The Value of a Barber: More Than Just a Haircut

August 15, 2018

Do you have just one hair stylist or barber you trust with your hair? One you’ll drive out of your way to visit?

The New York Times recently ran an article on the bonds some barbers have with their clientele of professional baseball players.

One barber has regularly flown 7000 miles from the United States to South Korea to cut a client’s hair. He not only receives reimbursement for flight and food but is compensated for whatever business he foregoes back home by making the trip.

A pitcher who plays in Seattle will only allow his hair to be cut by a barber who located in New York City. Occasionally this barber will fly to Seattle and back to New York on the same day, just to serve this one client.

This story is a great example of the principle that what customers value when they consider a transaction goes beyond the actual product or service provided. Customer consider intangibles which go beyond the features of a product or service.

Consider a few elements of value mentioned in the article:

  • For Latino players, going to the barber each week on Friday is a cultural tradition.
  • Baseball players are reportedly more prone to superstition. A hitless streak could easily be attributed to a change in barbers.
  • Some players feel they will play better if they look good.
  • These barbers, according to the article, sometimes become “a staple of players’ lives,” a friendly ear for both their triumphs and their problems.

None of these elements of value have anything to do with the type of scissors or clippers these barbers use. They are clearly talented at cutting and styling hair; that’s a given. What these barbers also supply, though, are intangibles which are clearly a source of comfort and security for their clients.

That’s why, as crazy as it might sound to some of us, they get flown across they country at great expense by a loyal client base. They offer value which goes well beyond just a haircut.

So what are the intangibles your customers value, the intangibles which create a powerful bond with your best clients? Such an understanding is key to better prices and higher profits.

(Photo credit:  shameersrk on Pixabay)


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