Mary Kay Ash, Inventor of Network Marketing.
Network marketing (recruiting independent-agents to serve as distributors of goods and services, and then encouraging them to build and manage their own sales force) had been around for several decades when Mary Kay Ash founded her world famous cosmetics firm in 1963.
But older companies, like Amway and Wachters, failed to what Mary Kay did: turn the network marketing concept from something on the fringe into an integral part of America's middle-class culture.
She did this by tapping a great underutilized workforce: housewives who were sick of the June Cleaver act but didn't want a 9 to 5 job.
Her most brilliant move: awarding top sellers pink Cadillacs, thereby transforming them into mobile advertisements for the company's products. Beautiful.
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