Overcoming Major Beauty Industry Disruption


Disruption is inevitable no matter what industry you’re in—and that’s agoodthing. The beauty industry beckons a consistent wave of innovation, and in order to survive in the face of the rising tide we must embrace change as it crashes onto the shoreline. 

Industry giant Scott Missad has worked in almost every aspect of beauty. From his humble beginnings working in a beauty warehouse, to becoming the Senior Vice President of Sales at L’Oreal, to eventually becoming the CEO of a group of luxury salons and then elected as President of the International SalonSpa Business Network, Scott has seen it all. So, what brought about such an incredibly transformative career? The answer is simple—major disruptions in the industry, each one pushing him to dive further in. 

Scott walks us through a few of the significant disruptions that he’s lived through during his thirty years in the beauty industry. He shares how he has managed not only to survive, but to truly thrive in his career by welcoming these challenges and facing the competition headstrong in order to come out on top. 


Technology Has Changed the Beauty Industry Forever 

The many advancements in technology that have come about over the last few years have caused an uproar in our industry, and it’s not slowing down. Before the advent of the Internet, clients would simply put their trust into the hands of their stylists. Stylists were the experts, and our clients would never know any better if our stylists were misinformed in their practice. 

Of course, all of that has changed. Technology has put the power into the hands of the consumer, and honestly—it’s about time. Today, our clients can hold us accountable for the services we provide because in our digital world they have all of our industry knowledge right at their fingertips. While at first it may have seemed like an unsettling shift in power, in the end, those who have managed to keep up with these changes are now producing better results, giving better recommendations, and really advancing in their careers. 


Don’t Be Afraid of Industry Disruption

Scott warns against holding onto the idea that these waves will ever change course. The truth of the matter is, each upsurge of change headed toward our industry almost always follows its trajectory, often striking the shoreline harder than expected. 

Scott’s best advice is quite simple: don’t play by the rules. Rules are arbitrary, and as the industry changes, so should you. The major disruptors in our field aren’t following the rules, and they’re doing great things while simultaneously changing the way we work. Look at Amazon, or the new wave of retail in the beauty industry, like Ulta, these companies are paving the way for some really neat things. So, don’t be afraid to think outside of the box, in fact, we encourage it. 

Scott says the key is to remain optimistic, these challenges are what make the beauty industry so exciting. Welcoming change is half of the battle, but if you can find the opportunity lurking in the tide, you’re already ahead of the storm. 


Get Your Head in the Game

If you want to dominate in this industry, you can’t sit on the sidelines. Competition is all around us, there are thousands of salons in each city vying for everyone’s time and loyalty. So, if you want to thrive in this business, you have to play to win. 

If we compare ourselves to Amazon, or even these other beauty stores that are retailing our salon products, we have to think about how we can compete. Today, nobody wants to get in their vehicles to drive out to their salon when they run out of shampoo. And can you blame them, when somebody else could fulfill their needs with the click of a button? So, it begs the question, how can we measure up?

Ride the wave. If you haven’t already instituted an ecommerce program within your salon, Scott says now’s the time. If you really want to dominate in this industry, you have to give your clients the convenience they’re looking for. 

Quick Tip: Find ways to add additional value to your ecommerce experience. In order to differentiate yourself from Amazon even further, you could extend your rewards program to include these digital purchases and orders. Your clients won’t think twice before deciding to order through you! 


What Do You Have That They Don’t?

Although the beauty industry has expanded beyond salon visits, the one thing that we’ll always have over all of the cosmetic retailers and specialized service providers is that special one-on-one time with our clients. 

That uninterrupted time is our strategic advantage in the marketplace. I mean, just imagine what Amazon would give to have their shoppers spend nearly two hours on their site at a time, perusing products completely uninterrupted. That value is simply unmatched. Not to mention the ability to build strong, treasured relationships with those clients is so important. 

A typical visit to a salon could take anywhere from thirty minutes to up to three hours, which is incredibly valuable time spent in the chair—time where your clients are able to relax and focus all of their energy on the salon experience. These routine visits encourage your clients to build strong connections with your brand, and that loyalty is an absolutely invaluable aspect to the experience we offer. 

Our industry will inevitably continue to grow and evolve, so it’s up to you to decide whether or not you’re going to ride the wave. If you want to learn more about Scott’s many achievements, and hear his advice for how to stay ahead of the game, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 154. Be sure to check out the International SalonSpa Business Network for updates on the many innovative ideas coming from our industry today.


Emily Kelly