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Marketing Lessons Startups Can Learn From a Roadside Barber-Shop


marketing lessons startups can learn from a roadside barber

There are some marketing lessons startups can learn from a roadside barber I met yesterday.

I went to have my haircut yesterday, as I almost couldn’t recognize myself with all the large beards and hair.

I strolled into the barber shop and sat on the chair, while he quickly flung his piece of clothing around my neck and tied it firmly like he was about executing a criminal by hanging.

This could have been like any regular barbing session, but this barber guy amazed me and taught me something I knew differently.

He got on with his duty and started up a casual conversation, and we got talking about music.

Halfway after putting his clipper to work, he took a very swift pause – next thing he said was “You’re losing hair on both sides of your head o.”

I’ve noticed that for quite some time now. My hair just stopped growing by the side like it lost all the motivation.

I told him I was quite aware of it and might look to get a remedy for it soon.

The barber didn’t have my part o, he took a closer look at it and told me “Your good o because he never too dey obvious.”

I was just silent…

He stretches his hand to reach for an item; it was a small container – I could quickly tell it was cream.

He continued “Someone gave me this cream a week ago, about 5 of it and I have sold 4, remaining this one”.

At this moment, I adjusted myself and took a more precise look at the “concoction-like “container. It was a hair cream like I guessed.

Okay, he already got my interest – so I asked him more about the cream.

He told me, the four pieces he sold were well received by the customers, and they really loved it.

He went further and told me about a customer who came to his shop the previous day and got the cream to clear his dandruff.

…And after applying the cream, it didn’t only clear dandruff but also darkened the color of the customer’s hair.

I just sat there looking at both the cream and the barber, like someone who has been given a motorcycle key to drive a car.

This look wasn’t just a mere look, but a look of someone that has been sold “tey tey.”

In my mind, I have found the solution to the partial hair growth issue and was ready to buy.


Now, what lessons can you pick from the badass marketing skills of this roadside barber?

If you’re too tired to think, I’ll tell you;

He spotted a problem, even though I was already aware of it but didn’t really pay much attention to it. He recalled my attention to it.

He aggravated it; after spotting the problem, as a sharp guy, he didn’t stop – instead he told me it might get worse if I don’t attend to it on time. He got me!

Solution; after spotting and aggravating the problem, he did offer me an answer. He knew my mind had been wired to look for a way to solve it already.

Testimonials; after offering the solution, he didn’t waste time to tell me about others who bought it and what they think about it. It reinstalled a kind of confidence in me and cleared any doubts I had.

Scarcity; Even after offering me the solution, he pushed the urgency button on me. 4 sold! Only 1 left! What?? Udonmeannit!

Last, I didn’t she buy the cream o, because I only came with money for my haircut – but I promised to come back for it.

But I picked some marketing lessons from this wonderful roadside barber.

PS: That’s not the barber in the photo, just a random Google photo.


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