safety: The equipments used for the service should be sterilized before use,
they should be changed after every month and the hair salon must be kept clean all the
time.
Quality of the Haircut: Haircutting and shave should always take time, the need of the
customer should be analyzed by the employee and the work should be done perfectly, so
that the customer is satisfied with the haircut. People are often irritated when they have to
wait, but since the focus is more on customer satisfaction, if the customer receives a
satisfactory haircut he will recommend the hair salon to his acquaintances. If the work is
good, then customers will wait if they have to, to get that service.

6) People: Service is a two way process, the output also depends on the cooperation of the
customer. The employees should be well trained and experienced to identify the needs of
the customer. They should also have the ability to make suggestions to the customers, and
hence they need to be updated everyday about new hairstyles. They should also analyze
the mood of the customer and not make too many suggestions and ask for feedback after
cutting one area. They should also be very friendly and talk to the customer and try to
become close to them, but at the same time also concentrate on their work and the mood
of the customer because some customers prefer a quiet environment.
7) Physical Evidence: Lancester and Reynolds ( 2004, p. 407) describes physical evidence
as the service firms attempt to give some form of tangibility. This can include the
interior and exterior decoration, the uniform of the staff, the receipt they receive after the
payment and the brand name for the hair salon. They could concentrate on the following
aspects:
Interior and exterior decoration: A flashy and colourful exterior decoration will make
the people think that the hair salon is expensive and hence there will be a loss of many
customers. Light colours should be used for the exterior decoration and the interior
decoration should create a homely atmosphere and hair salon should be spacious.
The uniform of the staff: The uniform of the staff also be light coloured and the name of
the hair salon should be written in black colour on the uniform, for the customers to
notice and the name of the staff should also be written on the uniform, so that parts of the
service stay in the sub conscious mind of the customer .
Membership cards: They can also provide customers, with membership cards which will
give them some extra privileges, like discounts, or gifts on certain occasions after a raffle
draw.

Market segmentation: Kotler and Armstrong (2006, p.47) Consumers can be divided
and served in various ways based on geographic, demographic, psychographic and
behavioral factors. This process of dividing the market into different groups of buyers
with different needs, characteristics, or behavior who might require the same products or
services is called market segmentation. The customers of the hair salon can be
segmented according to service, income and age, which would help the business to
operate more efficiently, because the customers can choose the segments according to
their needs and hence the span of customers would increase. This will also help them to
identify the segments with more demand and focus on the shortcomings of the others.
The ways in which this could be done are described below.
Service: A hair salon provides many services and often it gets too crowded when all the
services are provided in one section. If the sections are created according to service for
e.g. shaving and facial in a different section, haircutting in a different section and so on,
the customers would know where to go and wouldnt have to wait in the same section
overcrowding the place.
Income:

The hair salon can have two separate sections, a spacious one with air

conditioners and experienced barbers for customers who prefer luxury with higher price
and the other one without air conditioners and which occupies less space and where
comfort isnt given that much of a priority; this would attract customers who prefer a low
price haircut.
Age: The services could be divided into three different sections, one for children below
the age of twelve, one for teenagers and one for middle age and above customers. This
will help the customers to socialize during a haircut. The Kids section could be decorated
pictures of cartoon characters and a television could be placed in that section which
would only show cartoons and the seating could be in the shape of a horse or an elephant.
The section for the teenagers would be decorated with posters of football players, actors
and musicians. There should be a very good music system which would play the latest
rock singles by the popular bands. The section for the middle aged should be calm and be

decorated with light colours, and the slow music from the 60s and 70s should be played
in that section.

Marketing communication: According to Lovelock and Wirtz (2004, pp.124, 125)


through communication, marketers inform existing or prospective customers about the
service features and benefits, price and other costs, the channels through which a service
is delivered and when and where it is available. In a service setting, marketing
communications tools are especially important because they help create powerful images
and a sense of credibility, confidence, and reassurance. Marketing communications, in
one form or another, are essential to a companys success. Without effective
communications, prospects may never learn of a service firms existence, what it has to
offer them, or how to use its products to best advantage. In order to maintain the existing
customers and attract more, the marketing communications have to increase for future
developments of the hair salon. There are plenty of ways to this can be done, they are:
Price Increase: Most people relate price to the quality of service they utilize. Some
individuals believe that expensive services make a statement that they believe in quality
and have the ability to pay for it. This will give this hair salon a brand image as well.
Style Celebrities: They can style celebrities in commercials and fashion show and have
their name on the credits after the show is over. This will help the hair salon to gain more
publicity.
Sponsor fashion shows: They can also sponsor fashion commercials and shows and
have their name on posters. They could also get into deals with fashion commercial
producers and ask them to broadcast their hair salon on television and they would sponsor
that episode.

Customer service: According to Clow and Kurtz ( 2003, p.47) Research has shown that
only 1 out of every 25 dissatisfied customers complain to the firm and the rest either
switch to other brands or spreak negatively about it to others. It is estimated that an
unhappy customer will tell 10 and 11 other people about their bad experience. If the
customer is satisfied, three future behaviors are observed; repeat purchases, firm loyalty,
and positive word-of-mouth communications. Satisfied customers often return to the
same service vendor. If future encounters prove to be good experiences, firm loyalty
usually develops. On an average, a satisfied customer will tell three others of their
experience. Since word-of-mouth communication is the most influential source of
information used by consumers during the pre-purchase phase, word-of-mouth
communication is important to the firms. Service firms must endeavor to meet the
expectations of every customer. The testimonials of the satisfied customers are the best
advertising a firm can get. The hair salon should always have a friendly environment and
the customers should have an extremely transparent relationship with the management so
that, their complaints are given the highest priority and taken as feedback. If the
customers are satisfied with the services they get, they will tend to come again and
recommend the same to their acquaintances. People tend to rely on the information they
get from their friends and family members and hence the main force to keep this business
running is excellent customer service, which is the only way that one individual will
recommend this service to another.

Conclusion:
The success of a business always depends on the way their product or service is marketed as it is
the most crucial stage of a business. With proper marketing programmes a business will flourish,
and the issues and solutions mentioned above will give this hair salon a competitive edge. With

effective implementation of the solutions mentioned above this hair salon will be one of the best
hair salons of Bangladesh.

Bibliography:

Lovelock,C. and Wirtz,J.(2004) Service Marketing: People, Technology,


Strategy, Fifth Edition, Pearson Education.

Clow,K.E. and Kurtz,D.L. ( 2003) Service Marketing: Operation,


Management and Strategy , Second Edition, Biztantra.

Kotler,P. and Armstrong,G. (2006) Principles of Marketing, Eleventh


Edition, Prentice Hall.

Lancester,G. and Reynolds,P.(2004) Marketing, Palgrave Macmillan.

Kotler,P. ( 2003)Marketing Management, Eleventh Edition, Pearson


Education.