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MaryKay_ResearchBrief 2014

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MaryKay_ResearchBrief 2014

  1. 1. RESEARCH BRIEF January 10, 2014
  2. 2. NSAC 2014 Research Brief 1 PROBLEM STATEMENT Mary Kay upholds the ideals of an old-fashioned business strategy that has lost momentum in a world with continual advances in technology and social communication. This has triggered a disconnect between company and demographic, causing large perceptual gaps in quality of product, image, and service. CASE CHALLENGE Our campaign objective is to increase awareness, positive perception, and consideration for product purchase among female consumers ages 18-25. Through a national, fully-integrated marketing campaign, we will build upon Mary Kay’s brand identity while reaching three different target demographics. The campaign will be implemented from February 2015 to February 2016. MISSION STATEMENT Mary Kay inspires women to take charge and enrich their lives by providing entrepreneurial and sustainable business opportunities to expand women’s circle of influence and prove that “One Woman Can.” MARY KAY HISTORY & BACKGROUND Mary Kay Cosmetics originated in Dallas, Texas when Mary Kay Ash used her life savings in 1963 to start her company. Richard Rogers, son of Mary Kay Ash, helped his mother run her company from its inception and currently serves as the Mary Kay Cosmetics executive chairman. Mary Kay Ash was inspired to provide opportunities for women to enter the workforce during a time when women were often denied the chance to work. Mary Kay founded Mary Kay Inc. upon the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and life’s three top priorities. Mary Kay asserted faith first, family second, and career third as the order of life’s priorities. Mary Kay Inc. serves markets where women are underemployed and provides them with the opportunity to enrich their lives. Mary Kay Ash realized that all women connect on a common thread to want to secure a better life for themselves, and their families and are willing to work for an enriched lifestyle. Mary Kay Inc. is a privately-held corporation and one of the top six direct selling skincare and color cosmetics companies. Mary Kay Inc. began their international pursuit when several Australian entrepreneurs impressed by the companies’ performance encouraged Mary Kay to expand their business abroad in 1971. Since their expansion to Australia, Mary Kay now conducts business in thirty international markets. Following the opening of the first Mary Kay Inc. store in Australia, Mary Kay named the first two Mary Kay Independent National Sales Directors, who helped oversee the recruiting and sales process. Mary Kay believed in encouraging leaders to create new leaders, which prompted her to strategically create the position and thus serve as a role model for her IBCs. Mary Kay currently hosts 3 million Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultants worldwide, serving the U.S., China, Russia, Mexico, and Brazil as their top five markets.
  3. 3. NSAC 2014 Research Brief 2 In 1978 “Mary Kay’s Sweet Smell of Success” appeared in a Reader’s Digest article, which preceded a profile of the company and its founder on 60 Minutes a year later. The high media spotlight on Mary Kay set the stage for continued growth and success of the brand. Mary Kay launched in Mexico in 1988 and can attribute much of its global success to the Mexican market. By 2004, Mexico grew to Mary Kay’s second largest market with an Independent Sales Force totaling 120,000 women. A majority of these women host backgrounds of poverty, illiteracy, and war, who were able to enrich their lives through the Mary Kay direct selling format. Mary Kay shares similar stories in every one of their international markets and provides opportunity to work where little opportunity exists. SWOT ANALYSIS STRENGTHS · Quality · Social responsibility (also opportunity) · Pink Cadillac · Long lasting relationship with older demographic · Strong core values, focusing more on the Golden Rule · Strong history WEAKNESSES · Inconvenience/Inconvenient sales channel · Disconnect between brand and target · Inability to effectively communicate through social media · Disconnect between At Play line and other Mary Kay product lines · Inconsistency among IBCs in message delivering of the brand integrity OPPORTUNITIES · Relationship with customer · Employment opportunities and growth with the IBC process · Current trend for a more natural look · Empowerment of women · Women are in charge · Popularity of color palettes and customization · Make an experience out of buying makeup, with merchandising and pop up retail. · Instagram allows you to show off your brand through pictures · Increase impressions via social media (free) · Women love their phones (second + third screens) THREATS · Desire for instant gratification · Lack of time amongst consumers · Perception/reputation of pyramid schemes · More willing to change companies/faster evolving companies
