MAC Cosmetics Marketing Strategy – Pricing, Initiatives & More

MAC Cosmetics Marketing Strategy - Pricing, Initiatives & More


MAC Cosmetics, also known as MAC, is a cosmetics organization based in New York. The founders are the photographer and makeup artist Frank Toskan and salon owner Frank Angelo. In 1984, they both made cosmetic products in their kitchen. That same year, they began the brand at a department store in Toronto. They started the brand to serve customers of every age, gender, and race. The name MAC is short for Makeup Art Cosmetics.

MAC began as a brand that renders services to only makeup experts and models. But in the long run, models recommended their family members, friends, and colleagues. From that point, the brand began to expand. 

The brand grew in the 1990s and owned over one hundred stores globally. At the same time, it earned more than 190 million francs. Part of MAC’s global expansion included setting up new sales points and getting familiar with every continent’s production and marketing system. These growth experiences were advantageous to the company. 

Now let us look into MAC’s cosmetics marketing strategy. This post will encompass its pricing, initiatives, promotion, and more.

  • MAC Cosmetics marketing strategy
  • MAC Cosmetics initiative
  • The SWOT examination of MAC Cosmetics marketing strategy

MAC Cosmetics Marketing Strategy

We will analyze the MAC Cosmetics marketing strategy within the major marketing bracket. It involves the 4Ps of marketing, including Price, Product, Place, and Promotion. There are other marketing strategies like product innovation that can be considered, however, the 4Ps were the major contributing factors to the company’s success.

MAC Cosmetics’ marketing strategy has enabled the fashion line to stabilize itself, compete in the market and meet its business aims. Detailed below is the MAC Cosmetics Marketing strategy.

MAC Cosmetics Product Strategy

MAC Cosmetics is one of the most extensive skincare and cosmetics companies globally. Initially, it packaged its products in black pots instead of compact ones. It used this method to provide utility for fashionable ladies. It had a large variety of products to satisfy its customers. Some of them included:

  • Eyes: Eye mascara, eye primer, eyelashes, eye shadow, and others.
  • Skin Care and Primer: Moisturizers, cleansers and removers, and others.
  • Makeup: Concealer, face primers, foundation, powder, and others.
  • Lips: Lip pencil, lipstick, liquid lip, lip gloss, etc.
  • Brushes and Tools: Lip brushes, face brushes, eye brushes, brush kits, and all types of brushes.
  • Perfumes

The large variety of products that MAC Cosmetics offers has been a hack in their marketing strategy. With this, they have proven to be more than just a skincare brand and have become “The Ultimate Color Authority.” Their products are custom, differently colored, and strong. 

MAC Cosmetics dared to stand different from its alternatives by producing different mixes of pigments to satisfy the needs of its clients. Also, it packages its products distinctively and offers some of them in limited editions.

MAC Cosmetics Price Strategy

As earlier indicated, MAC Cosmetics’ services were rendered to only models and makeup artists. However, towards the end of the ’80s, Madonna used one of their products for a photoshoot. This was a massive achievement for the brand.

As a part of MAC Cosmetics’ marketing strategy, it factored on the new achievement and used a technique known as premium pricing on every one of its products. Although the other competitors had lesser prices on their products, MAC Cosmetics’ customers remained loyal and stuck to buying its products. 

The loyalty behavior displayed by the brand’s customers spoke for the brand in the market and kept its product prices high.

Aside from the premium pricing strategy, MAC Cosmetics adopted a different approach known as product line pricing. This strategy aims at ensuring the company’s items are priced relative to each other. Every item complements the other rather than competing. An increase in the price of one product affects one or more different products.

MAC Cosmetics Place Strategy

The place strategy has been vital for the MAC Cosmetics marketing strategy. As such, it also involves distribution. MAC Cosmetics began at a counter in Canada without a registered name. About seven years later, it owned its name. The company gained a continuously growing presence in the market from that time.

Currently, MAC Cosmetics has self-sufficient outlets in up to 70 countries and has over 1000 outlets. The brand uses offline means to meet the needs of all its customers on an international scale. More so, it ensured that its products were targeted at caucasian regions to increase patronage, knowing the economic value of these locations.

MAC Cosmetics Promotion Strategy

This includes advertising as part of the MAC Cosmetics marketing strategy. MAC Cosmetics employs different means of advertising and selling its goods. One of the most successful advertisement methods the cosmetic brand uses is word-of-mouth. 

The word-of-mouth method may be seen as inefficient, but the brand capitalized on it as a strategy to pull weight in the market. MAC Cosmetics was widely known to be a highly rated cosmetic brand, so it leveraged partnerships with celebrities like Cher, Princess Diana, Naomi Campbell, and others.

MAC Cosmetics publicizes its products across different platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and others as part of its promotion strategy. All these moves employed by the brand are to gain colossal market visibility. The promotion strategy has been a working tool in the MAC Cosmetics marketing strategy.

MAC Cosmetics Initiative

The MAC Cosmetics initiative aims to improve the public’s welfare and humanitarianism. Here are some of the initiatives established by MAC Cosmetics.

