June 28, 2016

U.S. News

Mary Kay Foundation Establishes Professorship in Women’s Cancer Research

Photo: The Mary Kay Foundation honors Dr. Jerry Shay (left).

The Mary Kay Foundation is honoring Dr. Jerry Shay, Chair of its Research Review Committee, with a $250,000 gift to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center to further women’s cancer research.

The gift will establish a Distinguished Professorship in Women’s Cancer Research at UTSW. Mary Kay focuses its considerable philanthropic efforts on funding research of cancers affecting women and helping prevent domestic violence. Each year, the Mary Kay Foundation awards grants of $100,000—totaling $23.5 million to date—to medical institutions at the forefront of cancer research and practice. Shay, Professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Cell Biology at UTSW, has headed up the grant review process for the past two decades.

“The support of grant funding is critical at every stage of research, and it has been very rewarding to partner with The Mary Kay Foundation to help guide their grant portfolio in an effort to fund the most promising ideas in women’s cancer research,” said Shay, who professed himself “deeply moved and humbled” by the endowment in his name.

Shay and his collaborator, Dr. Woodring Wright, are renowned for their own research, particularly on the relationship of telomeres and telomerase to aging and cancer. At UTSW, Shay also holds the title of Distinguished Teaching Professor, and is Program Director of the Cancer Biology Graduate Program. According to Thomson Reuters ScienceWatch, which has named him one of its “Doctors of the Decade,” Shay is one of the most cited authors in the area of General Biomedicine.

“By establishing this distinguished professorship, the Mary Kay Foundation hopes to show our sincere appreciation to Dr. Shay and the UTSW community for his help in shaping the foundation’s research portfolio, which has worked to improve lives around the world,” said Michael Lunceford, Mary Kay Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and President of the Mary Kay Foundation.

June 28, 2016

World News

Beautycounter’s First Acquisition Brings Backing of Bono and Ali Hewson

Photo: Ali Hewson (left), Co-Founder of NUDE, with Gregg Renfrew, Founder and CEO of Beautycounter.

Nontoxic beauty brand Beautycounter on Monday announced the acquisition of NUDE, the natural skincare line co-founded by Ali Hewson, who shares a passion for social activism with her husband, musician Bono.

Hewson and Bryan Meehan, another ethical entrepreneur, founded the high-end skincare brand in 2007. NUDE’s mission to supply healthy and natural—yet high-performance—beauty products will sound familiar to fans of Beautycounter, which touts a Never List of known or suspected toxins banned from its products.

“Consumers have a right to know what is in the products they put on their skin, and they shouldn’t be faced with a false choice between safety and effectiveness,” said Hewson. “Beautycounter is leading the movement for better beauty and I’m excited to be joining forces with them.”

In 2011, luxury goods conglomerate LVMH bought NUDE and Edun, the sustainable fashion line founded by Hewson to promote local business in Africa. As part of LVMH, NUDE developed a global presence that could help to accelerate expansion at Beautycounter, which currently operates in the U.S. and Canada.

As NUDE transitions from its San Francisco office to Beautycounter headquarters in Santa Monica, California, Hewson will join the Board of Directors of Counter Brands LLC, the parent company of Beautycounter. Bono, Hewson’s co-founder Meehan, and global investor Paddy McKillen also will join the company as investors.

“In reaching more consumers with both Beautycounter and NUDE, we can advance support for our movement in Washington,” said Gregg Renfrew, who has used her platform as founder and CEO of Beautycounter to advocate for greater oversight of the beauty industry. “Ali and her team at NUDE share the same unwavering commitment to education, safer products, and better laws that will move the beauty industry forward worldwide.”

The news follows another major Beautycounter announcement in May, when the company unveiled a limited-edition partnership that will put its beauty products in Target stores this fall. In the past, Beautycounter also has collaborated with J.Crew and Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop.

NUDE is the first acquisition for Beautycounter since its launch in 2013. As the brands join forces, management said both will carry on business as usual for the foreseeable future.

June 27, 2016

U.S. News

LifeVantage, Usborne Books Parent Are Best in State for Annual Returns

Two direct selling companies appear in a new ranking by Forbes that identifies the top-performing public companies in every state.

In the past year, Oklahoma’s Educational Development Corp. (EDUC—NASDAQ) and Utah’s LifeVantage Corp. (LFVN—NASDAQ) produced the highest return on investment in their respective states. Forbes used data from FactSet, a financial research and analytics firm, to track the total return of every U.S.-based public company from June 2015 to June 2016.

Educational Development Corp. (EDC) operates EDC Publishing and the larger Usborne Books & More direct selling division. Peter Usborne founded the company to create educational children’s books that provide a fun reading and learning experience.

After more than four decades in business, EDC is in the midst of three years of growth, following a nine-year stretch of declining sales. In the first quarter of 2016, the company logged record revenue of $22.9 million versus $9.6 million a year earlier. The stock yielded an annual return of 139.4 percent, according to Forbes.

LifeVantage led Utah-based corporations with an annual return of 253.6 percent, which puts it in the top five companies overall. In the past year, the maker of health and wellness products has made several key appointment to its executive team, under the leadership of Darren Jensen, who joined LifeVantage as President and CEO in April 2015. This year also brought an expansion into Europe, including launches in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

June 24, 2016

World News

Nerium Targets Fourth Quarter for Entry into Australia

Photo: Sydney Harbour, Australia.

Nerium International has added Australia to the growing roster of markets the skincare company plans to open in 2016.

The news comes as Nerium prepares to launch next month in Japan, where the company is putting fully integrated operations in place. From day one, Japanese Brand Partners and customers will be supported by a regional office—including an in-house customer support call center—and a Nerium Brand Center set to open in Tokyo.

To date, the Dallas area company has expanded internationally into Canada, Mexico and South Korea. In addition to Australia, slated to open in the fourth quarter, management has disclosed plans to enter Colombia and another Asia Pacific market, Hong Kong, by year end. According to research from the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations, the Asia Pacific region accounts for 45 percent of global direct sales.

“Australia is a thriving market for both the global anti-aging skincare segment and direct sales industry,” Jeff Olson, Founder and CEO, told DSN. “Nerium’s leadership team looks forward to bringing our unique business model and revolutionary products to Australia as we continue to expand Nerium International into the Asia-Pacific market.”

Operating in four markets, Nerium closed out 2015 with annual sales of $516 million, earning the No. 38 spot on the 2016 DSN Global 100, a list of the top direct selling companies in the world. Nerium ranks No. 23 among North America-based direct selling companies.

June 24, 2016

U.S. News

Nature’s Sunshine Products Named One of America’s Healthiest Companies

Nature’s Sunshine Products is once again among the Healthiest Companies in America, according to research by wellness solutions firm Interactive Health.

To compile its annual list, Chicago-based Interactive Health evaluates approximately 2,000 companies each year. Honorees must achieve wellness program participation rates in excess of 70 percent, and a low-risk health score for their total population, based on clinical health evaluations. In 2015, just 154 companies made the cut. NSP is the only company to earn the award for nine consecutive years.

“The tremendous executive support of our wellness program and its many options is what makes such an award possible,” said Christine Frazier, Manager of Insurance Benefits and Wellness at NSP. “Their support, combined with the efforts and dedication of our employees, have made our company a happier, healthier place to work.”

The Utah-based company, which sells a range of natural health and wellness products, has sought to promote a “culture of health” at its corporate office. Employees receive complimentary NSP products and are rewarded for participating in various health initiatives, such as a 12-Week Fitness Challenge, an annual 5K Fun Run and gym membership reimbursements.

“The Healthiest Companies in America award recipients prove that employers can both engage their employees and improve their health outcomes,” said Cathy Kenworthy, President and CEO of Interactive Health.

June 23, 2016

U.S. News

Youngevity Hires on Loren Castronovo as Chief Marketing Officer

Youngevity International on Thursday announced that Loren Castronovo, a marketing and brand management veteran, is joining the company as Chief Marketing Officer.

Castronovo’s 30-plus years of experience has been gleaned at top beauty and fashion brands such as Chanel, Estée Lauder and Revlon, as well as companies within the direct selling channel. Throughout her career Castronovo has held the roles of Chief Marketing Officer, Executive Vice President of Sales and Vice President of Product Development, among others.

“Since 2010, Ms. Castronovo and her teams have won 21 Addy Awards; [Direct Selling Association] Ethos Awards in Education/Leisure, Product Innovation, and Sales and Marketing; the prestigious 2011 Rebrand Award and the 2011 Minnesota Best Brand,” said Steve Wallach, Youngevity Chairman and CEO. “We are excited to have such a winner join our winning company.”

According to Dave Briskie, Youngevity President and CFO, Castronovo stood out from other candidates for her considerable experience and ability to blend traditional marketing with direct selling. “Loren will certainly bring fresh vision to Youngevity, and all our distibutors and customers will gain from her work,” said Briskie.

That fresh vision will serve Youngevity well in light of a May announcement that the company is pursuing a strategic growth plan, including a capital raise and possible stock uplisting. Youngevity sells a wide range of nutrition and lifestyle products through the direct sales channel, and is a vertically integrated producer of gourmet coffees sold through commercial, retail and direct sales channels.

June 22, 2016

U.S. News

Total Life Changes Expects to Double Annual Sales in 2016

Total Life Changes is on track to double annual sales from $77 million in 2015, the maker of wellness and skincare product said Wednesday.

The Michigan-based firm also announced that founder Jack Fallon, formerly CEO, will now serve as President and Tea Executive Officer or “TeaEO”—a nod to the company’s top-selling product, Iaso Tea. Total Life Changes is the sole owner and distributor of the detoxifying tea, which contains a proprietary blend of nine herbs that work together to help cleanse the digestive tract. An instant version of the product is set to launch in the second half of 2016.

