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Mary Kay invests on its sales force to maintain growth amid turmoil

In 2015, as Brazil endured an economic recession, US cosmetics company Mary Kay managed to increase sales in the country by 40%. The good performance appears to be the result of the brand’s direct sales strategy, which includes the training of 440 thousand consultants and the payout of substantial bonuses – evidenced in over a thousand trademark pink cars roaming the streets. According to Mary Kay’s sales director, Rosana Bonazzi, sales numbers and investments are expected to keep climbing steadily in Brazil.

Rosana Bonazzi, sales director at Mary Kay

Rosana Bonazzi, sales director at Mary Kay

Brazil Beauty News - What is Mary Kay’s reach in Brazil today?

Rosana Bonazzi - In 2015, the company invested approximately R$ 375 million in the sales team, including events, awards and incentives. The result was a 40% liquid increase in sales compared to the previous year. Mary Kay’s catalogue currently offers 300 products, including skincare items, makeup and fragrances.

Brazil Beauty News - What is the incentive structure currently in place?

Rosana Bonazzi - Mary Kay has several programs to reward its consultants, such as bonuses, national and international travels, jewelry, and, of course, the right to use our pink cars. We have three career levels: Independent Beauty Consultant, Independent Sales Director and National Sales Director. It’s safe to say that our reward strategy, along with the high quality of our products, is what sets Mary Kay apart and allows us to continuously grow our market share in Brazil.

Brazil Beauty News - Can you describe the typical consultant for Mary Kay?

Rosana Bonazzi - It’s hard to say, as the goals and lifestyles of our consultants vary immensely. We give them the freedom to manage their business based on their personal choices. Our benchmark is to ensure customer service is tailored to each customer’s individual needs. Our consultants often organize beauty sessions that involve tips and tricks on fragrances, makeup and skincare products.

Brazil Beauty News - How many pink cars have been distributed in Brazil?

Rosana Bonazzi - Right now we have over 1,100 vehicles throughout Brazil. The pink cars are Mary Kay’s global trademark and one of the most coveted incentives awarded by the company to Independent Sales Directors – the ‘Trophy on Wheels’. We also have the ‘Dream Trophy’ award, for those who choose to receive the bonus in cash or prefer to purchase another car. These awards can be earned by those who reach an outstanding balance between sales and new consultants brought over to join the sales force.

Brazil Beauty News - What are the sales conventions like and how often do they take place?

Rosana Bonazzi - We promote a yearly meeting in Sao Paulo called Mary Kay Seminar, which gathers thousands of consultants from all over the country. At the event, the company acknowledges the best performing consultants, offers training on sales strategies, product knowledge and career paths, encourages the exchange of experiences and promotes information on the reward program. We also organize monthly meetings in different locations across Brazil to present new product launches and provide sales training. In addition to live events, Mary Kay offers online training as well.

Brazil Beauty News - As Mary Kay intensifies its efforts towards direct sales, Natura is putting its chips on physical stores and other brands are entering the drugstore chain market. What is the impact of these strategies on Mary Kay’s performance?

Rosana Bonazzi - We understand that each company has its particular business strategies, which may evolve in time according to its vision, priorities and values. At Mary Kay, our sales force is both the essence and the foundation of the company.

Brazil Beauty News - What are the investment plans for this year and 2017? Is Mary Kay set up to open a plant in Brazil?

Rosana Bonazzi - Mary Kay does not comment on investment matters. A plant in Brazil is within our plans, but at this stage, we don’t have further details or an estimated timeframe.

Amanda Veloso

Portfolio

© 2016 - Brazil Beauty News - www.brazilbeautynews.com

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