I really want this to be about connecting Redken Australia’s top clients. Together, over the next two days, what we decide is going to roll out and influence the industry…

Redken Australia General Manager, Erwin Santos

2017 welcomed a big year of growth for Redken Australia; a strategy hinged less on the brand’s pioneering product formulations and more on the people powering them. Welcome to the era of the Redken Tribe, a group of black-clad creatives each a bonafide boss in their own right. They’re future-focused, fashionable and a whole heap of fun.

This week, a hand-selected collective of 50 hit the ground running at the brand’s renowned business forum, Redken Connect. Held in Uluru, the location collided one iconic brand with another, the heart of our country welcoming the bloodline of the brand. It was a symbolic scene indeed, with each and every delegate walking away empowered to Learn Better, Earn Better and Live Better.

“I really want this to be about connecting Redken Australia’s top clients. Together, over the next two days, what we decide is going to roll out and influence the industry,” started Redken Australia General Manager, Erwin Santos.

Day one welcomed Redken Australia Marketing Manager Jess Materna to the stage to talk the future of fashion, product innovation and all important consumer behavior.

“Key consumer shifts include De-Averaging – the move away from a ‘one size fits all’ service approach – Digital Me which is all about self-empowerment as an influencer, and the All About Experience, where clients are more willing to spend money on services than ‘stuff’,” Jess explained.

Further shifts include the Need for Transparency (a client’s desire to know what’s happening to their hair), Individualism and Customisation with a focus on colour, Formula Solutions for Damage and a focus on the In-Salon Experience.

“A true shopping experience should be Instagrammable,” said Jess.

“Take Gen Y’s digital obsession and use it to your advantage. They are the real masters of brand and content creation.”

“User generated content (USG) is 22 times more persuasive than brand created content. You have micro influencers in your salon daily, seek them out, establish relationships and expand your reach.”

The focus turned to a series of upcoming colour and service trends of which Redken Australia is geared to respond with a calendar of innovative product launches ready to roll. Shades EQ and Greys have got the continued pastel and grey colour craze covered, while Colour Extend Bonder (Redken’s 3-step take home bonder system) is earmarked to take the bonding trend to all new heights in condition and colour longevity – all with your bottomline top of mind.

While Erwin has made the decision to step away from the ‘official sponsor’ title of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA), the brand will partner with more designers than ever at the event in 2018 – the strategy to manifest more meaningful partnerships with Australia’s style leaders and an ongoing book of opportunities for the Redken Tribe.

Social media expert Yvonne Adele took to the stage with a bag of tricks, tags and valuable tools for salons to amplify their business goals. Did you know that posts with visible faces receive greater reach than posts without? Something to think about when capturing your next finished client.

Brimming with ideas for better business, the Redken crew headed into the desert for a well-earned wind down amidst iconic Australia. Crocodile and kangaroo canapés circulated before nature’s infamous light show over Ayers Rock, the tribe later moving down to the infamous Sounds of Silence dinner. The highlight? A guided tour through the galaxy.

Day Two kick started with hall of fame speaker, Michael McQueen. With over 14 years’ research on the millennial to report on, it was an information rich session relevant to every salon, every day.

“I found Michael McQueen’s presentation on Generation Y very interesting. Of particular interest was how unique they are when it comes to communication, expectations and what motivates and engages them,” says Bixie Salon owner, Sheree Knobel.

“In terms of social media, I feel we connect with our millennial audience very well. But developing a greater understanding of this demographic is so important to my business because the majority of my staff and clients fall into this category. I will be able to approach things differently and more effectively with Michael’s information in mind,” Sheree said.

Education Manager Karen Strano presented a new and exciting tool designed to track Redken salon employees’ education journey, “to see who has achieved what, and what they have done in your business where education is concerned.” Launching soon, the platform is all about educating with a purpose and has the greater industry in mind.

“Ultimately, consumers don’t know where to find good hairdressers, so in correspondence with this new education platform we’re introducing the Redken Master Salon concept – an initiative designed to drive consumers into your salon, daily,” said Karen.

On the topic of education, Redken Connect’s final speakers took delegates on a learning journey far into the future. How will Artificial Intelligence change your salon business? You’ll have to wait for the full write up in Issue 2 of THE JOURNAL magazine!

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