John Hallberg, founder of and former marketing director at OPI, spoke at Vagaro’s iconic.22 conference in San Francisco, California on September 25. When Hallberg addressed a room full of salon professionals, asking if everyone was ready to learn about harnessing online trends, there was a resounding “Yes!” 

Hallberg began his session by reviewing five digital trends impacting the salon industry: Dr. Me, Mydentity, social proof, the here & now, and AI & data. 

Like what you see? Watch the full session HERE!

Over the past few decades, the amount of information the average person consumes daily has risen by 350%. With this astounding increase, it’s only fitting that clients are more educated on what they’re looking for. No longer do we live in an age of ignorance, but rather an age of knowledge. Hallberg calls this the “knowledge economy,” noting that, because clients are more well-educated on what they want, they’re looking online for experts who can help them achieve their beauty goals. To take advantage of this, as salon owners, it’s imperative to show clients what services are offered and to give them as much information as possible. 

Noting that Gen-Z has powered a fluidity in self-definition and expression, Hallberg stressed the importance of branding and for salon owners to establish who they are. This establishment of self allows clients to learn more, perhaps enticing them to make a decision that will benefit local salon owners. 

But simply stating that a salon is the best doesn’t necessarily mean anything if there is no social proof. Social proof equates to clout, which will drive new business into salons. Hallberg shared that, “9 out of 10 people trust reviews just as much as they trust a recommendation” from a friend. Building up social proof also starts with meeting client expectations. 

As Hallberg put it,

“Our lives are moving online.”

With this, clients are increasingly demanding, expecting that their questions will be answered in a timely fashion. He warns that not adhering to the changing times could cost a salon owner valuable business. “In order to be here and now and deliver on the expectations people have today,” he said, “we need to use technology and have an open mind for that.” 

Finally, using AI and data systems to automate aspects of running a business can alleviate a degree of stress from busy business owners. While this may seem off-putting or unfamiliar to many at first, Hallberg stresses the need to stay with the times. Instead of resisting the changes and hoping clients will respond, he told the audience,

“Prepare to adapt, try things and learn.” 

John Hallberg was just one of many incredibly iconic speakers at Vagaro’s inaugural conference. Missed out? Then join us next year for iconic.23 in sunny Southern California! Follow us HERE for updates!