We Are Sunshine

Something for Everyone – Web Exclusive Content

Monday, June 22nd, 2020

The Essentials

Now that we’ve given you an overview of the possibilities and recommended approach (in Smart Tan Magazine Volume 35, Issue7), let’s delve into some of the particular products that most salons already offer, or you certainly can bring in from the vendors you already work with. This conversation naturally starts with tan extending moisturizers. These products act as the proverbial bridge connecting tanning lotions and other skin care products you can offer.

“Tan Extenders are a critical part of the tanning process. They are much more than just a moisturizer as they are often described,” Brooks says. “Tan Extenders help promote more visible results and the opportunity to tailor results in their unique way. Our chemists formulate our extenders with nutrients that help to extend the life of our tan but also help the natural color continue to build.”

Tan extending moisturizers are likely the easiest products to sell to people already coming in the salon. They’re affordable, and everybody uses some sort of moisturizer. You can easily convince tanners to buy them because they’re formulated specifically to improve and extend tanning results, unlike the ones they can get elsewhere. But, they’re also wonderful products for anyone, with better ingredients that comparable options, and they’re generally priced quite competitively.

“A tan extending moisturizer you can only buy in a tanning salon. There are two main differences in the tan extending moisturizer, and that’s alcohol and mineral oil. Mineral oil acts like a natural SPF and stays in skin for 48 hours. That’s going to work like a natural SPF and can get in the pores of your acrylics. Other moisturizers also have a higher concentration of alcohol. That strips your tanning results. And, ours are aloe-based, which is better than water-based,” Saavedra says.

Also, remember that this time of year, the appeal of tan extending moisturizers is greatly broadened. Many people who don’t tan indoors still appreciate the aesthetic of their summer color, so you can effectively market these products on social media for helping them perfect and prolong their tans after a day at the pool or out boating at the lake.

But, perhaps the most important consideration with this type of product is your price point. As mentioned, these are one of the easier products to sell because of their utility and low cost. But, if you’re really focusing on becoming that product destination for anybody and everybody, you need to consider your indirect competition. Sure, tanners are going to buy them because they’re good for their tans. But appealing to the tens of thousands of women in your market who don’t tan will be highly price dependent. It’s something salon owners often don’t want to hear, but it is worth considering how many more units of product you could move if you sacrificed some of your margins. McFarland isn’t shy about getting brutally honest about this subject.

“If they’re buying it for $7 a bottle, they don’t need to sell it for $23. If they buy it for $7, put it at $15 to $17, and now you’re really competitive. I have salons that do 2 for $25 all year. That’s a commitment. They have a bath and body section. Their staff really pushes, ‘How are you taking care of your skin when you’re not in the salon?’ They’re training customers that this is when the quality of product really starts to matter,” he says.

The Hempz brand perhaps exemplifies the possibilities for increasing sales and profitability by reaching more people with a more reasonable price point, because the brand is sold outside of tanning salons. That’s a sore spot for many salon owners, but McFarland encourages them to look at the bigger picture. Yes, you have competition, but you also have your own natural advantages and the benefit of a well-known brand.

“With Hempz, you hear salon complain about, ‘They sell it everywhere,’ but that’s the very reason it’s so successful. It’s got the power of branding. That’s why people know about it. So, utilize the power of the brand. Use the fact that you have a great relationship with your customers to give them more education,” he says. “You have to utilize the power of the brand. It should instantly make your social media better. Put it out there and let them know everybody should have it.

“When they see that in your salon you have a whole section loaded with flavors and types in its own little retail area, that’s part of the sales process. We’ve got you set with what you need in the bed. Let’s step over here and see what else you need. That’s how it begins. They get excited. They can’t wait to try stuff, they can sample, and it’s a fun thing and becomes part of the experience.”

Summer Fun

Just because we’re talking largely about other types of products here doesn’t mean more traditional tanning products don’t play a role. Tanning lotions for sessions are always going to be your bread and butter, but for the purposes of this article, we want to look at how you can extend the appeal and add revenue on top of your normal sales. A major, timely consideration right now is the fact that many of the tanning lotions you already carry are marketed as indoor/outdoor products. In the summer and fall, that’s a definite selling point inside the salon, but you should definitely also be pushing that option as much as possible outside the salon to your client database and on social media.

“The more multipurpose or multi-use a product is, the higher the need to buy is for many clients. Except for tingle products, our products are designed for maximizing color in and out of the salon, which encourage clients to use year-round, especially going into the fall, as clients want to keep their summer color. While Labor Day is traditionally the ‘end of summer’ in many parts of the country, the weather mirrors that of summer and the need for indoor/outdoor products remains high,” Brooks says.

For people that do tan indoors, but perhaps only sporadically this time of year, it’s definitely a major selling point.

“A lot of time our seasonal tanners are tanning for events, so they can turn around and take it on their vacation. It has a shelf life, so we don’t want them to think they’re paying for it for just a couple tans. A lot of our products that are selling really well are the ones that can be used indoor and outdoor,” Saavedra says. “The best thing you can do, as far as social media, is just use images of people using the product outside and the tan lines. People love tan lines for some reason.”

