This CMO Shares Why Relationships Matter in the Business of Beauty

When it comes to the world of beauty, trust is paramount. That’s why we were thrilled to partner with Mary Kay, a longstanding leader in the industry, at our Miami Vision Summit this winter. We invited attendees to get dolled up in the Mary Kay booth, where makeup artists were on hand to use the brand’s new Chromafusion Collection to give guests a glam experience. Below, we chat with Mary Kay Chief Marketing Officer Sheryl Adkins-Green on why trust, relationships, and doing the right thing have served her well in the beauty business.

From a marketing expert’s perspective, how has Mary Kay built trust and authenticity over so many years? As we like to say, it’s one of the OGs in the beauty industry and the community is stronger than ever.

The Mary Kay business is grounded in the values and principles that Mary Kay Ash believed were essential to building relationships. Values such as treating others the way you want to be treated, helping others without expecting anything in return, and perhaps most importantly, integrity – doing the right thing. These timeless principles form the core of a people-centered culture that has been embraced by Mary Kay Independent Sales Force members and employees for more than 55 years.

How has being a part of a fiercely female-led company had an impact on the success and growth of the business?

Mary Kay is a company that was built by a woman for women. Our mission of enriching women’s lives resonates around the world because as women achieve their goals, they contribute to the success of their families and their communities. The Mary Kay business has grown by providing women with an unlimited opportunity to achieve their goals and help other women achieve their goals. Empowered women empower women!

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You introduced the Chromafusion Collection to guests at our Vision Summit. Tell us about its long-lasting benefits.

The Mary Kay Chromafusion Collection was exclusively developed by Mary Kay to deliver richly pigmented eye shadow, blush, highlighter and contour powders in shades that last all day.  It’s color without compromise that wears through work, workouts and weather. Chromafusion Eye Shadow is 12-hour color for the 24-hour woman.

Can you share one woman who paved the way for you to be where you are today?

Of course, I would not be in my role, supporting the success of millions of Mary Kay entrepreneurs, had it not been for the determination of Mary Kay Ash. In regard to my career journey, I benefited greatly from the mentorship of Paula Sneed, an executive I was privileged to work for at Kraft Foods. Paula Sneed paved the way for many women in both Harvard Business School and corporate America.

Consistently articulate your value proposition—that is, how do you, your product, or your service add value to your target audience in a way that distinguishes you and your offering from others?

You’ve built a sense of community in different ways with your audiences & customers. If you can give away one tip for building a strong brand to consumer relationship, what would it be?

The key to successful brand building is to clearly and consistently articulate your value proposition - that is, how do you, your product or your service add value to your target audience in a way that distinguishes you and your offering from others?

What advice would you give to young professionals trying to break into the beauty industry?

My advice to young professionals seeking careers in the beauty category is to understand that beauty is more than makeup. Beauty is more about what people feel than what they see in the mirror. When pursuing a career in beauty, I believe it’s best to start with the questions: How can I add value to others via a beauty experience? What are my strengths? How can I leverage that strength to help someone not just look beautiful, but feel beautiful?

Where do you go to get inspiration?

I find inspiration from a broad cross-section of people, places and things. I am particularly inspired by women’s stories and conversations. I love learning the “why” behind the “what.” One of my regular go-to resources of personal and professional inspiration is Valerie Burton, a life coach, author, motivational speaker and entrepreneur. I love sharing her books and blogs!

What’s on your 2019 vision board?

One picture on my 2019 vision board is a parade of pink Cadillacs driving through downtown Dallas this summer. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the pink Cadillac that was awarded as recognition of outstanding sales success. I’m envisioning a record number of Mary Kay Independent Sales Directors rolling through the city, celebrating their success!