May 11, 2018 | By WGSN Insider
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Nov 28, 2017
The process of going to a hair salon appointment is generally still quite an archaic one. Make an appointment, maybe get a text message reminder and then sit in a chair for a few hours before leaving; that is if you have European hair. Add curly hair to that or Afro hair and the process becomes even more of a chore, trying to find a salon with hairdressers who actually know how to style your hair type. Happily, though a new hair styling brand, which just had a soft launch and plans to roll out across London next year is here: Chop Chop London. Co-founders Kaye Sotomi and Laure Ferrand want to change the hair salon experience, making it easier, quicker and more accessible to all hair types.
“Basically we realised that there’s a whole generation of consumers like us who were crying out for a different approach to hair styling services,” Kaye explains. “Consumers now want a brand that understands that we live in culturally mixed communities, we work longer, we travel more, we are less financially better off and we are constantly connected. All of which means that we are time poor and desire more convenience, we want quality but a price point that suits our budget, and we lean towards services that are literally at our finger tips. I think nothing like this exists yet in the beauty industry, so there was a huge gap that we hope Chop Chop can fill,” he adds.
So how does the brand work? Well instead of branches, the salons are mini beauty pods across the city. And simplicity is key, there’s a hair styling menu that customers can pick from, complete with a set price that doesn’t differ across genders. Better yet through the brand’s app and online site, you’ll find your closest pod and even see if your stylist is free through a virtual queuing system. Also you can get a personalised experience through the service rating capabilities (which works a bit like rating your Uber driver) so that you can build up a relationship with one stylist and see when he or she is free, and even get benefits for being a valued customer.
Another benefit of the brand is its attitude to diversity and equality. Diversity is becoming even more important across the industry. In our beauty report last year called The Beauty Buzz – Beauty Diversity (subscribers can read up on it here) we revealed that there is a massive potential global marketplace for multicultural beauty products as the spending power of women of colour rises in both developed and emerging markets. The UN says 70% of the world’s 7.4bn citizens are people of colour, coming from Black African, Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern and a variety of other non-Caucasian ethnic groups. Despite this, Caucasian-focused beauty products have dominated the sector for decades, and still do. Multicultural consumers have been under-served by ‘mainstream’ brands, However, there is a consumer movement for change.
Chop Chop hopes to be part of a positive change, with stylists that can do all hair types. “Some of the mainstream hairstyling companies have failed to truly embrace the cultural diversity found in our cities, which is reflected in their service offerings. And by contrast, the experience of going into an independent salon sometimes feels like you’re going back in time because it still takes hours for you get your hair done. Digitalization and marrying up consumers’ expectations with the services experience is another area that needs development. At Chop Chop we don’t see textures, we just see hair – and we love all things hair! I believe every brand has a moral and economic obligation to celebrate the diversity of their customers. It is rare to find a friendship group today that doesn’t consist of some diversity. This is a representation of the world that we live in and therefore every aspect of our communities needs to celebrate and reflect that. So we’ve worked hard with our co-owner and chief hair stylist Sherman and architect Coline to capture this in our offering,” says Kaye.
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