Mary Kay Inc. may be one of the most recognizable brands in the America, but when Mary Kay CEO David Holl addresses over 50,000 attendees this coming week at Mary Kay's 50th Anniversary celebration in Dallas, the company will bear no resemblance to what started when Mary Kay Ash and her son hired nine independent sales reps back in 1963.
Thanks to technology.
This year, Mary Kay Inc. will bring in $3.5 million in revenues and have a bigger footprint in China than they do in the United States.
Mary Kay Inc. has stopped looking over its shoulder and has targeted a young demographic, while embracing all technology has to offer.
It's a delicate balance.
“You’ve got to attract Gen Y, but you can’t do it at the expense of losing the people who made you the company that you are today,” says Holl. “You do that by offering a black Mustang with pink-accent lighting. You still have the pink Cadillac, but you also have a pink SUV Escalade or pink Cadillac SRX crossover.”
It's the little things that end up being big for the world's largest direct seller of skin care products and colorful cosmetics.
What started as a $5000 investment in a 500 square foot storefront has evolved into legions of sales reps achieving success and calling their own shots.
Keeping up with technology has always been of paramount importance to everyone at Mary Kay.
The Mary Kay website (www.marykay.com) is one of the most popular websites in the world.
The company has also not been shy about releasing mobile apps.
The May Kay eCatalog App keeps a current list of all Mary Kay products is an easy to use interface. The products are easily searchable and information and picks can be shared via the social media component.
The Mary Kay Mobile Virtual Makeover App lets women customize their looks with all sorts of combinations or makeup, colors, hairstyles, and accessories. Users use their own photos and it's a lot of fun.
Today more than 3 million people around the world are Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultants and more are coming on board every single day.
The technology these consultants use has also been upgraded.
Helen Panos, a leading Mary Kay Consultant in Atlanta say the software consultants use has been changed.
"The consultant's system has gone through a big upgrade with the way we enter data into it," explains Panos. "(Mary Kay) moves quickly and the product lines have also expanded as we now offer four skin care lines."
Panos also likes the fact that Mary Kay is focusing on the younger generation with partnerships on shows like "Project Runway."
"A lot of girls are going to right from high school to Mary Kay," adds Panos.
Mary Kay has also embraced online power training classes that the consultants can take to get extra training and certifications.
Panos, who is the top salesperson in her unit, under National Sales Director Cecilia James sums up by saying Mary Kay is great as a part-time of full-time career.
"It's about building relationships," says Panos. "You can run the business however you want to run it."
It's made Mary Kay one of the most respected companies for 50 years and counting.
Congratulations to a forward thinking organization in Mary Kay.
Mary Kay celebrates their 50th anniversary on September 13, 2013
Mary Kay is sold in 37 markets around the world
China has 700,000 Mary Kay independent beauty consultants, compared with 600,000 in the United States
Sales in China will account for 25% of company sales in 2013