image of opening design from Dayspa May

Opening Spread from Dayspa Magazine 5/12, pages 34-35

The male client takes many forms. Let celeb icons guide you as you learn how to make every type of man fall for your spa.
On a grand scale, all men might be created equal, but when it comes to spa-going sirs, there is more diversity among clients than ever before. Gone are the days of serving the occasional husband or boyfriend who’s been dragged to the spa for a special occasion. Nowadays, men are hitting up the spa in droves, turning to professionals for their grooming, waxing and relaxation needs.

But treating all of these clients the same—or expecting them to want similar things—would be a vital mistake for spa owners. So, we grilled five experts, from consultants and educators to seasoned spa and salon owners, about the best ways to market and cater to six unique male prototypes. For fun, we’ve looked to the stars to help drive home our point. Now, let’s talk about these boys…

Our Panel:
Jay Fata, educator for Eufora HERO for Men and owner of Valor Men’s Grooming

Suzy Bordeaux-Johlfs, director at The Spa at Silverado in Napa Valley

Tom Kelley, director of operations at Nickel Spa in New York City

Tyra Lowman, senior director, global spas, full service and luxury brands, Hilton Worldwide

Nancy Trent, president of Trent & Company Inc.

James Dean

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images


Spontaneous, always on the prowl for a new adventure or experience—and, many of these tough guys are actually health nuts!

How hard is to get him into your spa?
Trent: Not very. He knows how to please women, and women like spas.
Fata: Despite his persona, it’s fairly easy. Bad boys are typically attracted to other bad boys, so if you find a therapist or stylist who embodies this look, send him out there to help get the word out.

What helps reel him in?
Lowman: This group acts with absolute confidence. Highlight a service that’s unique, adventurous and that the average guy would not immediately choose. We offer a Three Part Recharging Massage with warm bamboo firmly rolled over his back and legs, followed by deep-tissue massage strokes, then a relaxing full-body rubdown. Heated bamboo and three massages in one—it’s irresistible to the bad boy!
Fata: If you have a grooming lounge, or any other masculine hangout area, partner with local restaurants and bars to get the word out!
Tom Kelley: Since we’re a men’s-only spa, we need to make sure that all men are comfortable coming in for treatments. We share a great deal of information via social media that allows our audience to pick and choose what they like. We try to get something out there for everyone at least once a week—think edgier photos and posts for this client.

What does this guy really want?
Fata: To be able to chill out—alcoholic beverages, cigars, entertainment and good music don’t hurt.
Bordeaux-Johlfs: A great sauna and steam room—consider pumping in fresh eucalyptus. And don’t leave men’s selections out of the boutique! I put these collections right in front, so men aren’t intimidated by all the female products and clothing. Ladies will go in to shop regardless!

What services would you suggest to him?
Fata: He tends to like facial hair, so I recommend a shape-up and beard trim that keeps his look rough, yet sculpted.
Trent: Anything detox, so he can retox.
Bordeaux-Johlfs: If you include “stress release” in the description, he’s more apt to book it.

What does he seek in a service provider?
Fata: Someone with a “badass style.” You need to present yourself like you have a little bit of that genre in you.

How about upselling to him?
Bordeaux-Johlfs: It’s about the vitality factor—that which makes him feel and look stronger. Talk about key ingredients, benefits and how home products will make him feel more vital.

>>Check out the DAYSPA May 2012 issue, pg 36, to see more of our favorite iconic Bad Boys.

Cary Grant

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images


The original metrosexual, this client appreciates an unfussy approach. Looking his best and aging gracefully are of utmost importance to him.

What does this man want?
Trent: High design, fine ingredients and five-star service.
Fata: A clean environment and a place that looks ‘classy.’ He likes to be surrounded by other attractive, sharply dressed people.

What services should I recommend?
Kelley: The total package. To him I recommend an 80-minute Swedish Massage and our Signature Nickel Photo-Shoot Facial. Also, don’t forget the mani/pedi and, before he leaves we need to touch up those grays, so a trip to one of our stylists is a must.
Fata: He likes hot towel wraps and mini touches—that feeling that he’s getting a “little extra.”
Bordeaux-Johlfs: If he plays golf, he tends to be very interested in the sports massage benefits of our Golfer’s Massage. [Recipients of this service get to take home a golf ball signed by pro golfer Johnny Miller!] Also, anti-aging services.

What’s he looking for in a service provider?
Trent: Attention.
Fata: Someone who is clean and sharply dressed.

What’s his spa spending style?
Trent: He’ll give you his wallet for the latest, most exclusive products he loves.
Fata: Very willing. Your prices can reflect the quality work you do.
Bordeaux-Johlfs: He stands out as the biggest spender, and a great tipper too, as he understands the graciousness of leaving gratuity for service excellence.

How do you keep him coming back regularly?
Trent: Make him feel important.

What gets him to bring his dapper friends with him into the spa?
Trent: Make him look and feel “connected” whenever he refers or brings anyone in.

>>Check out the DAYSPA May 2012 issue, pg 38, to see more of our favorite Distinguished Gentlemen!

Paul Newman

John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images


Confident in his appearance, he may seem like a natural part of the spa-scape, but wrangling this well-dressed and looks-focused type can be harder than you imagine: He often thinks he doesn’t need to try! Once you snag him though, he’ll likely become one of your most consistent clients.

