Case Analysis Report
Mary Kay Inc. is a privately owned corporation founded by Mary Kay Ash with a startup capital of only $5000. Her aim of starting this cosmetics company was to support her son Richard Rodgers and become an entrepreneur in the competitive market. Its headquarters are situated in the heart of Dallas, Texas and has had remarkable success for decades. The company is rated as one of biggest direct sellers of color cosmetics and skin care products in the world. As of 2009, the company recorded $2.5 billion direct sales of its product in the world market. The brand products from Mary Kay are sold in at least 35 markets on 5 continents. The top markets that are served by Mary Kay Inc. are: Russia, U.S., Mexico and China. The simplicity of Mary Kay’s principles remains a key concept in the company to date. The fact that she has put her priorities right has set her on the path of success since the commencement of the company. Her approach to matters pertaining to business, work ethics and success has assured her a position in winning some of the most prestigious awards. These include: America’s Most Influential Women, the National Business Hall of Fame and the Horatio Alger American Citizen Award. It is essential that some of these awards are mentioned to clearly ensure that the success of the company is acknowledged. Over the years, the company has expanded exceptionally and engages mostly in the manufacture, developing and packaging of makeup, skin care products, fragrance products for women and men, body and spa. The Mary Kay Inc. also offers extra-ordinary products such as cleansers, body and sun care products, anti-aging creams and eye and lip care products. The purpose of this case analysis report is to make a definitive case study based on Mary Kay Inc. and answer a variety of questions stipulated in the requirements.
Decision-Making Systematic Process: Decide
Define the Problem
The problem is the performance of hair care products in Mary Kay Inc. In the past, hair care products have not performed well in most countries. This is articulated to different reasons that have caused the reoccurrence of the underperformance of hair care products.
Emurate the Decision Factors
Segmentation and Targeting
As exemplified by CIRP Design Conference, & Bernard (2011), market segmentation is referred to as the process that involves dividing a whole market into different segments for customers. On the other hand, market targeting is referred to as the decision in which a company makes while trying to decide which potential clients it will focus on. It is only logical that market segmentation comes before market targeting because a company has to first point out to which segment they want to target with their products. The two marketing strategies work hand in hand and are essential in ensuring that the success of an organization or company is guaranteed. This is because segmentation involves the search of consumers’ needs and wants. These two aspects are crucial factors that Mary Kay India should evaluate in the decision making process of they want their hairline products to succeed in the competitive market.
In the case of Mary Kay India, the application of the marketing strategy based on segmentation and targeting is applicable in this case. The corporation should carry out a segmentation research to determine the needs and wants of the global people so that they can be in a better position of making models that are in alignment with the tastes and preferences of the global society. While using the targeting strategy, it is crucial that the hair care product line surveys the market and determine the best people to target for their different products. Their moves should be strategically placed in such a way that the segmentation and targeting work cohesively to improve the performance of the hair care products in the global market.
Consider Relevant Information
Suggested Opportunities for Improved Performance
SWOT analysis stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat. As a consultant to Mary Kay India, SWOT analysis is a marketing strategy that is reliable and effective in improving the performance of the hair care product line in India. As seen by the underperformance in the global market, it is undoubtedly true that opposition is an irresistible and inevitable while dealing with different forces of the environment. The SWOT analysis is essential because it is a crucial tool in the identification process of the negative and positive aspects within a given organization. Having this in mind will aid in the strategic planning towards effective decision-making process all things considered. The record of accomplishment of SWOT analysis shows a remarkable efficiency and effectiveness for the organizations that have used it (Wang, Ng, Deb & SpringerLink, 2011).
