Interview with Ms. Daisy Chen, the Founder of Daisy Spa
Founded in 2003, Daisy Spa has opened five chain stores in Shanghai and one in Yuyao, all inside big department stores. Its flagship store is on West Nanjing Road while branches are found in other landmarks such as the Jin Mao Tower and in the Hongqiao district. In 2017, the company established its first Daisy Baby Care Center.
After graduating from the Department of Textile Chemistry at Donghua University, Daisy Chen, the founder of Daisy Spa, joined the beauty industry out of her own self-interest. She said: “I opened the spa merely because I wanted to sleep late in the morning.” Simple as it sounds, Daisy infuses full enthusiasm and perseverance into her career and now is in her 14th year in the industry.
“Personally, I like travelling and reading, but now I like working most. It seems that I am lazy with everything except working. I am totally a different person in and out of work. I love working because I feel fulfilled. It’s my lifelong goal to see Daisy Spa keep growing and growing.” Flexible in updating operational concepts, with a combination of sense and sensibility, that is Daisy Chen. SpaChina interviewed her.
What is your target customer group when doing market positioning for Daisy Spa?
We target white-collar females born in the 1970s and 1980s. They are the mainstream of today’s society, the new middle class of China, and the pillars of families and enterprises. Facing busy work and trivial household affairs every day, they are aware of their health needs and consciously seek quality treatments for well-being and beauty improvement. The treatments offered by Daisy Spa, from concepts to massage techniques, are tailored to meet their every need.
Daisy Spa is widely praised in the industry for its rich range and high quality of treatments. What are your priorities when developing treatments?
Since its foundation, Daisy Spa has mainly featured meridian channel treatments and insisted on manual massages. For 14 years, all the treatments are developed by ourselves. The most important thing is to guarantee that the core concept of the treatments remain unchanged. Secondly, we keep the consistency, replicability and practical effects of the massage techniques.
How do you carry out staff training on new treatments? How is guest acceptability to the new treatments? What are the difficulties in the process?
All staff at Daisy Spa know that the company’s slogan is “Technology is the core force.” So the main treatments focus on the results. Our staff fully expect the yearly launch of new treatments because they want to learn something new and improve their skills so as to provide better services to customers. Likewise, as all the treatments are results-oriented, customers also look forward to it. Therefore, we don’t worry much about launching new treatments. But the difficult thing is to carry out deep training during the process to guarantee that the new treatments achieve better results than the previous ones. This is quite a challenge for the treatment developers.
Daisy Spa features solid yet also flexible business operations. Is there any change or evolvement in your business positioning and treatments since the foundation?
Daisy Spa started with meridian breast augmentation therapy. We might have been the first in Shanghai to conduct this kind of treatment. For the past 14 years, we have been dedicated to manual meridian treatments and kept making improvements. From the first version to V1.7 at present, we have evolved through 8 versions. There are few in the market that can overtake us in meridian breast augmentation healing system. Our signature 14 Meridian Therapy is an exclusive offer of this kind. Many people think Daisy Spa just provides meridian treatments, but in fact, we have begun to introduce and kept updating beauty offerings since 2008. We created the manual facial muscle penetration massage. The massage is like giving a deep exercise to the face once a week, much fit for customers who seek nature beauty. Our facial treatments are divided into four ranges: quietness, elegance, delicacy and harmony. Now Daisy Spa has established a comprehensive system combining meridian treatments and beauty spa.
Is exterior decoration important? How important is it in business operations? What is your first choice when selecting partner products and equipment brands?
The exterior decoration is very important. To some extent, it tells the identity of the store and influences the consumer group. Our SPA products are mainly professional European brands which have long history and can deliver amazing results. This is also consistent with the treatment concept of Daisy Spa. Since we specialize in manual manipulations, we seldom use equipment. The only equipment brand we are partnering with at present is LPG from France. Their equipment features negative pressure motor patterns which result in similar effects with Daisy Spa’s manual massages.
What treatments do guests prefer in terms of price and results? In addition to meeting their needs, does Daisy Spa induce customers to consume more?
Most customers choose wellness and breast augmentation treatments with comparatively medium and low price and some quick results. New customers usually like to buy treatment packages. We design targeted treatments to customers at their different phases and make half-year or one-year long-term schemes for them which include various facial and full body treatments according to individual’s status. It also facilitates customers to arrange their consumption plan instead of random or blind consumptions.
Is there big potential for wellness and spas nationwide nowadays? Are there any differences between customers in first-tier cities and second-tier cities concerning their specific wellness needs? Does Daisy Spa make adjustments to meet local demands?
In recent years, the concept of “comprehensive health” enjoys popular support. I think both citizens in first-tier and second-tier cities are increasingly aware of keeping health. Our main customer group is post-1980s. The well-educated post-1980s in second-tier cities are by no means inferior to those in first-tier cities concerning consumption consciousness. But the customers in Shanghai are particularly more rational. They are clear whether they truly need the treatments. When they have been with you for a certain period, they know what kinds of treatments are best for them. So they are really professional. Therefore, we have more offerings in Shanghai stores and usually cover more detailed functions. In second tier cities, we don’t introduce all the treatments. Instead, we mainly provide the signature ones.
Why do you want to open a baby care center?
We name it Daisy Baby Care Center, and it occupies the 10th and 11th floors of the Ambassador Hotel Shanghai at Wan Hang Du Road. We set it in the hotel because this guarantees privacy. In addition, the management and services of the hotel makes customers feel safer and trustworthy. Daisy Baby Care Center features baby rooms, a reception lobby, shampoo rooms and a postnatal recovery center, etc. We spent half a year on the decoration to update the guestrooms to Daisy Spa style.
We employ a professional team with nurse qualifications to serve new mums and babies. We believe nurses, with several years’ official training, are more professional than ordinary maternity matrons. And they have stronger acceptability in company management.
What do you think is most important to be an operator of SPA and Baby Care Center?
As an operator, the most important thing is to persist in the original mindset you have, and you will surely accomplish the goal. Staff expect the company to be steady and have a consistent philosophy instead of changing ideas and conduct all the time. In my management, I am a straightforward person and judge the case as it stands directly and regard the corporate benefits as the most important thing. The management team should have the same mind and idea with me so that we can head toward the same direction. Our management staff are all promoted from basic levels. They are familiar with the business and such promotions will give them a sense of achievement.
How to stand out in the competition? How important is pricing in the competition?
Daisy Spa never fights the price war because most of the treatments are designed by ourselves, so there is no reference price from our peers. Generally in the market, if the price is reasonable, there won’t be any big problem. As long as the price is set according to the brand’s market positioning and in direct proportion to the treatments’ effects, namely a high price-performance ratio, customers will make correct judgments and choices.
What’s your development plan for the next five years?
At present, Daisy Spa is positioned as boutique spas with chain store size around 300-500 square meters, located inside department stores with delicate decoration. We will keep expanding this section.
Our new project includes Daisy Baby Care Center and we will open more branches in the next five years. Besides, we are planning to open big-scale spas equipped with steam and sauna, swimming pool and restaurant, which can better cater for family guests.
Technology always lies at the core fopr us. So I’m always thinking of opening sophisticated beauty education schools. In this way we can form an industry chain incorporating education, infant & mum, postnatal care and wellness.
Moreover, in order to achieve better brand effects, we will open branches overseas in the next five years.