Recently launched in Tokyo, MEZON is a beauty salon reservation app that encourages users to visit beauty salons with easy and unlimited access for a fixed monthly fee.
With the concept of making salon visits an everyday experience, the app MEZON offers users a service that effectively utilizes a network of beauty salons that allows them to visit for a shampoo, blow-dry or other hair treatment service whenever they feel like it for a fixed monthly price.
Only top notch salons that have passed the high standards of the app's operating company Joey are included on the list. Users can easily select and book whichever salon they wish to visit and receive the haircare service they require. And the plans come in a few varieties. If you want to limit it to only two to four times a month, you can get a plan from 9,800 to 20,000 yen (86 to 177 USD). The full, all-you-can-visit plan allowing you to get a shampoo and blow-dry any day you want runs at 35,000 yen (309 USD), and from October this year, they also released a weekday-only version of the same plan for a reduced 21,800 yen (193 USD) *note that all prices don’t include tax.
In the US, people already have the habit of visiting a salon for just a shampoo and blow-dry whenever they have regular nights-out or parties. However, in Japan, the same salon usage is usually limited to only the most special of events, such as official ceremonies — this is excluding going to salons for normal haircuts.
Bringing about a change in perception over here in Japan will likely require going further than just a fixed monthly fee system and will rely on plans that allow the freedom of “all-you-can-visit” throughout the month. This is the hole that MEZON is looking to fill. Currently, the main services being promoted are shampoo, blow-drying and hair treatments. However others such as fringe cuts and perms also feature on the menus, making for even more convenience when used with the price plan that suits the customer best.
So what’s up with MEZON pushing these services as an everyday thing? This stems from Jocy founder and president Mizuho Suzuki’s belief in the satisfaction you get through receiving more frequent haircare from a salon. She also believes that making salon visits more of a habit for people will create a lot more potential for new business opportunities in the beauty salon industry as a whole.
Suzuki used to work at CyberAgent Inc., and one time before a very important presentation she noticed the less-than-ideal condition of her hair, and so rushed to a hair salon before visiting the client. Having had her hair treated well at the salon, she went on to make a successful presentation that was highly praised. Since that experience, she always made sure to stop by a hair salon before any important presentations. In fact, there was a time when she was “visiting salons five times a month,” she says. It’s from these personal experiences that emanate her strong conviction that “having well-groomed hair influences your own confidence”. Feeling she wanted more women to experience and understand this, she began to devise the business model that would become MEZON.
At first, she planned to start up her own shampoo and blow-dry specialist salon. However, as she knew the inconvenience of having to go to the same salon every time, she started thinking along the lines of being able to visit high quality salons close to where you are, whenever you want. She started business in 2017, two years after conceiving the idea, and with a business model centered on a network of only carefully selected salons.
Suzuki’s endeavor to make salon visits an everyday experience also further serves salon owners by increasing the number of customer touch points, which can lead to new business opportunities. For example, having customers come more often can lead to the salon providing other services too, such as renting out clothes that go well with the hairstyles. The concept can provide fertile ground for starting these types of new business models. As a result, the notion of a salon can evolve from just being a place for hair-related services to a hub that offers a total beauty and fashion service. The possibilities for these new businesses are really limited only by the ideas of the salon.
What MEZON itself aims for as a platform is to elevate the whole salon industry. “What we want to show is a new way to run salons,” Suzuki explains. “We don’t mind if other salons start their own fixed-rate service, in fact we welcome it.” She says that if the overall salon industry can somehow find new business chances and bring about positive changes that overturn the old business practices she’d love for everyone to rapidly take part in that.
Currently MEZON mainly targets women in their 20s to 40s. Specifically, their advertising that targets women working in foreign-owned financial businesses has shown a CVR (conversion rate) two times higher than other groups. It’s clear that one of their most effective and valuable demographics are women with high disposable income. Because of this, they plan to continue tie-ups with other fixed-rate services that this demographic tends to use, such as sports gyms and date apps, with the aim of expanding users. Eventually they have their sights set on overseas expansion, in particular the Asian market, but first they’re concentrating on continuing to update the app to bring about success in Japan.
The app currently features three methods of making bookings: online, by phone or via the LINE app. They’re also pursuing other ways of increasing customer convenience, such as by adding a function that searches for the closest salon to where you’re currently located. With the enthusiastic development of Suzuki’s project, the beauty salon industry looks to evolve towards an interesting future. Perhaps it won’t be long before we in Japan grow into the habit of weekly, or even daily, casual drop-ins at a salon. It will be at that point where the salon industry will have entered a new phase indeed.