In salon branding, hair puns abound

Something about this story turned my head.

Identifying a Regis Corp. salon isn’t always easy. That’s because Regis operates under at least 32 different brand names. Close to half of its 10,070 salons are branded under the names Regis, SmartStyle, Cost Cutters, MasterCuts or Trade Secret. The rest go under 27 different names.

Such variety is a curse and a blessing, notes CEO Paul Finkelstein.

It’s a curse because the company loses the promotional clout that comes from pushing a single brand, such as McDonald’s or Starbucks. But it’s a blessing because the different identities enable Regis to put many salons into a single shopping mall. For instance, the company has six salons in the Mall of America.
“We don’t build a super brand,” Finkelstein says. “I don’t think branding is the most essential thing in our business.”

But because it acquires so many salons, Regis has to do plenty of rebranding.
Names of hair salons offer many clever plays on words, and some not so clever.
Consider this sampling of names — not part of Regis — culled from Twin Cities phone directories: Wave Review, Head Over Heels, Last Tangle Hair Design, Hairaphernalia, Hair Police, New Hope for Hair (in New Hope), Hair We Are, and my favorite, Curl Up & Dye.

Finkelstein remembers two names of acquisitions so bad the company had to change them immediately: Head Hunters and Yankee Clipper, which oddly enough was located in the South.

St. Paul Pioneer Press | 06/06/2004 | In salon branding, hair puns abound

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