The world of direct-sales cosmetics is in a state of transition. You might remember Avon’s door-to-door saleswomen or Mary Kay cosmetics from times past. But in the last few years, the industry has grown rapidly to include organizations that market via Facebook and Twitter, products that are available only on the Internet and incentives that leave Mary Kay’s pink Cadillac prizes in the dust.
Companies must keep their products visible and competitive in a crowded market. Many are attempting to do so by implementing beauty buzz words and exotic branding. Votre Vu uses French terminology for products such as Le Sorbet (an anti-aging serum delivered in dry ice that is the company’s highest-priced item at $160) and elegant silver and white packaging. That, combined with the Frenchprovenance, a hand-stamped wax seal and building on what Chief Executive Harold Zimmerman calls the French philosophy of skin care (he describes it as the use of ingredients with the highest efficacy) can be an alluring idea to those looking for a luxurious brand of French skin care with a price tag that’s less than a jar of Darphin or La Mer, both of which are priced around $250.
Zimmerman also encourages salespeople to utilize social media such as Twitter and Facebook in addition to hosted parties (“soirees”). Brand ambassadors are given tutorials on how to build effective Facebook pages and use iPhone applications. “Someone can be in line at the bank and strike up a conversation with someone. They have the ability to bring up the products on their phone right there and tell someone about the line,” Zimmerman says. But as much as Votre Vu pushes the social-media angle, Zimmerman says the company is careful not to ostracize the nontech-savvy salesperson. “The way we approach technology is if our grandmothers couldn’t use it, then we didn’t do our job making it easy enough.”
Photo by Labor2008