And, once you’ve started the conversation about tanning outdoors, it’s easy to move straight into other sun care products that your vendors provide. While tanning pros have a love/hate relationship with sunscreen due to industry politics, let’s not forget that most everyone buys it somewhere, and you should be embracing the role of protecting your clients’ skin not only in the salon, but outside as well.

“Our Australian Gold SPF collections are one of the most popular products that we encourage salons to offer, as most people are buying these items elsewhere,” Brooks says.

Devoted Creations has recently taken a big step into the sun care biz with their CosmoSun line. Just as the Australian Gold and Hempz brand names carry a lot of weight outside of the tanning world, Devoted’s partnership with Cosmopolitan provides another great opportunity to market these products outside of the salon, because of brand recognition.

“CosmoSun is taking off huge, especially because we have the backing of Cosmopolitan the magazine. They’ve done ads in the magazine for the CosmoSun products, as well as their pages and stories. So, it adds an element of credibility to the product line,” Saavedra says. “The CosmoSun sunscreen is mineral-based, and it’s formulated by us, a tanning lotion manufacturer.”

It’s easy to connect the dots between outdoor tanning formulas, sunscreen and moisturizers, so that presents an obvious opportunity for bundling.

“It’s another opportunity for salons to get customers to embrace the products, because you can use this inside or outside. I say put this on first, then put your sunscreen on top of it if you need it,” McFarland says.

“When I’m marketing for that, I might build it around some bundles. That’s where you get the other benefit of Hempz. It makes it really easier to put new products in people’s hands to try out. If you want to get them hooked on outdoor products, throw five packets of Happy Dayz or Tropicz or another outdoor products with their Hempz moisturizer, and get them to try it. It’s the beauty of the brand.”

The Latest Craze

With all of these different products your vendors are producing, the possibilities just keep expanding, and one entirely new category has emerged quite recently: CBD tanning lotions and moisturizers. CBD lotions and moisturizers are good products to sell because they serve another purpose. Lots of people like CBD products and will use them even when they’re not tanning. “CBD is a category that is increasing in popularity to many different demographics,” Brooks says.

As tanning professionals are all to familiar with in other aspects of their businesses, discussing the potential benefits of CBD from these products is tricky, and you don’t want to risk making any medical claims, but the good news is many people already use CBD products for a variety of reasons, or at least know what it does, so you don’t have to say too much. You are also free to talk about its benefits as a skin care ingredient.

“CBD is huge all over the place, so you have your main CBD users who are already using it in other aspects of their life. They’re going to be gravitating toward the CBD products,” Saavedra says. “We have additive drops to add to any tanning lotion. They are water-soluble, so they can even be dropped into airbrush solution to do a CBD airbrush tan. The salons absolutely can talk about skin care impacts of CBD. It does have anti-inflammatory properties and helps with acne. For anybody with oily skin, it also does have oil-absorbing properties.”

Marketing products with CBD, which are available from Devoted Creations, Sun Evolutions and New Sunshine brands, outside the salon can be quite powerful to people who already use other CBD products. There’s plenty to discuss about its skin care properties, and those who are familiar with it can draw additional conclusions on their own.

“We definitely are in the CBD arena too. With the Hempz brand, it would only make sense we would embrace that. We have it in our Smoke moisturizer collection and a bunch of our UV products. There’s a Hempz and CBD collection, and we’re currently developing a Hempz and CBD moisturizer,” McFarland says.

“It’s incredible what they’ve uncovered with it, and how it’s good for skin. It’s going to stick around. It’s very marketable, and it’s going to be very marketable for years to come, the more they find out about it. We limit what we claim about it to what we know. We know that for a fact that it’s been proven to be an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. I’ve heard some stuff about other benefits, but we don’t make those claims. We stick to what it’s naturally good at that. Stick to facts. Keep it simple. Carrying Hempz is a great segue.

“CBD, I would say is one of the biggest things to happen in skin care in the last 50 years.”

Sunless is Always in Season

Just because people are getting natural tans outdoors this time of year doesn’t reduce demand for the sunless retail products you offer. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

“As we move into the summer/fall months, the need for both Sunless and UV clients to utilize our sunless retail are as high as the spring. Sunless retail creates the opportunity for clients to customize their color head to toe for natural looking results,” Brooks says. “For example, with our CT Color Rich Mousse after their spray or UV session, the mousse can be applied to enhance color on their legs, arms, or event contour the body. As we move closer to the fall, many of us grow accustomed to our summer color and these products help us extend it into the fall. “

This time of year, it’s actually easier than ever to market sunless retail products outside the salon, because people’s tans are on their minds, but sometimes executing the perfect tan outdoors is easier said than done.

“You obviously want to focus on keeping their color. There’s so many different events people want color for in the fall. It’s Halloween and homecoming and so many different events,” Saavedra says.

