Five Marketing Lessons from the 'King of Make-up' – Max Factor

Did you know that Max Factor was a marketing genius? Yep, the Polish-born emigrant-turned-cosmetic-industry-giant virtually pioneered the make-up business as we know it today. And you won't believe the strategies he used to get the rich and famous of his era to clamor for his services and products.

But what’s even more important is that his strategies can be simply replicated in your business to attract all the new and repeat clients you want. Here is how…

Five marketing lessons from Max Factor.

LESSON 1 – Transform ordinary people into dazzling super-stars.

That’s what Max did – he turned ordinary people into movie stars. Whether he knew it or if by pure accident, Max tapped into one of the most powerful marketing weapons – the human desire for fame and fortune.

He wasn’t selling make-up. He sold a chance to be a bit more like Bette Davis, Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland or other famous movie stars of his time.

Simple, right? But take a look at all your marketing materials…

  • Are they promoting what you do or what people get out of working with you?
  • Are you boring people with lengthy descriptions of your company’s consulting approach or painting an exciting vision of the dazzling success you could help them achieve?

    LESSON 2 – Help clients SEE the need for your service or product.

    One of Factor’s most bizarre inventions was the “Beauty Calibrator”- a weird gizmo for measuring the face, which looked more like a medieval torture device than anything you’d find in a local beauty parlor.

    It’s hard to imagine that people would voluntarily put this contraption on their heads – but they did. You see, Max’s invention was designed to discover what was “wrong” with client’s face and how they NEEDED to use his make-up to correct the flaws.

    Why is this important? Just like we don’t argue with a doctor sharing with us the results of a medical test he or she might have put us through, we tend to take for a fact something that was measured and is presented in a structured and organized way.

    If you find your prospects a bit resisting to taking the “final step” with you, it’s likely because they are not sure they really need it and how they will benefit from your help.

    But find a structured way to illustrate the need for your services and watch the resistance melt away.

  • Create an assessment to quickly gather critical data and present your findings in a visual way. Create a table or a chart that allows people to see at a glance what’s “wrong” with them.
  • Develop an online quiz your web visitors can take to discover their competency/need in the area of expertise you provide.
  • Have a list of standard value-building questions you always ask during your sales presentation.

    LESSON 3 – Make everyone feel good (and unique and special.)

    At his famous Studio Max Factor built four special “celebrity make-up rooms” each designed to bring out the best in women of a particular hair color: one room labeled "For Blondes Only" (decorated in flattering shades of blue); other rooms were solely for Redheads (done in mint green), Brunettes (dusty rose pink), or Brownettes (pale peach) – all designed to make them FEEL GOOD!

    So you may not have an office where people visit you, but it’s still important you find ways to make clients feel good about doing business with you. Here are few tips how.

  • Hand written notes and greeting cards take little effort to send out but make a long-lasting impression. Are you regularly taking advantage of this powerful marketing strategy?
  • Send out small gifts shortly after clients buy something from you. Gift certificates to a local coffee shop or a massage place won’t cost you a lot, but will make people remember you forever!
  • We love talking about ourselves – give people an opportunity to do so more often. In all conversations with prospects and clients make it all about them. They will think you are the best person to talk to in the whole world.

    LESSON 4 - Let your clients be your most effective marketing weapon.

    Many of Max’s clients appeared in his advertising campaigns promoting his products. The magnetic power of celebrity endorsements is nothing new, but are you using it in your business?

    You don’t need world famous movie stars to be your clients. Turn your regular customers into mini-celebrities by asking them for testimonials and featuring their success stories on your website and in other marketing materials.

    LESSON 5 – Create an enduring brand.

    I doubt that Max Factor was overwhelmingly concerned with branding, yet over 70 years later the company he started still thrives as one of the global power-players in the cosmetic industry.

    The company still uses his photo on the front page of their website and his story is listed on the “about us” page. I believe it’s because Max Factor was his own brand.

    Everyday I run into people who try to make their marketing materials look like they are a world-wide, multi-billion dollar heartless corporation. What they forget to show through is their PERSONALITY.

    Here is a newsflash – we don’t do business with corporations – we do business with other people!

    With the explosion of professional service providers starting their own businesses, chances are you’ve got more competitors than you care to count – all appearing to offer the services and products identical to yours.

    The solution? Take it from Max Factor and make YOUR PERSONALITY count and let people get to know YOU. The more competitive your field is the more this matters. Because no one can duplicate you!

    © 2005 Adam M. Urbanski. All Rights Reserved. The author, Adam Urbanski, Founder and President of Marketing Mentors, helps service professionals and business owners develop strategies to increase sales and profits. For ideas to create an effective marketing plan, free marketing tips and information about free marketing teleclasses and workshops visit his website at www.theMarketingMentors.com


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