Mary Kay Inc.
Seeing beauty in cosmetics packaging with SOLIDWORKS® Visualize.
Improve design visualization so that sales, marketing, creative, and international colleagues can fully imagine new cosmetics packaging concepts, prompting more input, engendering greater buy-in, and producing quicker approvals and faster development.
Add SOLIDWORKS Visualize photorealistic rendering software to its SOLIDWORKS design platform.
- Cut Fearless Collection packaging development time by 50 percent
- Accelerated approvals of packaging design concepts
- Leveraged renderings for focus groups and internal reviews
- Improved quality of sales toolkit materials
Mary Kay Inc. has produced successful cosmetic products that offer rewarding opportunities for more than 50 years. From her first tiny retail store in Dallas, Texas, and with the help of 3.5 million Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultants worldwide, Founder Mary Kay Ash realized her dream of inspiring women to transform their lives, and in doing so, help other women achieve success. Today, Mary Kay is a top beauty brand—with $4 billion in global annual sales—and a direct seller of cosmetic products in more than 35 markets worldwide.
Fueling Mary Kay’s growth is an active product development operation, which has expanded the company’s offering from five original products to more than 200 premium products today. Through it all, Mary Kay has helped women discover skin care, makeup, and fragrance products that they love, while earning extra income at the same time.
The company benefited from its decision to leverage advanced product development tools through the implementation of SOLIDWORKS Professional 3D design software in 2007. Yet requests for improved visualization of design concepts and demand for increasingly higher levels of realism in design imagery continued, according to Senior Industrial Designer Jenny DeMarco Staab.
“SOLIDWORKS design software provided an efficient tool for designing products and getting things done, but we continued to have issues involving the difficulty that key team members experienced in extrapolating design concepts from CAD imagery or 2D drawings,” Staab explains. “It was hard for marketing and our international team to grasp concepts, and it took additional time to create physical models, both of which slowed down approvals.”
Staab was evaluating rendering packages when she encountered SOLIDWORKS Visualize software at the 2012 SOLIDWORKS World Conference and Exhibition. “What really sold me on SOLIDWORKS Visualize software was the ‘glass’ quality—how real it makes glass bottles look,” Staab stresses. “We do a lot with glass and plastics, and we need a tool that provides the most photorealistic images possible. With the other packages, the glass quality was really not there, so we chose to standardize on SOLIDWORKS Visualize.”
GREATER REALISM EQUALS FASTER APPROVALS
With the ability to quickly create realistic images of packaging concepts, Mary Kay has reduced the time required to secure approvals, resulting in shorter design cycles and improved marketing materials. For example, during development of the fragrance bottles for the company’s Fearless Collection— available in Latin American markets—Staab saved the project after a design partner failed to grasp the concept.
“Our marketing group was not impressed with the work that an outside contractor did on the Fearless Collection bottles,” Staab explains. “I worked with an intern to revamp the design, and then used SOLIDWORKS Visualize software to present realistic renderings of our concept. We not only were able to get back on track, we also cut time-to-market by 50 percent.”
What really sold me on SOLIDWORKS Visualize software was the ‘glass’ quality—how real it makes glass bottles look. We do a lot with glass and plastics, and we need a tool that provides the most photorealistic images possible. With the other packages, the glass quality was really not there, so we chose to standardize on SOLIDWORKS Visualize.
COMMUNICATING INTERNALLY AND EXTERNALLY
In addition to using SOLIDWORKS Visualize software to secure packaging approval, Mary Kay leverages the software’s rendering power to support market research and sales activities. “Roughly 95 percent of the renderings that we create are used for internal marketing approval and buy-in from our regions,” Staab notes.
“However, we also use renderings to support focus groups, create posters, and improve the toolkit materials that our sales associates use, which are critical for conducting successful in-home parties and sales events,” Staab continues. “SOLIDWORKS Visualize enables us to more quickly produce the imagery that we need to support normal business operations, as well as handle unique and special projects, like the custom compact that we developed for Mary Kay’s 50th anniversary in business.”
RAISING THE BAR WITH THE FEARLESS COLLECTION
The value of SOLIDWORKS Visualize software to Mary Kay’s development process came into sharp relief with the recent International Women’s Day launch of the Fearless Collection of three fragrances: Live Fearlessly, Love Fearlessly, and Dream Fearlessly. The Fearless Collection was one of the most successful Mary Kay product launches ever. Its packaging presented unique challenges because Mary Kay chose to introduce the entire collection at the same time.
“The Fearless Collection packaging utilizes an asymmetrical design to support the idea that every woman is different and no woman is perfect,” Staab explains. “The packaging uses a triangular crystal to mimic where a woman’s heart is located and stones that are not perfectly cut to symbolize all of our imperfections. This product launch was a big success, and SOLIDWORKS Visualize software helped tremendously in refining the design and securing approvals because of all of the facets involved.”