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Kati Whitledge is taking marketing to the next level for salons. In 2017, Whitledge founded Meet Your Stylist—match-making technology designed for salons, stylists and their clientele. Since then, Meet Your Stylist has evolved into mya, the proprietary match-making software for hairstylists, barbers, estheticians, injectors, and other beauty professionals.
Primed and Conditioned
At Intercoiffure America Canada’s (ICA) Fall Atelier, “The Magic of Connection,” Whitledge explained neuromarketing, the basis of mya’s software.
“We make 95 percent of our decisions with our unconscious minds,” she explained. “We tap into intuition and instinct, and major brands have learned how to prime and condition consumers to activate their emotions when making decisions.”
This priming and conditioning is part of neuromarketing.
“Neuromarketing uses brain science, which can be broken down into three areas: Neuroscience (study of human nervous system); behavioral economics (study of how people make economic decisions); and social psychology (the study of how people think and act in their real lives and imaginations),” Whitledge said.
Big Brands Pave the Way
Whitledge provided members with three examples of companies that have successfully used neuromarketing: Coca-Cola, Apple and Disney.
She explained the studies Coke conducted, including functional MRIs to study the brains of consumers, which revealed interesting results.
“Over a lifetime of direct experience and marketing exposure, researchers found thinking about drinking a Coke had an even more positive impact on their brains than actually tasting it,” Whitledge said.
“So how can we market our brands to prime and condition clients to have positive outcomes before they even come into our businesses?” she asked her audience.
Whitledge encouraged ICA members to think about their brands from a new perspective.
“When a client takes a survey built with personal information and lifestyle preferences before they come into your business, it primes them for a positive experience,” she said.
Salons using mya also have the benefit of gaining data on guests who don’t book an appointment after filling out the survey.
“We capture all of their information, including their Instagram handle,” Whitledge said. “That allows salons to directly market to them on social media.”