Marketing

Diving into a complete brand refresh

When we switched from our small, boutique ad agency to a larger, multi-layered operation, one of the first projects was an overhaul of our brand. Our 100-salon group had been through upgrades previously, but this was to be a radical refresh. And it came with a huge price tag – 25 per cent of our annual marketing budget. But the end result is incredible and the response from the team and customers has been extremely positive.

The agency didn’t dive in and deliver us visuals immediately; it went out and talked to our people, our clients and general consumers. It was impressive. Its staff came to head office to talk to the whole team. They put people in our salons to talk to the service provider and the client. They reached out to those who weren’t clients to find out why.

They even set up a community insight group, representative of the Canadian demographic, and sent them regular questionnaires, sometimes daily, to get feedback on a wide range of topics relating to beauty and consumerism. The online qualitative study was conducted over 14 days with a mix of current Chatters Customers and Non-Customers. There were 75 people in total: 20 Core Female Customers (aged 35-54); 20 Aspirational Female Customers (aged 18-34); 15 Male customers (18-54); and 20 Aspirational Female Non-Customers (aged 18-34).

From this research, the company generated 5 personas that represented Chatters’ target clientele, giving them backstories so we could really focus on what made them tick and how to emotionally connect with each of them.

  • Persona #1: Leslie is 49, an office clerk and has little spending flexibility. She aspires to be in love with her hair. She wants a functional look that is easy to maintain and is a key part of her style. She is increasingly becoming more comfortable with technology and watches internet video tutorials and reads reviews to help with her hair styling questions.
  • Persona #2: Sameena is 22, a student and works part time in retail. Her style is Comfortable Chic and she loves getting compliments on her style. She loves getting a new look, especially a drastic change. She has grown up in the digital world and Instagram is her go to for HAIRSPIRATION.
  • Person #3: Cassandra is 28 and a full time mom. She is waiting for just the right style that she will keep for a long time. She currently feels frumpy and in need of a new do! She uses technology to stay connected with the outside world. She relies on it to keep control of her hectic life by using apps to make lists and book appointments.
  • Persona #4: Jodi is 39 and a legal assistant. She wants to be excited about her hair again and she misses the plumped up volume of her youth. She loves to feel pampered and disconnected from her hectic life. She values a good salon experience and spends money on the best products. She uses technology to stay connected and to learn about new styles and trends.
  • Persona #5: Chris is 44 and a regional sales person. He likes to look put together and clean cut. He does not want to have to work too hard to achieve this style. Customer service is very important to him. He likes to spend just the right amount of money on both products and services. He loves apps and technology.

These five personas allow us to market to each customer on a more personal level. The personas are used to design our promotions and marketing.

From all of the research and market studying, the ad agency developed our new brand guidelines. The refreshed Chatters brand would talk to millennials without alienating our core clientele.
We went to the local art school and set a brief for one class to style the logo and visuals – this gave us something unique and exclusive fonts which talks to a younger audience. In return, we made a donation to the school and gave the students something to put on their CVs.

Our agency also hired a calligrapher to create unique tag lines for us so that our brand is highly recognizable and individual – something that definitely resonates with younger people, including our teams.

The new brand is all about ‘Style Happy’ and it is at the center of everything we do now. The rebrand might have been eye-wateringly costly, but the immediate response has been so positive that we know it was money well spent #bebrightbebold!

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Corine

Corine

Corine Sim is the VP of Marketing, Branding and E-commerce at Chatters Limited Partnership. Chatters Limited Partnership has 110 locations in Canada with 71 corporately owned and 39 franchised locations. Currently Corine over-sees marketing, private label, store merchandising and a rapidly growing ecommerce business. Corine graduated university with distinction completing a double degree in Psychology and Social Studies from the University of Calgary in 1991. Following university, Corine attended vocational college, completing her cosmetology in 1992. She worked as a hairstylist and salon manager in the early years. Over the past 20 years Corine has worked in various senior management roles and has been instrumental in helping Chatters grow both their salon businesses and ecommerce business.

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