Salon Franchise Owner Erin Nanke and Des Moines Marketing

Posted by Jim Otto

Marketing in Des Moines

Developing a children's salon franchise into a thriving business requires a lot of time, hard work, and the use of effective marketing. Sometimes overlooked, marketing a business to your community not only can be a way to exercise creativity and have fun with your staff - but also helps generate a positive and exciting image to your audience! 

Erin Nanke, the owner of a successful Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids franchise location in West Des Moines, has used successful marketing campaigns to grow her business. Everything from using the famous Shear Madness pink Cadillac for parades, to passing out flyers and coupons at events around town, Erin's efforts have helped raise awareness on who Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids is - and how much fun it can be to come by for a visit! And through the use of marketing, the word is starting to spread. As an example, The Des Moines Parent noted recently that "Shear Madness is totally kid friendly and makes the whole haircut experience fun for the kiddos."

Erin has also been active in the Des Moines sports scene, and shared her initial idea and subsequent involvement in helping develop a Kid's Club for Iowa Energy (a minor league basketball team). After searching both Iowa Energy and Iowa Wild's (a minor league hockey team) websites last year, Erin discovered that neither team had a "Kid's Club". So Erin decided to contact them to put one together as a sponsor.

"I did both last year to give myself more exposure, being new to the market," Erin explains. "I pushed audio and video mentions at the game and they pushed having booths at the games. What I found last year is I couldn't staff the booths all the time and it was difficult to have interaction with parents and kids because they are there to watch games. We did free hair braiding, free color gel, I had a prize wheel they could spin to win free stuff. However, for this year, I decided I was only going to renew one of the two.  I went with Iowa Energy because they gave me most everything I asked for - which was more Kid's Club games (last year only 2, this year 4), video board mentions all games, PA announcements all games, and NO BOOTH, just signage, etc.  Also they had over 450 kids sign up last year, and Iowa Wild's was half that amount!" 

Erin also notes that her experience working for a local television station for 17 years in Des Moines before opening Shear Madness also helped develop important relationships, marketing opportunities, and negotiation skills. For instance, when Iowa Energy didn't quite meet Shear Madness expectations the prior year, Erin still chose to renew with them because she understood the errors weren't intentional, and that "they would go above and beyond to make it up to me this year. One example is the size of my logo on the t-shirts.  Last year it was the size of a half-dollar, this year it's the entire backside!" 

Meanwhile, after looking into what will deliver more of the results she's looking for, Erin has decided not to focus on having any booths at the Iowa Energy games - and just stick with audio and logo mentions. "For the four designated Kid's Club games I will have a fun interactive 'HAIR CAM' feature during one of the time outs where they put different hair graphics on the fans with my logo bugged throughout the feature.  Last year they wouldn't do it...this year they are for the same investment. And last year I passed out coupons. But this year, kids show their Kid's Club lanyard and they get $2 off a haircut through Mar '15."

"We are so proud of Erin and what she brings to our franchise system.  She is willing to share her ideas and help any store in our system come up with unique marketing strategies.  Erin runs an excellent business because she is not afraid of hard work and asks questions to make sure she is doing everything in the most successful manner." Shear Madness Franchising CEO Janon Otto said.

If you are interested in running a successful kids salon business - a Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids business might be just the match!  To find out more feel free to download our toolkit.  No obligation, just good information!

Exploring a Children's Salon Franchise