Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

On the Road With Dermalogica

Jane Wurwand Talks CoolBrands

Jane Wurwand talks CoolBrands.

Nowadays, it’s easy to get bogged down with the doom-and-gloom of bad economic news, so it is downright refreshing to encounter someone with a positive and proactive outlook. Last week, I attended Dermalogica’s 16th-annual May Education Week at the company’s Carson, CA, headquarters, and after sitting in on some great sessions and talking to company founder Jane Wurwand, I found it almost impossible not to adopt an optimistic outlook.

In spite of (or perhaps because of) the current recession, Jane and her team at Dermalogica and the International Dermal Institute are keeping the company’s focus on education and providing clients with the knowledge they need to help their businesses thrive. As such, more than 120 educators from more than 50 countries were flown to California for a week of classes, bonding, networking, and fun. The main message? The spas, skin clinics, and salons that are thriving in this economy are the ones that are being proactive and pushing limits.

May Week classes offered tips for building business, spelled out the importance of retail, and filled attendees in on the latest in technology, treatments, techniques, and more. The event ended with a very inspirational presentation by Jane herself on CoolBrands. For the fourth year in a row, Dermalogica has been named one of the U.K.’s favorite brands for its style, innovation, originality, authenticity, desirability, and uniqueness. The company was also part of the annual book, CoolBrands, an Insight Into Some of Britain’s Coolest Brands, sharing the spotlight with H&M, Aston Martin, Vivienne Westwood, and other hip companies.

Dermalogica has always been an effective, original brand, and I think we could all learn from Jane’s philosophy: “A therapist should give a client a treatment, not just a treat.”

Flu Free Guarantee?

Secrets Maroma Beach

Secrets Maroma Beach

I’m always impressed by creative marketing promotions, and I just got word about a really interesting approach to battling the swine flu’s terrible impact on tourism in Mexico. Zoëtry, Secrets, and Dreams Resorts & Spas are encouraging tourists to forget their fears and head south of the border for sun, spa and fun with a new “flu-free guarantee.” Valid between now and December, if a guest contracts Influenza A – H1N1 (aka, the swine flu) while staying at these resorts, their next three vacations will be on the house.

“The health and wellbeing of our resort employees and guests is a top priority for us. As a result, zero cases of influenza have been reported at any of our properties,” said Alex Zozaya, president and CEO of AMResorts, provider of sales, marketing, and brand management services for Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets Resorts & Spas, and Dreams Resorts & Spas.” “During the last few weeks, we have continuously encouraged travel to Mexico based on the real facts about the H1N1 virus, and the sanitary protocols in place at all of our resorts.”

I think this is an incredibly inventive way for the resorts’ teams to stand behind their safety claims and reassure guests about travel to Mexico in the midst of a health scare. Is your spa feeling the impact of the recent flu news? If so, what are you doing anything interesting to entice wary clients? Send us an email to We’ll post your feedback here!

Spa Discounts: Yay or Nay?

SháNa Spa in Santa Fe, NM, is offering creative promotions to boost business.

SháNa Spa in Santa Fe, NM, is offering creative promotions to boost business.

I moderated a panel last weekend at the IECSC New York show called Ask the Experts, Conversations with Top Spa Operators. The talented panelists included Suzanne Holbrook, executive spa director at The Ritz Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes; Peggy Wynne Borgman, executive consultant, Wynne Business Spa Consulting and president, Preston Wynne, Inc; Bruce Schoenberg, CEO, Oasis Day Spas; and Ann Moloney Brown, spa director, Spa Shiki at The Lodge of Four Seasons. It was a wonderful session with all sorts of great audience feedback. But one topic we kept returning to was discounting. Traditionally, spa operators have shied away from the word—if you offer a discount, how can you justify returning to non-recession prices when things get better?

However, we are in the midst of a rather frightening economic time, and we all agreed that it might be time to rethink some of our marketing approaches. Case-in-point? This recent article from The New York Times that was cited by Bruce Schoenberg during the panel:

“Never Mind What It Costs. Can I Get 70% Off?”

This story got me thinking—is it time to reconsider instituting spa discounts? Throughout the panel discussion, we talked about ways to do this (often without actually using the word “discount”), and I also recently received a list of new promotions instituted by SháNah Spa at Bishop’s Lodge Ranch Resort & Spa in Santa Fe, NM. Some of the creative new promotions to they’re instituting to boost business include:
• Friends and Family discount card (20% off) for employees to give out to friends and loved ones
• Happy Hour discount at the spa from 9 to 11 a.m.
• A special Industry Rate for other spas’ and resorts’ employees
• Rainbow Night, targeting the gay market
• Teen’s spa parties held on Fridays from 6:30-9:30 p.m.
• Private birthday events for groups

What do you think about spa discounts? And what are you doing to creatively boost your business during this difficult time? Send us an email at We’ll post your feedback here!

Look on the Bright Side

Although times are tough, there are still ways to maintain grace under pressure. For some great advice from American Spa columnist Peggy Wynne Borgman, click here.

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