In the case of underperformance in the global market, SWOT analysis can be an effective tool for improving the product. This is because SWOT analysis explores possibilities for solutions to various problems in an organization, refines and adjusts plans, determines the essential places where change is necessary and makes decisions based on the best path, which an initiative can take to be successful. SWOT analysis is designed in a way that it handles both the unusual and ordinary situations in any given organization. Mary Kay India would benefit a lot from the use of SWOT analysis to improve the performance on the sale of hair care products
The SWOT analysis will ensure that the positive forces in global market work together with the negative forces that needs to be focused into to avoid any inconveniences for the future. Before conducting a SWOT analysis, Mary Kay India should in the first place decide on how they want their analysis to look like. In this case, the adaptation of “Tows Matrix” would be handy. Here is a look at the table that the corporation could use in guidance for the SWOT analysis (CIRP Design Conference, & Bernard, 2011).
The use of “Tows Matrix” will relay a survey of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and weaknesses of each specific hair care product. The corporation of Mary Kay in India should take the initiative of completing a table like “Tows Matrix” of each individual hair product they have in the global market. By the end of the exercise, they will have a clear result of what went wrong and caused the under performance of the hair care product line especially in India. The application of a SWOT analysis will definitely be of great use if the company is to improve its performance in the global market despite the failed attempts in the past Solomon, Duke & Nizan, 2009). SWOT analysis has been an effective strategic tool for most of the organizations that have implemented this model. Mary Kay India should take the initiative and use this model as it is a guaranteed for success if proper implementation is used.
This table can be a good strategy that Mary Kay India can use to identify the main areas that have affected the performance of their hair care products in the global market. When conducting a SWOT analysis, it is essential that the truth is indicated in the table so as to have accurate results.
It is a rare chance that the project manager comes from the department of production. This is because in most instances, they are picked from the marketing department. As the production manager, there are many people in the production group that present certain qualities that are essential in filling the position with project manager. However, a few key aspects need to be considered before choosing the best candidate for the job. A suitable candidate for this of project manager from the group of production should be organized, goal oriented, passionate, and have a comprehension of how projects correlate in an organization. The individual for the position of project manager should also possess people skills, be able to work under immense pressure, be comfortable in dynamic environments and have the flexibility techniques of toolkit (CIRP Design Conference, & Bernard, 2011).
In the process of the project life cycle, the potential candidate for the position should be able to execute the five steps that are aligned in this cycle. The potential candidate should be able to initiate projects in a professional manner so that it meets the criteria of the set goals of the organization. The second step in the project life cycle that the potential project manager should execute is the proper project planning. This will eventually lead to the execution of a particular project. The development and implementation of various projects is an essential part that the potential candidate for the position of project manager should be able to handle.
The final step in the project life cycle that a potential candidate for the position of a project manager should execute is the project closure. This position will require an individual who has had at least an experience of two years in handling different projects that have been a success in the organization, Taking into consideration all the above qualities, it will be easier selecting a suitable candidate for the position of project manager. All these are concepts that Mary Kay India should consider implementing in the short and long run.
In some cases, the underperformance of products has been thanks to the employee training. New employee orientation is perhaps one of the most sophisticated and neglected areas when it comes to training. This aspect is used in the integration of new employees into an organization with the vision of ensuring that they feel acquainted to the organization and be a contribution to team work. Employee on boarding is a process of getting new employees oriented within an organization and ensuring that the first impression made is captivating to the first timers within the organization. It is undoubtedly true that on boarding of most employees has been disregarded in many institutions (Solomon, Duke &Nizan,2009).
Identify the Best Alternative
The best alternative in this case can be the implementation of the porter’s five forces for the hair care product line. Porter’s five Forces are referred to as an analytical framework that is used as a business strategy for the purpose of development and industry analysis. There are five forces in this framework and they determine the attractiveness and competitive intensity of a market. It is a simple and a powerful tool that is used for the comprehension purposes in a business situation. This framework is essential as it helps one realize the current and potential position of competition (CIRP Design Conference, & Bernard, 2011). This model ensures that a corporation can take advantage after identifying the point of strength and make the necessary improvements in weaknesses. This planning tool kit that is essential for organizations that have the urge of making it in the competitive business environment.
The Porter’s five forces are as shown in the diagram below.