“This year we’re thrilled to be launching the instant formula of Iaso Tea, and it’s the perfect time come on board as president to ensure TLC continues to be a tremendous success,” said Fallon. “I have so much passion and appreciation for those in the field as well as our corporate staff—it is a true honor for me to be at the helm of TLC as we all strive for new heights of success together.”

The past few years have brought significant growth at Total Life Changes, partly due to a corporate restructuring led by Fallon. The company’s leadership team has focused on refining marketing efforts and forging new partnerships to ramp up product fulfillment. Last year, Total Life Changes logged $77 million in sales, securing the No. 100 spot on the 2016 DSN Global 100, a list of the top direct selling companies in the world. Management expects sales to reach or exceed $154 million in 2016.

June 22, 2016

World News

Jeunesse Rewards 8,300 Distributors with Mediterranean Cruise

Top sellers at Jeunesse—8,300 in all—sailed the Mediterranean throughout May on four incentive cruises offered by the skincare and nutrition company.

Embarking in Barcelona, Spain, the travelers took in the sights of Rome, Florence, Cannes and other popular coastal destinations. The Florida company set a five-month window for Distributors to qualify for one of its travel packages, ranging from a single fare to a cruise for two and airfare voucher. Management said the 8,300 qualifiers set a new record for incentive travel participation at Jeunesse.

“Lifestyle experiences such as these provide the opportunity for our family of Jeunesse Distributors to live a life more fulfilled, travel the world with friends and family, make new friends and build relationships,” said Scott Lewis, Chief Visionary Officer.

Travel is a common incentive used by direct selling companies to reward independent distributors who hit sales targets. The destinations are as diverse as the companies themselves, and often are tied to brand identity, as with harvest events held at Young Living’s global farms, or a company’s philanthropic efforts, as with WorldVentures VolunTours or Viridian Energy’s 7 Continents in 7 Years initiative.

June 21, 2016

World News

Nu Skin Gives Back Globally with Annual Force for Good Day

Photo: In Malawi, Nu Skin President and CEO Truman Hunt congratulates a graduate of the Force for Good Foundation’s School of Agriculture for Family Independence.

Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. on Monday celebrated a company-wide Force for Good Day with a number of humanitarian projects around the world.

Utah-based Nu Skin started the annual tradition 13 years ago, dedicating the day to projects that improve the lives of children, in keeping with the mission of the Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation. This year the beauty and wellness company also celebrated two decades of giving back, which began in a formal capacity with the launch of its Epoch-branded products.

“In 1996, we launched the Epoch product line and designated a portion of each Epoch product sale to be donated to various charitable organizations,” said Truman Hunt, President and CEO. “Since then, we have greatly expanded our reach and efforts to bring hope to children worldwide.”

The Force for Good Foundation focuses broadly on health, education, economic opportunity and disaster relief. Nu Skin aims to help children in these areas through projects such as the School of Agriculture for Family Independence, where the people of Malawi can learn better agricultural techniques to provide for themselves, and the Nu Hope Library Project, which has remodeled 16 libraries in rural areas of South Korea.

On Force for Good Day, the company intensifies its efforts by focusing on specific needs within the communities where it operates. A few of this year’s projects included a massive clothing drive in Greater China, donating clothes and toys to two orphanages in the Netherlands, and assembling 10,000 lunches for children in need at Nu Skin’s corporate headquarters.

June 21, 2016

U.S. News

Stream Appoints Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary

Home services provider Stream continues to build its executive leadership team with the addition of Daniel Terrell, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary.

Terrell previously held the same titles at PLH Group Inc., a portfolio company of Energy Capital Partners. PLH Group provides construction and maintenance services to the electric power delivery and pipeline industries, including many of the nation’s largest utilities.

“Daniel is an excellent addition to our executive team. His strong, relevant background as an accomplished general counsel and company leader will serve Stream well,” said Larry Mondry, Stream President and CEO. “His experience and track record in similar growth-oriented companies will be of tremendous value.”

Before joining PLH Group, Terrell served as division General Counsel for The Shaw Group Inc., a Fortune 500 company later acquired by steel engineering and construction conglomerate CB&I. He also has worked as a private lawyer with the firm Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC.

Terrell is one of several recent appointments to Stream’s executive team, under the leadership of new President and CEO Larry Mondry. The Dallas-based company, formerly known as Stream Energy, branched out from its traditional energy offerings in January 2015 with the launch of mobile services. Protective and home services soon followed, in an ongoing strategy to diversify the business and reach new customers.

June 20, 2016

World News

Herbalife Brings Cristiano Ronaldo Product Collaboration to Asia Pacific

Photo: Dr. John Heiss, Herbalife’s Senior Director of Sports and Fitness, Worldwide Product Marketing, unveils CR7 Drive in Asia Pacific.

Over the weekend Herbalife introduced Asian consumers to CR7 Drive, the nutrition company’s new sports drink created with soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo.

CR7 Drive launched at Herbalife’s Asia Pacific Extravaganza, an annual event held this year in Seoul, South Korea. More than 11,000 of the company’s independent members were in attendance.

“Cristiano Ronaldo is an outstanding footballer who places a high value on good nutrition and has a huge following in the region, therefore we are absolutely thrilled to offer this sports nutrition product to the Asia Pacific market,” said Frank Lamberti, Herbalife’s Senior Vice President and Managing Director for North Asia.

As Ronaldo’s Official Nutrition Sponsor, Herbalife collaborated with the Real Madrid player to deliver a product that meets the needs of both casual fitness enthusiasts and professional athletes. CR7 Drive contains electrolytes, vitamin B12, and a mix of carbohydrates intended to boost hydration, metabolism, and energy.

Herbalife initially launched CR7 Drive in the U.S. in September 2015. The latest addition to its Herbalife24 sports nutrition range is now available in Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau and Taiwan, with other Asia Pacific markets to follow in the coming months.

June 20, 2016

World News

Canada’s Immunotec Reports Record Quarterly Revenue

Nutritional products maker Immunotec Inc. (IMM—CVE) recently reported record quarterly revenue and a new sponsorship deal with professional sailing team Artemis Racing.

In the quarter ended April 30, overall revenue was $25.6 million*, up 28 percent from $20.0 million a year ago. Quebec, Canada-based Immunotec logged a 38 percent sales increase in Mexico, a 27 percent increase in the U.S., and an 11 percent uptick in Canada.

“The increase of our Sponsoring numbers is above 30 percent in all of our key markets, which indicates a strong momentum for the quarters ahead,” Patrick Montpetit, CFO, said of Immunotec’s customer and consultant tallies. “We are confident that we are on track to achieve $100.0M in revenues for fiscal 2016.”

Adjusted EBITDA also improved, amounting to $2.0 million versus $1.4 million in the year-ago period. Profit doubled year over year to $0.6 million.

In May, management announced a new sponsorship of Artemis Racing, which represents the Royal Swedish Yacht Club, one of the oldest yacht clubs in the world. Immunotec will be the Official Supporter of Artemis as it takes part in Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series events, leading up to the 2017 America’s Cup.

“The physiological demands of sailing the present America’s Cup foiling catamarans are immense, and keeping the guys healthy and optimizing recovery is crucially important,” said Pete Cunningham, Artemis Racing Exercise Physiologist. “That’s where I see Immunotec playing a major role with their products and also their clinical experts in this field.”

Health Canada last year approved the health claim that Immunocal, the company’s flagship immune support product, helps increase muscle strength and enhance performance when combined with regular exercise. Additionally, Immunocal and the second-generation Immunocal Platinum were recently certified by LGC, a globally recognized anti-doping lab. Cunningham said these factors, along with Immunotec’s long history of scientific research and publishing, were critical in deciding to partner with the company.

*At the time of this writing, CAD$1.00 was equal to USD$0.78.

June 17, 2016

World News

This Week: Forbes Spotlights Stella & Dot Founder, Avon Gets HR Upgrade

Catch up on this week’s direct selling chatter with these click-worthy links:

  • Forbes has the details on Eight Women Entrepreneurs to Watch, including Jessica Herrin, the 43-year-old founder and CEO of Stella & Dot. The accessories maven is featured alongside tennis champ Serena Williams, singer Katy Perry and other women carving out their own niche in the business world.
  • Beautycounter spent nearly four years developing its new mascara—a product notoriously difficult to formulate without the kind of toxic ingredients banned by the safe beauty company. Now, Beautycounter Lengthening Mascara is here, and the company is launching it in a big way with its #100Lashes campaign, a provocative take on the harm inflicted on women as a result of a poorly regulated cosmetics industry.
  • Two years ago, Avon Products overhauled its global HR system as the beauty company shifted its strategic focus to organizational effectiveness, simplification and growth. Opting for Workday HR, the company set out to deploy the cloud-based system within just 18 months. Diginomica spoke to Avon’s commercial business and global HR portal lead, Helen Gowler, about managing the change and improving data processes at the global cosmetics maker.
  • Drinking your meals? Sportscaster Jenn Brown was skeptical of the idea at first, but when a friend recommended she try USANA nutrition shakes to help lose weight after her pregnancy, she decided to give it a try. Brown appeared on The Dr. Oz Show to talk about the company’s new MySmartShakes and what to look for in a meal replacement shake.

June 17, 2016

World News

Viridian Initiative Brings Solar Power and Security to Albanian Community

Viridian Energy recently completed the sixth phase of 7 Continents in 7 Years, an annual sustainability initiative focused on a different continent each year.

Targeting Europe in 2016, the green energy company brought a group of 37 top-performing Associates and employees to Albania, where approximately one quarter of the population lives below the poverty line—on less than USD$2 a day. 7C7Y projects generally focus on electrification or reforestation, in keeping with Viridian’s mission to create a path to a more sustainable world. In the village of Tufine, Albania, the group donated and installed 33 solar-powered street lights and laid cement and AstroTurf for a recreational soccer field.

