Brand building and business success lead discussion at Spa Life UK

Branding building, customer loyalty, staff motivation and treating cancer sufferers were some of the topics on the agenda at the annual Spa Life UK conference earlier this week. 

Opening keynote speaker, entrepreneur and brand expert BJ Cunningham, emphasised the importance on delivering on you promise to clients. “A brand is not a logo, a brand is a promise, and keeping that promise will build long-term customer loyalty,” he said. 

“Know what it is you want to say, say it clearly and do what you said you would do, when you said you would do it.” 

Cunningham also pointed to the importance of shaping customers' perception of your brand. “Price point matters, the product matters, but what matters the most is what your customers believe of you, and what they believe is true, until you change that perception,” he said. 

Kathryn Dowthwaite-Blay from the Spa Life Academy, the education arm of Spa Life UK, and John Holman, founder of John Holman Therapy Solutions, explored the spa industry myths surrounding treating those suffering or in remission from cancer. 

Sharing research carried out on behalf of the Spa Life Academy, Dowthwaite-Blay said industry professionals feel there is a great deal of confusion about what you should and should not do when it comes to treating patients with cancer. 

“There is a lack of understanding of treating cancer patients, and many believe that massages spread cancer, when there is actually no research to back that up,” she said. Holman added, “Since there is no scientific evidence to say that massage makes cancer worse, it is maybe time to change our approach.” 

Closing keynote speaker Linda Moir, former director of customer service at Virgin Atlantic and responsible for organising the ‘Games Maker’ volunteers at the 2012 London Olympics, focused on great customer service as the key to business success. 

“Products can be copied, but copying your customer service is much more difficult,” she said, adding that you should take ideas from your staff onboard. “The best ideas in any business come from the people that work with customers every day.”

Moir also said that showing your staff appreciation is essential to making them passionate about their jobs. “Recognise people and their needs and make them proud of what they do. Because, if you’re proud of what you do, it really does show.” 

This year’s Spa Life UK, held at the new Center Parcs Woburn Forrest in Bedford, attracted more than 400 attendees.