The model is a good strategy that the Mary Kay India can use to win back the market in the global market against competitors. The threat of new entrants is one of the reasons that contributed to the underperformance of Mary Kay’s hair care product in the global market. The hair care product line of Mary Kay India should be keen when it comes to this force as it determines the profitability that a firm can make in the short and long run. It is essential that the threats of new entrants are pointed out and necessary arrangements made to ensure that customer loyalty is maintained. The four generic strategies that Mary Kay India should focus on include low cost focus, differentiation focus, differentiation strategy and cost leadership strategy.
The threat of substitute products is another crucial point that Mary Kay India should focus on if they want to perform better in the global market especially in India. It is a fact that there is a wide variety of hair care products in the competitive global market. . Customers have a wide range of alternatives to choose from due to the unlimited product boundaries. Mary Kay India should be keen on evaluating why their products have been substituted with others. In most cases, substitution occurs due to the products’ prices, differentiation, and a wide variety from competitors, quality depreciation and substandard products. It is up to Mary Kay India to identify the weak areas of their products and use it to make stronger products that will ensure customer loyalty (CIRP Design Conference & Bernard, 2011).
As illustrated by Cooper & Edgett(2009), bargaining power of customers is another force that has affected American Suzuki. This can be described as the ability that enhances customers to put a particular firm under pressure. The corporation needs to make drastic measures that will ensure effectiveness in buyer power. The implementation of a loyalty program will also be of use to providing opportunities for improved performance for the hair care products. The market of inputs is referred to as bargaining power of suppliers. The corporation should work with suppliers that have the best interest at heart for Mary Kay India. The corporation should be in a position of figuring out the suppliers that will take the hair care product to a higher level.
The intensity of competitive rivalry is part of the five forces by Porter. It is a generic strategy that Mary Kay India should consider using to their advantage if they want to recapture the global market. In the case of the hair care products, using this force is essential to determine the intensity of competitiveness in the beauty industry. The corporation should be in a position of ensuring that it identifies the competitive rivalry that made Mary Kay India irrelevant in the competitive market. On realization of this factor, innovation, advertising and transparency are some of the factors the corporation should consider in their plans for the global Market.
Develop a Plan for Implementing the Chosen Alternative
The implementation strategy of the Mary Kay India Company by implementing the five-year plan will be beneficial to the products of this company. This is in the aspect of the development of the products stipulated within five years (CIRP Design Conference & Bernard, 2011). The main product objectivity that is most certainly suitable for the five-year plan is customer royalty. Mary Kay India Company should be in a position to cater for their customers’ needs over the five years and ensure that their products maintain high quality. Most products in the market gain fame for a short period and after a few years are forgotten. This is due to poor managerial skills and misplaced product objectives (Cooper & Edgett, 2009).
It is essential for the company to ensure that their products are in alignment with the five-year plan of the company. This is in terms of marketing budget, pricing strategy and market segmentation. The products need to compliment the five year plan of the company in such a way that their value and worth increases over time. Products often have a life cycle, which they have to pass through over time. Each stage of a product has a specific work that it needs to perform to cohesively fulfill product objectives (Rainey, 2008).
Mary Kay India Company should consider entering their products into a life cycle over the five-year plan. This will ensure that their products develop in accordance with the new technological advances and designs. Every stage of a product life cycle has different objectives and strategies in place. Mary Kay India Company should consider widening their marketing strategies to fulfill product objectivity. If the company adheres to the five-year plan put in place then the product objectives will fall in place automatically.
Current performance appraisal is essential to all organizations in order to enhance and keep the performance of employees on track. Performance appraisal is a process that the management of an organization carries out to determine the performance of their employees in the workplace. It is essential to evaluate employees occasionally to determine whether the aims and goals of an organization are been met by the work performance of the employees (Cooper & Edgett, 2009).
An organization that does not carry out performance appraisal most of the times ends up with employee dispute. This is because the employees need to be accessed on a regular basis to increase the job performance. A successful organization requires that employees are evaluated to ascertain as whether the main objectives of the organization are met.
