Ideal Image’s new look announced last year is coming to life. The 130-plus location med spa best known for its laser hair removal services is stamping out upgraded signage, fresh decor and expanded services in its advanced medspas across the U.S. and Canada. The efforts coalesce as the nation’s biggest medical spa provider hopes to boost the frequency of visits.
The first to sport all of the upgrades will open in May in St. Petersburg, Fla. (near the company’s Tampa headquarters), followed by another in Stamford, Conn., and Marietta, Ga. Ideal Image is in growth mode, according to Annemarie Frank, Ideal Image’s chief marketing officer. By the end of 2018, she said there will be 140 plus locations. Industry sources estimate Ideal Image produced sales in the $200 million range last year.
“We are in an expansion period, expanding our footprint. We are broadening our services and in the midst of development work on our new branding,” she added. Critical to the rollout, she said, is consistency in the image. “With the design finalized, we can finally roll out our new look. We’re trying to make it more approachable and draw people in.”
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The medical spa industry is undergoing rapid growth, fueled by Americans’ quest for services like Botox and fillers. The boom is fed not only by mature consumers, but also younger women and men who are proactive about halting the effects of aging. Ideal Image’s efforts to go beyond laser hair removal is key. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, laser hair removal was down in 2017, but botulinum toxin type A procedures were up 2 percent and soft-tissue fillers rose 3 percent.
With that as a backdrop, Ideal Image is widening its menu, beyond laser hair removal, while building up a bigger customer base. “All of what we add is incremental business,” she said. In particular, injectables are becoming more mainstream, even in Midwestern markets, as well as body sculpting. “It is less taboo to talk about it,” said Frank, who noted Millennials spread the word through social media posts. Ideal Image offers CoolSculpting which is riding a wave of greater exposure via a stepped up social media campaign featuring Johnny Weir. “We are the largest provider of CoolSculpting in the U.S.,” Frank said. The company also offers Botox, Restylane, Juvederm, Ultherapy, BroadBand Light Therapy treatments, Voluma and Kybella. In the pipeline in 2018 is a small pilot experiment with microneedling. “We like microneedling and we want to try it with the platelet rich plasma and utilize our extensive staff of medical professionals. It is more technical in nature and we think it is a nice fit with what we offer.”
Retail products are also in the blueprint for growth, expected to launch in 2019. “We have begun work accessing a set of products,” confirmed Frank. “We want a proprietary line because we feel that is an important touch point. Many of our treatments you should be putting on SPF. Antiaging serums would also fit with our branding.”
With the new design, Frank hopes to demystify what goes on in a medical spa. Elements of the new design rewrite the old rules. For example, the entry is fresh and airy. That leads to consultation “pods” which Frank said are more client friendly and lend to conversations versus the previous desks in the older layouts. “It is a personal, intimate dialogue, so we wanted to make it approachable and trustworthy,” she explained. “It is less about the computer and the work and more about the customer sitting beside us, so we can tailor a solution.” To further whet consumers’ appetite, Ideal Image offers services for disc jockeys who act like influencers and talk about the positive experiences they have at the medical spa.