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September 1, 2015
Spiraled and Pulled Back: 'Manely' Inspired by Uber
 
Inspired by Uber, Marcella Ellis, a Virginia business owner, has deployed a new “mane” attraction. Holding a firm grasp on her position in the hair care and distribution industry, she has been instituting new standards and making innovations that most salons will “dye” for. Literally.

Top-notch salons pride themselves on being able to provide clientele with personalized experiences that require getting to know the client and their specialized needs. Upon getting to know clientele, they are able to coordinate supply and demand to meet with the frequency of their visits to the shop. But what happens when they start to come more frequently, start requiring new demand, and start referring their friends? This is a blessing and a curse for beauty salons everywhere, because inventory control can be a pain in the bun!

Okay, enough with the one-liners! Marcella’s Company, the Mane Vendor Hair Extension Vending machines, has solved a problem that beauty salons have been dealing with for decades! They are fulfilling supply and demand...the Uber way!

As with top-notch salons, most hair stylists refuse to put anything but quality into the heads of their clientele. Because real hair can be quite costly and as much as $800+ for long, imported locks, salons don’t keep more than they need on hand at a time. Not only does this fall into the category of products that sit and collect dust due to current hairstyle trends, but it also sets them up for the threat of burglaries. Because of this, they are forced to either go elsewhere and pay top dollar or to settle for a lesser quality of extension, neither of which is convenient to the salon or clientele. This is where change has been made. This is where innovation meets beauty and healthcare.

The Mane Vendor allows for a more pay-as-you-go scenario, which also provides clean and secure storage space for these inventory problems, allowing for more fluidity, more advertising, and more liquid asset in the salon’s favor. By allowing salons to invest in other things, this lets salons purchase more products in the long term, driving revenue growth starting at the ponytail. It also assures happy customers that they won’t have to go find a new stylist to keep up with their ever-changing demands. The coolest part about this vending machine is that everything is controlled via mobile app!

This app delicately mimics Uber in that it connects consumers with real-time information on mane products, based on need and geolocation of customer orders. Keeping a to-the-minute tally of inventory per location, users can also dispatch available hair products in a “first dibs” manner by reserving the order — and even prepaying for the order — until they are able to pick it up! Expanding market potential and growth, the public consumer market will also be able to use these apps and will be directed to a local salon with an on-location vending machine to service their self hair-care needs. 

While only dispensing in five states across the United States, a “City to City” tour will take place introducing The Mane Vendor to the Southern and Midwest Regions of the United States. Currently, the company is working with salons in embracing strategic partnerships and franchise opportunities, starting at under $25K for a fully licensed business. Said to be placed in a $9B industry, this is going to one true innovation that the hair care industry can call impactful, even with the rapid adoption of mobile technologies.

Similar to the success of Uber, we can expect The Mane Vendor to take off and not show signs of failing once it has caught on. Perhaps a digital marketing strategy can put into place that implements tips and tricks of the hair care industry or one that features a mobile e-zine. Whichever route they take, it can be expected to take off like wildfire. This will definitely be a “must have” by fashionistas and business professionals alike. Not too “shabby,” huh?

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Jessica N. Abraham-Hogan is the owner of Shorty Produkshins and an Internet Marketing professional, specializing in Social Branding and Public Relations. She has been a part of multiple International projects in both Entertainment Business and Professional Services industries. She often works with major marketing firms and job search sites under NDA in lending valuable insight to clientele, whether it includes hands-on project development or the crafting of a roadmap for a brand's awareness strategy. Find her online here. @sp_brand_social @sp_brand_social
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