« When TV is a little better than real life | Home | The American Dream »

May 24, 2004


The New Generation of Avon Ladies

In a new effort to win committed customers from an early age (like at puberty,) Avon has launched a new brand, the trendily non-capitalized "mark", and a fleet of new Avon Ladies who will sell you makeup from the comfort of your own home. Ads for mark in teen magazines have catch-phrases like "Mark helped me pay for college, and thickened my lashes!" As part of their market positioning among young teenagers, mark marketing staff is spending a lot of time with 15 year-old girls, taking them out for pizza, and even accompanying them to the prom.

Sales "ladies" for mark are as young as 16, suggesting that Avon is fully aware of the profitability of peer pressure as a marketing tool. The online application to be a mark salesgirl offers "flip burgers" and "babysitting" as other, less lucrative options for employment, and the drop-down menu in which applicants indicate their age includes the 13-15 range. Avon ladies, or in this case Avon underage girls, have always targeted their friends as customers, and how obvious a strategy to use trend-setters in high schools to put the hard sell on less cool followers? Other grown-up Avon ladies who sell mark have day jobs, including internal investigators for the Department of Homeland Security. But no matter how important they may be in their professional lives, Avon ladies know that what women like to talk about in their personal lives is makeup: "We knew that women had always connected through beauty products and beauty rituals." Great, girls! Pass the blackberry plum tea Electro-Lites lip gloss! We're never too young to develop feelings of inadequacy about our bodies, and bond over mark's Butt Fixing Cream!

categories: Business, Culture, Gender
posted by amy at 12:05 PM | #