Mary Kay Is Still NOT Number One

We’ve been hearing for ages how Mary Kay is the “Best Selling Brand” of this that and the other. I think many of us are wise to how Mary Kay can make such claims: Hire a marketing company to go out and conduct “market research” on your products, mix the numbers up the best way you can, and voila! You are number one!

The average consumer, however, is still free to do her own research on Mary Kay Cosmetics. Every time I’ve done this, I’ve found that Mary Kay is not and never was the best selling brand.

Forget for a minute that Mary Kay bases its figures on suggested retail prices of the wholesale products sold to consultants. Forget for a minute that the vast majority of that inventory goes unsold, while Mary Kay is assuming (for purposes of their studies) that all of it is sold to an ultimate customer.

Let’s just go head-to-head based upon the sheer size and reach of companies. Beauty Packaging Magazine recently released its worldwide figures on beauty products, in an article titled Top 20 Global Beauty Companies. The companies are ranked by total beauty sales, with company sales listed as a side note.

Here’s their list of the top 20 companies:

  1. Procter & Gamble
  2. L’Oreal
  3. Unilever
  4. Estee Lauder
  5. Avon Products
  6. Shiseido
  7. Beiersdorf
  8. Johnson & Johnson
  9. Alberto-Culver
  10. Henkel
  11. Coty
  12. Limited Brands
  13. LVMH
  14. Colgate-Palmolive
  15. Kao
  16. Mary Kay
  17. Yves Rocher
  18. Kose
  19. Access Business Group
  20. Revlon

The bottom line is that Mary Kay is barely a blip on the radar screen compared to most of these companies, worldwide or in the United States. And the numbers are even more dismal once you figure out how little of Mary Kay’s $2 billion of products is actually sold to real customers.

P.S. I can hear the arguments coming. But Mary Kay is best selling in the skin care category! Bzzttttttt. I’ll never believe that unless I see the actual study. It just doesn’t compute when you see how much these other companies sell. How about…. Mary Kay is a “brand” that is compared to one of Estee’s distinct “brands”. Bzzztttttt. Mary Kay is a company, and its brands are Timewise and Velocity. I’ve heard all the arguments before and the bottom line is that Mary Kay is not the BEST SELLING BRAND. (Maybe the best dust-collecting… but I digress.)


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