Belief in a Mission: Avon Marks 125 Years
By: Jeff Falk
Posted: July 13, 2011, from the July 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.
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For 125 years, every Avon representative and Avon associate has been very proud that we do well by doing good. The Avon Foundation for Women has raised and donated more than $800 million to causes that matter most to women. We’re the largest corporate supporter of the breast cancer cause, and we’ve taken on violence against women and initiatives around the world to end that epidemic, as well.
GCI: How does the Avon representatives business model impact or influence how the company approaches product development and innovation today? What kind of feedback comes directly from representatives and does it continue to shape the company?
Avon: With Avon’s representatives on the frontline touching their 300 million customers on a regular basis with a high degree of personal service, feedback comes in very quickly. This helps marketers take the pulse of how a product is doing, allowing them to funnel the appropriate information to other relevant functions within the company. This can be especially useful when it comes to newly launched products.
GCI: In categories that have been lackluster industry wide, notably fragrance, Avon has performed better than many. What has been the company’s approach to find opportunities and sales where many do not?
Avon: With the company’s origins as California Perfume Company, fragrance has always been a key part of our business. One hundred twenty five years later, Avon’s strategic partnerships with both celebrities and couture fashion houses bring aspirational names into the homes of consumers everywhere at masstige prices, giving new meaning to the phrase “from runway to reality.” With Avon, Lacroix, Ungaro, Herve Leger, Reese Witherspoon and Fergie scents are all obtainable.