Positioning Strategy 1
Positioning Strategy 2
GSD’'s challenge is to discover the most efficient way for Mary Kay to
position itself as a relevant appealing brand to female Gen Y consumers.
Because of Mary Kay's lack of positioning, the typical young woman
associates the brand with an older audience. We need to find a way to
embrace the brand's values while attracting a previously untouched target.
Gen Y needs to know Mary Kay is the best quality for the best price and
that it’s not just for older women.
Mary Kay relies on its unique independent beauty consultant program to
sell its products. While the IBC system should continue to be embraced,
it causes problems for Gen Y consumers whom primarily shop in store or
online. Gen Y consumers do not relate to the personal shopping experience
as older generations have, and Mary Kay has to change that perception.
GSD’'s objective with Mary Kay is to continue to celebrate the company's
core values and traditions while establishing a modern and appealing
positioning message to younger consumers. With Mary Kay;s new position,
young consumers will see Mary Kay's cosmetics as sophisticated and
empowering while coming to appreciate the company's respected history
If We Do Nothing
If a new positioning strategy is not implemented, Mary Kay will not enter
the minds of Gen Y consumers. They will stay loyal to their current brands
and will not explore new options for Mary Kay's better quality products. The
longer Mary Kay stays irrelevant to Gen Y consumers, the longer the stigma
of being a brand for only older women will remain.
96% of cosmetics users buy them IN A STORE
MOST were VERY DISSATISFIED with the EASE OF ACCESS to
Mary Kay but were VERY SATISFIED with the QUALITY
of the products and VALUE RECEIVED
Average ranking by our participants
of IMPORTANCE when buying cosmetics
QUALITY OF A PRODUCT
PRICE OF A PRODUCT
BETTER THAN A COMPETITOR
CULTURE OF THE BRAND
EVENTS OR PROMOTIONS
Only 26 PARTICIPANTS use MARY KAY Products
ALL had over 60 USERS
37% of our study participants
said they had used Mary Kay
63% had not
Cosmetics bought in store accounts for 80% of total purchases, and shopping together as a group is a
common social event for Gen Y consumers. This is being enhanced by stores introducing ways to innovate the
shopping experience, such as virtual make-up applications and touchscreen stations that conduct skin analysis.
Furthermore, traditional stores such as Walmart and Target have introduced beauty advisors that provide on
demand advice to shoppers.
Mary Kay has made some solid improvements with their digital presence, increasing their digital IQ by 30%
in the last year. Additionally, they rank 2nd in Pinterest followers of all global cosmetics brand. As brands are
finding more and more ways to engage consumers through the digital medium, Mary Kay must continue its
efforts in staying digitally relevant.
Direct Selling Model
Independent beauty consultants will be able to leverage the campaign to reach Gen Y consumers. IBC represent
all types of women. Some work part time, while others use it as their primary income source. The Mary Kay
IBC program is flexible and allows each consultant to manage their business in accordance with their lifestyle.
This needs to be stressed to younger consumers who could easily make being a IBC a part of their busy lives.
Perception Of Current User
Mary Kay's current primary users are middle-aged female. The older crowd is loyal to and respects Mary Kay's
history and core values. They appreciate the personal connection of IBC’s they have when purchasing products
from an independent business consultant. While this is efficient for keeping their older audience loyal, the lack
of innovation is not bringing younger consumers into their market.
When conducting research only 19 of 106 women ages 18-25 use Mary Kay on a daily basis. Mary Kay currently
is not the brand you share with your friends and family that you use. It is more of a hidden brand since the
association is with older women. Until the stigma that Mary Kay is for older women is erased, it will hurt the
chances for Mary Kay to be introduced into social interactions of Gen Y consumers.
Mary Kay sells high quality products with reasonable prices. In addition, it offers three different cosmetic categories
to embrace various levels of engagement (entry level, core and premium). Furthermore, Mary Kay conducts
millions of tests each year to ensure that its products meet the highest level of quality, safety and performance.
Overall, the company produces 200 premium products in its Dallas state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.