  4. 4. NSAC 2014 Research Brief 3 · Companies more in tune with evolving trends and consumers desires, such as Cover Girl and Avon. · Bill Ackman, a hedge fund manager with a personal crusade against multilevel marketing companies, outing Herbalife as a scam. COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE AVON: “LARGEST DIRECT SELLING COMPETITOR” Utilizes the same selling format as Mary Kay, however AVON also offers an online shopping forum to create convenience for the customer. · AVON’s sub brand called mark. serves as a the brand equivalent to Mary Kay’s At Play line. mark. hosts a strong brand identity through the m.powerment by mark. campaign, which speaks to “leaving your mark” and utilizes Lucy Hale as their spokesperson. · AVON specializes in cosmetics and their product lines host an extensive repertoire of product options selling at a lower price point than Mary Kay. · Brand Message: mark. − Social beauty, the idea that women love to be social and want to be beautiful. AVON − Promote the health and well being of women through philanthropic endeavor and woman empowerment to achieve economic independence. COVER GIRL: “LARGEST COMPETITOR IN BRAND MESSAGE/IMAGE” · Cover Girl has an outstanding history with partnerships, recently partnering with Catching Fire. · They also have a strong social media presence. · Brand Message: “Easy, Breezy, Beautiful” implies that their products give customers a “natural look” and are easy to use. BAREMINERALS: “PEOPLES CHOICE” · The BareMinerals makeup line was favored by the majority of women in the target demographic throughout our primary research. · BareMinerals is also a competitor because it embodies a very consistent niche, which is a natural and clean look. · Brand Message: BareMinerals is an all natural brand that inspires women to see their own skin as a force of beauty. NEUTROGENA: “#1 SKINCARE COMPETITION” · Skincare that is dermatologist recommended. · Embodies a diverse yet cohesive personality for the brand by utilizing spokespeople to their full potential. · Brand Message: Naturally poised brand equating beauty with health.
  5. 5. NSAC 2014 Research Brief 4 BARRIERS FOUNDATIONS TARGET AUDIENCES (PERSONAS) PRIMARY Our Bold Eyeshadow, Zoe 18 Zoe is a multicultural millennial just starting college. It is the first time in her life where she can develop her own identity and embrace her newly found independence. Zoe doesn’t know who she really is yet, but has a vague idea of what she wants to be. She is ready to experience anyone and anything on her path to finding her true self-identity. She is an early adopter, but her loyalties are as solid as quicksand. Mary Kay offers her yet another way to empower herself, but Zoe is weary of the opportunity. Zoe needs to tangibly see the benefits of Mary Kay; otherwise she will dismiss the opportunity entirely. However, if she develops a strong brand loyalty to Mary Kay now, she’ll be an ambassador of the brand for the rest of her life. SECONDARY Our Natural Foundation, Emma 20 Emma is a 20-year-old Caucasian woman who grew up in the suburbs. She has always been a hard worker and values dedication in all that she does. Emma makes time for her family and enjoys hanging out with her friends. She takes care of herself and practices a healthy lifestyle. She is currently in her final year at a private college and her kind heart is well liked by all. She is spiritual and strives to maintain an open mind. Emma’s style is trendy and she is environmentally aware. Emma is looking for a natural makeup look that comes from gentle and trusted products. She is attracted to the personal connection that the Independent Beauty Consultants provide and would be willing to try the makeup and in particular, the skin care products. Since Emma’s opinion is respected and valued by those around her, she would influence others to use the products. Emma would increase the positive perception of the Mary Kay brand. WEAK BRAND RECOGNITION Millennial women lack awareness of the brand as well as positive perception. ACCESSIBILITY Restrictions within the sales channel deter customers from purchasing the product. INCONSISTENT BRAND EXPERIENCE Inability to regulate customer interaction with IBCs results in a lack of trust in brand. SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Mary Kay’s dedication to women empowerment and community outreach has improved the lives of many. HISTORY A well established history built upon strong core values has resulted in generations of loyal customers. QUALITY Mary Kay has dermatologist recommended and award- winning skin care products.
