Since Vidal Sassoon redefined hair history by ushering in the modern bob with geometric precision cuts in 1963 and creating legendarily recognizable styles for film stars such as Mia Farrow, Goldie Hawn, Cameron Diaz and Helen Mirren, London-based Sassoon Salon — which has locations in iconic cities worldwide — has been known for understated luxury and effortless sophistication. Long lauded for revolutionizing how people cut, wear, and see hair, the impact of Sassoon on the fashion and beauty industry is undisputed. More recently, Sassoon has seen a shift in hair trends and lost a bit of ground with millennial audiences who have not grown up with the industry-changing beauty brand, particularly in North America. Our challenge: Work with the U.K.-based marketing team to elevate the iconic brand’s North American presence to be top of mind for a younger, affluent and fashion-forward U.S. audience. Our team was charged with building the brand’s following in the online space and engaging a new generation of brand advocates.
Our strategy includes a strategic mix of traditional public relations tactics along with targeted social media advertising and sponsored style influencer networks for an integrated paid, earned, owned and shared media approach.
Sassoon Salon produces two seasonal collections – Spring / Summer & Autumn / Winter and releases each in tandem with both New York and London Fashion Week in September and February respectively. The collections are carefully curated haircuts and colors, which often forecast the next season’s hair and trends.
To align Sassoon with the younger, up-and-coming North America trendsetters during Fashion Week, we worked with Sassoon on several NYFW partnerships including the hair behind breakout design duo Eckhaus Latta AW15/ AW16 / SS16 and the fashion collective threeASFOUR AW15
During AW15 we arranged a sponsored, Style Coalition influencer lounge, and had more than 200 of the biggest names in beauty visit Sassoon during the two-day event.
Capitalizing on the beauty trend reports released following NYFW / LFW, we liaised with the UK team on creating a visual press release to accompany the inspiration of the collection. In our traditional outreach efforts across North America we offered editors a preview of the collection with complimentary services and the opportunity to speak with the Creative Team on trends, tips and how-tos.
To continue a consistent drumbeat of market-specific coverage we developed Sassoon specific angles to tie into ongoing editorial conversations. For example, with the arrival of the Coachella Music Festival, we worked with the Sassoon Creative Team to procure “Three Easy Festival Hair Looks & How Tos” for the upcoming spring events. We then worked the UK on a branded graphic and social assets to place as native advertising in several regional glossy magazine spring beauty features to include JEZEBEL, San Francisco Magazine and Seattle Metropolitan.
Social Media Advertising
Social advertising is a powerful, versatile, and effective advertising tool that we’ve leveraged to increase brand awareness for the salons and hyper target audiences in the local North American markets based on specific interests and tailored demographics. Given our familiarity with US audiences, we worked with the international marketing team on imagery selection in addition to tailoring messaging for the North American end user. Because imagery is of huge importance in the hair and beauty industry, this also gave us a flexible platform to not only adjust creative as needed but also engage with audiences on messaging preferences in A/B testing.
With the launch of Instagram advertising in late 2015, we launched and verified the Sassoon Salon North America Instagram account and quickly grew our social communities through new Page Likes and Followers campaigns on Facebook and Instagram. Additionally, we used website clicks ads to drive website traffic to local salon landing pages to book appointments.
Influencer Relationship Management
To engage a new generation of brand advocates for the Sassoon Salon brand and garner high-quality coverage across 12 major media markets, we’ve managed recruitment, vetting, contracting and ongoing relationships with more than 30 style influencers and brand ambassadors across North America. Designated as Sassoon Style Influencers, the salon brand ambassadors are charged with documenting their experience at the salon for approximately six months while highlighting the latest seasonal hair collections, sharing Sassoon tips and encouraging followers to visit the salons.
We carefully researched and selected the influencers based on their content specialty, social media influence, size of following vs. quality of following and of course, brand alignment. Sassoon Style Influencers were contracted to visit the salons, enjoy services and develop original content following hair and beauty themes.
In less than six months, we drove approximately 10,000 users to the Sassoon salon website, garnered more than 1,200 new Facebook fans, secured more than 800 new Instagram followers, and reached more than a half a million users with social media advertising.
Creating an army of influencer advocates for Sassoon also allowed us to garner consistent, high-quality coverage and secure owned influencer-generated assets and keep the Sassoon brand top-of-mind for potential guests. In less than six months, our program garnered more than 80 editorial placements across 12 media markets, 100 social media posts and more than 1.3 million impressions across North America.
Furthermore, we secured top-tier regional and national editorial coverage including placements in VOGUE, Women’s Wear Daily, SELF, POPSUGAR, CBS’s Emmy Award Winning Daytime Talk Show, “The Talk,” JEZEBEL, Beauty Launchpad, American Salon, NY Mag | The Cut, ELLE, DC Magazine, Washingtonian, and Modern Luxury.