Business

Branding with a wink

The original “Ms. Box” neon sign that drew attention to the salon’s first Downtown location is now a permanent fixture in Lane’s office.
The original “Ms. Box” neon sign that drew attention to the salon’s first Downtown location is now a permanent fixture in Lane’s office. kgreen@idahostatesman.com

Debi Lane’s most valuable employee might be the cover girl on her salon’s logo.

“Ms. Box,” as she’s known in the company, draws attention whenever signs go up at new locations for Lane’s salon franchise, LunchBox (A Waxing Salon). Lookie-loos stop to take pictures. Diplo, the disc jockey, posted a picture of the Park City, Utah salon on his Instagram account. It received more than 27,000 likes and was shared nearly 1,500 times.

“When we put a sign up at a new store, it’s insane,” Lane said. “It grabs people’s attention. It gets under their skin.”

Paul Carew, owner of the Boise graphic design firm Carew Co., said the LunchBox name and logo walk the line between insipid — Ms. Box is based on the women’s bathroom sign — and innuendo.

“The choice of generic female figure is brilliant,” Carew said. “It screams female gender. Then it rewards with the perfectly placed lunch box, and only color where it counts.”

Lane came up with the LunchBox name herself. She paid a Sun Valley graphic artist an undisclosed price to develop the logo. While Lane said her success comes from her salons’ service, culture and business model, she said none of that would matter if customers didn’t come through the door. While she has received complaints that the logo is risqué, Lane says it has done wonders for business.

“The brand was created to attract attention, to be a little bit cheeky,” she said. “The brand is doing its job.”

Kim Sherman-Labrum coaches brand development as an associate business consultant at the Small Business Development Center at Boise State University. She said the name and logo are “a little naughty, a little clever.”

“It’s subtle, and people might not always get it,” she said. “People love the idea of being smarter than the average bear. I think they’ve played into that concept really smartly.”

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