Education & Career

Hair Club® Challenges Columbia University Business Students With Real-World Case Study

Total Hair Solutions Leader Works With MBA Students to Modernize Sales Approach
Professor Michael Brown stands with Hair Club representatives.
( | Press Release | 2018-06-14 21:32:49 )
(Boca Raton, FL) June 2018 - Students at Columbia Business School in New York recently presented to Hair Club as part of their final projects for a course called Building the Sales Machine. The presentations outlined students’ findings while studying four sales-related challenges at Hair Club, and offered solutions designed to increase sales. Hair Club executives judged the presentations.

Melissa Oakes, Senior Vice President of Sales and Operations for Hair Club, said the collaboration was attractive because it offered students the opportunity to engage in and study the Hair Club sales process and give the executive team a fresh perspective on the business. Oakes said the students’ findings validated some of the concerns at Hair Club.

“We’ve been the leader in total hair solutions for more than 40 years,” said Oakes, “but we need to find new opportunities and create more value for our clients and prospective clients if we expect to grow – especially in this digital age.”

Hair Club worked with Michael Brown, adjunct professor at Columbia Business School, to formulate the business opportunities into projects for students to work on throughout the term. Students broke into teams and were given access to materials such as sales narratives, training manuals and marketing collateral. They scheduled consultations through Hair Club’s National Contact Center (NCC) and students even visited their local Hair Club center as prospective clients.

Project topics included destigmatizing hair restoration via a revised sales narrative, virtual consultations and how to improve online reviews.
Virtual consultations offer some of the biggest sales potential, according to Oakes. Currently, clients must physically come in to a Hair Club center for a complimentary consultation, which includes a detailed hair and scalp analysis. In a virtual consultation scenario, a prospective client at home would be able to talk with an Image Consultant in a Hair Club center through video conferencing.

“We have to be more flexible,” Oakes said. “Sometimes people can’t make it to one of our centers, and the trend now is to do more business online.”

The student teams delivered their presentations to Hair Club via conference call on Wednesday, April 25th. Presenters were scored on articulation, their understanding of the subject matter and if they were able to propose new but realistic solutions.

“We were excited and thankful to partner with Hair Club this semester to give students a real world understanding of how a large revenue organization functions,” said Brown. “Students learned key insights and approaches on the business with a particular focus on sales process, sales presentations, virtual consultations, and the overall reputation of the Hair Club business.”

In the coming weeks, the Hair Club team will review each presentation in depth for workable ideas, estimate the investment in marketing and sales implementations, then test and evaluate them on a small scale before rolling them out to all 118 centers.

“The students’ feedback was extremely valuable,” said Rev Elder, Sales and Marketing Analyst for Hair Club. “We’re in this business all the time, but they brought an entirely different perspective, with very creative ideas in their presentations – ideas we should be looking at.”

About Hair Club:
Founded in 1976, Hair Club is North America’s number one provider of proven hair loss solutions. For over forty years, Hair Club has helped hundreds of thousands restore their hair and transform their lives. Today, Hair Club has 118 locations throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tokyo-based Aderans Co. Ltd., the world’s leading provider of total hair loss solutions. Aderans brands in the U.S. also include Bosley Medical Group.

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Nicole Webb


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