Why has MKC not been as successful as Avon in penetrating international markets?
There are a few reasons that explain why Mary Kay Cosmetics (MKC) has not been able to penetrate the international markets as well as Avon did. The head of MKC’s Dandurand has identified at four reasons, according to the case study. Dandurand’s analysis of MKC’s limited international success was due the following reasons: 1. Marking strategy: MKC applied its U.S. marketing strategy to different foreign markets without making sufficient local modifications. For example, the application of its U.S. style one-on-one, personal, and direct selling strategy to countries outside the U.S. did not always work well because it did not fit local culture and customs. 2. Pricing: MKC’s overseas pricing strategy was a replicate of its U.S. strategy without much consideration of the local market condition such as the income level and buying power of the customers living in those less developed countries. 3. Communication: There are many layers within the company’s organizational structure that caused communication and decision issue between its headquarter, regional offices, and local subsides. 4. Products: MKC’s product line has 225 SKUs while Avon has 1500 SKUs. Considering the type of skin of Americans as opposed to Asians, MKC provided limited selections for its overseas customers to choose from. 5. Brand awareness: MKC has a poor image overseas. Dandurand blamed the company did not provide sufficient marketing resources to develop its brand. According to the case, a market research conducted in 1993 indicated that “MKC was perceived by some Canadian consumers as out of state” (Quelch & Laidler, 2009, p. 4).
However, I think the most critical reason is that MKC expanded its international operation without much thought in terms of gaining a good understanding of the markets outside the U.S., the industry in the countries it operated, and developing a strategy for its expansion. According...
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