Culture & Manipulation

Mary Kay “Stays True to What They Know”

In the August issue of Applause Magazine, Mary Kay Inc. has a short piece about “staying true to what they know.” This is Mary-Kay-speak for “don’t look at that negative website.”

It’s the typical “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.” Corporate is relying on the company’s longstanding history to legitimize a business model that abuses hundreds of thousands of women each year.

Here’s the article with my comments in bold:

Today, more than 1.7 million Independent Beauty Consultants around the world enrich the lives of
women by sharing Mary Kay® products and the Mary Kay business opportunity. As Mary Kay said so many times, “No greater opportunity for women exists than the one we have to offer.”

Opportunity for what? To be one of the hundreds of thousands at the bottom of the pyramid who transfer wealth to the top of the pyramid?

While we know your belief in Mary Kay and her Company is unshakable, there are others who may
approach you, your unit members or your customers with negative information about Mary Kay®
products or the opportunity in an attempt to advertise their own products or opportunity.

Hmmmm…. negative information??? Well at least you’re now admitting that it’s valid information instead of trying that silly old “they’re all lying” routine!

You may want to keep the following responses in mind:

  • Stay true to what we know. With products of the highest quality (not so much) and an unparalleled business opportunity (only unparalleled in how high the failure rate is), it’s easy to see why more than 1.7 million women throughout the world sell Mary Kay® products. (Now, now. You know they’re not really selling much. They’re recruiting and frontloading!) And our recent research shows that women who use Mary Kay® products love them! In fact, the Company achieved another year of record results in 2006, with nearly $2.25 billion in wholesale sales. (But Darrell… U.S. sales were down, weren’t they?)
  • Confidence comes with knowledge and experience. If you’re approached with a product or product ingredient untruth or misconception, you might say something like, “It’s interesting that you should say that. With more than 40 years of experience in the industry, Mary Kay continues to meet customer demands in an ever-changing environment. (Yep, grease the wheels for that “official” announcement about all the color cosmetics and compacts changing. Remind them that we have to stay “on trend” so they don’t realize this is just largely a ploy to push more products.) I know our laboratories carefully evaluate and select our product ingredients from around the world. (Yeah, they just forget to mention those nuts.) Through significant knowledge and experience, Mary Kay confidently delivers high-performing (not really), clinically-tested — and the safest — products to our valued customers.” (Customers acutally = consultants.) You also can direct customers to The Science Behind the Beauty Web site from your own Mary Kay® Personal Web Site or at
  • Take the high road. Mary Kay never “knocked” the competition. She felt that the most valuable assets we carry with us are our integrity, our reputation and the good, honest name upon which we can build our future. (Then why is there so much deceit in the recruiting and frontloading process? Why essentially lie about the seminar awards by giving “double credit”?) Why not consider what it says about someone else if she has to tear others down to make herself look good? (Is giving factual information really “tearing down”?) You might want to share something like, “Are you interested in pursuing an opportunity with a positive (only if you have available credit) company that only speaks of its own products or a company that uses scare tactics and negativity to sell its products?” With responses like these, you may just cause someone to step back and think about her own opportunity!
  • Follow the Golden Rule. When approached by others who may choose to use the above described tactics relating to Mary Kay® products, commission program and/or other incentive programs, you may be tempted to create your own version of a comparison between Mary Kay and another company and share it with potential team members and/or your sister Independent Beauty Consultants via e-mail or in fliers or other written materials. Creating these types of materials on your own can be risky because you may be inadvertently misstating facts about another company. (So corporate admits that they know consultants use misleading recruiting materials?) Disseminating such information can not only cause legal scrutiny for both you and Mary Kay, it also contradicts the Golden Rule philosophy upon which the Mary Kay opportunity was built. You certainly don’t want other companies disseminating incorrect facts about Mary Kay, so it is wise to avoid putting yourself in a situation where you may inadvertently do the same thing to another company!

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