Estée Lauder founded this
Company in 1946 armed with four products and an
unshakeable belief: that every woman can be beautiful.
That simple notion has literally changed the face of the
innovator who refused to listen to experts, Estee
Lauder’s risk-taking mentality and refusal to settle for
anything less than the very best changed the world of
Estee Lauder: 15 Rules for
The Power of Vision and
Estee Lauder explains the secret of her success
simply: “I was a woman with a mission and single-minded in the pursuit of my
Starting with little more than a dream and
through extraordinary ambition, impeccable taste, perseverance,
innovative marketing and hard work, this creative visionary became the
wealthiest self-made woman in America.
Estee Lauder built a cosmetics empire on the
motto, “There are no homely women, only careless women.” By convincing those
“careless women” they could become beautiful – with a little help from her
products – she took on the giants of the cosmetics world and won.
The Power of Action and
"I didn't get there by
wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it,"
Estee Lauder often reminded her sales force.
This attitude, together with an uncompromising
belief in her product and the beauty in all women, made Estee Lauder a most
respected household name.
"Those who know her have described Estee Lauder
as a woman you simply can’t say no to. Quite often, this is attributed to
her irresistible charm. But the real reason Lauder has succeeded where
others have failed it that she simply
refuses to give up."1
The Power of Customer Care
and Hard Selling
Two key elements to Estee Lauder's success were
a personal interest in the client and free giveaways.
Estee. Lauder was happiest advising women
during her in-store appearances. One of her favorite quotes was "Telephone,
Telegraph, Tell-A-Woman," because she knew that once a woman tried an Estée
Lauder product, she would love it and share it with her friends.
Explaining her success, Estee Lauder said, "I
have never worked a day in my life without
selling. If I believe
in something, I sell it, and I sell it hard."
Selling: 3 Components
Is Problem Solving
leadership inspired thousands of
people. She received scores of honors, including the United States'
Presidential Medal of Freedom and France's Legion of Honor.
Inspirational Leader: 10 Roles
The Power of Creative
Upscale Department Stores:
In what would prove to be an ingenious marketing move,
Estee decided to sell her products only through upscale
department stores. Her first target was Saks Fifth
Avenue. She convinced Saks to place a large order for
her skin creams, which the store promptly sold out of
within two days. Her success with Saks convinced Estee
that she could compete with such cosmetics giants as
Revlon, Helena Rubinestein and Elizbeth Arden. She
became a persuasive traveling salesperson dedicated to
penetrating every fine department store in the United
Strategy: While her company was still small.
Estee Lauder embarked on an innovative promotion
strategy. Her advertising budget of $50,000 was too
small to hire a leading ad agency. So Estee Lauder Estee
pioneered the free sample as a marketing ploy. She
invested all the money in samples to be offered through
direct mail, charity giveaways and as gifts with
purchases. (This “free gift with purchase” technique
would become a company trademark and later, a standard
industry practice.) The result was thousands of new
Creative Marketing Tactics: When
Estee Lauder wanted something, she used highly creative tactics to get it.
She resorted to one such tactic to break the prestigious Galleries Lafayette
account in Paris. When the manager refused to stock her products, Lauder
“accidentally” spilled her first women's fragrance Youth Dew on the floor
during a demonstration in the middle of a crowd. As the appealing scent
wafted through the air, it quickly aroused the interest of customers, who
began asking where they could purchase the product. Seeing this, the manager
capitulated and gave Lauder her initial order.
When the company began to advertise, Mrs. Lauder
insisted that its images portray beauty that was both
aspirational and approachable.
The Power of Touch:
Perhaps Mrs. Lauder's most important legacy was her
belief that in order to make a sale, you must touch the customer. She spent
a great deal of time advising customers and teaching Beauty Advisors.
"Create your own style," Estee Lauder said. Apart from
making and selling cosmetics she was also deeply
involved with the package design of her products. Among
her many contributions was the choice of Estée Lauder's
signature blue, which she believed would coordinate with
the décor of most bathrooms and bedrooms.