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Smiths

Smith’s Hairdressers, London

(Smith’s has since closed down and relocated to Brighton)

Original Brief and Proposal:

Smiths Are A Combination Of Compassion & Passion

Smiths is a trusted mid to high end salon established in 2003 with a loyal client base. Their current market is considered the ABC1 demographic, with customers coming from the upper 3 social groups. Affluent consumers that expect a high quality, result driven service. Smiths want to be considered an experience rather than just a high street salon. This is true for staff as it is with clients. They promote creativity however are not a trend based salon with a strong focus on classic beauty. Ethics have always been part of Smiths core values. However a recent switch to vegan only products combined with the desire to attract a wider/new market means that smiths current branding (which has been used since opening) does not properly engage or reflect their brands current personality and longterm goals.

There is a strong desire for Smiths new identity to reflect Smiths passionate ethical values – a theme that carries throughout the company. However a line will have to be drawn at some point as clients may begin to pick at certain aspects that don’t meet these values. Therefore this new identity must reflect the concept that Smiths is a high end Salon first that employs strong ethical values, not as an afterthought but as a conscious way of working rather than a major selling point. It must also not alienate the existing client base.

Colour plays a large part of their service and Smiths would like this to be reflected through the new identity They would like to become a key destination for colour in South East London. They feel that the old identity is not current / too masculine and would like to reflect a more gender neutral aesthetic.

Smiths do not think of themselves as in competition with generic high street salons such as Rush or Headmasters and align themselves more with companies such as Paul Mitchell, Chandler Wright, The Chapel, Hansford, Percy Reed, Worthingtons, Taylor Taylor, Josh wood, Hershesons and James H. The new identity must hold up against these business while remaining unique and reflecting core values.

In terms of Marketing I would suggest a stronger focus on print marketing as current marketing is solely social media based. A targeted marketing campaign towards residents of local areas would be a strong step toward making potential clients aware of the Smiths new direction and introducing the desired new market.

Conveying a strong ethical approach and personality to reflect a switch to vegan only products without coming across trend based or alienating current clients while implying high end status and introducing a wider market.

Smiths outlined being a hairdresser first with strong ethical values. However bringing ethics to the forefront could be the key to introducing a new market possibly working along the lines of feeling good about yourself not only aesthetically but emotionally for being part of something ethically conscious. This does not mean that the aesthetic side of the branding has to look ‘vegan’ but can be conveyed through styling and copy writing within marketing materials. I’ve hit on two initial key words which work well together ‘Compassion & Passion’ and would like to develop this into more of a tagline for the Smiths brand’ Much of the competition’s branding is fairly clinical (although the interiors look amazing) and tend to use boastful language (Charles Worthing – although the boasting is backed up by awards and clientele) to imply status.

I think this would be the wrong route to take with smiths and we should try to get across a much more vibrant personality. Particularly keeping in mind the ambition of becoming a key colour destination and being a friendly local salon and team. Percy and reed have said ‘We take out work seriously… ourselves…not so’ This approach could work well for Smiths in solving the outlined problem. There are are a number of stereotypes about Veganism at the moment and these could possibly be reversed or played on to create some sort of humour and personality for the brand while still remaining professional and ‘high end’ with regards to the branding.

Aesthetically – Josh Wood and Percy & Reed are more the style I would suggest to aim for. I also came across Foster London who use a bold display typeface that comes across professional and gives the brand some personality (something I feel all the outlined competition lacks in its branding with the exception of Percy and Reed and Josh Wood.) Some East London Style (within reason) brought to Smiths would also be beneficial to the new identity for widening the market.

The experience side of Smiths is something that will speak for itself with your treatment of clients but will be something I keep in mind throughout the development stage.

In the previous logo an apostrophe was not used, which in its rightful place before the ‘s’ would imply ownership of the Salon by one person. However the team and clients combined are what makes smiths so the apostrophe has been brought in after the ‘S’ to denote plural ownership.

Proposed logo for Smiths as part of new identity in answer to points raised in the brief and proposed route for development. Smiths is an ethically conscious, high end, modern salon specialising in classic beauty.

The typeface chosen employs characteristics of all these focus points. It is both clean/modern and classic/elegant at the same time but also wouldn’t look out of place embossed on vegetable crates. It is important to remember that a logo is not your branding but a small part of it. It should be as simple as possible so that its easily memorable and hint at the personality of the brand rather than state it outright (Eg Smiths with a silhouette of hair…or leaf to imply ethics…which would cheapen the brand and align you with a high street nail Salon)

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