Salon hair color gets a distribution strategy update, thanks to startup thinking

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Salon hair color gets a distribution strategy update, thanks to startup thinking

Related tags Color

Jack Winn Color, a company launched last year following a Wharton MBA project, believes the industry is ready for healthier hair dye and a streamlined supply chain.

The company model is one of social selling, where hair dressers use the product on their clients and encourage their colleagues to do the same. The hair dresser essentially takes the place of the color company representative in this scheme and is compensated according to a fixed plan.

Relationship method

Social selling can be any relationship-based sales process and, these days, often involves social media.

As the practice becomes more prevalent, companies like Jack Winn Color are taking it into new categories. “[Social selling] works really well with consumer products… Most consumer products in the hair color space have just been taking most of the profits. So we’re making this huge change [by sharing with hairdressers],”​ Mark Shorr, the company's chief financial officer, tells Aliza Ohnouna of The Daily Pennsylvanian.

Having “re-engineered the supply chain,”​ as Shorr describes it, Jack Winn Color saves money by not using representatives to sell color. And uses that money to instead advance product R&D and incentivize hair dressers to buy and promote the color.

Market-ready formulation

Jack Winn color is also catering to colorists and consumers passionate about naturals, organics, and wellness. The company emphasizes that its formulations are intended to be good for the hair and good for the scalp.

“The dye is made out of several natural ingredients: argan oil, rice protein, calendula extract and aloe vera,” ​explains Ohnouna in her profile of the company. Jack Winn, company co-founder and long-time hair dresser, “explained that the aloe vera cleanses and protects the scalp — something he says is unique to his product.” 

Startup strategy

Entrepreneurship is itself a trend that consumers are drawn to. And, Jack Winn Color has a startup story that evokes both camaraderie and business acumen.

MBA students taking part in the Wharton Field Application Project work in small teams for a year to solve particular regional or national business issues. Shorr and Winn knew each other well even before the program, according to Ohnouna.

That friendship certainly comes into play here. Though, “Winn attributes the success of Jack Winn Color to an unprecedented integration between the concept of hair dye and social selling — the process of developing relationships as part of the sales process,” ​as Ohnouna reports.

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