A nonprofit partner, Experiment Albania, helped Viridian flesh out the Tufine project, which was part of a broader initiative spearheaded by Albania’s Minister of Social Welfare, Blendi Klosi, who worked closely with the company. By securing the streets after dark and providing a gathering place for local residents, the company aimed to bring renewed hope to the impoverished community.

“Something as simple as providing a safe and well-lit gathering place can start a community on a path toward a brighter future, and we were honored to help provide that starting point on behalf of all Viridian customers,” said Cami Boehme, Viridian’s Chief Strategy Officer, who joined Klosi on Albanian national news to talk about the sustainability project.

Previous 7C7Y projects have included reforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest and solar power installations on schools, homes and community centers in Ghana, Indonesia, Fiji and Nicaragua. Viridian will reveal the location of its next and final project during its annual PowerUP! convention in September. To Associates warily eyeing Antarctica, the only continent untouched by 7C7Y, Boehme offers the assurance that Viridian never said it would target a unique continent each year.

June 17, 2016

World News

Beachbody Goes International with Workout Streaming Service

Following an initial rollout in North America and the United Kingdom, Beachbody is bringing its fitness streaming app to more than 140 countries worldwide.

Beachbody On Demand International connects users to a broad selection of programs and workouts led by the brand’s celebrity trainers, including P90X with celebrity trainer Tony Horton and Insanity with Shaun T. The service, which carries a 30-day money back guarantee, also features programs created exclusively for Beachbody On Demand subscribers.

The Santa Monica, California, company initially offered the streaming service to its network of nearly 350,000 Coaches, or independent distributors, who provided feedback on the user experience.

For every new international signup, Beachbody has pledged to donate $5 to International Justice Mission, CEO Carl Daikeler announced on his corporate blog. “We want to do more than just help people get healthy and fit. We want to help end human trafficking and slavery across the world,” said Daikeler.

The nonprofit IJM has 17 field offices throughout Africa, Latin America, and South and Southeast Asia, where it works to transform the justice system on a local level. Partnering with local police, public prosecution and social workers, IJM rescues victims from ongoing violence, represents them in court and restores them to their communities. Through this process, the organization aims to identify and address weaknesses in the justice system.

June 16, 2016

U.S. News

New Avon Hires Betty Palm as President, Social Selling

Direct sales executive and consultant Betty Palm has joined the growing leadership team at New Avon LLC, the beauty company announced Wednesday.

The former North American unit of Avon Products Inc., now privately held, is in the midst of establishing a leadership team under chief executive Scott White, who came on board in April. Cerberus Capital Management took a majority ownership stake in the business in December, looking to revitalize the iconic brand and reverse negative sales trends. To that end, Palm is joining New Avon as President, Social Selling in the U.S.

Palm has been working with New Avon for the past several months through her consultancy, B. Palm Group LLC, which focuses on the direct selling channel. Throughout her career, Palm has worked with a number of top direct selling companies in roles such as vice president of sales and marketing, executive vice president, and president of North America, in addition to leading the formation of direct selling divisions at Mars Inc. and Jones Apparel Group.

“By aligning the sales organization under a seasoned direct-selling expert like Betty, we will accelerate decision making and simplify processes,” said White. “Betty has already had a tremendous impact on New Avon, and I look forward to working with her to empower our Representatives, enhance their ability to serve customers and improve their earnings opportunity.”

Thus far in June, management also has appointed Jack Stahl, a former Coca-Cola and Revlon executive, to chair New Avon’s board of managers and Helene Rutledge, a veteran of product development and operations, to serve as Chief Innovation Officer.

June 16, 2016

World News

Nu Skin Secures $210 Million Investment from China

Photo: The Nu Skin Innovation Center at the company’s Provo, Utah, headquarters.

Shares in Nu Skin Enterprises are trading higher after the skincare and health supplement maker announced late Wednesday that it has inked a $210 million investment deal with Chinese investors.

The Provo, Utah, company said it has reached an agreement with a group of investors led by Ping An of China Securities Hong Kong, one of China’s largest insurers, and additional investors affiliated with ZQ Capital Ltd.

The company also said it expects second-quarter revenue to come in at the high end of or slightly above its previous guidance of $560 million to $580 million.

At the close of trading on Thursday, shares in Nu Skin were up 10 percent to $44.90.

Under the terms of the deal, Ping An ZQ China Growth Ltd. will purchase from Nu Skin $210 million in convertible senior notes due in 2020. The offering, at $46.50 per share, is set to close by June 21.

“Ping An and ZQ Capital bring significant local market knowledge and valuable expertise that we believe will positively impact our long-term growth opportunities in this important region,” said Truman Hunt, CEO of Nu Skin.

Nu Skin plans to invest a portion of the proceeds in its China business, which underwent a rocky period in 2014 after fraud accusations prompted a government investigation. The remainder will be used to buy back shares in the company, boosting the stock’s value for shareholders.

The agreement also stipulates that Shen Zheqing of ZQ Capital will be appointed to Nu Skin’s board.

In 2015, Nu Skin Greater China accounted for more than one-third of the company’s $2.25 billion in sales. Based on annual sales, Nu Skin is the No. 10 direct selling company in the world, as ranked on the 2016 DSN Global 100.

June 15, 2016

U.S. News

Morinda to Introduce Tahitian Noni Essential Oils This Month

Morinda is expanding its wellness offerings with a new collection of essential oil products, set to launch later this month.

Essential oils, which are valued for their health benefits, particularly in the practice of aromatherapy, are a multibillion-dollar business in the direct selling channel. Top companies such as Young Living and doTERRA focus primarily on essential oil products, while a number of other companies have supplemented existing product lines with essential oil offerings.

To put its own spin on the popular oils, Utah-based Morinda looked to one of its signature ingredients, the tropical noni fruit. Tahitian Noni Juice is Morinda’s flagship product, and the company also has patented the process of extracting oil from noni seeds, a product it brought to market 19 years ago. Now, Morinda plans to introduce six targeted Tahitian Noni Essential Oil blends, labeled Relax, Breathe, Relief, Energize, Fortify and Recover.

“Noni seed oil is historically known to provide soothing and therapeutic benefits while naturally enhancing other treatments,” said Cecilia Salvesen, Morinda’s expert third-party therapeutic healthcare advisor. “The Tahitian Noni Essential Oils are the only oils that have been formulated to incorporate the powerful and valuable properties of the noni seed.”

The company will launch the new collection as its second-ever Limited-Time Offer or “LTO” product, meaning the blends will be available for a short time to Morinda Independent Product Consultants (IPCs) who qualify to participate in the LTO. Following the promotion, those IPCs will be the exclusive distributors of Tahition Noni Essential Oils for six months, and then the products will be available through all Morinda sales channels.

June 15, 2016

World News

Natural Health Trends to Open Two New Offices in China

Natural Health Trends Corp. on Wednesday announced plans to expand its infrastructure in China with two new offices.

The branch offices will open on June 17 in Suzhou and June 18 in Hangzhou, two cities situated in the company’s fastest growing regions of China. Natural Health Trends also has seven existing offices across the country.

“Our goal with the two new office openings is to deepen our roots in China, enhance our services and continue to support new product introductions in this growing market,” said Chris Sharng, President of Natural Health Trends.

In addition to corporate offices, the company has established 17 Healthy Lifestyle Centers in China, where regulations restrict conventional direct selling activities. The centers, which are operated directly by Independent Distributors, showcase the company’s NHT Global personal-care, wellness and lifestyle products.

As it looks to ramp up its business in China, Natural Health Trends continues to derive the bulk of its revenue from Hong Kong. Last year, the California-based company reported net sales of $265 million, earning the No. 60 rank on the 2016 DSN Global 100, a list of the top direct selling companies in the world.

June 14, 2016

World News

Nerium Product Development Summit Unites Western Science, Eastern Medicine

Photo: Nerium South Korea independent sellers, known as Brand Partners

As part of its strategy to offer exclusive anti-aging products and expand in Asia, Nerium International recently hosted a Global Product Development Summit in South Korea.

In attendance were representatives from biotechnology companies, universities and R&D teams, who partner with Nerium to develop its skincare and nutrition products. The two-day summit was held at COSMAX, a South Korea-based cosmetics manufacturer and R&D lab that works with Nerium and a number of other luxury skincare brands.

“I believe Nerium to be the best company in the world, and COSMAX will support it with all of our best resources for a great cause, combining Western technologies with Eastern know-how,” said Kyung-Soo Lee, COSMAX Founder and CEO.

Nerium aims to build its core product line while adhering to its strict formulation philosophy and criteria, said Founder and Co-CEO Jeff Olson. Since launching with a single skincare product in 2011, the company has introduced just two additional anti-aging creams, an eye serum, and a supplement intended to boost brain health.

“Looking into the future, we plan to continue this pattern of expanding our product line by watching innovative and global trends in retail and science and creating superior anti-aging products for the face, body and mind,” said Olson.

The company also has plans to expand geographically, with openings in Japan and Hong Kong scheduled for later this year. To serve consumers in the region, Nerium plans to develop Asia-specific offerings that potentially will include anti-aging supplements and luxury beauty oils.

June 14, 2016

U.S. News

WorldVentures, Nancy Lieberman Open Latest DreamCourt in Indiana

Photo: Nancy Lieberman Charities and WorldVentures dedicate DreamCourt to NBA coach Del Harris, for Wayne County Boys & Girls Club.

Partnering with Nancy Lieberman Charities, the WorldVentures Foundation recently dedicated DreamCourt No. 25 in Richmond, Indiana.

The state-of-the-art basketball courts are installed in underprivileged communities to provide a safe area for children to play and interact. As is usually the case, the new DreamCourt is situated near a local Boys & Girls Club, where young people congregate for after-school programs. The court pays tribute to former NBA head coach Del Harris, who began his coaching career at nearby Earlham College.

