My mission throughout my career has been to highlight companies that choose to grow by honoring the lives of customers and employees. It’s been the basis behind my book, “I Love You More Than My Dog,” in which I highlight companies that base their culture on decision making that shows their humanity, and in turn, drives extreme customer loyalty in both the good times and the bad.
And now, over the past three years, I’ve been working on a new book that embodies an idea that has been taking shape, and with it, a shorthand for how to identify these companies. That shorthand is: companies that “make mom proud” in how they choose to run their businesses. I find extreme joy in coming across companies that decide to be real, decide with a clarity of purpose, and become a part of their customers lives.
Today, I want to talk about an act of bravery by CVS, which has chosen to walk away from photoshopped images on its store-brand makeup products and marketing, so that women can truly see what the makeup products will look like for real — sans the digital glow. CVS is encouraging other brands in its stores to do so by 2020, or else be slapped with a label indicating the image has been digitally enhanced.
“As a woman, mother and president of a retail business whose customers predominantly are women, I realize we have a responsibility to think about the messages we send to the customers we reach each day,” said Helena Foulkes, President of CVS Pharmacy and Executive Vice President, CVS Health, in a statement to the press.
“The connection between the propagation of unrealistic body images and negative health effects, especially in girls and young women, has been established. As a purpose-led company, we strive to do our best to assure all of the messages we are sending to our customers reflect our purpose of helping people on their path to better health.”
Now THIS is deciding to be real. CVS is connecting with the customers to make a positive impact in their lives. Let’s think about it, in 2014, CVS decided not to sell tobacco products because doing so conflicted with their value system to help people on a path to better their health. They weren’t worried about what this decision would do to their bottom line, they stuck to their clarity of purpose. Apparently, this decision had a positive impact on some of the lives of CVS consumers. In 2017, Reuters shared findings from a study stating that “smokers who purchased cigarettes exclusively at CVS stores were 38 percent less likely to buy tobacco after the national chain stopped selling cigarettes.”
I can’t wait to see how CVS’s use of unaltered beauty portraits affects the beauty industry as a whole, and the effect that it has on the beauty standards that women set for themselves. So kudos to CVS for this transparency! Your decision to give women the real look versus one they’ll never emulate, no matter how much glop they put on their faces is an act that will surely “make mom proud.”
I’d love to hear what you think about CVS’s decision, or even, what other companies you think are taking actions to “make mom proud.” Share your thoughts in the comments!
In the next few months I’m going to be building upon this “make mom proud content” in anticipation of my forthcoming book, “Would You Do That To Your Mother?” to be released this spring.