Using Commercial Tanning Beds for Better Market Positioning

How commercial tanning beds can improve the market position of your salon.

Defining "Market Positioning."

Marketing professionals agree that a tanning salon's market position is largely based on how potential buyers see the product or service offered. To form this perspective, potential buyers will compare one salon's product or service to others that may compete for their business.

A previous experience, a friend's referral, or curiosity about a new bed or a just-opened business can lead customers through the door. However it happens, the goal for the tanning salon owner should be to position their business as a clear choice that is plainly evident to the tanners in their marketplace. To accomplish this, the tanning salon owner needs a focused approach that combines the right commercial tanning equipment with an appropriate pricing structure and an environment that adds real value to the client's overall tanning experience.

Why the Right Equipment Matters.

For many salon owners, attracting and keeping customers is a function of convenience. If the salon is near the work or home of the tanner, then they would much rather tan there than travel any distance to another tanning salon unless this competing tanning salon offers something they need or want that cannot be found at their current salon preference.

This is the fundamental key to strong market positioning. A tanning salon that is unique, professional and offers something that cannot be found anywhere else in that market will eliminate any reason someone would have to want to tan anywhere else. This strategy effectively positions that business as the "authority" in tanning within that market.

Below are some reasons why the right equipment matters:

Faster Session Time and Lower Tanning Maintenance

Enter high end commercial tanning beds and high pressure tanning beds. Sophistication of tanners has increased over the years and the lifestyles of tanners tend to be more time restrictive. Simply put, tanners do not want to wait long for their tans nor do they want to commit much of their precious time to maintaining it.

Today's high end tanning equipment caters to this lifestyle by offering a shorter session time, faster color development and lower maintenance requirements. Even if a tanner has to travel a little further and spend more money on tans, they save time and get better results and that makes it worth while in the long run. Give people what they want, and in the way they want it and the money will soon follow.

More Choices

People like choices. Would anyone open an ice cream shop with just vanilla and chocolate? Would it be competitive or stay in business for long? Absolutely not and a tanning business is no different. Tanning salons that offer more choices to their clients are highly competitive, attract more tanning clients and recover their investment on tanning equipment faster due to the increased profits they generate. Additionally, tanners feel more comfortable making a buying decision when they have choices available.

Increased Customer Volume

What happens when people wait too long to tan? They go to a competitor to spend their money and tell all their friends about the salon that was too busy to get in. I know this seems counterintuitive to suggest that being full and having a waiting list is a bad thing. After all, if a salon is busy, they must be doing something right, right? Well yes, and no. Being so busy that people are lining up to tan is the goal of many salons and loosing some to competitors might even be acceptable; but what would happen if a salon can tan everyone at any time during the day and increase the tanning salon's revenue potential at the same time? More revenue and greater customer retention.

High end tanning beds that offer shorter session times also have a high customer volume potential because of their ability to deliver more tans per hour. Combine this with more dollars per session and the salon will have bigger months, it will capture and retain more tanners with a reduced wait time and the salon will be positioned as the "go to" salon in that marketplace.


The right tanning equipment is important for the market positioning and the longevity of a tanning business. If you are opening a new tanning salon, be diligent with your equipment selection. If you own an existing tanning salon, do not be afraid that your competition will out do you, expect that they will! Always be innovative, always be looking for ways to improve and once you have succeeded with your great idea, begin working on the next great idea.