This Canadian company is the first love of many women globally and has won their hearts over with their diverse products and clever branding strategies. Established in 1985 by a Toronto-based salon owner Frank Angelo and makeup artist and photographer Frank Toskan, there is a lot that we can learn from this successful makeup brand.
Both Angelo and Toskan were already in the beauty industry seeing as Angelo had opened a chain of unisex hair salons in Toronto in which Toskan was working out of as a makeup artist. M.A.C was born out of Toskan’s frustration with the limited styling tools available for him to use which led him to begin crafting his own. The two eventually went on to develop a line of cosmetics for editorial shoots. Born in the 80’s, M.A.C began in the kitchen of the back of one of Angelo’s many hair salons. Eventually they went on to produce their first matte lipstick which was inspired by a bold pink crayon named flamingo. This led to the development of 23 other crayon-inspired shades, pencils, bases and powders which many women use today.
Their first store opened in 1982 in Toronto and stood out as it was more of a hub for freelance makeup artists where they could share tips, exchange portfolio’s and buy MAC in bulk for use on their clientele. A high demand eventually led to a retail store which was opened in New York City’s West Village.
Aside from the fact that beauty sells, MAC did exceptionally well because they were able to stand out of the crowd and do things like nobody else had done before.
- They were revolutionary
M.A.C. was the first brand in cosmetic history to invest in the training and education of its staff as well as the customer’s point-of-sale experience. Their approach to pushing their products was to rely on the quality of their products as well as their dramatic image as opposed to pushing sales through traditional advertising. They also claim to be the first ever bran to create a matte lipstick that looked the same way on the lip as it did in the tube.
- They were unconventional
M.A.C became very popular relatively fast because of their over-the-top image and unconventional approach to beauty. They hired unconventional beauties to work on counters, chose employees of every gender who often rocked bold hair colors, piercings, and tattoos.
- They had great publicity
M.A.C. is notorious for using top of the range celebrities and models to showcase their products. Madonna was one of the first superstars who helped the brand explode as she requested a lipstick that would last her entire performance and they created Russian Red. They’re not actually the most expensive brand in comparison to other high-end cosmetics, however they’ve gotten the right people to wear their products
Today, M.A.C. is said to have over 1000 stores all over the world in countries including Europe, Asia, South America, and The Middle East. There are many things budding entrepreneurs can take home from this cosmetic success including innovation, passion and being extraordinary.