Mary Kay is a company that proudly represents its founder's’ core values and beliefs. Mary Kay adopted the Golden
Rule as her personal and professional principle, determining that the best course of action can always be related
to ’doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ Today, the company continues to uphold these values
and consciously considers its corporate responsibilities.
Shopping with a Mary Kay IBC is an opportunity to receive personal assistance and buy products in a more
personalized manner. By shopping with an IBC, consumers are able to try on products before buying them and
receive advice by a consultant whose primary concern is her clients’ beauty needs
The Mary Kay brand is not seen as innovative by younger consumers. Most Gen Y consumers think of Mary Kay as
a brand targeted only toward older generations. Furthermore, there is a tremendous generational gap of attitudes
toward the IBC model. Younger consumers do not share the same interest in being personally connected to a business
consultant as older generations do. In addition, Mary Kay's IBCs are typically older women which makes it more difficult
to reposition the brand to a younger audience.
Mary Kay has the opportunity to tap into the Gen Y market. Mary Kay has not had any previously failed attempts
toreachthe audiencebecausetheyhavesimplenot yet tried. Mary Kay does not have a negative brand perception
with Gen Y, but it does not have much awareness or relevance to the target. By realigning its positioning, Mary
Kay can gain relevance with Gen Y and increase its market share with an untapped audience.
Mary Kay's unique IBC program allows consumers to have a personal connection with the brand and its products.
While this model is currently unappealing to the Gen Y audience, Mary Kay has an opportunity to recapture the
glamour and intrigue of buying from an IBC.
Mary Kay does not offer any products in store or online. Gen Y consumers are attracted to the convenience of
these shopping methods, and in store shopping accounts for 80% of total cosmetic sales. Gen Y consumers see
shopping together in stores as a social experience and often go as a group. Furthermore, stores are beginning
to innovate the shopping experience by introducing features such as touch screens that offer skin analyses. In
addition, perhaps the largest threat Mary Kay is facing, is that stores such as Walmart and Target are beginning
to hire in-store consultants who offer the same functions as a Mary Kay IBC.
- Females aged 18-25 years old
- Wear makeup 5-7 days a week.
- Most shop in stores
- Most are single and have never been married
- Annual income is $20,000 or less
- Students and Young Professionals
- Our target audience wants a sophisticated makeup that’s both
- Being well respected is an important quality, but they still like to
- They like good customer service.
- They value shopping as a social experience.
- They are hesitant to try new brands and stick to the ones they’are
- Do not mind being exposed to new products and information.
good in quality and good in price.
have fun and experience life.
Meet Classy Karly
Karly is 22 and just graduated from Louisiana State University with a degree in
Business. She is headed to Chicago for a internship at her dream company. She
was a leader on campus and enjoys a good book and an occasional drink on
the weekend with friends. Shopping is her favorite past time, and always want the
best quality products for the best price. She's the kind of girl you want as your
best friend because she always seems to have it together and knows how to be
classy and fun at the same time. Karly is the girl who inspires you to be better.
PRICE and QUALITY are the main things she
considers when buying a product. She buys most
products UNDER $25 and very rarely OVER $50
She enjoys WARM RELATIONSHIPS with others
and values her SOCIAL LIFE
She values CONVENIENCE and ACCESSIBILITY
when shopping for cosmetics, and most
commonly buys her product IN STORES
She values SELF-RESPECT and FULFILLMENT, butstill has fun and ENJOYS LIFE
She DOESN’T tend to venture outside the brands
and products she TRUSTS, but is still open to
NEW PRODUCT information and exposure
POSITIONING STRATEGY #1
To women aged 18-25 who wants to look classy and sophisticated
without buying overpriced products of the same inferior level
quality. Mary Kay is the brand that let’s you have it all. That offers
the high quality products you want for a reasonable price. After all,
there’s a reason Mary Kay has been around for over 50 years and is
used by over 3 million customers worldwide.
You Can Have It All
YOU DON’T HAVE TO
HAVE A MILLION BUCKS
To Look Like It
-Emphasizes the AFFORDABILITY of Mary Kay’s HIGH QUALITY products.
-Appeals to GEN Y’S who are in college and/or have a LOW INCOME.
-Showcases Mary Kay’s product QUALITY.
