Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog

How Strip Became A Global Waxing Empire by Word-of-Mouth


Strip, by the Spa Esprit Group, has made a name for itself in the beauty and lifestyle industry.

With its roots in Singapore, Strip now has outlets in London, New York City, Shanghai, Jakarta, Bangkok and more, with further plans for global expansion.

Voted Best of New York by New York Magazine, and awarded a perfect 5 stars from Allure Magazine for Best Brazilian Wax, Strip no doubt has an excellent service nailed down.

How did the brand reach such international success?

1. Strong brand message — Empowering women to celebrate and love their bodies

strip logo

When Strip first started out in 2002, it was a Western concept that Singaporeans were unfamiliar with. The idea of talking about our women parts was also slightly awkward.

Cynthia Chua, founder and CEO of the Spa Esprit Group, says that the idea for Strip was in “empowering women”, and getting women to “celebrate and love their bodies”.

Strip brought to women’s attention an area of services that hadn’t been traditionally talked about. Coupled with a strong brand message, women started to fall in love with the brand vision and many became loyal followers of the brand.

strip lets save the queen

Till today, Strip stays true to its brand vision, and the latest “Let’s Save the Queen” campaign is a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative that aligns with this brand vision.

As part of the campaign, Strip aims to produce honey and wax sustainably, and to provide jobs for 10,000 women in the process.

Word-of-mouth tip: A powerful and socially-conscious brand message that is consistently reflected in a brand’s work ethic and actions is key. Customers love to patronise brands that not only provide a good service, but also makes them feel like they are contributing back to society. Such campaigns and actions will naturally spread via WOM.

2. Creative advertisements with tongue-in-cheek humor makes their brand image memorable

strip advertisements tongue in cheek

Strip advertisements are designed in-house by the Spa Esprit Group.

The brand doesn’t take itself too seriously. The design team works hard to come up with memorable advertisements for every new promotion, complete with delightful tongue-in-cheek humour that appeals to a more youthful and fun crowd.

Strip advertisements are uniquely identifiable, with a consistent and tasteful branding and design element to it.

Word-of-mouth tip: Creative advertising done well will generate its own hype and spread organically via WOM. Everyone will be talking about that one great advertisement that really cracked them up.

3. Collaborations with lifestyle influencers gets word about Strip out

Perth is truly a sight for sore eyes, no? That aside, did you know that bees are responsible for propagating a third of the world’s food crops? Surely there also wouldn’t be wax without bees, so @StripSG is on a mission to save the world’s dwindling bee population by buying organic sunflower honey, beeswax candles and other bee-related products from bee farms around the world. This helps to create a sustainable income for these small-batch beekeepers and in turn, provide them with the resources to build a sustainable environment for the bees. Bee the solution, heh. #StripSavesBees And just for y’all: Quote “Willabelle” on STRIP’s online booking site (ow.ly/VUoPB), and enjoy 50% off your first waxing treatment if you’re a new Strip customer! Valid till 31 March 2016.

A photo posted by @willamazing on

Strip understands that its target group of customers are social media savvy, and are always looking out for the latest and greatest in lifestyle offerings on their social media feeds.

They collaborate with lifestyle influencers in its target markets who have a strong and loyal following to spread brand awareness.

To generate publicity about its “Let’s Save The Queen” campaign, Strip engaged lifestyle influencer Willabelle Ong (@willamazing) to make a post about Strip’s mission to save the bees on her Instagram.

The post garnered close to 3,000 likes in less than 24 hours!

And in traditional referral marketing style, Willabelle’s post ended with a 50% discount code for first-time Strip customers. All you had to do was to quote “Willabelle” on Strip’s online booking site.

Word-of-mouth tip: For lifestyle products and services, one of the best ways to spread brand awareness is to leverage on the wide reach of social media platforms through collaborations with lifestyle influencers who are active on social media. These influencers have loyal followers who trust their recommendations and would be keen to try them out, especially if a referral discount is included!

4. Referral marketing creates win-win situations and tons of WOM!

strip refer a friend

Strip also employs a referral program strategy to encourage the spread of brand awareness via word-of-mouth.

StripMate is the friend benefit program that gives you $10 credit for every friend you introduce to Strip. Each new Strip customer then receives 50% off their first waxing service!

The programs gets people to talk, share and invite their friends to use Strip, and everyone wins!

Word-of-mouth tip: Referral programs are a great way to spread the word about great products and services as everyone stands to benefit. Both you and your friend get a discount on your next session, and the brand benefits with new customers!

5. A great in-store experience keeps everyone wanting more

strip store decor

Chua says that each beauty salon is treated like a fashion parlour. “There’s always an element of discovery to it, there’s art, there’s design. We use this to connect with customers.”

Each Strip outlet has SGD$150,000 to 200,000 invested in outfittings, design and furnishing.

Such solid investments means that every Strip parlour is furnished to make the customer feel warm and cosy, like they’re in someone’s living room.

The service staff are also immaculately groomed and polite. When you step into the salon, a staff promptly greets you and attends to your needs.

While waiting for your appointment, tea is served hot in little pretty tea cups, giving you the ultimate pampering experience.

From the minute you step into a Strip parlour to the minute you step out of it, Strip makes you feel great and eager to come back for more.

Word-of-mouth tip: A good in-store experience ultimately confirms all the great publicity and hype about the brand, and will be the key reason customers keep returning for more.

Seems pretty convincing, huh? Here’s a recap of how Strip achieved their success:

  1. Strong and convincing brand message with a good cause
  2. Creative and memorable advertisements that people will keep talking about, creating a strong brand identity
  3. Collaborations with influencers get their message out
  4. A referral program creates WOM and makes it a win-win situation for all!
  5. A comfortable and pampering in-store experience keeps people coming back for more


Read next: Beauty Referral Program Examples – 10 Glamorous Referral Programs

Melody Madhavan

Melody is a history major and part of the pioneer batch of Yale-NUS College. She hopes to be able to bring forgotten historical narratives back to life, and learn how to make the perfect latte.

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