5 Things Getting a Haircut in a Foreign Country Can Teach You About Marketing

I just got my haircut in Mexico for the first time and it was almost like my first trip to the barber. What could go wrong?

I just got my haircut in Mexico for the first time and it was almost like my first trip to the barber. I always have the option of shaving my own head if this goes south, so there was that.

Luckily I was the only person present besides the barber Henry. I would have probably been much more reserved if it had been crowded.

But no english was spoken as is pretty much the case in all of Mexico and I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm the visitor and it's my responsibility to learn the language.

Astute followers may recall that I had hired a Spanish tutor a few weeks back. But aside from knowing what the word for barber/barber shop was I really didn't learn anything that helped me here and I didn't ask for a refresher before hand. So here we go...

1. The first thing was the clever name. I know that a lot of people will poo poo this being a thing, but actually it is. You see he took an American movie name and transformed it to let me know that he were up to date, probably dealt with people who were into pop culture and clever. Inglorious Barbers! It was clear what he did and I happen to be fan of a lot of Quentin Tarrantino movies, so result!

Marketing principle: Your marketing and message should speak to your ideal customer.

2. The "rug matched the drapes". I had googled and found him online and because in Mexico they share space very well you are likely to find a barber over a car mechanic with a lawyer next door I was a bit skeptical. But his entrance was clearly marked and his branding was on point too. If I had to look for him or his entrance was around a corner and down a dark alley I may have punted on this little excursion.

Marketing principle: Make taking the next step obvious for your customer.

3. He made me feel comfortable. It's pretty clear for several reasons that I'm not a local this was where the challenge really came for me. Having conversation specifically about the details of my haircut. We also discussed the video game that was streaming on YouTube, and several other topics. They were your garden variety barber shop talk just at a much slower pace. But he took the time to slow things down for me and repeat when necessary.

Marketing principle: Provide clear directions on how to use your product and take time to make the customer feel like they are wanted and that you have time for them.

4. When I left we did a fist bump. Whether that was customary for him (he was a bit younger) or brought on by the situation in the world, it left me feeling like he enjoyed our interaction and wasn't just about the exchange of money that just happened. With that little interaction he just earned a customer for the entire time I'm in Merida.

Marketing principle: Repeat customers are your bread and butter as a business owner.

5. He was tech savvy. Prior to going I reached out to him via Facebook Messenger and asked did I need an appointment. Within minutes we had set it and he sent a booking. It also allowed me to use Google translate if I had needed it. Perfect!

Marketing principle: Stay up to date on what changes are happening in technology and how they are being used to make lives easier.

Barber shops that take walk-ins only are a dying breed and having a full shop may look good and to some degree be a networking opportunity for the people waiting. However if you have a full book of appointments and a personalized customer experience you are more likely to keep those customers than the ones who have to wait 2 hours to get in a chair.

If you or someone you know are a business owner. Feel free to reach out and connect. Let's chat about how I can help you.

Pro Tip: Always get your drivers license picture taken with a fresh (good) haircut. You can use it to show any barber (English speaking or not) and that will help him recreate it.

Categories: Marketing Tips