The Avon Skin Cate line, targeted at the lower end of the mass market,-, offers modestly priced, aily-use-type products. This line is designed to be 'simple' and appeal to customers who prefer a 'less involved' skin care regime.

- It is' expected to be a . beginning step eventually move to its higher-scale products. The major competitors' in low-end skin care products are Oil of Olay (Oil of Ulan in China), Neutrogena, Ponds, Biore," Malay; there are many others.In coloring produets; competitors include Mabelline, Cover Girl, Alma); Revlon, 1:0rtial, Oil of Olay, among many others. other products, such as Anew, target the lower end of, the premium segment, where competitors include Estee Lauder, lincome, Christian Dior, and Clinique.

Two. = major direct marketing competitors , at both the domes-: tic and international levels, are Amway and Mary KO', have been eve -en prou The through an ongoing research effort that has resulted in a number of innovations and new products.Avon scientists developed Anew, a skin care cream containing alpha-hydroxy-acid, which provided anti-aging bene, fits beyond what was available in other products. In Bio Advance was the first product to use stabilized' retinol, a form of vitamin A, and Collagen Booster facilitated the use of vitamin C. In the late 1990s.

he--, company obtained US Food and Drug Administration approval of the use of Parsol 1789 to fght damage caused by UVA rays. It used this material in a new Age,? Block Daytime Defense Cream.The company has 19 laboratories worldwide that develop products and. packaging.

In addition to its own research staff and independent experts, Avon uses focus groups in evaluating potential new products, and has companyemployees use the Productsln 1996 Avon spent LIS$30 million on an advert's: ing campaign, which focused on the Avon Lady, the, core of the company's success, and a new product stage- Avon is now projected as aving a contemporary product with a consistent, high-quality image in all markets.Its advertising program uses celebrities, such as fashion designer Josie Natoli and Olympic athlete Jackie. Joyner-Kersee. Avon moved away from mature, matronly appearance to updated, sophisticated, and glamorous images. The result is a more vibrant beauty image, similar to other US brand names such as Revlon, Mabelline, and Cover Girl. Also under this campaign, Avon advertised on television for the first time in 20 years, and began direct selling on the Internet in April 1997.

Its website now attracts 300,000 visitors per month.Avon credits the maintenance of its competitive sition to several factors including attractive product designs, high product quality, reasonable prices, comp-any and product image, innovative products, guarantees, and commitment to product satisfaction. The personalized, friendly customer service offered by Avon Ladies is considered a key competitive strength. Avon does not require its sales representatives to spend money in advance to purchase a starting kit and inventory.

As a matter of policy, the company attempts to avoid having representatives use a hard selling approach or hard-core pressure tactics.There is an effort to create a relaxed, approachable, and friendly image through the Avon Ladies and a few gentlemen. The ability to attract and hold an effective direct sales force has been an important factor in Avon's success. For those who"ike interacting with customers, Avon Lady posil tions provide opportunities for women to be their own osses in Jobs with flexibility, simplicity, and low stress. For'women who wish to move on to more responsible Jobs, the company offers career positions and opportunities to move up in the organization.

Avon is one of the few company emphasizes its international tharacter. Under the Chairman and CEO, policy is developed by a senior management team called the Global Business Council. Members of the Council include the top execwives of Avon's Operating Business Units (OBUs), the chief financial and administrative officer, and the president of global marketing. The company groups its operations, by region, into five OBUs: the United States; Asia-Pacific; Mexico-Central America-South America; Brazil-Colombia; and Europe. Each OBU has a headquarters within its respective region.