The performance of the employees is what will determine whether they have a future with the organization. The value of their work is also scrutinized, keeping in mind their capabilities. Current performance appraisal process determines the future of an organization to a vast extent. Performance appraisal process should be done regularly to avoid any mishaps that may collide with the main objectives and purpose of an organization.
Communication is a key tool in ensuring that an organization’s operations run smoothly. It is essential for an organization to facilitate how they communicate with their employees. This is mostly achieved through performance appraisal, which should be carried out on a routine basis. With an open communication between the employer and employees, an organization’s objectives and aims are usually met. Performance appraisal has been said to promote trust between employers and employees. This will ensure that both employers and employees have a common vision in uplifting the organization to a higher level.
Many employees require motivation to deliver quality work. Performance appraisal process is a motivational tool that will ensure employees are always working hard and smart to secure their jobs. This will also ensure that the organization detects which employees require more training to maximize their potential than others. It is proof that current performance appraisal process is effective in any given organization to deliver maximum output from employees (Cooper & Edgett, 2009).
Problems facing current performance appraisal process
Managers dread having to evaluate the job performance of their employees. This is because conducting a job evaluation has its own set of challenges. As much as the performance appraisal process has been effective in organizations, there are also problems that are faced due to this process. In performance appraisal process, there is the problem of past track record. Employees are met with the challenge that when they are evaluated, their past is always criticized with the present performance. No matter how much work the employee puts into his present improvement, his past will always be an issue. This will in turn which hinder the employee from achieving greater things in an organization.
As employees go through the process of performance appraisal process, it is hard not to criticize the work they are doing. In most instances, criticism may seem negative and biased towards employees’ work. This demoralizes the employees who feel that they have put their best in the work they do in uplifting the standards of the organization. The fact that the process is kept secret is also a great challenge among the employees. This is because the manager may be biased when conducting the job performance and no one would be able to know (Solomon, Duke, & Nizan, 2009).
In most cases, the current performance appraisal is assessed on an individual’s performance, not taking into consideration that most of the time people work as a team. An individual is scrutinized based on his/ her character traits and contribution to an organization. This may not be fair to an individual because in most cases, people work as a group, team or a department.
It is unfortunate that most of the managers that conduct this process are not qualified to access the performance appraisal of their employees. They are just appointed to scrutinize the work by their employees because that is their work. They do not have expertise on the performance appraisal process and therefore, cannot provide credible and reliable results. This process has been said to lower the working morale in an organization. This is because most of the employees are either scared of losing their jobs or having reports say that their work is not fulfilling (Wang, Ng, Deb &SpringerLink, 2011).
Solving problems facing performance appraisal process
As seen above, performance appraisal can present various problems to an organization. However, the good news is that there is a solution to every problem. Among ways that problems faced in performance appraisal can be resolved, is by ensuring that constant communication with the employees is made. It is the work of the management of any given organization to ensure that consistent communication. This will ensure that in case of a performance appraisal process, the employees will be aware of what is expected from them (Cooper & Edgett, 2009).
It is essential that once the performance appraisal process is concluded, the results are discussed between the manager and employee. Positive criticism should be upheld in this case, giving employees a chance to air their views. It is also vital to take the managers for training on how to conduct the performance appraisal process to avoid the problems that may be as a result of incompetence in job evaluation process.
Evaluate the Decision and the Decision Process
A marketing plan is referred to as a guideline that aids a business or organization in establishing the methods of interaction between the potential customers and given products. It is used as a directory to evaluate the needs and wants of potential clients. This is a good remedy in the decision process to aid Mary Kay India perform better than the previous years. Situational analysis is a method that the management of a company uses to examine the capability of the environment towards its customers. It is used to analyze the needs and wants of potential customers. This process goes hand in hand with a marketing plan and is a very effective method that is used to create a stable relationship with customers. In a situation analysis, methods like porter five forces, SWOT and 5Cs analysis are used to critically examine the business environment (Cooper & Edgett, 2009).
