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Published by:
INSEAD (2016)
Revision date:
11 pages
Data source:
Published sources
Check out the short video trailer for a quick case synopsis.
Dry Bar


This is part of a case series. Drybar was launched in 2010 with the tagline 'No cuts. No color. Just Blowouts!' by hair stylist Alli Webb and her brother Michael Landau. Blow-drying had long been provided in most hair salons, but was considered an add-on or infrequent stand-alone service that did not incur a significant and consistent revenue stream. Alli recognized an untapped business opportunity in blowout services and turned it into a USD70 million business with 55 locations across the United States in just five years. The case looks at how Drybar changed the concept of professional blow-drying and made it compelling to women regardless of age or background. The case is presented in two parts. Part A describes the industry landscape of the American beauty salon industry in 2008, before Drybar entered the scene. It reviews the nature of the industry throughout history, and the structure and competitive forces that shaped conventional practices. Part B illustrates how Drybar was conceived with a different strategic approach and what made Drybar stand out from conventional hair salons while achieving lower costs. Part B is presented in an innovative cartoon storybook format to help enhance participants' understanding of Drybar's offering through an entertaining experience that is both informative and emotionally engaging. The case comes with a supplementary video and lecture slides for educators (link in ‘Extra information’ section).


Franchising; Value innovation; Entrepreneurship; Start-ups; Franchises; Blue Ocean Strategy; Strategy; Small & medium-sized enterprises; Beauty industry; Hair salon; Fragmented industry; Drybar; Competition

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