MAC Cruelty-Free Beauty

MAC Cosmetics established this MAC Cruelty-Free Beauty initiative to prevent their products from being tested on animals, except for acute cases as stated by the law. Note that this initiative does not guarantee that its products are cruelty-free.

MAC Recycling

The recycling program aims to exchange the brand’s products for six used MAC containers for free. The products include eyeshadow or lipstick, or free lipgloss. The exchange happens at every MAC location. Products not included in the program include Sheen supreme lipsticks, Pro Longwear gloss, Luster Glass, Viva Glam products, and Pro palette Shadow.

MAC Kids Helping Kids

This initiative was founded in 1994. It involves children with HIV/AIDS in designing images that are then redesigned into greeting cards. Every fund generated from the sales of the greeting cards is sent to contributing associations.

MAC Viva Glam

Every sale from the Viva Glam products is sent to the MAC AIDS Fund. A lot of celebrities have approved the MAC Viva Glam products. Some include Elton John, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, etc.


The MAC AIDS Fund is a humanitarian service that began in 1994. It aims to assist people who have HIV/AIDS all over the world. It assists institutions and communities that give help to individuals with the disease. Also, it creates awareness programs that help avoid the spread of the sickness. Since this initiative began, it has received more than 240 million US Dollars. The profit from the company’s VIVA Glam products is also used to support the MAC AIDS Fund.

MAC Cosmetics also granted “Good Spirits” makeovers in 2002 for free. They were given to every gender with the disease, including transgender people. The essence of this was to skill them up on makeup to appear and feel better. Also, expert makeup artists for the brand have offered procedures that can reduce the visible physical effects of drugs and treatments for the disease. 

SWOT Examination of MAC Cosmetics Marketing Strategy

Strengths in The Strategies

Below is the analysis of the strengths in the MAC Cosmetic marketing strategy.

Alliance With the Fashion Business: MAC was first created for models. However, as it continued to render quality services, it received more referrals. It then expanded to serve a more extensive set of people like photographers, stylists, expert makeup artists, etc. They gained massive recognition from designers, prominent magazine editors, and others from this point. With this alliance, the price strategy would work efficiently.

Employees: MAC Cosmetics pays a lot of attention to detail when recruiting its makeup personnel. The brand makes sure that its recruits are practicing makeup artists or experts with some experience and contacts within the makeup industry. As a result, they remain in the industry as experts and influencers. This system is the backbone of its product strategy.

A Large Variety of Products: MAC Cosmetics offers various products like mascara, concealers, foundation, and others, as indicated earlier. The luxury cosmetic brand has mineral-based makeup included in every sector of its products. In addition, it has most of its makeup made in powder and lotion forms.

Special Lipsticks: The cosmetic brand is popularly known for its stylishly designed lipsticks that have been customized for themselves. Some extraordinary features of its lipsticks are their textures and bullet shape. Also, the brand is peculiar for its black design case for packaging all its products. These signature characteristics are a push in promoting its products.

Weaknesses in The Strategies

Despite how efficient every MAC Cosmetics marketing strategy was, it had some weaknesses and lapses. Some of them are:

Skin Tone Selection: The brand is famous for many products, but most were made for Caucasians. This is because they only researched the products related to Caucasians. This selection has caused a shortcoming in their product variety strategy.

Pricing: Undoubtedly, MAC cosmetics products are pretty pricey and patronized by customers who can afford them. Thus, lower-grade prospects cannot become customers. In essence, only a selected few can patronize the brand. Therefore, the company operates by value sale.

Opportunities in The Strategies

Over the years, every MAC Cosmetics marketing strategy has ensured its market visibility and given it an advantage in every location it finds itself. Some of the opportunities its market strategies provide are:

Customer Behavioral Changes: Based on research, more women use makeup every day. Also, surveys have it that internet shopping is taking a more prominent shape in marketing. People will always want to try new cosmetics and look gorgeous in new ways. This behavioral factor is an opportunity for a big brand like MAC Cosmetics to deepen and expand its product variety.

Provincial Differences: Every province has a different approach to makeup and cosmetics. Places like China and India are famous for significant makeup usage, based on their histories and traditions. MAC Cosmetics has seen the opportunity and centered its products on suiting people’s skin tones in these regions.

Threats in The Strategies

Increasing competition: As the cosmetic industry is in a stage of fast-paced growth, MAC Cosmetics needs to defend its position of prominence from new entrants and substitute products.


Every MAC Cosmetics marketing strategy has been efficiently utilized for years. The brand leverage promotion, pricing, and product variety, among many others. The brand carefully studied its growth process and took advantage of it to attain good visibility and patronage. However, it has experienced shortcomings in the audiences it based its product research on, and its maintained high pricing. Nonetheless, its top-notch products and affiliations have always attracted old and new customers.

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MAC Cosmetics Marketing Strategy – Pricing, Initiatives & More Have you been wondering how MAC Cosmetics made it to the top spot? This article explores the MAC Cosmetics marketing strategy.
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