For generations, members of the Velez all family frequented the same barber shop located in the heart of historic downtown Bristol Borough, Pennsylvania. When Miguel Velez III, now a barber, had the opportunity to take over the shop, it was a chance of a lifetime to not only honor tradition, but to make this place his own.
“When my grandfather moved from Puerto Rico, this was the first barber shop he came to,” says Velez.
Ten years after taking over the shop, Velez is poised for a major expansion.
Shop’s expansion hinges on steady flow of new clients
While the barber shop has welcomed a steady stream of clients since Velez took the helm, sales have plateaued primarily due to a constricted space. During the last two years, Velez has turned away walk-ins and appointment requests when he and his two barbers’ schedules were fully booked with clients. With an opportunity to move to a larger shop, Velez needed to find ways to woo these lost customers back to his new shop to help fund the expansion.
“If I could find the funds to expand, I could potentially double my business,” he says.
Connecting with new clients online
Ahead of the move that would quadruple the space, the marketing team at Deluxe recognized how important it was for Velez to increase the shop’s online presence to attract new clients. The business needed to capture more web traffic, communicate the shop’s new location and provide a seamless experience for longtime clients. The Deluxe team also thought it would be a perfect time for Velez to rebrand the shop.
Rebranding to invigorate growth online
Based on an initial conversation with Velez, the Deluxe team prioritized the marketing plan to set the stage for the overall expansion, beginning with a fresh look for the shop as the foundation; followed by building momentum with a new mobile-responsive website and a more organized social media strategy; and, finally, by uncovering innovative ways to generate sales beyond haircuts.
Designing a new logo
When Velez initially took ownership of the shop, he wanted to quell any concerns clients had about potential big changes to their beloved shop, so only subtle modifications were made to the logo. But with the next phase of his business journey on the horizon, Deluxe encouraged Velez to re-imagine his branding to play up his name.
Deluxe developed several logo concepts that emphasized Velez’s first name, while keeping the overall look modern and clean but still grounded in masculinity. There were a lot of places to put the new logo.
Building a new website that triggers appointments
Having operated without a website for years, Velez relied on clients to download and utilize the shop’s appointment app for return visits. Deluxe recognized the opportunity a mobile-responsive website would bring to connect Velez’s shop with new clients searching for a barber shop in the local area. The goal for this streamlined, three-page website was to integrate seamlessly with the existing appointment app, while also helping clients call to book.
The homepage showcases the shop’s friendly vibe and positive reviews. It drives visitors to book an appointment online or call:
Further scrolling brings visitors to very clear service offerings and pricing:
The website also showcases the deep history of the shop, differentiating it from the competition.
The barber page emphasizes how personal relationships are important to the business:
Listing Miguel’s in search engines, directories and social media
While having a professional website is important, appearing in popular online listings such as Google, Yelp and Facebook also expands visibility for shops like Miguel’s. Deluxe helped claim and optimize Velez’s business listings, increasing his chances of connecting with people looking for a local barber, especially mobile searchers who use terms like “near me.”
Google My Business
One of the most important places to show up online is on Google’s local listings, known as Google My Business. Deluxe handled claiming and optimizing Miguel’s existing listing, adding information about his new location and hours, adding his new website URL, and uploading photos of his interior, exterior and staff – nearly double the number of photos compared to local competition.
Another crucial directory listing for any barber shop or salon is Yelp. Again, Deluxe stepped in to help Velez populate vital information such as correct hours, new location, photos and website URL, and opened the door for him to respond to customer reviews on the Yelp platform.
Social media profiles
Though Velez was using social media to feature unique cuts and beard trims, he was posting on his personal account, which opened him up to mixing business with his friends and family network. Deluxe advised him to create official accounts for the shop with branded graphics on both Instagram and Facebook to keep the messages distinct for the business. This helped him boost engagement on Facebook.
Facebook page (before):
Facebook page (after):
Promotional merchandise marketing and retail packaging
Expanding barber services was Velez’s primary goal, but Deluxe also encouraged him to think about ramping up his product and merchandise sales. National averages for salon product sales typically account for 20 percent of a shop’s total revenue — while Miguel’s sales for hair and beard products were less than 5 percent. Deluxe produced branded hats and dopp kits to amplify his existing product lines and created branded bags to extend his image after clients left the shop.
New clients are finding Miguel’s
Within just six weeks, the new branding and online strategy was beginning to take shape. Website and local listing traffic was growing among repeat and new visitors. He even had two new barbers! Eighty percent of visitors to Miguel’s Google listing discovered his shop by searching for a local barber, while nearly 1 out of 4 visitors to his website were seeing his shop for the first time.
Velez is too busy catering to all his clients to post regular updates on his Facebook page, but just establishing the business on social media has paid off. In only six months, his page had nearly 2,000 engagements. Of those, 280 were to book an appointment or visit his website. Velez has reached 28,000 users and earned over 100 glowing reviews.
“It’s not easy running any business, but if you’re passionate enough about it and have the right guidance, it can become successful,” says Velez. “Anything is possible.”