Therapeutic Focus Helps Elements Grow in Massage Space
AromaRitual services are an upgrade offering at Elements Massage that in 2017 helped boost sales.
Elements Massage jumped 24 spots in the Franchise Times 200+ ranking this year thanks to double-digit sales growth fueled in part by its new therapeutic offerings, along with what CEO Jeremy Morgan says is an intense focus on finding and keeping therapists.
Based in Englewood, Colorado and owned by WellBiz Brands, Elements Massage increased sales 17.1 percent in 2017 to $148 million to put itself at No. 275 overall on the Top 200+, Franchise Times' exclusive ranking of the 500 largest U.S. franchise brands based on systemwide sales.
Of those new therapeutic offerings, Morgan says the introduction of a hot stone massage using Himalayan salt stones was successful, along with enhancing Elements’ existing AromaRitual service, which combines massage with aromatherapy. The company worked with Shankara, a producer of Ayurvedic wellness products, to develop exclusive aromatherapy essences, which Elements staff sells as an upgrade. “We train on the protocol and they’re prompting customers at the time of service,” says Morgan.
Noting a corresponding lift in membership retention at locations with low therapist turnover, “We spend a lot of time and energy on therapist recruitment and retention. It’s a huge revenue driver as clients become attached and want to see the same therapist,” says Morgan. Elements also has an agreement with massage therapy school network the Cortiva Institute to facilitate job interviews between recent Cortiva graduates and participating Elements Massage franchisees.
“It comes down to making sure we’re viewed as the brand of choice for therapists,” says Morgan, pointing out that Elements continues to “lean in on the therapeutic side, rather than the pampering side” of massage and provides therapist training on new services such as cupping massage and float tanks.
A new marketing initiative launched in February 2017 was also effective in driving sales. The brand created a digital-focused marketing platform with buy-in from franchisees as all Elements units pooled resources that had previously been used for local digital efforts to instead work with one digital agency for a comprehensive approach.
“Basically we were able to take studios that were doing the best job at driving customer trial and what they were doing digitally and share that across the system,” says Morgan. “It’s a more sophisticated digital approach, but also a more competitive space to play in.”
Though it wasn’t in the top three in sales growth among Top 200+ massage brands, Massage Envy is still the heavyweight, with more than $1.3 billion in global sales, a 4.3 percent increase in 2017. Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa grew its sales 32.7 percent to $331 million, while Massage Heights hit $102 million in sales, a 6.9 percent increase, to round out the category.
Read more Top 200+ coverage here and in the October issue of Franchise Times.