Currently, there is a lot of competition from other entities in the market. It is essential to conduct a survey to determine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the product. By carrying out these investigations, it is easier to access the position of the hair care products by Mary Kay India. The situational analysis clearly defines both the micro and macro environment that may affect the development of this product. Competitor companies should be critically analyzed to investigate why customers would prefer their products to Mary Kay India. .
It is essential that the marketing team come up with a marketing research and strategy to enhance the growth of their company. There are different strategies that are most suitable for enforcement in ensuring a good marketing plan. The positioning / comparison research is a marketing strategy that is used to compare different products of the competitors that may be similar. It is vital to use this marketing tool to establish the weaknesses and strengths of the competitor product, to improve the product.
As opined by Rainey(2008), brand name survey is another marketing strategy that is of essence in a marketing plan. This entails research on products that are marketable due to their brand name. It is a sure way of establishing whether the brand name of a product aids it more on the sales and popularity among customers. This is considered an effective technique that marketers in the corporation can use to evaluate whether the hair care products have a suitable brand name for their products.
Customer satisfaction research is a survey carried out to determine whether the customers are happy and satisfied with the services they receive from the given product. Test marketing is another strategy that can be used to evaluate the micro and macro environment. The vision of the team of girls is to expand their business across all campuses in the country. The corporation should be able to carry out a test analysis to get feedback from the global market based on the performance of the hair care products (Rainey, 2008).
The most crucial part when establishing a marketing plan is the customer satisfaction. Customers are kings of any given company or business, and their satisfaction is of the utmost importance for success. A questionnaire is one of the methods that can be used to acknowledge customer satisfaction. By customers filling a questionnaire, they are able to relay their views and opinions. They are also able to view the areas where they are not satisfied and the improvements that would ensure their loyalty. Aggressive advertising is also a strategy that can be enforced to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty. Advertising and marketing of a product ensures that people are aware of the existence of the product.
Customer loyalty is essential in any given marketing plan. It is evident that customers determine the success or failure of any given company or business venture. It is therefore important to take into consideration the fact that customer loyalty should be looked into keenly. Offering discounts, coupons and special offers are some of the strategies that can be used to ensure customer loyalty. Promotions and free samples are also a strategy that can be used to ensure that customers are satisfied with the product (Gordon, 2010).
The market segments that the company will market to are especially women because these hair products are meant for them. They are the most suitable people to target because they can relate to some of the suitable variables that should be used in these segmentations are advertisement, promotions, gift vouchers and competition. Buying decision process deals with consumers’ decisions that are made after the purchase of a product. It is essential to critically follow buyer decision process for positive results regarding the products. The appropriate positioning for the product is ensuring that it is recognized throughout colleges, prominently displayed, setting up a website for the product and using advertising tools to let the world know of its existence.
In conclusion, the case study has discussed Mary Kay India in both an effective and efficient manner. As seen in the contents of the case report, there is a lot that needs to be done to ensure that the hair care product line thrives in the competitive market. The recommendations and solutions stipulated in the discussion should be taken seriously to ensure that the hair care products do much better than the previous years. The organization should monitor the progress of their employees on a regular basis. It should not only be during performance appraisal that the employee’s work is scrutinized. The management should provide incentives for employees to use anytime to ensure maximum output. The employees should be entitled to trainings sessions, seminars and conferences to improve their job performance and keep up with the competitive market
CIRP Design Conference, & Bernard, A. (2011). Global product development: Proceedings of the 20th CIRP Design Conference, Ecole Centrale de Nantes, Nantes, France, 19th-21st April 2010. Berlin: Springer.
Cooper, R. G., & Edgett, S. J. (2009). Product innovation and technology strategy. Ancaster, Ont.?: Product Development Institute.
Rainey, D. L. (2008). Product innovation: Leading change through integrated product development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Solomon, M. R., Duke, C. L., & Nizan, A. (2009). Launch! advertising and promotion in real time. Irvington, N.Y.: Flatworld Knowledge.
Wang, L., Ng, A. H. C., Deb, K., & SpringerLink (Online service). (2011). Multi-objective evolutionary optimisation for product design and manufacturing. London: Springer