Miami-Dade small businesses reshape their marketing on reopening
As Miami-Dade slowly returns to a “new normal,” local businesses are taking steps to reopen safely and adjusting their marketing strategies to reflect new procedures.
While city and county regulations, as well as guidelines released by organizations governing certain sectors of industry, address precautions businesses must take, many local companies are choosing to go above and beyond these measures to keep customers and staff safe and comfortable.
In order to keep clients informed and to promote a feeling of safety, many local businesses have utilized multiple avenues to advertise changes, including email and phone campaigns, physical signage inside stores, and social media marketing.
David Uribe, who owns Prestigious Image Barbershop and Spa in Coral Gables, said his business used all three of these tactics to bring back customers in the past few weeks.
“Right before we opened the barbershop three weeks ago,” he said, “we started calling our members, explaining to them the protocols and what day we were going to reopen.” It took a few days, he said, to call all of the clients with memberships as well as “pages and pages” of returning customers.
In addition to this campaign, Mr. Uribe said the company posted three promotional videos on both Instagram and Facebook explaining the changes. New protocols have also been posted at visible locations in the shop itself.
Some of these changes, such as waiting 15 minutes between appointments and suspending walk-ins, are mandated by government or regulatory agencies, while additional steps were taken to exceed regulations.
For example, Mr. Uribe said the shop has installed dividers between chairs and is now conducting contactless temperature checks on all customers, requiring barbers to wear both masks and face shields, installing acrylic over the reception desk as an added barrier, and ensuring the use of single-use equipment such as spatulas for all facials. In addition, barbers switch gloves and sanitize all chairs and stations between clients, and the shop’s complimentary drinks are now served in disposable cups or bottles instead of glasses.
“I had to implement extra protocols,” he said, “so that my clients feel that they’re taken care of, that they’re safe and they’re not going to catch anything from coming to the barbershop.”
Indeed, promoting customer safety and going beyond minimum requirements has been essential to businesses in the service industry, where clients and staff are often in close quarters.
“We went beyond the safety measures that were imposed by the governor and mayor,” said Sandra Weir, founder and CEO of local salon Gloss Nail Bar, which has two locations in Coral Gables and South Miami.
These measures include Covid testing for all staff and temperature checks for all customers, closing every-other manicure and pedicure station, operating at 30% capacity, and installing Plexiglas to separate manicurists from customers.
According to Ms. Weir, while the nail bar is offering a full range of services, technicians performing massages and facials take extra precautions, such as wearing disposable gloves and face masks.
To market these changes, Ms. Weir has utilized email campaigns, social media posts and indoor signage.
“We’ve done email campaigns throughout the closing to all our customer base,” she said, in addition to posting new updates on the salon’s social media accounts and adding a “Covid-19” Instagram highlight detailing the exact changes being made.
Ms. Weir also said the goodwill and trust her business has built with customers over the years played a role in the successful reopening. “Our concept has always been one of health and safety,” she said, alluding to the salon’s commitment to using non-toxic and eco-friendly products and practicing good sanitation at all times, “so I think customers feel safe to be (back) with us because of the measures we always take.”
In addition to service establishments, local retailers have also begun to open their doors within the past few weeks.
Goldenbar, a boutique with four Miami locations including one in Brickell City Centre that opened this March before the shutdown, began reopening May 18 and is now welcoming customers at all stores.
Leslie Ames, Goldenbar’s CEO, told Miami Today that safety precautions in her stores included multiple daily sanitations of the shops, hand sanitizer stations, contactless payment options, and mandatory masks for customers and staff.
These new rules, she said, are posted at the front of each store to make customers aware of the safety measures and mask expectations.
The store’s reopening was also advertised on the brand’s Instagram, which features a multitude of “shoppable posts” that direct followers to the boutique’s website, where they can purchase clothes, home goods, accessories, and candles online.
However, Ms. Ames said that she prefers to shop in-person, and that it’s been great to have customers back in the stores, albeit with precautions in place.
“It’s good for people to know we’re taking precautions,” she said, adding that some consumers’ concerns over shopping may be eased by knowledge of the safety measures. “People are scared, but I think if we take all the measures like we are doing, everything is safe.”