“I came to Richmond over 50 years ago and played on the old court right here in this park,” Harris said earlier this month at the opening of the six-goal DreamCourt. “In fact, we won a tournament here and many of my teammates went on to be inducted into the Indiana Hall of Fame.”

The WorldVentures Foundation has built DreamCourts across the U.S. alongside charitable partner Nancy Lieberman Charities. Lieberman is a WNBA legend who joined the Sacramento Kings last summer as the second-ever female assistant coach in the NBA. Her charity aims to provide healthy physical, emotional and mental environments for young girls and boys to build their self-esteem and confidence.

“This court is not mine, it’s not Del’s, it’s yours,” Lieberman said to youth on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “And we hope that one day you will do the same for other kids.”

June 14, 2016

40 Under 40 2016

June 13, 2016

World News

doTERRA Launches Essential Oil Business in Canada

Essential oils seller doTERRA is expanding into Canada and opening two new distribution centers in the country.

Company officials report that, in comparison to previous market openings, Canadian distributor enrollments and sales volume have reached record levels since grand opening events held June 3–4. To support customers in the region, doTERRA has built distribution centers in Calgary, Alberta, and Toronto, Ontario—enabling product shipments to reach nearly 90 percent of Canada’s population within two business days.

“We are thrilled to plant permanent roots and bring our premium essential oil products to Canada,” said David Stirling, CEO of doTERRA. “Canada is a natural fit as we look for expansion opportunities throughout the world. The new centers not only serve our current Wellness Advocates and client base, but will be instrumental in our continued growth.”

doTERRA essential oils, which undergo the company’s “CPTG” or Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade quality testing, are sold through a network of independent Wellness Advocates. The Utah-based company also markets a range of essential oil-infused personal-care products, dietary supplements and other health products. Outside North America, doTERRA operates in a handful of markets in the Asia-Pacific region.

June 11, 2016

World News

This Week: Icahn Remains Bullish on Herbalife, Amway Tackles Direct Selling FAQs

Catch up on this week’s industry chatter with these click-worthy links:

  • After Pershing Square manager Bill Ackman announced his fund’s billion-dollar short position in Herbalife, calling the nutrition company a fraud, fellow investor Carl Icahn took an opposing stake, prompting a war of words between the two Wall Street moguls. In the three-plus years since Ackman launched his campaign, he and Icahn have set aside their differences, but both have stuck to their guns on Herbalife, as Icahn confirmed in a Thursday interview with CNBC. Icahn maintained that Ackman is “dead wrong” in his characterizations of the company, which is currently in talks with the Federal Trade Commission to resolve a probe into its business practices.
  • Door-to-door selling isn’t just for cable and cosmetics, as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as HANDS Pakistan are proving. Like Living Goods, recently featured by The Wall Street Journal, HANDS is using a social enterprise model to provide basic necessities and health products in developing regions. In Pakistan, the organization has trained a team of women who go door-to-door offering various forms of contraception, counseling and additional health services to women who otherwise would have little-to-no access to birth control and adequate health care.
  • Shares of Singapore-based Best World International dropped 23 percent Thursday following a query by the Singapore Exchange (SGX) concerning the company’s upbeat first-quarter earnings report. Best World shares have quadrupled this year, climbing before and after the maker of personal-care and nutrition products posted a 161 percent jump in first-quarter revenue to $35.2 million. Executives and analysts speculate that the firm’s positive results and planned entry into China have contributed to the stock’s rapid rise, which prompted the SGX query.
  • Direct selling leader Amway is taking a proactive, straightforward approach to addressing common questions about the company and its business model through its Amway Answers video series. In the latest segment, published to the company’s YouTube channel on Wednesday, Chief Sales Officer John Parker tackles the fundamental question, “What is direct selling?”

June 10, 2016

U.S. News

LegalShield Promotes Four to Office of Chief Executive

From within its own ranks LegalShield is making four new appointments to its executive team, the legal services provider said Friday.

The Oklahoma-based company said Patrick Hodges is stepping into the role of President, Network Marketing and Sales, overseeing the direct selling channel. John Long has been promoted to Chief People Officer, a new role focused on leadership development of employees and field associates. The company also has named Keri Norris Chief Legal Officer, and Claire Terrell will now serve as Senior Vice President, Marketing.

“We are building a culture and company that is—once again—changing the face of legal and identity theft protection services,” said Jeff Bell, CEO of LegalShield. “These moves further our commitment to combining industry-leading talent, unparalleled experience and a startup mindset to help protect people.”

The appointments come amid LegalShield’s push to launch more than a dozen new or enhanced products and services in 2016, including a range of new mobile solutions. As part of the company’s Office of the Chief Executive, each position will report directly to Bell.

June 10, 2016

World News

Viridian Teams Up with Click Energy to Serve Australian Customers

In Australia, where Viridian Energy is in the midst of launching operations, the company plans to deliver its green energy products through a strategic partnership with online retailer Click Energy.

Viridian’s new partner operates entirely online, in a low-overhead model that enables the company to transfer savings directly to consumers. Last year, Click Energy earned the Canstar Blue award in Queensland for customer satisfaction. The Australian company currently serves more than 130,000 customers across the country.

“In Click Energy, we have found the right partner to help all of our Australian Associates do well by doing good,” said Cami Boehme, Viridian’s Chief Strategy Officer. “Click Energy’s innovative approach to product offerings and its world-class technology platform paired with Viridian’s positive, collective impact will empower countless Australians to make better energy choices.”

Currently, Viridian is building a network of Independent Associates in Australia, its first international market. More than 1,000 have signed on to sell the company’s responsible energy offerings, which include electricity that is more than 50 percent renewable, natural gas mitigated by carbon offsets and residential solar power. Services will commence in the third quarter of this year.

“Australians shouldn’t have to choose between their wallets and helping the planet,” said Click Energy CEO Dominic Drenen. “We’re thrilled to partner with a category-creator like Viridian and look forward to finding new and innovative ways to deliver value to the more than 6 million households in our country’s eastern and southern states, while helping the environment.”

To date, Viridian’s offerings have helped avoid the release of more than 7 billion pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere. The company’s emphasis on sustainability extends to its philanthropic efforts, which generally involve “Local Change” events such as cleanups and tree plantings. Viridian employees and Associates have dedicated more than 12,000 volunteer hours to sustainability projects.

June 10, 2016

U.S. News

Helene Rutledge Named Chief Innovation Officer at New Avon

New Avon LLC is bringing in Helene Rutledge to serve as Chief Innovation Officer, a newly created role that will oversee new product development at the beauty company.

The latest addition to Avon’s leadership team hails from health supplement maker Nature’s Bounty Inc., where Rutledge served as Vice President of Research and Development, leading product and partner development across the company’s diverse brands. She also runs her own New York City-based consultancy, Caliper Innovation, a full-service firm offering product and innovation solutions.

Rutledge’s previous roles include Head of Global Open Innovation at GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, and Senior Vice President of Technology at AeroDesigns, where her accomplishments included a collaboration with David Edwards, inventor of inhaled insulin. In an earlier role with Warner-Lambert, she led the development of Listerine PocketPaks Breath Strips, an innovation award-winning product.

“Helene brings nearly three decades of operational and innovation experience to New Avon,” said Scott White, CEO. “She has strong experience running product innovation for world-class consumer and pharmaceutical companies—expertise which will be invaluable to our product innovation efforts at New Avon.”

Rutledge is no stranger to the 130-year-old beauty brand. Earlier in her career, she led process development for Fragrance, Children’s and Bath products at Avon Products Inc., which spun off its North America business—now the privately held New Avon—in a December deal with Cerberus Capital Management. New Avon management said, going forward, the two companies will continue to collaborate on research and development.

“I am thrilled to be joining New Avon at this pivotal time in the company’s growth journey,” Rutledge said in a statement. “I have always admired Avon as an iconic, purpose-driven brand, empowering women to run their own businesses selling innovative beauty products.”

June 09, 2016

U.S. News

Herbalife Recognized among ‘LATINO 100’ for Support of US Latino Community

For the second year in a row, LATINO magazine has named Herbalife Ltd. one of its “LATINO 100” for the nutrition company’s efforts to empower Latinos across the U.S.

According to the magazine’s editors, the LATINO 100 aims to showcase corporate support for the Latino community in areas like philanthropy, workforce diversity, minority business development and governance. Organizations such as Allstate, Carnival Cruise Line and Ford Motor Company appear alongside Herbalife on the list.

LATINO highlights the fact that 35 percent of Herbalife’s U.S.-based employees are Latinos, including a number of top executives and board members. In the U.S., Latinos represent about 36 percent of the company’s 550,000-plus distributors, according to a feature published by Fortune in September.

“As a global nutrition company, we are honored by LATINO magazine’s acknowledgment of Herbalife as a company that provides opportunities for U.S. Latinos,” said Ibi Fleming, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Herbalife North America. “Latinos across the country continue to embrace Herbalife’s nutrition products and their success demonstrates a clear demand among Latinos for a healthy active lifestyle.”

In addition to providing opportunity for Latinos within its own ranks, over the past several years Herbalife has partnered with more than 30 national and state Latino organizations, as well as organizations that serve the Latino community directly.

June 08, 2016

U.S. News

Morinda Videos Honored with Multiple Telly, Communicator Awards

Morinda’s educational and promotional videos have recently garnered recognition in two major awards programs, representing a combined pool of about 20,000 entries.

In the 22nd Annual Communicator Awards, the health and wellness company collected two silver awards and two gold awards, the U.S. program’s top honor. Communicator Awards recognize “big ideas” in marketing and communications, evaluating not only the quality of the work but also whether it makes a lasting impact.

