Guest blog: how to build relationships with leading product houses
Jane Tregonning, spa manager at The Spa Hotel at Ribby Hall Village, in Preston, Lancashire, which won Professional Beauty’s Spa of the Year: North West 2016 Regional Award, shares her experience of building relationships with some of the leading brands in the industry.
At The Spa Hotel, we work with a selection of carefully handpicked product houses that complement each other in terms of treatments and services offered.The strength of our menu is based on these relationships, and it’s the contact and regular communication with them that enables my therapists to deliver the best treatments, which in turn drive sales.
But there’s a few things you need to know before investing in a product house.
Do your research
Our main product house is British skincare brand Elemis and we’ve forged a strong relationship with the company, which is evident in the range of treatments and products offered at our spa.
We also work with organic brands Neom and Ishga, both chosen for their ethical approach to beauty. Neom’s products are 100% natural and Ishga’s are about harnessing the natural oxidants in seaweed from the Scottish Hebredian waters. The core of our business is centred around corporate responsibility, so it’s beneficial that the product houses we work with adhere to our business objectives.
When thinking about appointing a new product house in your business, you need to do your research. For example, I spent a lot of time looking into Elemis and how its range could boost my business.
I learned the company have good marketing behind the products – there’s a lot of science that goes into them – alongside an exemplary range of treatments and training programmes for therapists. The fact the brand has real substance behind its message made me feel confident in offering its products to our guests.
Image: ©The Spa Hotel at Ribby Hall Village in Preston, Lancashire, which won PB's Spa of the Year: North West 2016 Regional Award
Make sure the brand shares your ethos
Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, so the brands we work with have to share the same ethos of delivering high-quality treatments as well as a certain level of service. In that respect, the relationship is two-way – where you learn how to improve your treatments from the product houses while the brand continues to develop its products with feedback from your guests.
Working with a quality product house means you are able to give customers the best. For example, only spas and salons trained by Elemis can offer the range of treatments the brand has, so communication and synergy between ourselves and them is key. From there, we evolve by listening to our customers and sending that feedback back up so we can continue to develop the spa’s offering together.
Remember, the relationship is two-way
In order to maintain a strong relationship with Elemis, I make time to visit its flagship spa in London (The House of Elemis), as well as scheduling monthly meetings at our spa with trained Elemis representatives. During this time, therapists and reception staff undertake training and learn about its new products and treatments.
Equally, with Ishga and Neom we hold regular events and make time to attend meetings with these key product houses. You have to work together to nurture these relationships and make the effort to keep up-to-date with the products and industry in general.
Relationships with product houses are looked after by ambassadors within the business and each brand has a specific team member who manages the relationship. My team have immense experience and in-house training direct from the product houses, which enables us to experiment to bring the most effective treatments and products to market.
Image: Jane Tregonning, spa manager at The Spa Hotel at Ribby Hall Village