Wacky Barber has a huge competitive advantage

Barber pole, ca. 1938. Before barbers limited ...
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Wow! The Wacky Barber is doing it right. He has a small barber shop in London… and how do you compete with other barbers when everyone has basically the same price and service? (Get a quick overview of the business here or check out their MySpace page).

This guy’s got the answer. Several answers, in fact.

  • In-your-face marketing with weird window displays and a megaphone he shouts from, “carnie-style”.
  • He offers a chilled beer during haircuts.
  • He has some clever attention-getting brochures.
  • He has a dartboard which you can throw to try and win a free haircut.

Check out the Reuters newscast, which is what drew my attention to this business:

If I were to make any recommendations to the owner, this is what I’d suggest to him:

  1. You just got some international attention. Now use it! Leverage the heck out of it. Start blogging (your MySpace page isn’t doing the job!), create online videos, get some video testimonials, work on a book.
  2. Collaborate with a microbrewery to brand your own beer. A nice pale ale with a really zany “attitude”, for example, might do well.
  3. You might consider selling your beer on its own (although this might conflict with liquor laws so that might not be a good idea) but you might also consider other specials in which people can pay a little extra for a (shave, trim, shoeshine, tie-ironing, whatever) and get two bottles: one for in shop and one to go.
  4. Franchise your model! Barber shops are notoriously and painfully boring. Yours isn’t.

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