The National Hairdressers’ Federation’s Extreme Makeover

Introducing our work with the UK’s largest trade association for hairdressing, barbering and beauty salon owners. 

Appearance matters! Which is why the National Hairdressers’ Federation wanted to refresh its image and stay current. With a new, forward thinking CEO on board, NHF turned to us for an update – and they needed something radically different.

The re-brand of years gone by was starting to look tired and somewhat predictable (we’ve all seen photos from a fashion shoot before, right?), so our challenge was to differentiate the NHF in a fresh new way. With numerous brands and websites across the industry, and using fashion-shoot photos to augment their appearance, a type of ‘en masse’ imagery had left NHF looking rather anonymous and ‘lost in the crowd’.
Before we dive into our solution, first let’s take a quick look at why branding is so important in this day and age.

Branding Creates Memories
We humans are highly visual creatures. How many times have you claimed to remember a face, but not a name? Point made. In any case, we remember colours, shapes and logos, and use those visual cues to make instant connections to a company’s products or services. Creating easy to differentiate images and logos give your target client base a visual anchor they can rely on, rather than having to search the caverns of their memory for your name or list of product offerings.

Branding Showcases Your Company’s Personality
First things first, you need to decide how you want your company to be perceived in the market. Does your company have a sleek, professional tone? Or more of a cutting-edge, quirky or bubbly tone? Your branding should consistently reflect this in the colours, shapes and images chosen, without confusing your customer.

Branding Builds Long Term Relationships
You want to attract your client base, and then keep them for years to come. Your branding has everything to do with both parts of that equation. Clear, easy to remember, attractive branding not only guides your customers to you, but also gives them something consistent they can rely on. If your customer likes what they see, and enjoys the experience each time they connect with your product or service, chances are they’ll keep coming back for more.

Our Solution 
We kicked things off in 2010, by gate-crashing that year’s Vidal Sassoon shoot. Our concept was to use overplayed images of models, and we created a cut-out using a back lit image of a model, and then masked a traditional front lit model within, which made for a visually striking and unique look. Think the contrast between real life and fantasy- catwalk vs London grit street salon!
To make this happen, we negotiated with Vidal Sassoon’s official fashion photographer and managed to ‘borrow’ the models we needed to take the shots. This instantly saved our client the cost of hiring a top photographer, top fashion models and hairdressers to primp those models for what might have potentially been an entire day of shooting.
Our main challenge was finding a venue near enough, and big enough. To our delight, we found a disused building in the same block, not far from Vidal’s shoot. Picture a row of primped and preening models parading down the back alley of a restaurant strip, accompanied by the damp aroma of last week’s garbage. Who said high fashion was always glamorous?!

Once we had the shots, adjustments were made and stunning images were the result. Once applied, the rebrand took NHF to the forefront of their industry once more, reflected in the ensuing expansion of their membership base and increased recognition. In fact, the branding was so successful that for the first time in their history, The National Hairdressing Federation ran the same branding the following year, with just some minor adjustments to differentiate it.

If you’d like to find out how we can transform your business branding and get you noticed in a crowd, talk to us.


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