Ladies, have you ever heard of drybar? Well if you haven’t, maybe you know the founder Ali Webb who was just invited to Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards? She is the founder of a wildly successful startup called – you guessed it – drybar. The concept for the startup was a place that women could get really good blowouts (their tag line – “no cuts, no coloring, just blowouts”). Sound mildly crazy to completely impossible/unfeasible – well try telling that to a business with long lines and that is now opening locations around the country.
Dry Bar Engagement Strategy.
This post is going to analyze their marketing success – which really looks at how flawlessly they communicate both their value proposition and their core beliefs. To keep this post clean we are going to be using my own egyptian analytical framework, which is weird I know - but stick with me.
Develop an ideology.
Peace, Love and Blowouts. That pretty much sums it all up. Behind the yellow hair dryer, the company has produced a very unique view point and experience, which drives their engagement strategy. They even went so far are as to publish a video of their 10 core values – a type of exercise and publication I believe every company should go through. Why does this impact marketing/engagement – it completely streamlines the decision making process. If you approach marketing/engagement as a medium to construct added value to things (as drybar as done amazingly) – then you need to define goals, methods and approved communication styles.
Establish a story.
drybar has done a very good job of that – they even released a video explaining the drybar experience. As every good marketer knows, a hair salon should not focus on the scissors but the environment in the salon. Indeed the “bar experience” story has been very well established. When you walk in you are greeted with a “menu” (with the services they offer) and cocktails. This story has been physically manifested as the menu indeed looks like a real restaurant menu. The story of “haircutting” has been completely thrown out the window – to drybar’s advantage.
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Condense into symbols.
See the little upside-down yellow hair dyer from way above – her name is Buttercup. This company has also done a great job in the usage of symbols. Take their distinctive mascot – Buttercup – who is prominently displayed at every location. The symbol is a good use of color, personality and visual identification. Furthermore the “menu” of hairstyles are boiled down into archetypes – symbols that assist in the decision process. Women can choose to get the Manhattan or the Cosmo. In the “restaurant design” of their shops you can see the minimalist esthetic, which is white and their symbolic yellow. This narrow design choice is very specific and fully realized to every aspect of the experience – making it highly visible and recognizable.
This menu style experience insures that the bar narrative is maintained and that it ties back into the company’s story and ideology. I can’t really talk about the company’s online or social media campaigns – I have not performed a thorough analysis of them.
Engage & rumorize.
This would require more information – and more analysis of their social media usage – how interactive they are online – how hard they publish creative content to drive conversation.
However this little image (above) I found is exactly what I am talking about – engagement pieces that drive word of mouth marketing. These pieces have to be big (in size or some other characteristic), they have to be bold, they have to be eye-catching and they have to hold true to the system of symbols. I would say a giant yellow hair dryer fulfills those requirements. The cherry on top, the kicker, the engagement piece to really promote brand vitality and strength.