The aforementioned CosmoSun brand also includes a number of sunless retail products that can appeal to non-traditional tanners based on brand name alone.

“There’s basically one thing in that line for every different need. The Overnight sunless product that won’t stain your sheets. A gradual tan Mousse for quick color. The Sun Lotion with Shimmer is fun because it can be used for a night out for a little light color or shimmer. Then we have a Wash-Off that gives you instant color that washes away,” Saavedra says.

Other timely considerations, this year in particular, include adjusted vacation schedules and many people who were deprived of their tans this spring.

“Even though we missed season, I think we’re fortunate to be opening up during the summer when everybody wants to be tan and look good. It’s on their mind, and they want to tan right away, fast – if not at the salon, with those retail products,” Meals says.

“We need to be mindful that there are to be fewer people taking vacations, but they still want to look like it. We have to help them with that by suggesting those products that provide that look of a nice, even, beautiful tan. It’s a daily boost of confidence, so they can constantly be out in front of customers saying, ‘I know you need a tan, and this is the fastest way to get it.’”

As for promoting these products, Meals points back to the lessons salons learned when they sold them while their storefronts were closed.

“Just that cadence of communication from the salon – we all stepped up. We all took it on ourselves to say, ‘The salon’s not open. What are we going to do to bring the tan to the consumer?’ We need to operate that way even when we’re open. Say, ‘This is available for you. Even if you can’t tan at the salon, keep your tan going all the time.’” she says.

Meals also points out a few specific products from Sunless, Inc. brands that should be particularly appealing this time of year.

“The Bronzing Mists are always a grab-and-go to fix legs before you head out in shorts, and our new Tanning Waters, I believe, are really going to deliver for us this summer. The spray booth clear solution is very popular because there’s no transfer of the solution to clothing, so we brought that tech into retail products,” she says.

“We also have a lot of face-specific products. Makeup does one thing, but to put a little self tanner on the face then makeup, you feel like you’ve been in the sun, and it just has that summer look.”

The More the Merrier 

A lot of your success with all of these products depends on “stealing” sales from indirect competitors like big box retailers and cosmetic companies. So, beyond the categories we’ve already discussed, the question becomes, “What else can I provide my customers that they’re already buying elsewhere?” And, the answer is plenty!

Some of the products you have direct access to from industry vendors are comparable to some of the higher-end skin care products sold in department stores and beauty shops like ULTA. Devoted Creations’ Glam line features high-end beauty products that are designed specifically for tanners.

“You have our anti-wrinkle cream, and the Glam Factor, which is a facial product with BB cream,” Parsons says. “Most women buy high-end facial products, so if they’re tanning and care about their skin, they’re already buying something like that. It’s geared toward tanners’ skin.”

Many people might be surprised to find these types of products in a tanning salon, so there’s a lot to be gained by marketing them outside the salon. And, the cost of high-end facial products from other stores makes it easy to compete on price, without sacrificing margins.

“One item that has been a big hit in 2020 is the Designer Skin Illuminating Drops that are essentially liquid highlighter. Additionally, our California Tan bronzing powder is an item that after one use many ditch the high price tag retail option for an equally if not better item for less cost.” Brooks says.

Then, there’s the Devoted Creations Collagenetics line, as well as Sun Evolution’s Beauty with Light, which are intended for use with red light therapy. However, at their core, they’re skin care products with high-end ingredients, and they will benefit users even without the use of red light. So, you can promote them to anyone, but you probably won’t want to delve into that sector unless you do offer red light services. If you do offer red light, though, these products are an absolute must. It’s an easy sale for anyone who uses red light, you can still sell it to others, and the products also serve the purpose of cross-marketing with the service. You might be just as successful selling the client on the products, and then the service, as vice versa.

“When people come in for red light, they’re doing it for a purpose: Look younger, a skin condition, get rid of wrinkles, etc. So, we know that’s a different clientele. When you have that type of person that comes in, it’s really easy to sell them BWL. I’m like a little detective and ask a lot of questions. What are you using on your face? They say they don’t tan their face, and I know they have a fear of aging. Those types of questions lead me right to BWL Facial Serum. If I’m engaging with the customer properly, it opens of opportunities. You have a facial serum, eye serum and body crème. There’s nothing in red light that makes them work. They’re post or after product to use as part of daily regimen. I always say it keeps it going,” McFarland says.

“Once again, it’s just commitment. I’ve always said, as a trainer, if somebody has red light and I go in and train on BWL, I’m almost 100 percent if that client gets in front of me on selling a bag deal. It’s almost a no-brainer because I know what their concern is, and I’m going to say, ‘Look, if you want the best benefits from these sessions, these are the products that are essential to use with it.’”

Other options from industry vendors also include body washes, lip balms, and much more. Even beyond the potential for add-on sales and bundling, consider utilizing these products as another opportunity for marketing and reaching new people. Coming with numerous attractive flavors, scents and package designs, these low-cost options might be the ones that appeal to certain consumers when you post about them on social media. Then, once they get in the store, you have the chance to tell them how much more you have to offer.