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Teens as a Spa Revenue Stream

     For the past few years spas have been attempting to tap into the teen market. Is it a worthy market? Is there a teen need to fulfill? In a word...YES! Read on to learn the mistakes to avoid and the strategies for positioning a successful teen program at your spa.

Why Focus on Teens? Spa leaders cannot afford to ignore the teen and tween demographic for numerous reasons. Spending by the American teen and tween market (10-17 year-olds) for haircare, skincare and color cosmetics is expected to drastically increase. This population of spenders and influencers are important because:

1. Estimates indicate that 12-14-year-olds have an average annual income of $2,167 and teens in the 15-17-year-old age group generate an average annual income of $4,023.

2. They spend family money as well as influence their parents' spending on both large and small purchases.

3. These young consumers affect fashion, lifestyle, and overall trends.

Teens are a growing market for a spa. According to the U.S. Census the teen population will expand, which provides your business with tremendous marketing opportunities.

Market Challenges Teen Spending: One teen magazine published a survey stating that despite the recession, a majority of teens continue to receive the same amount or more of spending money. The great news for the spa industry is that teens say they want to look good no matter what. And they're spending to prove it. Many businesses are battling for teen's attention and teens have more choices than ever, so what can you do to capture the teen market?

Fulfilling the Teens Needs

Spas can position themselves as the source for clear and glowing skin to answer one of the biggest problems teenagers face. It's a fact that skin disorders lead to stress, depression and social withdrawal, which could lead to even more problems. Approximately 20 million teenagers have acne. "Acne can be especially emotionally devastating for teens because they are extremely conscious of their appearance and their image," says Hilary Baldwin, M.D., Associate Professor of Dermatology at State University of New York, Brooklyn. "Several studies have shown that acne sufferers can experience everything from decreased self-esteem and problems with body image to depression and anger."

Helping teens overcome their skin care challenges creates a business model for you to capture the teen market. Successful spas are developing teen menus and/or hosting teen parties and offering special programs and services to this important group. Here are some mistakes to avoid and solutions to position your teen program for success!

Develop an Effective Teen Program

The first mistake most spas make is they include teen services within their regular menu. This practice does not work.

Solution: Develop a separate teen menu that appeals to the youth audience while fulfilling their needs. The teen menu should have its own unique identity and imagery that connects with them on their level. Before you print your teen menu, gather a teen focus group and make sure that they like what they see and read. This will save a lot of time and money.

The second mistake frequently made is offering the wrong treatment selection. According to teen surveys, teens want clearer skin, makeup lessons, fun manicures, pedicures, waxing, and education on learning how to look and feel great.

Solution: When selecting your treatment options, stay away from too many massage treatments. Make teen offerings a necessity rather than pampering. We found that most parents are willing to pay for necessity and educational treatments such as facials and skin care products rather than massages or pampering treatments. If you are not selling teen retail products for home care, you need to.

Acne and treating problematic skin should be your number one focus. Creating an acne program, which will include a series of classes and/or spa monthly membership, is the best way to position your teen spa program. You can sell a lot of products by setting them up on an automatic reordering program.

Bonus Tip: Create a membership program where a teen receives a monthly facial to maintain healthy looking skin. As mentioned before, many studies indicate that acne in teens is linked to depression, lack of self confidence and social withdrawal. Parents are willing to invest in services that contribute to their child's health and well-being.

The third mistake we see is when a spa hosts a teen spa party, they try performing private treatments with teens. This kills the party environment. Teens are all about socializing, not going into a room by themselves for a treatment.

Solution: A teen party is about socializing and having fun with your friends. Provide group demonstrations and interactive hands-on product introductions…develop a theme and make it fun. Try this marketing strategy and watch your sales go up!

Effective Steps to Marketing Teen Parties

First, come up with a variety of teen party themes. "SPArty" themes we found successful are prom, graduation, birthdays, holidays, friendship and other special occasions. Be creative and give names to your events! The SPArty should be an awesome teenage spa adventure designed with one goal in mind... have fun while educating teens on how to look and feel great!

The night of the party, set up your spa in stations for teens to experience and enjoy. For example, the first station can be the "Best Face Forward" facial station. Have all the teens gather and watch an esthetician give a mini demonstration on how to properly cleanse, tone, mask and moisturize their skin. Give each person their own products and let them try out what they just learned. The second station can be the makeup station or "Glam Me Up." Do a mini demonstration on the do's and don'ts of makeup application; give everyone some makeup and let them try the new techniques--experiment and have fun. The third station can be hair and nails or "The Perfect 10." Teach them how to style their hair in the latest trend, braid, or use fashionable beads for a unique statement. Have a nail tech give them a lesson on maintaining their hands and feet. Let them choose their color and give them a nail polish…maybe some nail decorations and embellishments to make it even more exciting. The fourth area can be the "Refresh Me" station where you serve healthy snacks and drinks. Everyone should leave with a "To Go" gift bag, which will include a teen starter kit so they can use all the products at home and practice healthy skin care habits.

Hosting this type of party can be educational and fun at the same time. If you do a good job of impressing teens, the word will quickly spread about your spa and your teen spa parties will be reserved on a regular basis.

Here are the benefits from the spa's perspective:

Parties can be hosted when the spa is closed, that way you are not interfering with the normal hours of operation. You can charge a flat fee per person. You need fewer team members to work the party. Expand your customer base and services. Teaching teens good skin care habits and how to use products properly can turn them into regular clients. Increase your bottom line and team performance.

Note: The party introduces your spa to the teen market. Your goal should be to convert at least 50% of the party attendees to regular customers or to a monthly spa membership. The party is a marketing tool to increase your teen clientele.

Measuring the Event's Success

We all know that teens regularly use social networks. So, it's important for you to seek their feedback in places where they communicate with their friends. Whether it's Facebook or Twitter, teens can talk about their spa party in a matter of seconds. Creating a memorable event will ensure they spread positive comments about your spa.

Teen Party Price

Charge a flat fee per person. The rate depends on your area and the type of spa you have, but as a rule of thumb you can charge up to $49 per person. Remember not to make it too expensive. The party is a way for you to gain them as spa members. So, even if you just break even, you have the opportunity to add them to your membership program or create a lifetime client you benefit from in the long run.

The Spa's Goals for Hosting Teen Parties

*Generate buzz about the spa
*Attract a new target market
*Position the spa as the source for teen education on healthy skin
*Tap into a new revenue stream

Get creative and capture the growing teen market!

Copyright (c) 2013 InSPAration Management

Article Source:

Dori Soukup is a recognized spa consultant, expert, speaker, coach and author. Dori is the founder and CEO of InSPAration Management, a business firm that specializes in providing business solutions to spa and salon leaders. The firm offers education via CDs, DVDs, Coaching Memberships, Seminars, and more. To learn more, visit

Posted on 2013-06-20, By: *

* Click on the author's name to view their profile and articles!!!

Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author,

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