  6. 6. NSAC 2014 Research Brief 5 TERTIARY Our Classic Lipstick, Sofia 24 Sofia is a 24-year-old Latin American with strong family values and a spiritual background. With no college degree and plenty of enthusiasm to make a difference, Sofia is looking for a new opportunity to support herself and her community. She realizes that Mary Kay can be a great platform for her to challenge her entrepreneurial spirit. Her careful selection of Mary Kay stems from her active participation in her community as a youth leader. She recognizes that Mary Kay is dedicated to serving and is comfortable telling her friends and family about becoming a new IBC. MANDATORIES IMPROVEMENT OF THE IBC PROCESS The unique selling process of the Independent Beauty Consultants has hindered the success of Mary Kay’s ability to create a consistent brand experience. Along with this, the accessibility of the IBC and products themselves need to be improved upon so customers can have a more convenient and easy interaction with the brand. ZOE excitement in a sophisticated (somewhat) way friends and trends At Play is inexpensive, variety of products/colors convenience customization, options, price EMMA enhance natural beauty necessity healthy, high quality products relationship, home away from home emphasize the social responsibility, and value of products SOFIA opportunity to grow good product and sense of community likes supporting friends, quality of the product connection to salesperson growth NEEDS PURCHASE TRIGGERS MARY KAY PRODUCT BENEFITS IBC DIRECTION
  7. 7. NSAC 2014 Research Brief 6 DEVELOP A RELATABLE BRAND MESSAGE Create a brand message that can encompass the Mary Kay’s new product lines, Mary Kay at Play and Botanicals. The current message misses the mark with Zoe, Emma and Sofia, and there is a need to communicate a brand message that will be received well by the demographic to increase consideration and positive perception. FOCUS ON CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Mary Kay hosts strong engagement in social responsibility, which needs to be further highlighted in their brand message. The majority of surveyed respondents said that a commitment to social involvement would encourage the consumer to engage with the brand. Mary Kay’s social involvements support their core value to enrich women’s lives, creating awareness of their social involvement can strengthen their brand recognition. CREATE A DISTINCT AND WELL RECEIVED VISUAL STYLE Mary Kay has done a great job with creating a classic uniform look when it comes to its many products. The At Play line lacks connection to Mary Kay's traditional look. Changing packaging will give the At Play line a boost in credibility. UTILIZE SOCIAL MEDIA TO BRIDGE GAP BETWEEN MARY KAY AND ZOE, EMMA AND SOFIA Create a platform that will better communicate with the consumer and respond more perceptively to their needs. This communication will help Mary Kay understand the desired demographic more deeply than before and also help Mary Kay stay on trend and relevant. Communicate with a consistent tone of voice. EXTENSION OF PHONE APP OR START FROM SCRATCH An app seems to be a good way to help Mary Kay bridge the gap with the social media platform. However, we must decide whether to build upon Mary Kay’s existing phone app or to create a new one entirely. Research has shown the attachment females in this demographic have with their cell phones and social media. By creating an app for those who are interested in Mary Kay products and meeting with an IBC, but may not know where to start, this is a good way to introduce those girls in an unintimidating way. It will capitalize upon the connection between woman and phone, by introducing the IBC to the consumer in a more convenient and effective way. It would bridge the gap between social media and sales channel. Possible Features: · IBC locator · Order capabilities · Personal message · New product notifications · Customize
  8. 8. NSAC 2014 Research Brief 7 REWARDS/LOYALTY PROGRAM Consumers respond to incentives for loyalty. Mary Kay should implement a form of rewards to entice the consumer to remain loyal to the brand and reward them for taking the extra effort to go to Mary Kay for their make-up needs. MERCHANDISE Target Zoe with Mary Kay At Play for its price, customization and ability to provide her with several options and make up features. For Emma and Sofia, focus on Mary Kay’s skincare line as well as the Botanicals line, due to its high quality, as well as value of products.

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