Ah, the advent of the blow dry. Once a dangerous tangle of electrical ingenuity and possibly life-endangering helmuts of searing heat, today’s blow dry service is safe, sexy, and I dare say, a proclamation of femininity.
With a nod to the days when women went to the salon once a week to get their hair “set,” blowout salons have surpassed fad status and have become a lifestyle choice for a new generation of empowered women. While dozens have cropped up across the country, few can hold a curling iron to Drybar. Why? Because they’ve stuck to their client-central core values, and they use content to artfully amplify their commitment. Cohesive brand messaging and social media authenticity take a front seat to keep their visually driven audience engaged and coming back for more.
The Drybar story
Now with 39 stores dotting the country, Drybar was founded by Alli Webb and her brother and business partner Michael Landau. Alli, a trained hair stylist with her own unruly mane, came up with the idea after starting a mobile blow dry business in L.A.
Since blowing the doors off the first store in Brentwood, California, in 2010, Alli has appeared on NBC’s “Today,” CBS’s “The Early Show,” countless local news shows and a mile-high stack of magazines including Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire. Now with a client list that has surpassed the half-a-million mark, you’d think that personable and accessible feel Alli created with her original clients would have gone down the shampoo bowl drain. Um, not by a long shot.
Take a look at this recent video about how they got started.
I mean, seriously, how cute are they?
The Drybar promise is simple: No cuts. No color. Just blowouts. The experience is nothing less than fabulous (yes, in the spirit of full disclosure, I’m smitten). Clients are treated to an initial consultation, shampoo and conditioning treatment, and a blowout and style chosen from a menu of cocktail-named looks—from the sleek and polished “Straight Up” to the Texas-sized “Southern Comfort.” Shelves are lined with Drybar’s own haircare products available for purchase, along with a line of branded tools including “Buttercup,” the signature blow dryer and the “Lemon Drop” flatbrush.
How does content play a role in Drybar’s dominance? And what’s the secret sauce that makes their content so effective (and their shampoo such a guilty pleasure)? We got a chance to chat with Alli about Drybar’s approach to content, social media and marketing. Here, she dishes on how she and her team keep it fresh, appealing and on message.
Do you make content a conscious part of your marketing plan?
Absolutely! Content is such a huge part of our brand, and plays a significant role in all of our marketing initiatives. Our talented creative department is spearheaded by my husband Cam, and together with our marketing team, they come up with all of the content that goes out through our channels. Drybar is all about the experience, and I always want to make sure that our clients can soak up and feel every little part of the brand.
Drybar email blasts are consistently visual and fun.
How did you come up with the brand-defining colors and what significance do they have to your culture?
When Michael (my bro and biz partner), Cam and I were in the conceptualizing phase of Drybar, we wanted our brand look and feel to signify the happiness we knew our clients would feel after a blowout. The white and gray gives our shops a relaxing and fresh feel while the pops of yellow make everything bright. We try to maintain that same level of energy as we grow as a company. We always say we’re not selling blowouts, we’re selling happiness and confidence—and to us, that’s what’s important!
Each Drybar location echoes the same color palette and a clean, lively vibe.
Do you have a schedule for producing content or is it more as the need arises?
Most of our content is planned ahead of time, since we need enough lead time for storyboarding, shooting, production and editing. It takes a small village to get everything looking just right! Of course, as things pop up, we adjust to accommodate new footage. Content is going to continue to play a huge role for us in 2015 though, so you can expect to continue to see more from us.
The Drybar blog is a sprinkling of news, reflections and a peek inside the Drybar lifestyle.
Do you have someone who heads up content production?
My husband Cam, Drybar’s creative director, heads up all of our creative content production. Everything from the email blasts to YouTube videos to product packaging all goes through Cam. It’s a wonder he has any time to sleep! It’s really great that we can keep all of the design and production in house to ensure that our look and feel is exactly what we want to see. Our clients and core audience are extremely visual (as am I!), so we always aim to create content that we hope they will love (and that evokes a response, of course).
Shooting the new style lookbook.
How do you come up with the adorably cute, bar-themed names for your menu and products? Is it a team effort?
It’s definitely a team effort! Someone wise once told me to surround yourself with people who are good at what you are not. These words could not be more true. The entire Drybar family (my fabulous team!) gets together to brainstorm our new menu and product names. We’ve come up with some pretty hilarious ones throughout the years.
Drybar doesn’t miss a beat and carries the bar theme throughout the menu and product line.
The Drybar approach to social media comes across as a personal conversation, especially on Twitter. Is that really you? How does social media work with so many stores and clients across the country?
Over the years, I’ve learned just how important social media is for Drybar. Not only does it help us share our content and the Drybar experience, but it also lets us truly connect with our clients, which is such an awesome thing. I’m the actual voice (yes, little old me!) for Twitter and Instagram (@theDrybar). But our Facebook page is from a brand perspective. It’s so important to me to be able to interact one on one with our clients and hear their stories. They’ve given me so much valuable feedback that has enabled my team and me to make the overall Drybar experience better. Social media has also played such an important role when it comes to our customer service—we reply to each and every tweet, FB post, Yelp review, etc. in order to try to turn a bad experience into a good one.
Even though we have shops all over the country (39 and counting), it’s important to me that we have only one account on each platform. As we grow, it enables us to maintain our brand voice and connect with clients on both our shop experience as well as our product line. Plus, I love to feature styles and photos from each of the shops to show what all of our crazy talented stylists do on a daily basis.
Real voices and really great hair are part of the Drybar Instagram and Twitter experience.
Drybar is a brand to watch. The latest news reported by The Wall Street Journal is a potential IPO in Drybar’s near future. Let’s hope they stay forever charming. To experience the Drybar branding in all its glory, visit thedrybar.com.