What Is A “Third Place?”
A third place is a social environment (separate from home and work) that is a center of community life. When a business is considered a “third place,” it becomes a highly-profitable cornerstone of the community. By providing an environment that encourages your clients to spend time in your salon or spa, you are creating an opportunity to be a third place: where people want to be if they aren’t at home or work.
How To Become A Third Place
Simply offering great services and pricing may be enough to term, but it is not enough to achieve third place status. Remember, your customers’ options are plentiful, which oftentimes leaves good businesses out in the cold if they are not part of the community. Let me share an anecdotal example:
Outside the Box Salon and Spa (OBS) is located in a large beauty market and wanted to increase their customer base. Although they were closed on Mondays, OBS noticed that Monday Night Football was a major event in their area since they are located near a restaurant that has several big screen tvs and offers discounts on buffalo wings and beer. Every Monday night, the restaurant was swamped with customers, which OBS noticed was predominantly men…. but where were their wives and/or girlfriends?
OBS decided to approach the restaurant with an idea: If someone scheduled an appointment for their significant other on a Monday, the spa would give them a coupon for a small order of wings and a beer next door, valid only for the same day as the appointment. OBS also decided to offer complimentary champagne to its customers on Monday nights. OBS marketed the idea in conjunction with the restaurant and things
began to take off. Soon, OBS became a “go-to” spot for women who’s husbands and boyfriends were busy watching Monday Night Football next door, making Mondays the third largest business day of the week.
OBS became a “third place” because their marketing idea created a weekly community event for both men and women, provided a welcoming alternative environment to Monday Night Football, and made regular visitors out of casual customers. Now OBS is the place to be on Monday night for those who don’t care for football.
It’s time to open the marketing bag of tricks and start considering how to make your salon or spa a third place.
About the Author
Matt is VP of Sales and co-owner of ProSolutions Software. With over 20 years experience in the beauty industry, Matt teaches classes to salon and spa owners on business topics including branding, marketing and advertising.