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What Led to the Rise of Big Salon Brands?

by Sandra Siansiam Koch

Some self-made, multimillion-dollar brands have made it to the fame and glory that they enjoy today, and here’s the reason why.

Aside from providing quality services and experiences, image and reputation make a salon truly ‘premium’. Their way of doing things ‘differently’ from other businesses has accelerated their place to the top. Here is a brief look at two of India’s biggest salon brands Naturals Salon and Lakmé Lever Salon. Let us try to comprehend their remarkable success stories in the personal care sector.

Naturals Salon:

Naturals, first launched in 2000, is currently the top unisex hair and beauty salon in India. It’s among the first salons to serve men and women both. Through this model, the brand ushered in a new era for the hair and beauty care sector.

When we reached out to Veena Kumaravel, founder of Naturals Salon, she had more than a legacy to share. “In the year 2000, I started off with one salon at Khadar Nawaz Khan Road, post which I was inspired to branch out into six of my salons. Seeing how the salons were faring, we decided to get our salon business into franchise mode in 2007. Doing so, we were able to reach out to an increasing number of customers.”

Naturals have now become a household name in the salon industry after attracting attention from even big retailers like Reliance. “We constantly innovated and brought new services and products into the market. By bringing in brand ambassadors to the salon industry, Genelia D’Souza, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Dipika Pallikal, and Nikki Galrani who increased the brand value and were a cause for the company’s rise to fame that it has today,” she continues.

“This has helped us position ourselves in the mind of the customer and assisted in building a brand that serves our customers. Out of the 711 outlets, we have right now 400 – of them are women entrepreneurs from various walks of life. One of the concepts that we have nurtured through the course of time is ‘housewife-free India’ equipping women who have the desire to become entrepreneurs.”

Naturals have taken an open approach to its franchise model. This allowed its partners some freedom to use their brand name to help them scale up faster.

Lakmé Salon:

Lakmé Lever is a division of Hindustan Unilever, which currently runs Lakmé Salons and Dermalogica India. The salon follows a similar franchise model, with the company owning 10% of the salons and franchising the rest.

“Our commitment to providing the best professional service for hair and beauty treatments has defined our brand for more than 35 years of success,” Lakmé Lever CEO Pushkaraj Shenai said. “Lakmé Salon’s state-of-the-art technology; a team of professional hair stylists and skin and beauty experts; latest techniques and services; and unparalleled backstage experience at Lakmé Fashion Week, make it the chicest and ultimate destination for hair and beauty treatments in the country.” 

According to Pushkaraj, they focused on talent to make Lakmé Salon India’s go-to salon. “We have provided rigorous training of six hours per expert per month. Lakmé Academy, powered by Aptech, offers both foundation- and advanced-level training in skin, hair, and make-up.” Lakmé Salon offers its clients cutting-edge hair and makeup in real-time to stay abreast of current global trends. “As we move forward, leveraging technology and innovating the beauty and wellness experience will continue to be a key focus area. At Lakmé Salon, innovation is woven into every process and is at the heart of what we do.”

A strong franchise model has been a critical factor in the rise of successful salon brands. Some self-made, multimillion-dollar brands have made it to the fame and glory that they enjoy today. This influences new entrepreneurs to come have a bite of the pie, the industry of the ‘Style Savvy.’

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