Utah-based Morinda took home two gold awards for “Morinda Life,” a documentary-style video that runs 41 minutes and highlights individual Morinda product consultants around the world. The video received a gold award in the Corporate Image Video and Recruitment Video categories.

“‘Morinda Life’ was intended to be inspiring and uplifting,” said Shon Whitney, Morinda’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “We’re thrilled to receive so many amazing awards that validate our hard work.”

The company also took home two Bronze statuettes in the 37th Annual Telly Awards, a global program that honors excellence in film and video production, both for web and TV. Telly submissions are judged by a panel of more than 650 industry professionals.

“The Telly Awards has a mission to honor the very best in film and video,” said Linda Day, Executive Director of the Telly Awards. “Morinda’s accomplishment illustrates their creativity, skill and dedication to their [brand].”

In both the Health & Fitness and Motivational categories, a Bronze Telly was awarded to Morinda’s “Product Experience: Mike Johnson” video featuring Tahitian Noni Juice, the brand’s flagship product. Johnson, a Vietnam War veteran who lost his legs to a landmine, went on to become a multi-event medalist in the Paralympics and championship-winning basketball coach. Morinda plans to sponsor Johnson in the upcoming Disabled Veterans Games in Salt Lake City.

June 08, 2016

U.S. News

Primerica’s Biennial Convention Coming to Indianapolis in 2017

Financial services firm Primerica Inc. has selected Indianapolis as the site of its next salesforce convention, a biennial event slated for June 2017.

The Georgia company has more than 110,000 life-insurance licensed representatives across North America, and it expects about 50,000 of them to attend the three-day convention. The main event will take place at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, with smaller breakout workshops and seminars to be held at the Indianapolis Convention Center.

“The city has everything we look for in a meeting venue: a beautiful, accessible downtown with a wide assortment of hotels and restaurants; a central location with an exceptional airport; and world-class meeting facilities,” said Glenn Williams, Primerica CEO. “We’re confident that Indianapolis will help us deliver an unforgettable four days for everyone in attendance.”

Primerica welcomed about 40,000 to its 2015 Convention in Atlanta. The meetings are an opportunity to inspire and educate representatives, who sell the company’s term life insurance, mutual funds, annuities and other financial products. The 2017 Convention also will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Primerica’s founding.

According to Leonard Hoops, President and CEO of Visit Indy, the event will generate more than $34 million in economic impact for Central Indiana. “We look forward to delivering an exceptional experience for attendees, one that is on par with Primerica’s own superior customer service,” said Hoops.

Indianapolis, which hosted Super Bowl XLVI in 2012, has developed extensive infrastructure friendly to large-scale events like Primerica’s Convention. In 2014, USA Today readers named Indiana’s capital the No. 1 convention city in the U.S.

June 07, 2016

U.S. News

National Survey Shows Direct Selling’s Expanding Economic Footprint

At its 2016 Annual Meeting, which kicked off Monday in Phoenix, the U.S. Direct Selling Association unveiled the results of its annual Growth & Outlook Report on direct selling in the U.S.

The findings show that overall retail sales climbed 4.8 percent in 2015 to a record $36.1 billion. The channel’s sales volume reflects continued growth in the number of people engaged in direct selling, a figure that has increased steadily since 2012. By the close of 2015, direct selling entrepreneurs across the U.S. totaled 20.2 million, up 11 percent from the prior year.

Joseph Mariano, DSA President, notes that recent growth trends have continued in spite of fierce competition from brick-and-mortar and online retailers. “That’s the best evidence I know that the marketplace values meaningful engagement with customers. In an era when good customer service is increasingly rare, direct selling is bucking the trend,” said Mariano.

Individuals are partnering with direct selling companies to sell a wide range of products, including clothing, insurance, wellness goods and energy—to name a few. According to the report, the wellness category continues to lead the channel, accounting for 33.5 percent of total retail sales. Not surprisingly, the category also recorded the largest annual gain, with sales up more than 16 percent to $12.1 billion.

The Washington, D.C.-based Direct Selling Association partnered with economic consulting firm Nathan & Associates to publish its 2016 Growth & Outlook Report. The data is based on responses from 102 direct selling companies and other sources.

DSA 2016 Growth & Outlook Survey from Direct Selling Association on Vimeo.

June 07, 2016

U.S. News

Mannatech Takes on Conventional Weight-Loss Wisdom with TruHealth System

Mannatech Inc. is taking on conventional approaches to weight management, particularly the vaunted Body Mass Index (BMI), with its new TruHealth Fat-Loss System.

The Texas-based company introduced TruHealth to its independent Associates during MannaFest 2016, an annual salesforce meeting held in April. The program emphasizes fat loss and lean muscle development, rather than utilizing prevalent BMI measurements, derived from an individual’s weight and height. According to Mannatech’s Senior Global Wellness Director, Dr. Steve Nugent, who also chairs the company’s Global Scientific Advisory Board, using BMI as a single metric for healthy body composition is inaccurate, and in some cases harmful.

“For example, according to BMI calculations, someone like NBA professional LeBron James, at 6 feet 8 inches, 250 pounds with a BMI of 27.5, would be classified as ‘overweight’ and on his way to being obese by the BMI scale,” said Nugent. “We really can’t go on thinking that BMI or scale weight are accurate or realistic measures to long-term success for healthy weight management.”

With its TruHealth Fat-Loss System, Mannatech is offering an alternative based on whole-food nutrition, naturally sourced supplements and regular exercise. The company’s TruHealth supplements—including a variety of nutritional shakes, fat-loss capsules and a cleansing drink mix—are made without gluten, soy, dairy, MSG, or artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners. Initially launched in the U.S. and Canada, TruHealth is set to hit Mannatech’s international markets later this year.

June 06, 2016

World News

Young Living Announces First Market Opening since 2014

Photo: Old Town pier in Finland’s capital, Helsinki.

Young Living Essential Oils is continuing its business expansion in Europe with a market opening in Finland, carried out at the end of May.

The announcement comes on the heels of a restructuring and expansion of Young Living’s global sales leadership team. A number of recent promotions and hires at the company included Joey Nanto, now Vice President of United Kingdom, who oversaw several market openings in his former role as Vice President of International.

“Our members here have already embraced our products and love Young Living,” Nanto said of the company’s U.K. business. “We look forward to continued expansion and increasing our footprint in Europe.”

Outside the U.K., Young Living’s European operations extend to Austria, Czech Republic, Germany and Sweden. With the addition of Finland, the company’s second Scandinavian market, Young Living’s essential oil products are available in 15 markets worldwide.

“We are excited to establish our presence in Finland and provide opportunities for the people in this region,” said Jared Turner, Chief Operating Officer. “Opening sales in Finland enables us to move closer to fulfilling Founder Gary Young’s vision of getting Young Living essential oils into every home in the world.”

The Utah-based company, which backs the purity of its oils with a Seed to Seal guarantee, logged record revenue of $1.0 billion last year, earning the No. 20 rank on the 2016 DSN Global 100, a list of the top direct selling companies in the world. In the midst of rapid growth, Young Living did not open any new markets in 2015; however, the company has announced plans to expand into Indonesia and Taiwan later this year.

June 03, 2016

U.S. News

Another USANA Supplement Garners Third-Party Seal of Approval

USANA Health Sciences recently announced that it has received another seal of approval from third-party tester ConsumerLab.com, this one for its Procosa cartilage and joint health supplement.

ConsumerLab.com performs independent assessments of health and nutrition products to provide quality ratings and comparisons. To receive the organization’s seal of approval, products undergo a rigorous testing process. In the case of Procosa, the supplement had to contain 100 percent of the claimed amount of glucosamine, used to keep joints and cartilage healthy, and meet quality standards for lead, arsenic, cadmium and mercury.

“Receiving this third-party seal of approval from ConsumerLab.com shows our customers that we truly care about the quality of our products,” said Dan Macuga, USANA’s Chief Communications Officer. “USANA continues to create products that are proven to have accurate and truthful labels.”

The Utah-based company has tapped ConsumerLab.com to conduct independent assessments of a number of its health and wellness offerings, certifying that they contain pure ingredients and accurate labels. Recent testing has approved the brand’s Visionex, CoQuinone 30, Active Calcium, Vitamin D, Pure Rest, USANA® Probiotic, USANA® Essentials™, Usanimals, BabyCare Prenatal Essentials and Body Rox products.

June 03, 2016

World News

Peekaboo Beans Inks Deal Taking the Children’s Apparel Brand Public

Management at Peekaboo Beans, a Canadian retailer of ethically sourced children’s apparel, is moving forward with plans to take the company public.

The British Columbia-based company announced Friday that it has signed an agreement with North Group Finance Ltd., effective May 30, to carry out a reverse takeover of North Group. When the transaction is complete, the resulting apparel company, Peekaboo Beans Inc., will be listed on Canada’s TSX Venture Exchange.

“Going public provides us with greater opportunity to raise capital so we can deploy and achieve all our goals to grow as a company in a strategic way,” Traci Costa, Founder and CEO of Peekaboo Beans, said in an interview for DSN‘s March 2016 feature on the company.

Costa launched Peekaboo Beans in 2006 to provide a new kind of playwear for kids. The brand’s design team collaborates with child development specialists, educators and therapists to create pieces that encourage “free play” in children, whether by incorporating custom-made fabrics or avoiding fussy elements that hinder movement, like buttons and zippers.

The company initially operated through a traditional retail model. Costa, who shares ownership with friends, family and outside investors, switched to direct sales amid Canada’s financial downturn, when many retail shops were closing their doors. Currently, the products are sold through about 1,000 independent Stylists across Canada. Annual sales topped CAD$3.5 million in 2015.

