Mary Kay Case

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Case Assignment: Mary Kay Inc. Taps into a Changing Demographic

Founded in 1963 by Mary Kay Ash and her son, Richard, Mary Kay Inc. is a company that has long believed in the power of women. Dedicated to making life more beautiful for women, the company was founded on the Golden Rule of “praising people to success” and on the principle of placing faith first, family second, and career third. Before her death in 2001, Mary Kay Ash received numerous awards that exemplified her personal beliefs, which were embedded as the heart and soul of the company.

Beauty and Personal Care Products and Direct Selling

While the economic situation is such that consumers are scaling back on spending for high-end nonessential items, many beauty and personal care products are considered necessities. At the same time, beauty and personal care products do not have country boundaries—such products are universal. According to one report, beauty and personal care products are a cornerstone of the direct selling industry and, likewise, direct selling is good for the beauty and personal care products industry. By 2009, direct sellers were capturing more than $10 billion in annual sales of beauty and personal care products.

Direct selling is a method of distributing products directly to the consumer via person-to-person selling or party plan selling and away from permanent retail locations. According to the Direct Selling Association, there are an estimated 15.1 million people involved in direct selling in the United States, with more than 66 million people engaged worldwide. Interestingly, more than 80 percent of direct sellers in the United States are women. The predominance of women in the direct selling marketplace has proven especially important for direct sellers like Mary Kay Inc.

Mary Kay Inc.

Mary Kay Inc. develops and manufactures beauty and personal care products for both women and men. The company spends millions of dollars and conducts more than 300,000 product...
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