-Lets WOMEN know they are in CONTROL.
- Could be seen as “CHEAP.”
- Message may MISS our target audience and instead APPEAL TO EVERYONE
with a low income.
- Affordability DOWNPLAYS the brand’s VALUE.
PRINT This will serve as the basic ideal for this position’s ad series.
This ad is visually appealing and highlights the concept that you
can have great cosmetic products at reasonable prices, while also
showcasing MaryKay's products.
We will post content related to our slogan on all major social
media platforms and update Mary Kay’s current website. In
addition to this, we will start a Pinterest board where consumers
can come find makeup ideals.
This ad films two Gen Y consumers simultaneously getting ready through two different scenes
split down the middle on the same screen. They’re getting ready in similar fashions, except Classy
Karly (left scene) is smiling while she effortlessly applies her Mary Kay cosmetics while Karly’'s peer
(right screen) struggles through her vast assortment of overpriced ’other brand’ cosmetics. The two
screens merge together in the next scene as they arrive at the entrance to a sophisticated looking
nightclub. The bouncer stops them, and to their surprise, there’s a $20 cover. Karly’'s peer has a look
of shock as she realizes she can’t afford it, but Karly smiles (and looks beautiful) because she has
money to spare and can cover her friend ’ thanks to the money she saved from buying affordable
cosmetics from Mary Kay.
You Can Have It All
POSITIONING STRATEGY #2
Young women aged 18-25, who have high aspirations in life and
strive to look classy but don’t mind letting their hair down and
having fun. Mary Kay is the brand that helps you stand out in a
crowd, leave a lasting impression and never be missed. Mary Kay
represents a girl that values self-respect, has confidence, is so-
phisticated and has it all together. Mary Kay will help you be the
successful sophisticated women everyone will notice.
You do your job.
Does your makeup do its?
- Gives target audience an EMPOWERING VISUAL/ideal of a young,
- Establishes an appealing image for the ideal YOUNGER MARY KAY USER.
- Steers Mary Kay AWAY from the image of being an older woman makeup.
SOPHISTICATED and intelligent young woman using Mary Kay’s products.
- Can give the WRONG IMPRESSION if not done tastefully.
- Might possibly give off a “PRETENTIOUS” rather than sophisticated image.
- Can TURN OFF CONSUMERS who don’t relate or APPEAL to the people
identified in the advertisements.
- Keeps from focusing on the brands QUALITY and REASONABLE PRICE.
You do your job.
Does your makeup do its?
Based on the nature of this campaign, we decided it would be beneficial to have a
brand representative. After conducting some primary research, we found that 53% of our
participants would buy a product from Blake Lively. She makes a good spokesperson for
this strategy because sheconnects with the target audience and they connect with her from
her personal and acting experience. We believe that by using her in both print and television
ads, we could peak new interest into Mary Kay's products. Blake Lively is classy Karly.
PRINTThis ad visualizes a Classy Karly being ahead of the game, and ahead of her
peers, by sitting in the front row of her class taking notes. She is actively asking
questions while her peers are around her playing with their makeup. Karly
doesn’t need to constantly be worrying about her makeup though because she
uses Mary Kay. Her Mary Kay cosmetic products help her be classy and confident,
and show the worlds that she knows it.
We will run a social media campaign in conjunction with our TV and print ads. We will
post content on all social media platforms related to our slogan: “You Do Your Job, Does
Your Makeup Do Its?“ Social media posts will include a sweepstakes with the theme
of “Mary Kay cosmetics does its job. What“s yours?“ and encourages followers to post
responses and pictures of themselves while sharing their aspirations (examples: having
a successful job interview or making a 4.0 for the semester). Followers will be chosen at
random and will receive $250 Mary Kay gift cards. In addition, we will create a Pinterest
board where inspirational images are posted that relate to our target audience. Finally,
we will update Mary Kay“s current website to be more modern and appealing to Gen Y.