In addition to the deal that will establish Peekaboo Beans as a public company, management announced a concurrent round of financing that is expected to raise up to CAD$2.52 million, to be used for production, salesforce training and recruiting, and working capital. Prior to soliciting outside investors, Peekaboo Beans opened the refinancing round to its Stylists and employees, who have invested CAD$680,000 in the business to date.

*At the time of this writing, CAD$1.00 was equal to USD$0.77.

June 02, 2016

World News

Young Living Restructures Global Sales Leadership Team

Keeping pace with rapid growth, Young Living Essential Oils has expanded its corporate sales team with a number of promotions and new hires.

The Utah company recently announced the promotion of seven key sales managers, including Eddie Silcock, who will head up the team as Senior Vice President of Global Sales. In his previous role as Vice President of North America, where Young Living derives the bulk of its sales, Silcock helped propel the company to record revenue of $1 billion in 2015. Before joining Young Living, he spent more than two decades with another top direct selling brand.

Three additional promotions focused on Young Living’s business in Asia. After a decade with the company, Will Halterman is stepping into the role of Vice President of Southeast Asia. His previously served as General Manager of the region and, before that, of Australia and New Zealand. Tyler Williams, with the company since 2009, has been named General Manager of Greater China, where he has been instrumental to opening and growing new markets in the region. Additionally, Yu Oki will now serve as Country Manager of Japan.

Rounding out the company’s new leadership structure is Joey Nanto, Vice President of United Kingdom, who oversaw numerous market openings in his former role as Vice President of International. Gabriel Sanchez, who joined Young Living in 2015, has been named General Manager of the Latin American region, while Mildred Muniz will seek to grow the company’s Latino customer base in the U.S. as Director, Latino Market.

“Young Living has experienced exponential growth on a global scale for the past few years, which can be attributed in large part to these key individuals,” said Jared Turner, COO. “Alongside our wonderful members, these leaders have contributed to our growth and are deserving of their new roles.”

Management said that, in addition to strengthening its global sales team, Young Living has divided its largest market, the U.S., into three regions and hired on a sales director to lead each one.

June 02, 2016

U.S. News

New Avon Brings in Jack Stahl to Chair Board of Managers

New Avon LLC, the beauty brand’s privately held North American business, has tapped former Coca-Cola and Revlon executive Jack Stahl to chair its board of managers. Scott White, New Avon’s CEO, has also joined the board.

Stahl joins the company as its new management team seeks to revitalize Avon’s North America business, which came under the ownership of Cerberus Capital Management in a December deal with Avon Products Inc. In the interim, Chan Galbato, CEO of Cerberus Operations and Advisory Company, has served as acting chairman of the board of managers, consisting of representatives from Avon Products as well as Cerberus, including Avon Products CEO Sheri McCoy.

“As a strong believer in the direct selling model and a long admirer of the Avon brand, I am honored to chair the New Avon Board at this pivotal moment for the company,” said Stahl. “Together with Scott, his talented management team, a truly remarkable group of Associates, and an unmatched network of Representatives, we will work to reassert Avon’s leadership in the direct selling and beauty industries.”

The incoming chairman is a beauty and consumer products veteran whose former roles include President and COO of Coca-Cola Co. and CEO and President of Revlon. Stahl also has sat on the board of beauty products manufacturer Coty Inc. and high-end retailer Saks Inc., among others. He currently chairs the Board of Governors of the nonprofit Boys and Girls Clubs of America, in addition to several corporate directorships.

“Jack is a proven leader whose extensive board management experience and expertise leading iconic brands will be instrumental in positioning New Avon’s business for long-term success,” said Galbato. “Additionally, in the short time he has been with New Avon, Scott [White, CEO] has demonstrated a deep passion for the company and a relentless desire to make New Avon the best direct selling company and beauty brand in North America.”

White took the helm in April, with a focus on improving the Representative and consumer experience at New Avon, which has nearly 400,000 Representatives selling its cosmetics, skin care and fragrances across North America. White hailed from Abbott International, where he led the global healthcare company’s $4 billion nutrition business.

June 01, 2016

World News

Natural Beauty Brand Arbonne Expands into New Zealand

Photo: Auckland, New Zealand.

Arbonne International on Wednesday launched operations in New Zealand, the beauty company’s sixth market worldwide.

The expansion is Arbonne’s first since 2014, when the company brought its botanically based beauty, skincare and nutrition products to Poland. Outside the U.S., the 40-year-old business also operates in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. Management shared the timetable for entering New Zealand with distributors at Arbonne’s Global Training Conference event in April.

Next week, Arbonne leaders are hitting the road to host launch events in three cities across the country. The informational meetings are open to the public, as well as Arbonne’s new consultants across the region. At a planned stop in Auckland, on New Zealand’s North Island, a high level of interest has prompted the company to combine two scheduled events into one and move to a larger venue.

June 01, 2016

DSN Global 100

2016 Frequently Asked Questions about the Global 100 Ranking



Why did DSN start the Global 100 list?

DSN created the Global 100 list to acknowledge the achievements of direct selling companies and to provide a clear picture of the magnitude of the industry. Just as every credible industry ranks its players—through Inc. 500, FORTUNE 500, and Forbes’ lists—DSN wanted to show the public what a viable and credible industry direct selling is.

Who uses the Global 100 list?

The DSN Global 100 list offers a unique perspective on the global impact the industry has on economic and social levels. It provides a scope of learning not only for industry members, but also for researchers, investors and those seeking opportunities within the industry. When DSN began the ranking in 2010, it was committed to creating a fair ranking that would showcase a transparent industry, thus providing credibility and consumer confidence as well as research support for those desiring information on direct selling companies.

What research process is utilized to produce the Global 100 ranking?

The identification of the companies to include in the DSN Global 100 list is the culmination of months of research and the cooperation of many individuals throughout the world. Wherever possible, the DSN team seeks out public records and documents for publicly traded companies. Additionally, the team reaches out to the private companies that may qualify for the ranking. Research begins in December and continues through to the publication of the Global 100 list. To fully reflect the global reach of direct selling, each year, DSN has been able to extend the boundaries of research by working with research partners, including China-based World Direct Selling Research Institute, to obtain information on international companies.

How is privately held company data compiled?

Nearly four-fifths of the DSN Global 100 data is derived from privately held companies. Most of this data comes from the companies themselves, which submit a revenue number validated by the CEO and certified by a qualified agent, and when they submit they enhance the value of the industry’s strategic objective to showcase a much more transparent business model. These companies could have chosen not to participate; however, their cooperative spirit, which so exemplifies this unique industry, makes the Global 100 ranking possible.

What revenue number does DSN ask for in the research process?

To participate in the DSN Global 100, a company need only submit a net revenue number validated by the CEO and certified by a qualified agent. DSN does not request confidential financial documents. DSN respects the financial privacy of all direct selling companies, asking that a company only reveal the annual revenue number that will allow it to be placed in the ranking.

What is the purpose of the Revenue Certification Form (RCF)?

In an effort to further ensure the integrity of the Global 100 list, DSN instituted the Revenue Certification Form, or RCF. The RCF requires all private companies to have their revenue number validated by the CEO and certified by a qualified agent (either at the applicant company or an outside independent source). DSN believes any company performing in a manner warranting identification and recognition as one of the Global 100 companies would proudly share its revenue number in a manner deemed fair to all.

Why isn’t Value-Added Tax included in the revenue number?

The ranking criteria is net sales revenue from direct selling operations before commissions and without value-added tax. The VAT, from DSN’s perspective, is certainly an integral part of the salesperson’s life; however, it is not a part of the corporate revenue as we track it.

Why aren’t some companies I know of on the list?

There are both nationally and internationally based companies worthy of recognition in the DSN Global 100 ranking that do not appear on the list. If you do not see a specific company it could be that (1) the company was contacted but declined to participate, (2) the company did not respond to requests, or (3) the company did not submit information in time. Each year, new companies come onto the radar screen and every attempt is made to connect with them.

June 01, 2016

Publisher's Note

Supporting Growth, Supporting Each Other

by Lauren Lawley Head

Click here to order the June 2016 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.



Lauren Lawley Head

Welcome to our seventh-annual Global 100 edition.

The lists, profiles and analysis in the following pages are the culmination of a lengthy research project that would not be possible without the cooperation of companies and individuals around the world. The goal from the outset of the project seven years ago was to foster a greater level of transparency within the direct selling community, in turn supporting its growth as a channel for distributing goods and services while simultaneously promoting entrepreneurship. My sincere thanks to all who worked with our team to make the 2016 Global 100 possible.

For those companies featured on the list, the Direct Selling News team has once again created some wonderful recognition pieces that you can use to share the celebration with your corporate staff and your salesforce, including custom reprints and framed awards. Please contact Jerry Reagan for details: (972) 402-5133 or jreagan@directsellingnews.com.

As part of this year’s celebration, we also recognized two individuals for their contributions to direct selling and one company for its remarkable growth. On page 94, writer Courtney Roush introduces you to Bravo Leadership Award winner Magnus Brännström, CEO and President of Oriflame, and shares his five personal leadership rules. Then, on page 108, Roush offers insights into the business strategy behind Le-Vel’s 254-percent growth last year. And finally, on page 122, writer J.M. Emmert shares a deeply personal story about one of DSN‘s own, Ambassador John Fleming, who we recognized with our first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of his decades of service to direct selling and 10 years of service to this publication.

Each year, the Global 100 is a reminder of what direct selling brings to the world. As Brännström said, “Our greatest asset is our people and the culture we create together. We’re a global community of people who always aspire for more.”

All the best,
Lauren Lawley Head
Publisher and Editor in Chief

P.S. From June 5 to 7, the DSN team will be participating in the U.S. Direct Selling Association Annual Meeting in Phoenix. If you’re in town, please stop by Booth No. 904 to say hello. We’re looking forward to this year’s theme, Reimagine, and would love to hear your ideas about what’s in store for direct selling in the years to come.

