How a website project launch with Salon San Carlos sparked an exciting brand refresh

The Challenge

How do you take a local salon that is known primarily for curly hair expertise and put them on the map for a full spectrum of salons services?

The Approach

Refresh the look and feel for the brand with a renewed messaging strategy that highlights a wide range of services and puts company culture and initiatives in the forefront of an all-new website.

The any-hair-care experts.

Salon San Carlos has been serving the Pensacola, Florida community since 2009. Known for their curly hair expertise, it has long been considered the quintessential salon for curly hair in town. This was the good news and the bad news. While the salon certainly has an elevated specialization in cutting, coloring, and styling clients with curls and coils, they also have an overflowing well of knowledge for all hair types. The Salon San Carlos team had to get the word out: our doors are open for everyone! 

Initially, the theory from their team was to renovate the website to bring in those new leads. We agreed that the website needed to be rebuilt and optimized. However, the root of the issue was that the content on the website wasn’t telling the full story of the salon and all of the amazing things they were doing. Furthermore, as a team full of stylists and artists, they had some truly stunning photography that wasn’t being used to its full potential on the old site. 

After putting our heads together, we decided that a brand refresh had to happen before the new website.

After the realization that we were going to be taking a brand-first approach to the website build, we started out the way we would with any brand project. We sat down with the leadership team to find out what sets Salon San Carlos apart from the competition. 

Through this discovery session, we learned that the team had a great handle on their company culture, making our job a lot easier; they weren’t just saying things…they were actually doing them. We wanted to weave what they were already doing well into a refined messaging system that could be deployed with marketing and lead generation in mind. 

We also discovered that the visual system was on the table. While the logo was a semi-sacred piece of the puzzle, both teams agreed that it could be modernized from what was originally conceived. We had our marching orders, so it was time to get to work.

Great brand messaging starts with the team. The stuff the public doesn’t see. This is the engine that makes the car go forward. Without it, it’s impossible to build any of the external stuff and really mean it when you say it. Luckily for us, the Salon San Carlos team was on the ball with quippy internal monikers and a high retention ratio that gave us a great jump off spot.

Key Positions & What Makes Us Different

These are the things that we know to be true. Things we feel confident owning. They are also vital to understanding what might make a client book with Salon San Carlos over the other salons in Pensacola. We always start by nailing these points down before building headlines. Here’s what we came up with. 

  • We Are Family-owned & Operated: Not only is Salon San Carlos truly a family-owned business, they welcome their employees and clients as part of their family. It’s not just an empty bullet point on a business card; this is a way of life for their team. 
  • We Are Inclusive & Celebrate Diversity: Hair salons can be polarizing places. It is a top priority that all genders, races, and backgrounds are welcome at Salon San Carlos through genderless hair service and a loving, judgment-free environment. 
  • We Are a People Development Company: Stylists and employees at Salon San Carlos are encouraged and supported with ongoing education both personally and professionally to help them achieve their long-term goals. 
  • We Are Day Makers: There is a philosophy that permeates Salon San Carlos that stylists are “day makers.” They know the power of a great cut or color and the difference it can make in a person’s confidence. There’s an opportunity to change a client’s mood through the tailored services they offer at the salon. 
  • We Are a Green Circle Certified Salon: Salon San Carlos is recycling an impressive 95% of the waste they produce and are certified carbon neutral. To take it a step further, they use only products that are sustainable, meaning their clients’ hair is healthier and the earth is happier. (No one else in the area was putting this level of effort into sustainability.) 
  • We Are the Curly Hair Experts: Even though we kicked this whole thing off with the intention of spreading the good word about how Salon San Carlos does all hair types, we couldn’t deny that they are the curly hair experts in town. They have the niche training, latest technology, and products that clients with curls and coils need. 
  • We Have The Most Robust Stylist Education Program Around: Landing a job at Salon San Carlos is the beginning, not the end. They pour heavily into their employees with internal and external education opportunities to continue their career growth and help chart a path toward personal success through a proven method. 

