Today’s tips are a result of a question received about attracting a certain type of consumer. While the answer is specific to the massage industry, the tactics used to get the answer can be applied to a variety of businesses.
I have a friend who’s starting out as a massage therapist. How can he position himself as a source for upscale clientele?
If your friend wants to position himself as a massage therapist for upscale clients, he should perform the following tasks before he opens his doors for business:
1. Get inside the head of the consumer. One of the most important parts of this consumer research is to understand a target’s pain point. What do they crave that he can offer with his massage therapy services? What can this person offer that other businesses cannot? If it’s privacy, for example, this therapist can provide a mobile service that meets clients at their homes or hotels. He could also agree to keep all upscale client names private in exchange for solid leads. If it’s high quality or exotic services his potential clients want, he could offer a few extra special and extra pricey services, such as a massage using caviar or diamond dust. Okay, I made those ingredients up, but he would find out the proposed services through his research.
2. Understand the industry, especially the upscale niche. Market research will be important, even if this person is socially part of the group he wants to serve. To understand the latest trends in body for the upscale, he can look in targeted magazines, on web sites, and in trade publications. Scoping out the competition will also be informative. Look at how these businesses are positioning themselves and do it differently or better. Even celebrity or upscale magazines may have blurbs on the services the “it” people have been talking about.
3. Create a brand image that projects and upscale image. Your friend should use colors that are relaxing but will also resonate with a sophisticated crowd. For example, he may want to leave cartoon-like logos, web sites and brochures alone. He can look to his competition for color and word cues. If your friend is not a graphic designer, he should look to a marketing firm for help in designing his marketing materials. If possible, all materials should be reviewed by someone in the target market to make sure they resonate well with them.
Once your friend knows his consumer base and the industry, it will be easier to create more tactical plans, such as partnering with a salon to offer massages to their clients or choosing where to advertise his services. While he can do all of this on his own, I recommend he contact a marketing coach for help to save time and leverage his coach’s experience.