Great Clips certainly knows something about leveraging a proven model—the salon concept is the largest haircare name brand in North America, with more than 4,400 salons and over 1,000 franchise owners system-wide. So, how has Great Clips built such an impressive footprint?
According to multi-unit franchisee Jerry Akers, who owns 27 Great Clips locations with plans for 36 open by the end of the year, in addition to the foundation of the business—which is exceptional haircuts—Great Clips’ exclusive branded product lines also contribute to success by bolstering unit-level economics.
“Great Clips has two branded product lines: Solutions by Great Clips and Grit @ Great Clips,” Akers explained. “Those products give us an edge; when you have customers come in to try us for the first time and they encounter economically-priced salon products—once they try them out, virtually everyone loves them. It deepens the Great Clips brand and becomes yet another reason to come back.”
Akers said that he believes in Great Clips’ commitment to clients’ hair health so much that he even purchases waterproof stickers printed with the brand’s name that go on every product for retail on his locations’ shelves, including those from national brands.
“Our stylists are trained to help our customers achieve their hair style. Sometimes a client might want to stick with a national brand they’re already familiar with, so a stylist can recommend that, but its still part of a Great Clips experience,” Akers said. “I want [the customer] to see ‘Great Clips’ right there on the bottle when they take it home, and take that as an invitation to return for great service.”
Akers returned to that focus on great service, saying that Great Clips’ two branded product lines further the brand’s mission by empowering stylists to serve as consultants to aid clients as they realize their ultimate hair goals.
“We teach our staff how to consult on hair issues,” Akers said. “I ask, ‘Of the many people that sit in the chair, how many have at least one hair issue that would be improved by a hair product?’ When you ask clients a question like ‘What would you like to change about your hair?’, it leads to a conversation where our stylists can suggest a Great Clips product that helps with that issue. By having those real discussions, our stylists never have to ‘sell’ anything.”
All of Great Clips’ branded products come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee; if clients aren’t satisfied, they can bring the product back for a full refund.
“Our stylists teach customers how to get salon-quality results at home, so the vast majority of those who visit us will love their hairstyle and continue to get their hair cut with us because they know what to expect; they have the product to maintain the style; and they know their hair is understood,” Akers said.
Director of Franchise Development for Great Clips, Beth Caron, echoed Akers emphasis on the complementary relationship between great haircuts and great branded products.
“Great Clips’ Exclusive Brands are an important part of the total business for our franchisees. While product sales don’t make up the lion’s share of a Great Clips salon’s revenue (our primary business is and always will be haircuts), customers have an expectation that we provide products to meet their needs: that is part of the hair salon experience,” said Caron. “So, we provide nationally recognized brands alongside our exclusive brands in order to meet our customers where they are.”
Caron said that, ultimately, Great Clips’ branded product line benefits all parties involved.
“When franchisees use our Great Clips products as part of creating a positive environment for both their stylists and their customers, everyone wins.”