We Grow Careers: Threading into education programming, the tenure for stylists at Salon San Carlos is nothing short of impressive. That’s because they are consistently helping stylists on a personal and professional level to strengthen the bond of the team, an effort that trickles down noticeably into the client

With a firm grasp on what sets Salon San Carlos apart, we were ready to start crafting the public-facing messaging. We were able to synthesize it down into two main categories: team/salon and clients. Within those, we had smaller subcategories that we drilled a tad deeper into. The result was a handful of buckets of headlines that the team could pull from for marketing materials, social posts, email and text messaging, and even more. 


  • Growing stylists. Developing people. Building careers.
  • Empowering and educating our team to build great futures.
  • Be a Day Maker.
  • Build your career. Continue your education. Master your craft.
  • Developing people. Growing careers.


  • Happy people and a healthy planet start with sustainable solutions.
  • Supporting people and our planet through cleaner, greener practices.
  • Dedicated to keeping people and the planet beautiful through our Green Circle Certified commitment.
  • We keep our landfills and waterways clean by recycling 95% of our salon waste.
  • Your Green Circle Certified and carbon neutral salon.

General Client

  • The any-hair-care experts.
  • Hair for he, she, they, and all.
  • All Styles. All Textures. All Welcome.
  • Your hair care crew.
  • Switch it up: Our open chair policy puts you first.

Curly Client

  • Celebrating all textures, colors, and curls.
  • Curl gang. 
  • Obsessed with education to stay ahead of the curl.
  • Celebrate and embrace your natural texture and curls.
  • The curly cut experts.

Color Client

  • We consult before color to create the right plan and process for you.
  • Consult before color. We work together to craft the best plan for your hair type and color goals.
  • Healthy, vibrant color.
  • A spectrum of color for a spectrum of people.

With the messaging tuned up, it was time for our design team to set their sights on the visual system. How do we tell the story of Salon San Carlos visually? Since we were retaining much of the original logo, our focus was on modernizing what exists, bringing new energy into the color palette, and providing a pack of visual assets that could spice up creative pieces. 

One thing we noticed immediately with the original logo was that it existed as it was with no way to pull it apart or change the orientation. These types of logos are difficult to work with when space is a challenge, so we wanted to give the Salon San Carlos team a complete logo system that paid homage to the original while giving them a range of dynamic options. It can be used as a full horizontal logo, a standalone icon, a simple wordmark, or even a badge for merch. The key here is that, no matter what version they use, it’s instantly recognizable as Salon San Carlos. 

Color Palette
We were on board with the original colors in the existing logo, so we pulled the primary palette directly from it. Taking things a step further, we provided an extended palette full of bright neons and warm neutrals to add as accents and contrast on creative pieces. This gave the Salon San Carlos team the freedom to explore their creativity and set a mood with individual campaigns all while maintaining a cohesive brand look and feel that is ownable. 

With a stunning logo and expanded color palette in place, we knew we wanted to add a library of assets complete with a range of fun illustrative shapes and icons that nod to the sustainability mission and calming, natural textures of the salon’s interior to help bring the brand to life on the website, creative collateral, and beyond.

Once we had complete sign off on the new brand look and feel from the Salon San Carlos team, our first order of business was to apply that to the new website design. We knew that the website would be a chance to showcase a little bit of everything from the dynamic assets to the beautiful photography work and brand video that was put together by our friends and partners over at Lensea Film

But this website couldn’t be all flash and no substance. The team wanted a website that was client-focused and built to expand into an organic search machine with a robust blog. We also made sure that both new and existing clients had a surplus of options for finding their perfect stylist match through stylist bios, fun stylist facts, and several calls to action for booking with transparent, honest pricing.

We didn’t have to convince the Salon San Carlos team to invest their time and energy into a social strategy. The truth is, they were already crushing it in the social game. We put together mocks and samples for how the team can share engaging text-based information on social media while maintaining a strong brand presence on roll out. We have continued with Salon San Carlos in an ongoing retainer to support their social media strategy and content creation. 

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