A trouble-free salon marketing tool for those on a budget

Sometimes it feels like the only marketing these days is online marketing.

Yet there are some very successful, cheap marketing tools out there which have absolutely nothing to do with social media, online reviews and search engine optimisation.

Here’s a much-loved favourite of mine. It’s low-cost, effective and lasts for years. It rolls up neatly, is easily portable and ensures your salon gets noticed.

Yep, you’ve guessed. I’m talking about the humble (and cheap) banner stand.

Before you say, “been there, got the T-shirt” and head off, let me show you why banner stands are such good salon marketing tools. Plus I’ll also show you how to write and design them to make them work harder for your business.


Banner stands are not just for exhibitions

Many salon entrepreneurs think of banner stands purely as a marketing tool for exhibitions. Granted a pair will create a nifty mini exhibition stand and ensure you turn heads, but they are so much more versatile.

Once you’ve bought one you can keep re-using it over and over again:

  • Pop it up in-salon to hide a multitude of sins – the entrance to your team room or kitchen.
  • Perfect for every event. Talks to local community groups, school career evenings or Uni Freshers’ Week.
  • Sling it into the car when your salon is participating in a local charity event and stand out the throng.
  • Use it in-salon for client retail evenings, training meetings or just to ring the changes.
  • Organising a pop-up salon at a festival or in a shopping centre? Hey presto, out comes your banner stand.
  • Place it in the salon window at night if you’re in-between window displays.
  • And I’ve even seen them used to hide boxes which have just been delivered and out-of-order backwashes and salon kit.

They’re low-cost and effective. Every hair or beauty salon should have one. Or even better a pair.


Watch the pennies

I’d also suggest avoiding the cheapest banner stands. You do get what you pay for and treated gently a stand will last for a number of years.

The knack is to handle them carefully. By which I mean don’t unpin them from the top and allow them to whizz back at speed into the base. Fun as this can be, it is the quickest way to bust the spring.

The cheap banner stands have flimsy mechanisms which snap easily. They also tend to be unstable as they lack the weight in the base and wobble before falling over. Believe me I’ve been through enough stands over the years.


Get the most bang for your marketing buck: 7 stress-free design tips


1. Identify your target audience – it’s free

How are you going to use your banner stand? Who is your target audience for this marketing tool and what will appeal to them?

For example, a banner stand for a University Freshers’ Week needs to be more edgy than one you are going to use for talks to local community groups.

Then brief your graphic designer so they understand what you want to achieve and can advise you about deign and copywriting.

It isn’t just the look of your banner stand. Think about a targeted marketing message. Your choice of words makes a strong statement about your business.


2. Be bold with your banner stand design

Don’t scrimp on the design. You want your banner stand to be timeless. And eye-catching.

Stick to one main brand colour for maximum impact.

When we’re designing banner stands for clients we find big and bold works best. They are meant to be viewed from a distance and tempt people to wander across.


3. Strong simple images are best

Ideally use an image you already use on your salon marketing materials and website. If you don’t have a suitable one or the image isn’t high enough resolution to use on a banner stand then spend some time selecting a good quality photo from an image library such as iStock.

Either way a strong yet simple image will work best. Avoid any image which is busy or complex.

Remember your salon banner stand will be viewed from a distance and it’s quite likely there will be a table or person obscuring the lower part of it.


4. Short, clear and simple text

The same advice goes for the text. It needs to be readable from across a room. You want to attract potential new clients’ attention.

Too often salon owners ask us to cram too much onto the banner. Less is more here. Without doubt.

Spend some time thinking about your marketing message and call to action. Short sharp bullet points work well.

And don’t mix typefaces. Keep to one if you can and ensure it’s clear. Manuscript fonts don’t usually work well on banner stands as they’re more difficult to read.

The essence of a banner stand is to get your business brand and message over quickly and easily. To stand out amongst the competing marketing noise around you.


5. Your salon name and brand in lights

Banner stands are perfect for some salon brand awareness at local events.

So put your salon name and logo at the top of the stand. People are more likely to see it there especially if there are a crowd of people milling around at a busy event.

Don’t feel you need to use every inch of space and relegate important information to the lower third of the banner where it will get lost.

If you’re just intending to use the banner stand in-salon this is less important and you can utilise the whole of the printable area.


6. Which salon contact details?

Don’t waste space and clutter your roller banner stand with your full contact details and social media addresses. Just your phone number and website are enough.

The important thing is to make them large and easy to jot down. Back this up at an event with salon business cards. Again business cards are a marketing tool many hair and beauty businesses often overlook. Yet they are invaluable for networking and look professional.


7. Extra touches on a shoestring budget

If you’re using your banner stand at an event then give some thought to the table, lighting and storage. Coats, hand bags and boxes of leaflets are ideally hidden behind your banner stand.

Perspex leaflet holders and stands are very low cost way of keeping your area clutter free (and thus more impactful) while making it easy for people to pick up information about your salon. They are useful when you get back to the salon too.

Before you go to print check all your marketing materials (including the banner stand) match and reflect your brand. Once they are printed it’s too late.

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