What grabs him?
Lowman: Results-driven treatments that offer immediate, visual results. Make sure to recommend grooming products, too.
Fata: Pay attention to detail. This will set you apart in his “pretty” eyes.

What does he look for in a spa?
Trent: Anything that makes him feel even better about himself. Talk to his ego!
Kelley: The Pretty Boy appreciates the ambiance and the end result, so make sure yours is a really clean spa with a knowledgeable staff.

Which menu items will appeal to him?
Trent: Focus on the face.
Kelley: This pretty boy needs to keep it clean, so highlight full-body waxing and laser hair removal services.

How do you keep him coming back on a regular basis?
Trent: Personalized emails.
Bordeaux-Johlfs: Packages—they love multiple services.

>>Check out the DAYSPA May 2012 issue, pg 40, to see more of our favorite Pretty Boy icons!

Clint Eastwood

Hulton Archive/Getty Images


This guy still holds onto the stereotype that spa-going just isn’t “manly”—he tends to avoid the perception that he’s preoccupied with self-care. He’s also often physically active.

What’s the best way to market to this client?
Trent: Bury the spa jargon.
Lowman: Stay away from adjectives such as “relaxing, gentle, serene and heavenly.” Focus on the therapeutic benefits of your treatments and promote retail products that treat specific concerns—never settle for a female product that is simply repackaged for men.
Fata: This guy is all about word-of-mouth. If he knows other guys are out there doing it—especially those who travel in his circle—he will be more open to coming in.
Trent: Talk to him about his aches, pains, scratches and bruises.

What about ambiance?
Fata: The space needs to appeal to him visually. Create a comfortable environment with leather chairs and sports on TV.
Trent: Classic man caves.

What services catch his fancy?
Trent: Healing, pain-relieving services.
Bordeaux-Johlfs: Fitness and recovery treatments.
Lowman: We offer a Realigning Sports Massage that appeals to this rugged man by alleviating muscle soreness, aches and pains, and increasing circulation to heal minor soft tissue injuries. It’s a deep-tissue treatment, perfect for pre- and post- physical activities.

What does he want in a service provider?
Bordeaux-Johlfs: A highly skilled therapist. Most of these men are now realizing that some of the best therapists for them are other men, simply due to their size and strength.
Kelley: These guys don’t care so much about refreshments and amenities—they focus on staff expertise and end results.

How deep is he willing to dig into his wallet at the spa?
Fata: He may be hesitant to spend a lot in the beginning, but as you gain his trust, he’ll be willing to spend more.
Trent: He’ll reward a job done well.

Any sure ways of generating buzz among his peers?
Fata: Market at your local gym and/or sporting events. Once your spa catches on with this crowd, this rugged guy will feel more comfortable coming in.
Trent: Mention that another “tough guy” was in for the same treatment the week before.

>>Check out the DAYSPA May 2012 issue, pg 42, to see more of our favorite Rugged Male icons!

Jimmy Stewart

Ted Allan/John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images


Affable and humble, this client may be sheepish at first, but he’ll try anything once. It usually takes female coercion to bring him in the first few times, but he’ll ultimately be very receptive to the wonderful benefits of spa-ing.

How do you market to him?
Through his significant other.

What does he seek in terms of facilities and spa staff?
Trent: Comfort and familiarity.

Kelley: Your newbie doesn’t really care, as long as you make him feel at ease and the treatment is amazing. If you’re doing your job right, he’ll soon turn into the Pretty Boy or the Rugged Individualist!

What services is he drawn to?
Kelley: A simple facial and Swedish massage will do fine.
Trent: Sports massage, nail cleaning… keep it masculine and basic.

How about upselling to him?
Trent: Sell him something for the woman in his life—he’ll feel guilty for indulging on himself, so go for gifts.

And to keep him coming back on a regular basis?
Bordeaux-Johlfs: Sell his wife or girlfriend gift certificates!
Trent: Couples treatments.


You may laugh, but market trends show that these wee ones (well, 18-25-year-olds) are quicker to head into the spa than their parents. After all, they’ve grown up in a world where men’s grooming is the norm.

How do you wrangle him and his peers?
Trent: Through social media—and use humor.
Fata: Be hip and educated on current trends. Show him that you know the latest and greatest, and he will want to come to you.

What’s his ideal spa environment?
Trent: A social scene.
Fata: He’s looking for a young and fresh place. Be creative; he may want to play Xbox while he waits. If your spa looks like it’s the coolest place on the block, then it will be.

What does he seek in a service provider?
Trent: Guidance.
Fata: Someone who can relate to him and is current and knowledgeable about the newest trends.

Does he have money to spend at the spa?
Kelley: We’ve tried to get the under-21 crowd on board, but it seems to be too much of a financial burden.
Fata: He wants to spend money on his appearance; treat him right when you do see him, and he’ll continue to come to you as he gets older and more successful.

How do you get him talking to his friends about your spa?
Bordeaux-Johlfs: Discounts and specials via tweets and Facebook offers that he can share with others.
Trent: Toss him a freebie for all the Facebook “likes” he generates.

>>Check out the DAYSPA May 2012 issue, pg 44, to see our favorite Guys Next Door and Young ‘Uns!

Carrie Borzillo is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles.

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