Mary Kay Inc. - The Saleswomen*



Case Code : CLSDM005
Publication date : 2005
Subject : Sales and Distribution
Industry : FMCG - Personal Care
Length : 04 Pages
Price : Rs. 100

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Key words:

Mary Kay, Beauty Consultant, Beauty Products, Commission, Recruits, Selling Style, Queen of Sales, Incentive, Pink Cadillac, Internet


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Mary Kay Inc. had an innovative sales force by way of 1.3 million woman beauty consultants who were independent of the company. This caselet discusses the structure of this unique sales force and describes their selling styles. It also mentions the use of the Internet for improved productivity of its sales force. Finally, the caselet explains the various incentives given by the company to keep its sales team motivated.


Kinds of sales structure in the cosmetics industry
Impact of different selling styles
Importance of incentives in sales


After a successful career in sales for 25 years, Mary Kay Ash (Mary Kay) decided that she would write a book on direct selling, her forte in marketing concepts. As her idea began to take shape, she realized that she could contribute more than just a book.

Consequently, in 1963, 'Beauty by Mary Kay', that later came to be known as Mary Kay Inc. (MKI) began its operations with a capital of US$5,000 to sell beauty products. By 2003, MKI was not only the leading cosmetics player in US but also had a presence in 30 markets over the world...

Questions for Discussion:

1. The use of the Internet and web technology helped MKI to leverage on its resources in an optimal manner. Highlight the IT initiatives and describe how they benefited the sales force.

2. Mary Kay advocated a different sales structure for her organization. In what way did the sales structure and selling style help in maximizing opportunities for the beauty consultants?