June 01, 2016

DSN Global 100

A Legacy of Firsts: John Fleming

by J.M. Emmert

Click here to order the June 2016 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.



Photo: SUCCESS Partners Founder and CEO Stuart Johnson and DSN Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Lauren Lawley Head present John Fleming with the DSN Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Direct Selling News Ambassador and former Avon executive John Fleming does not like the spotlight shining on him. He would much rather speak to the accomplishments of his family, friends and colleagues.

However, there is a fascinating backstory to this soft-spoken leader—much more than the 44 years spent advocating the direct selling business model or the more than 1,000 people he has personally brought into the industry. It’s a narrative full of heroes and role models who have shaped his life and fueled his ongoing commitment to serving others.

The Harlem of the South

Richmond, Virginia, was only a few decades removed as the capital of the Confederacy when Peter Ramsey established his dentistry practice there. The first licensed African-American dentist in the State of Virginia was John Fleming’s maternal great-grandfather. While Fleming has no memories of him, he can vividly recall life with Peter’s son, Mercer Ramsey, who followed in his father’s footsteps with his own dental office.

During the 1950s, Fleming and his parents, John Sr. and Essye, lived with Mercer at 106 East Leigh Street, a block containing the homes of successful African-American entrepreneurs of the day. Mercer was a well-respected businessman in Richmond and the earliest influence on Fleming’s life. “I looked up to him as a statesman,” he said. “It was the way he carried himself. He dressed up every day in a coat and tie. Most of all, he was a man of purpose.”

When he returned to Richmond after attending what is now known as Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia, John Sr. went into business with his father running a full-service automobile center. Though John Sr. was a college graduate, his father insisted that he work as a mechanic for the first few years to learn the business before eventually taking it over. That mandate allowed John Sr. to cultivate business relationships with the African-American community as well as white businessmen in the city. He eventually became the first African-American to sell cars with a major dealership in Richmond.

“Dad had become friendly with the people who owned the Lincoln-Mercury dealership,” said Fleming. “He never worked at the dealership because at that time African-Americans were not allowed on the showroom floor. But because of his auto service business, he knew when people needed cars. So he would take them to the dealership, earning commissions on the sale of cars all while running the filling station.”

To Fleming, his father was a vocal, confident leader, completely different from his quiet, formal grandfather Mercer. “He could talk about anything—whether national news, local politics or town gossip, he seemed to be a voice in everything. I saw those leadership qualities in him.”

Those qualities were particularly evident in John Sr.’s interactions with Richmond’s leading black entrepreneurs. The family’s filling station was located in a section of the city called Jackson Ward, where almost all of the businesses were owned by African-Americans. “Dad knew them all and they all patronized each other—whether it was hotels, nightclubs, restaurants or tailors,” said Fleming. However, even a thriving business and entertainment community could not deflect what lay outside the boundaries of Jackson Ward—racial tensions that permeated Fleming’s day-to-day living.

Lawley Head and Fleming share the stage as they present the world’s top direct selling companies for 2016.

A Mother’s Lesson

Richmond of the 1950s was a racially divided city, with no diversity in its neighborhoods. While Fleming’s mother Essye, called Garnet by friends and family members, and her family were prominent citizens in the African-American community, she knew that her son would encounter bias from the white population. Yet she never instilled hatred or fear in him. “She would never talk about it,” said Fleming. “Even when we went to Thalhimer’s, she would just go about her business.”

Thalhimer’s was a popular department store that enforced strict segregation laws. African-Americans were not allowed to shop with whites. “When we would go downtown so Mom could cash her check there, we had to go to the third floor,” said Fleming. “We were not allowed on the first and second floors, which were for whites to shop. If we needed to buy anything we had to shop in the basement.”

Through those formative years, Garnet taught her son not only to survive but to thrive while growing up in such an environment. “My parents and the African-American community were always focused on education,” Fleming said. “Education was the answer to everything. As long as we were learning, our parents and grandparents knew that we were going to survive and be able to live healthy, successful lives as contributors to society.”

Focusing on the Future

One area of Richmond that was very special to Fleming was the city playground. It was there that Fleming and his friends, including his good friend Arthur, would spend countless hours at the football and baseball fields, tennis courts, model aircraft field and public pool. Arthur, who lived in the groundskeeper’s house on the playground with his parents and brother, right next to the tennis courts, gave Fleming the first tennis racket he ever owned, a Bancroft wooden racket.

TEXTFleming’s wife, Joyce, applauds his accomplishments and celebrates his years of service to direct selling.

The memory of that racket would come to mind 18 years later as Fleming was driving from Chicago to Kankakee, Illinois. It was July 5, 1975, and Fleming was headed to a business meeting when he pulled his car to the side of the road to listen to a radio broadcast. On the other side of the world his good friend Arthur was about to make history. Fleming sat there listening as Arthur Ashe became the first African-American tennis player to win a Wimbledon Championship. “I know exactly what I was doing because it was such a big moment,” he said. “When I realized Arthur could win, I just pulled over and turned the radio up as loud as it could go.”

At the time Ashe was pursuing his dreams of playing professional tennis, Fleming was focusing on his future. Even though he was awarded a full scholarship to Hampton, he chose to enroll at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), a private university in Chicago noted for its engineering, to pursue his dream of becoming an architect.

Fleming spent the next five years at IIT learning the necessary skills and then landed a job with one of the most prestigious architects of the 20th century: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Originally from Prussia, Mies is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of modern architecture along with Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius. His major works, which included a mix of steel and glass, include the Seagram Building in New York and 860–880 Lake Shore Drive in Chicago.

An Introduction to Direct Selling

Fleming knew that Chicago was the place to be for architecture, so it made sense to him to stay there and not return to Richmond. In addition, he had met and married a nursing school student named Joyce and had begun a family. However, the financial weight of a new family began to take its toll on him as he was earning only $19,000 a year as an architect. It was during this time that Fleming was recruited by a stranger who became a best friend, Willie Larkin.

“When Willie first approached me about a direct selling opportunity, I thought it was the most hilarious thing in the world,” said Fleming. “I had a big ego about architecture. It had been a dream for so long that it was hard to get away from it.”

But Larkin, a schoolteacher and a man Fleming greatly respected, knew Fleming could use the opportunity to earn additional income. “Every time I would complain to him about my financial stress,” said Fleming, “he would flip it around and ask what I was going to do about it.”

Larkin invited Fleming to be part of his direct selling business, which offered biodegradable cleaning products and, some years later, a skincare line and nutritional line. Fleming went to meetings with him and watched him demonstrate the products at home parties. After a year and a half of part-time involvement in direct selling, Fleming had earned $54,000. And so, in 1972, he decided to give up architecture and go full-time in direct selling.

In 1976, Fleming played an integral part in founding Better Living Products Inc. The company owners wanted Fleming to take a corporate position as Vice President of Sales, which he did for several years. With his philosophy of the industry firmly grounded, Fleming set out to teach and advocate the principles and values of direct selling to others.

The Wild, Wild West

After 10 years with Better Living and a brief stint as CEO and President of the company when it was purchased by an investment group put together by Fleming, he decided to be a consultant for direct selling companies. Current Tupperware CEO Rick Goings was President of Avon North America when Fleming started his consulting business. Goings and then-CEO of Avon Jim Preston wanted to contemporize Avon and asked Fleming and former Shaklee executive Rich Perry to redesign the company’s compensation plan, create a new approach to training and implement what was to be called the Avon Leadership Program.

TEXTJohn and Joyce Fleming

“At the time, they had a single-level compensation plan,” said Fleming. “They did not reward on organizational structures except for a one-time reward for recruitment of a new Avon Representative. There was no incentive for developing other people.” Fleming and Perry developed a new program in which Avon ladies could share Avon with others and receive benefits through three levels of compensation. As the project was coming to a close, Goings and Preston invited Fleming to be the project leader who would bring the new program to life in the field.

Fleming accepted and joined Avon as a director. Within four months he was promoted to Vice President of Sales Contemporization. Goings and Preston saw Fleming as someone who could come into the company and not upset the applecart while still contemporizing Avon.

When Fleming took over the Western region it was the lowest-performing region in the Avon U.S. portfolio. There was no growth, and Avon had been losing money there for quite a few years. Within 18 months, however, Fleming and his team had turned it from the worst-performing unit to the top growth unit. And, for six consecutive years it was Avon’s best performing unit.

“We called our area the Wild, Wild West,” said Fleming. “We were so proud of our accomplishments. We used the theme song from Will Smith’s movie of the same name, and we celebrated at every meeting and every event.”

After more than a decade out West, Fleming returned to New York to work with current AdvoCare Interim CEO Brian Connolly, then another Avon executive, to ensure that every region of the company received the benefits of the program. Fleming spent the next few years traveling the world, including stops in South America, Europe and Asia, to share the program with other Avon executives.

A Lifetime of Achievement

By Christmastime 2004, Fleming was considering retiring from Avon. He had been happy there, but there were other goals he wanted to achieve in life. At the beginning of January 2005, he gave his one-year notice to Avon. The following year, during a round of golf with SUCCESS Partners Founder and CEO Stuart Johnson, Fleming accepted what he believed would be a 12-18 month stint. Johnson wanted him to take the helm of the fledgling publication Direct Selling News, and help fulfill Johnson’s vision to build a respected trade journal for the direct selling channel.

TEXTDSN Ambassador John Fleming

Fleming’s 18 months turned into nine years as Publisher and Editor in Chief of DSN, doing exactly what Johnson had envisioned. He retired once again in 2015, becoming DSN’s Ambassador and passing the torch to new Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Lauren Lawley Head. This past April, at the DSN Global 100 Celebration of the top direct selling companies in the world, Fleming achieved another first.