This ad shows Classy Karly killing it with both her confident looks and her hustle game. Her cosmetics
help her look classy while she waits outside an office as for her big job interview. She confidently
smiles as she reviews her notes while to her left, a fellow interviewee is busy pampering and fixing
her makeup. Karly goes in for her interview while her peer is still nervously applying makeup. Karly
walks out, obviously very pleased with how her interview went, and does a slight (not pretentious)
smirk as her peer is still struggling with her looks. This ad represents that Karly doesn’t need to
waste time on her looks, because Mary Kay products do their job. They have a high quality that will
help you through any situation. Karly is on top and is too busy making moves and achieving her goals
to worry about her makeup.
With this positioning strategy, we expect positive brand perception to greatly increase with Gen Y consumers. By giving Gen Y consumers a visual
representation they can relate and identify with, they will begin to steer away from the thought of Mary Kay only being “for older women” and start to
think of Mary Kay as a more modern brand. Furthermore, with this change in perception, Mary Kay’s brand awareness will improve tremendously in the
minds of Gen Y consumers. Finally, with an improvement in both brand awareness and perception, Mary Kay product purchases by Gen Y consumers will
increase as a result.
Based on research and our logical reasoning, we concurred that our
second recommendation of creating a new product user positioning will
be more effective. In order to truly resonate with Gen Y consumers, we
need to establish a powerful, relatable image that puts the Mary Kay
brand in the forefront of their mind. While our other recommendation of
creating a new product class position has some good qualities to it, we
are afraid that highlighting the affordability will downplay the brand
more than establish a new positive perception.
You do your job.
Does your makeup do its?
In order to measure our results, we're going
to track three things: brand awareness,
brand perception and market share. To
measure brand awareness, we’ll use
Google Analytics to track Mary Kay
searches, views and likes on each of the
main social media platforms. To track
brand perception, we’ll do a series of Text-
Mining using R with replies about Mary Kay
on Facebook and analyze the percentage
of positive and negative responses. In
addition, we will hold focus groups with
both past and new consumers and see if
their opinions have changed about Mary
Kay. Finally, we’ll track Mary Kay’s market
share to see if product purchases have
Regional Promotion Mix
Data showed that the largest amount
of women aged 18-25 lived in the
West and South regions of the United
States. Additionally, we found the
top 10 DMA for women 18-25. We
will focus advertising efforts in these
cities where we will achieve the best
ROI. Additionally, National print and
television advertisements will be placed
in These cities include;
The chart chows what strategies will
be implemented in each of the 10
target cities. This is based off of the BDI
and CDI found for Mary Kay's brand.
Additionally, an Aggressive tactic will
be used throughout the campaign.
Social Media Placement
2 And A Half Men
Better Homes and Garden
Upcoming Romantic Movies
Celebrity Reality TV
We will use a pulsing strategy, spending in all periods and concentrate more heavily
in certain periods. We plan to run the advertisements ranging from 4 p.m. to 2a.m. on
weekdays and during select television shows on the weekends. December , January,
March and September are the months we plan to concentrate on and will heavily focus
spending during these high cosmetic selling months.
TELEVISION PRINT INTERNET SOCIAL MEDIA PRODUCT PLACEMENT GIVEAWAYS
$5,010,000 $3,014,050 $920,000 $700,400 $350,000 $5,550
Media Vehicle January Febuary March
Television 5,010,000 808064.51 161,612.90 808064.51
Internet 920,000 138000 46000 138000
Print 3,014,050 452107.5 150702.5 452107.5
Media 700,400 105060 35020 105060
Giveaways 5,550 1110 0 1110
Placement 350,000 70,000 0 70,000
10,000,000 1,574,342 393,335.40 1,574,342
April May June July August Spetember October
161,612.90 323225.81 323225.81 323225.81 161,612.90 808064.51 161,612.90
46000 46000 46000 46000 46000 138000 46000
150702.5 150702.5 150702.5 150702.5 150702.5 452107.5 150702.5
35020 35020 35020 35020 35020 105060 35020
0 0 1110 0 0 1110 0
0 0 70,000 0 0 70,000 0
393,335.40 554948.31 626,058 554948.31 393,335.40 1,574,342 393,335.40
2.277 BILLION dollars
are annually spent on
cosmetics. It’s time for
MARY KAY to be at the TOP