We are very fortunate to work with some amazing brands and sponsors at Hard Grind and it didn’t take long after announcing our relationship with them to rub some people up the wrong way. “Why are they getting sponsored from such and such?” or my personal favourite, “Yeah they just live in the world of a hashtag”.
I’m not trying to be funny but don’t we all now live in that world? Whether you like it or not the world has changed, the industry has changed and how we market or promote ourselves has most definitely changed. I’ve certainly never went out flyering or done deals in local newspapers or student throw-a-ways to promote our shops. Does anyone even own a copy of the Yellow Pages anymore?
Being popular on Instagram is like being rich in Monopoly. We’ve all seen those posts and statements and as true as that is, we still need those followers and platforms to push forward in this day and age. It’s become an essential part of business. Algorithms constantly change and we need to adapt with it and switch up how we interact to remain relevant. It can literally become a full time job to stay on top of it all.
Technological advances alter everything we do. No one calls the shop anymore to ask a question. They will jump on Facebook and message you no matter what time of day it is, usually with a “What time are you guys open?”. The fact that our opening times are published on the Facebook page itself makes us want to pull our hair out half the time but in true “play the game” style, all we can do is answer politely and give the information as requested.
The bottom line is that human interaction is fading.
Look at your local post office or supermarket. Everything is self-service. Even banks now have machines that most young kids can’t even use let alone pensioners just trying to pay their council tax. What was wrong with the old system of handing some guy behind the glass wall your money and getting a receipt?
This is why I love Hard Grind and what we do. This industry, and many others like it, aren’t something that can become an online entity. There isn’t a machine or self-service hair cut option available at checkout. People travel from all over the country to sit in one of our chairs and it’s not just for the haircut, it’s for the experience. The type of service and human interaction where you can laugh, cry, offload stress and leave feeling happier about yourself and your day. We don’t have to approach people like salesmen or feel like we are hassling them into a sale when all they want to do is browse. They’ve chosen to visit us and take that time out their busy schedule to spend 30-40 minutes in our company.
THAT is what makes this game so damn special.
When the entire world advances almost out of control, the barber shop remains one of the few sanctuaries from it all. Sure there are negatives and playing that social media game can be frustrating. but like generations before us we embrace and adapt to the change.
We change and we conquer.