I am slightly annoyed. Ok, maybe irritated is a better word. Here’s the deal.
Spa Magazine recently announced that they would be giving out annual awards for readers’ favorite spas. When I looked further into their new awards program it appears to me a very close replica of the Readers’ Choice Awards program which Spa Finder introduced five years ago. The categories, the date of announcement, the verbiage…it looks so close that I can only imagine the confusion it will create in the marketplace. Perhaps that is the point. This comes on the heels of several other changes they have made recently – including announcing a stand alone annual directory – which closely mimics our business model. While I guess we should be flattered that they find our direction to be worth copying, I can’t help but think that there are better ways to compete.
Our industry has a variety of magazines, websites, gift card programs, trade shows, etc. in which we all compete with each other. For the most part I feel as if we are quite respectful of each other and work together toward the common good. For example, I applaud Mary Bemis, who just launched a new magazine called Organic Spa. It is a fresh new concept, creative, well done, beautifully photographed, well written – and highlights an important new angle in our industry. Healing Lifestyles & Spas Magazine has also developed a personality of their own with an emphasis on spas which are retreats, escapes and healing centers for the body and soul. They even invited me as a participant to their recent wellness event pre-ISPA last year and couldn’t have been nicer when I attended. Mary Blackman from Spa Addicts has put together a fun website and targets a bit of a younger demographic which helps grow our industry. The Spa Week girls have been successful with their unique program which has also broadened spa participation while emphasizing the idea of “spas for all” – not just the wealthy. An excellent message.
I realize that all of us borrow ideas from others…in fact there are very few totally unique ideas. However there just seems to be a fine line between creating something new with pieces from here and there and simply duplicating someone else’s work almost exactly.
Well….now that I have had my say, I will get back to work. After all we have some exciting new projects in the works!