More and more women aspired to be more than just homemakers and part time sales women and more importantly fewer women purchased products door to door. New innovative ways of selling such products are being adopted by its competitors like specialty retail chains. Selling through internet was taking off in a big way. There were no doubt many other reasons also contributed for this; product positioning and price (Avon's products had little appeal with teens and many lower-income women found Avon's products too expensive), poor brand image (not glamorous), inadequate research and lack of new products, but these as has been seen could be quickly addressed with appropriate results.
While suggesting solutions to problems, it is being taken without questioning for the time being that the company does not want to change its core value of reaching customers predominantly through its direct representatives. Avon is the world's largest direct seller of beauty products (Miller and associates, 107). Whether the company is deriving competitive edge through this strategy is not verifiable because of lack of data. Assuming it does, the solution to the problem will have to address the issue of how to better equip its sales representatives to deliver better. ...
Players in the CFT industry operate in an oligopolistic market (Oligopoly watch 19 March 2006). No company derives advantage from one sole unique competitive advantage. They follow several strategies simultaneously to achieve their goals. The markets in US and developed countries is at mature stage, while it is growing rapidly in the developing economies.
A SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat) analysis will reveal the external and internal situation faced by the company. Typically, in a SWOT analysis, strengths and weakness are internal to the organization and opportunities and threats are external.
Strength: Avon has a well recognized and respected global brand image. Its 3.5 million strong direct selling force could be turned into providing a strong competitive edge to Avon. It has a strong competent and proven leadership. It has a global presence, including emerging markets. Avon has already entered web based marketing and in a position to deploy it effectively in their marketing strategy. The company has top class research and development facilities. Avon's research and development department is a leader in the industry, based on the number of new product launches, including formulating effective beauty treatments relevant to women's needs. (P, 5 Avon Products)
Weakness: Sales force can bend any intended strategy of the company diluting it or even rendering it ineffective. They are a strong barrier for the company to explore actively new channels of distribution. E-representatives do not seem to be adding any value than delivering orders. Company does not seem to have followed other competitors' strategy of collaborating with research outside its company. After its 80's