Look at the celebs on the red carpet at Hollywood events. Look at the host on your favorite guilty-pleasure reality show. Look at Grand Palms Tanning Resort’s client list, which includes cheerleaders, players and players’ wives from the Denver Broncos and Denver Nuggets.
There’s no question that spray tans are in.
So, why do only an estimated 3 percent of women spray tan each year? Why hasn’t this celebrity beauty routine translated to the masses?
Despite experiencing significant growth every year, market penetration for spray tanning is still remarkably low. The sunless business is thriving in many salons around the country – Keith Rodenberger says his Grand Palms Tanning Resorts are now selling five times as many sunless sessions as UV – but the opportunity for growth still remains practically unlimited.
“The UV industry has existed with a lot more awareness built up into it for decades, where as the mainstream awareness of the sunless market is much smaller, so your potential market growth in sunless is so much higher than your potential market growth in UV tanning,” says Quentin Masterson, General Manager of Operations at Premiere Tan.
Imagine the possibilities. It’s projected that more than 60 percent of U.S. women have used a self-tan product at home. With advanced spray tanning technology that provides impeccable results and incredible convenience, why aren’t a higher percentage of Americans trying spray tanning in a professional salon?
There are a number of possible answers, but the most pertinent one for us to consider is that our market as a whole hasn’t done enough to turn the spray tanning business into what it has the potential to be. It’s still treated as second fiddle to UV tanning, even though the potential for growth is so much greater right now.
“I would anticipate that sunless can still grow probably at least double within the next five to seven years if the industry supports it correctly and makes that practical,” Masterson says.
It just takes more work. People know what UV tanning is and what the process entails. That’s not necessarily the case with spray tanning. It’s our job to teach our markets what spray tanning is all about, how it has advanced over the years, why their misconceptions are wrong, and why so many of the people they idolize are using spray tanning to look their best in the public eye.
Before you can take the specific steps to turn your business into a spray tanning dynasty, you need to appreciate the possibilities and understand why it’s time to go all in now.
Spray tanning is a different business than UV – it requires a different approach to selling, educating and service. It’s not going to happen by itself. If you’re not treating spray tanning like its own business, it’s not ever going to become as profitable as it could be.