Industry • Perspective
Lessons From the Best in Tech: Limbitless' Bespoke Bionics & Knowing Your Niche
By Boulevard Staff
Limbitless has empowered its audience with specialized bionic limbs based on the recipient’s interests
Beauty is about empowerment. Every haircut, facial, and aroma therapy treatment is ultimately about helping someone feel more comfortable in their own skin. While it may not operate in the beauty industry, Limbitless Solutions, a non-profit that creates bionic limbs for children (and adults), understands the concept well. With years of experience helping kids fit in by standing out, the bionics company has learned the importance of using their niche audience’s interests to uplift. Here’s how beauty pros can use the same concept to inspire their clients and strengthen relationships.
What is Limbitless Solutions?
Limbitless Solutions operates in an interesting space, so here’s a quick explainer of what they do. Children who are part of the limb difference community are often left feeling like outsiders, a problem that Limbitless Solutions is solving with bespoke bionic limbs. Limbitless uses donations (they’re a non-profit) to design, develop, and deliver custom-made limbs to the children, or Bionic Kids, as they call them.
It’s a great cause, but it’s the lengths Limbitless Solutions goes to make personalized limbs all the more impressive. Early on in their work, Limbitless found that Bionic Kids didn’t just want to blend in with the crowd, they wanted their bionic arms to be a vessel for self-expression and creativity. Limbitless’ findings have led the research team to uncover creative partnerships across a variety of media that children can identify with. But the partnerships couldn’t solely be about branding, they needed to be about empowerment. So, where did Limbitless find the intersection between empowerment, self-expression, and childrens’ interests? Video games.
Using interests to empower
It’s easy to see why Limbitless Solutions has partnered with the likes of popular video game franchises such as Halo and Assassin’s Creed: The franchises feature powerful protagonists that kids can project themselves onto. When the Bionic Kid receives their new limb, it isn’t just some piece of plastic and metal. They have the arm of a humanity-saving super human or a bold hero, which helps the Bionic Kid feel like the person they digitally embody in the real world.
In the United States, 91% of children play video games, and tapping into high-profile partnerships from within the medium demonstrates that Limbitless Solution knows its niche. Bionic Kids may spend hundreds — or even thousands — of hours in the shoes of the characters they portray in video games, which is ample time to forge a strong connection with the character.
Beauty professionals can adopt a similar concept within their salons to help their customers in the same way. You may not be dishing out bionic limbs to your clients (although kudos if you are) but you can still use interesting partnerships that align with your clientele’s interests to expand your product and service offerings.
Picking perfect products
Beauty is all about relationships, so you should have at least a basic understanding of your regular clients’ favorite hobbies and interests. You might not understand how everyone that sits in your salon chair chooses to spend their Saturday, but if you’ve been cutting someone’s hair for the last few months, you’ve probably picked up on some patterns. Try to make a list of your most popular conversation topics on a typical day of the week. If anything keeps coming up, then you’ve got a solid new target for a collab, partnership, or stock expansion.
Let’s say your clients are a bunch of all-grown-up early 2000s Disney kids with a penchant for musicals. You can safely assume that they’ve heard of High School Musical, and you can then work out interesting ways to tailor your services to that. In High School Musical’s case, Colourpop Cosmetics offers a line of cosmetics themed after the iconic Disney franchise. Why not order some of the line’s pallets and put on a movie day? Your goal is to help your clients bop to the top in their own way, and hooking them up with cosmetics based on a franchise they love is a way to do it.
Don’t stop at offering products, though. Creating a selection of looks based on your niche’s interests can provide clients with a unique sort of self-expression. Even if clients aren’t using the looks, a salon that offers a pop-culture style menu is a lot more fun to return than one that doesn’t.
Scale with your studio
Scale the unique experiences you want to provide with the size of your studio in mind. If special guests and events are on the table, use them to promote your business and attract new clients while reinforcing relationships with existing ones. If you book a local designer for a fashion Q&A event, for example, you’re probably going to see some new clients on top of your return customers. But it’s not worth it if you’re not going to profit.
Don’t forget to leverage email and text message marketing as you go through the process of finding partnerships. Shoot out a survey to the customers on your email list to see what events they’d be curious about attending or products they’d consider buying. Doing so will give you a better idea of how much you can afford to invest in a partnership or event, and make it easier to scale.
No matter what, never forget that the fundamental goal is empowerment. Think back to Limbitless Solutions’ core finding. Your partnerships should have clients confident and excited about repping something they love in an interesting way, not blending into a crowd with something drab. To do that, you have to have fun; play around with ideas, brainstorm with potential partners, and keep your clients’ interests as the top priority. Tailor your services to inspiring them, and they’ll walk away knowing that the possibilities the next time they’re in your chair are, well, Limibitless.
Think you know what clients truly want? We surveyed 800+ beauty patrons to discover what matters most to potential clients. Here's what we found