Brand Launch: Blue Sky Beauty
INDUSTRY: Beauty, Hair Care, Salon Supplies Store, Salon & Stylist Training
BRAND SCOPE: Brand Strategy, Brand Identity & Design, Website Design, Website Development, Print Materials, Affiliate Program
Behind the Brand
As iconic as they come in the beauty industry, Blue Sky Beauty is a truly unique salon wholesale supply company. With more than 30 years in the beauty industry, Larry Drew launched the revitalization of Blue Sky Beauty, a salon supplies shop he had taken over from his dad that had been started in 1965. A streamlined, laser-focused, boutique distributor with emphasis on vegan and clean brands, Larry had found success in his ability to support the salon/stylists by offering better tools, education and products never available in Ulta or on Amazon. Since taking over the business, Blue Sky Beauty had continued to focus on its core principals to deliver the utmost in service to it’s salon/stylists. The idea of rebranding and revitalizing Blue Sky Beauty came from the need to bring his shop into the digital space, while still offering the family-style customer service his clients had grown to know and love. He wanted to be able to provide even greater service and support, grow the business, and offer greater support to salon owners and stylist.
We began their project with an in-depth strategic discovery session reviewing the history of the brand so that I could get a better sense of what they were looking for. I wanted to understand not only the history of the business, but the goals, mission and vision for the future of the company. We took an in-depth look at their competitors, identified who their target market was, and developed a differentiation factor & pulled out key points to communicate:
Quality Professional Products
BSB hand selects the products and tools they offer to their clients. They focus on natural, vegan products that are made from the finest ingredients.
Unlike any other salon supplies store, BSB is focused on personalized sales sessions, small training classes, and private events for a more intimate experience.
Moving on to the brand visuals, I knew they had struggled with what direction to go for their brand. We curated a brand mood board together and from there I used the one-concept method to develop them a single immersive brand identity proposal that walked them through the strategy behind the brand along with the strategic visuals that told the brand story through design. We used some key pieces like an old-world-meets-art-deco script, Kavo Serif as a nod to the history of the brand with a modern updated feel. We pulled out shades of blue as a representation of the brand, evoking feelings of calm, dependability, credibility, tranquility and serenity. We sourced an array of high-end imagery to use across their branding and website platform. They loved it! Using this method allowed them to focus on the brand strategy and visual identity as a whole story, rather than a focus on bits and pieces of the design, or without the confusion of multiple options which can clutter and confuse the decision-making process.
The Online Experience
One of our primary objectives for the website was to make Blue Sky Beauty the ultimate destination for salon supplies, while making their daily operations more streamlined and efficient. With a limited team to help with the demands of their business, we needed the website to function as an online shop, a way to book training sessions, an affiliate/sales team, the shipping department, their marketers and more. Bringing everything under one roof would reduce the amount of time they spent managing the daily operations of the business so they could grow their client base. There were several key objectives to this website build we had to make sure to include.
Clear Pricing Structure
Blue Sky Beauty serves two different client bases: the stylist/salon owner and their patrons who want to purchase salon quality hair care for their homes, therefore we essentially needed two different shops: a wholesale and retail shop. We needed to include a clear pricing structure that allowed for the two audience groups to shop seamlessly, all while reducing stress for Blue Sky Beauty. To address this, we built out two different shops with their respective pricing, available through clearly defined, different spaces on their website.
With the rising influx of salon suites that cater to smaller, independent stylists, the amount of space to house backbar and retail inventory was at a minimum, if available at all - compared to the larger salon and spas. We needed a way for independent stylists to offer additional resources and products to their clients without having to stock shelves with products. The answer? An affiliate program. This allowed the salons to purchase their backbar products at the wholesale cost and sell products to their clients through their affiliate link. Items are shipped directly from BSB to their clients, and the stylist earns a 40% commission from the sale that is automatically split through the platform, keeping transparency for both parties.
Online Courses & Event Registration
A large part of BSB's differentiator is that they not only offer a unique collection of products to their clients, but they also work in collaboration as partners with their vendors to bring in personalized training, courses and education to salon owners and stylists. This unique experience allows for stylists to learn how to best utilize the various products with their clients from the manufacturers. From online resources and education to in-person private trainings and BSB-hosted special events, we needed to streamlined ways to promote the various classes and events they host. We integrated a robust blog that serves as the education center for stylist that includes any print materials and resources. We included a dedicated section for pre-recorded trainings and events, and incorporated an area to be able to promote and register for in-person events.
Two tips to plan your brand + web design:
UNDERSTAND YOUR AUDIENCE: If you don't understand your audience, you can't market to them or serve them well. It's not enough to design a pretty logo or website - they need to have beauty, but most importantly BRAINS. Take the time to really understand your ideal audience. Who they are, what problems or desires you're solving for them - and develop your strategy around how you can deliver what they need. Need help getting started on understanding your audience. Download a copy of my Audience Persona Guide which will help you develop your core audience personas. Snag a copy here >>
UTILIZE BRAND GUIDELINES: I have met with so many business owners that just want a website designed or need some brand collateral designed but can't tell me where their logos are stored, aren't quite sure of the colors, and worse yet, don't even know how to describe their brand personality. These are fundamental pieces of any business and should be the driving force behind your businesses daily operations. Once you have all of these core pieces together, housing them in one organized space is essential. I like to offer my clients both a set of Brand Guidelines, a PDF that walks them through every piece of their brand strategy and visual identity. I also put all of this information in a digital catalog for them in Asana, the Company Guide Book. This gives them and any staff easy access to all of their brand essentials - enabling and ensuring their brand strategy, website, and marketing stays consistent. You can grab a free copy of my Asana Company Guide Book board here to get started organizing your brand essentials.
Ready for your own brand + website design project? Let's chat and see how we can partner to make your business dreams a reality. Visit the services page here. Need a little help - but not quite ready for the lengthy design process? I have 2 amazing services to help you right where you're at.
For a brand design without the extensive brand strategy project, visit the all new Brand Bar and work one-on-one with me to customize one of my new semi-custom brands to your brand. In just one day, your brand will have a whole new look and feel.
Ready to launch ( or relaunch) your business but don't want the long design process or big bucks to get you there? Let's book a Brand + Web Design Intensive where we'll work together one-on-one to get your brand identity & website designed and launched, WITHOUT the overwhelm or hefty price tag - and launched in just one week! Visit my services page to learn more here >>
So grateful and glad you're here!
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord, not for man." - Colossians 3:23