The Merle Norman Franchise Story Is A Timeless Lesson for Entrepreneurs
An international business that began in a California kitchen is a legendary tale that inspires and encourages potential Merle Norman franchise owners to come on board
When Merle Norman began tinkering with cosmetics in her California kitchen, she knew what she wanted to do: build a successful business, which became Merle Norman franchise. She also wanted to empower entrepreneurs, particularly women, to find a way to earn money and gain independence in what was very much a man’s world.
Flash forward to today, and her vision has become a business empire, with franchise locations throughout the United States and beyond. For almost a century, franchise owners have built thriving businesses that allow them to obtain financial freedom, as well as create an asset they can pass along to their children or sell to a new franchise owner when they are ready to retire or explore another opportunity.
Foundational methods still in place
When she set out to market her cosmetics, Merle Norman knew that customers would be leery of a new brand they didn’t know. That’s why she created a “try before you buy” marketing platform that demonstrated her unflinching faith in what she’d created. It worked then, and it works now.
“Our business model is still very much based on what she had in mind, which was to create the prestige beauty products and price them affordably,” says Travis Richards, Vice President of Franchising. “Customers love Merle Norman because we have a huge variety of beauty products that are scientifically engineered to work in conjunction with one another, and they know they can sample anything they like with no pressure to buy. We know that franchise owners and their clients alike benefit from that relaxed experience, which also allows the owner and his or her staff to act as trusted friends and advisors vs. salespeople.”
National ads keep the legend alive
Another way that Merle Norman ensured success was to market to customers where they were. That meant advertising in print as well as broadcast media and mailing cards and notes to clients for birthdays and other special occasions. That program also is alive and well.
“Our advertising program is very generous, paying 60% of media costs and postage for approved advertising programs that Merle Norman franchise owners can engage in,” Richards explains. “And then we also provide free and ongoing national advertising in publications such as InStyle, Glamour, Allure and Southern Living. Mrs. Norman knew that good advertising was key to keeping a brand front and center in consumer’s minds, and that’s as true today as it was in the 1920s. And like she did then, our goal is to make those programs accessible, affordable and invaluable to our franchise owners.”
For almost a century, Merle Norman has been creating beauty with high-quality, affordable skin care products and services. At the same time, it has allowed thousands of franchise owners to build successful businesses. Why not make now the time to open a Merle Norman franchise, or add our exciting line of products to your existing retail business?