In acknowledgement of his 44 years in the industry and his ongoing commitment to advocating the business model, Fleming became the first recipient of the Direct Selling News Lifetime Achievement Award. It is the second time he has been recognized by his industry peers; in 1997 the Direct Selling Education Foundation inducted him into its Circle of Honor.

This year’s award has once again brought to mind the interesting road Fleming has been traveling for a lifetime. Through his experiences he has become an amalgam of the people in his life, developing the very best qualities to be found in a leader. From the way he carries himself, to how he treats others and effortlessly leads with quiet confidence, to him life has been about standing up for what you believe in and living your life with purpose, always while lifting others to reach their own potential.

In true Fleming fashion, he accepted the DSN award as he has lived his life: humbly, gratefully and with appreciation for those who have helped him along the way. There is a quote that seems remarkably fitting for Fleming as you consider his life and his passion for helping others. It is this: “True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever costs, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.”

That quote is from Arthur Ashe and, surely, he is smiling from above as he watches his good friend John Fleming embody those very words.

June 01, 2016

DSN Global 100

DSN Honors the Global 100 with a Special Celebration

by DSN Staff

Click here to order the June 2016 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.



For the seventh year in a row, Direct Selling News honored the 100 largest direct selling companies in the world with the unveiling of the DSN Global 100 list at a special celebration. DSN’s Ambassador John Fleming and Publisher and Editor in Chief Lauren Lawley Head welcomed nearly 400 executives from around the world to the awards ceremony and dinner, held April 7 at the Omni Hotel in downtown Dallas.

“The seventh-annual Global 100 list recognizes the efforts of millions of independent business owners who are embracing a unique model for sharing products and services,” said Lawley Head. “Each year, we are honored to shine a spotlight on 100 companies that are leading the way.”

The Global 100 list represents companies based in 12 countries this year and is a collective effort that shows the impact and potential of the $182.8 billion direct selling industry. 

“Direct selling companies utilize a channel of distribution that engages people from all walks of life who make possible the experience of products and services that cannot be found through traditional retail channels,” Fleming said. “The impact on the world economy is unmatched with over 100 million lives engaged in servicing consumers and providing unique entrepreneurial opportunities for those who want to be a part of micro-enterprise, which is more and more being referred to as the new YouEconomy. Congrats to the DSN Global 100 for 2015!”

For the fourth consecutive year, Ada, Michigan-based Amway claimed the top spot as the No. 1 direct seller in the world, with $9.5 billion in revenue in 2015. The company is truly a global giant, with a large portfolio of brands—including the best-selling nutritional brand in the world, Nutrilite, as well as the newly acquired XL Energy Drink business. Amway does business in more than 100 markets through more than 3 million independent Amway business owners.

In attendance and accepting the award on behalf of Amway was David Vanderveen, Vice President and General Manager for Amway’s XS business globally, as well as Kyle Van Andel, grandson of Amway Co-Founder Jay Van Andel. “I just want to thank you for inviting us to be here,” Van Andel said. “Without our distributor network this wouldn’t be possible. Every penny is for them. Thank you so very much.”

DSN’s Lauren Lawley Head and John Fleming welcome honorees and guests to the seventh annual Global 100 Celebration in April.

Individual Recognition

In honor of Ambassador John Fleming, who recently completed his 10th year of service to Direct Selling News, Lawley Head and SUCCESS Partners Founder and CEO Stuart Johnson presented him with the first-ever DSN Lifetime Achievement Award. During his tenure, Fleming has set the standard for unwavering dedication and excellence in sharing the direct selling story with professionalism and commitment. His style of leadership has grown the Direct Selling News brand into a trusted source for the channel, and he continues to be a strong, supportive voice for the opportunity it provides.

Dallas String QuartetThe Dallas String Quartet provides a contemporary performance with an electric flair for the event.

“John has been a dear friend for over 20 years,” Johnson said. “He may be the only person I know who has consistently demonstrated a passion for building this industry that has on many occasions surpassed my own. He has always been a calm voice and a statesman for the industry, and I must say a person with integrity and character beyond reproach, which he brought often to DSN. From the beginning he was the clear choice, the only choice that I saw for running DSN.”

Guests of Honor

DSN welcomed very special guests to the dinner, esteemed members of Direct Selling Association’s Hall of Fame and the Direct Selling Education Foundation’s Circle of Honor, Charlie Orr, CEO of Canada’s Immunotec; Brian Connolly, CEO of Advocare; Larry Chonko, Ph.D., the Thomas McMahon Professor in Business Ethics at the University of Texas at Arlington; and our own John Fleming. Special guests also included Nancy Burke, Vice President of Membership at the U.S. Direct Selling Association, as well as many members of Fleming’s family, who were in attendance as we honored his leadership of Direct Selling News.

DSN Global 100

In all, the Global 100 companies achieved more than $82 billion in net sales in 2015, up from $80.8 billion in 2014.

The Top 10 companies, which collectively represented 557 years of direct selling business across the globe, achieved $42.23 billion in revenue, with total number of salespeople at 22.5 million. It is also a testimony to the power and strength of the direct selling channel that each of the top 20 companies recognized have achieved more than $1 billion in sales during 2015.

By region, there were 51 companies from North America in the Global 100, including those recognized on our North America 50 list; four from South America; seven from Europe/Africa; and 38 from Asia/ Asia-Pacific. A total of 12 countries were represented on the list: Brazil, China, Cyprus, Germany, India, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

AmwayAmway receives top honors at DSN’s Global 100 Celebration, as it is named the No. 1 direct selling company in the world for the fourth year in a row.

Companies appearing in the ranking for the first time included from the U.S., New Avon (No. 19), Young Living (No. 20), Le-Vel (No. 48), Jamberry (No. 64) and Total Life Changes (No. 100); from Peru, FuXion Biotech (No. 90); from India, World Global Network (No. 77); and from China, Perfect (No. 7), Yandi (No. 34), Merro International (No. 50), Kang Ting (No. 55), Resgreen (No. 57), Kangmei (No. 81), Alphay International (No. 87), Loveast (No. 93), Ideality (No. 94), and Jimon (No. 95). Companies returning to the list are, from the U.S., JRJR Networks (No. 85), formerly known as CVSL Inc., and from Japan, Charle Japan (No. 79), which previously had been listed under Charle Corp Ltd.

The Bravo Awards

The Bravo Leadership Award was presented to Magnus Brännström, CEO and President of Switzerland-based Oriflame Cosmetics, who also was keynote speaker for the evening. Each year, the award goes to one direct selling executive who embodies exceptional leadership qualities—providing inspirational vision for their company, motivating their teams toward a common goal, serving others by equipping them to do the best job possible, and especially by empowering them to reach new heights. Brännström received the Leadership Award for leading his company to annual revenue of $1.35 billion amid a period of great economic and geopolitical change in many of its top markets (see story, page 94).

“I am very honored to receive this award,” Brännström said from stage. “Several of you have asked me, it must have been a long trip to come here and why. For us this is really about inspiration, about meeting peers, about getting new ideas, and feeling part of a really great industry. Thank you.”

TEXTHonored by its Global 100 ranking, Mary Kay’s Nathan Moore is proud of the company’s lasting legacy of enriching women’s lives.

Wellness and lifestyle brand Le-Vel received the Bravo Growth Award for its extraordinary 254 percent year-over-year growth, amounting to revenue of $349 million in 2015. At Le-Vel, technology is not only key to customer acquisition—the company reports 3 million and counting—but also the foundation of the business, in a manner of speaking. From its inception the company has eschewed a brick-and-mortar headquarters, opting to make its home in the cloud. Le-Vel leadership credits cloud technology with enabling the business to stay nimble and hire top talent around the world, while keeping overhead at a minimum (see story, page 108).

“One thing we tried to do early on was to be as mainstream as we could,” Le-Vel Co-CEO Jason Camper shared with the audience. “We didn’t want to be a direct sales company. We didn’t want to be a network marketing company. We wanted to have a product-driven customer acquisition model and it seemed to work out in our favor. It is a great industry. It takes a team to make this work, and the competition isn’t at the table next to us. It’s the naysayers, the critics and the friend of all of our distributors that is looking to take our products or not take our products, so thank you guys very much.”

Co-CEO Paul Gravette added, “This award goes to all of the promoters and customers that are very passionate about our product, and equally important to all of the leadership that drives our businesses to where they are today.”

The Keynote Address

Sweden-born Magnus Brännström had worked for a number of companies in Russia and never thought about direct selling, but a chance opportunity to help Oriflame build the company’s Russian business in the late 1990s proved to be a defining moment in his career. Not long after he started with the company, Brännström saw a taped speech by Amway Co-Founder Richard DeVos, who said, “Imagine that one day people will look back at this day and laugh. They will laugh because they will say ‘do you remember when once upon a time we used to go to stores to buy products?’ ” At the time, Brännström told the audience, what DeVos said made no sense to him. Some 20 years later, the emergence of e-commerce has propelled society into an age of heavy reliance on personal product recommendation. And what channel, Brännström asks, is easily best suited to compete in the recommendation business? Direct selling.

TEXTScott Schwerdt “shares” recognition of Nu Skin’s No. 10 ranking with the company’s team all across the world.

“Everyone is talking about this new sharing economy, which I’m convinced we are now pursuing,” Brännström shared. “We are entering into a new world. The changes of values have removed trust in companies and trust in advertising. What people trust are other people who have experiences, people who have consumed.”

But there is another element to why the world is changing, he said. New global companies are not employing as many people as older companies. Therefore the changes in the economy mean changes to the working environment, which brings it back to the remarks that DeVos made 20 years ago. Echoing those words, Brännström said, “Imagine one day in the future, I don’t know when, when we will look back at this time and laugh, and say ‘do you remember when there used to be employees?’ ”

He ponders this because, “it’s clear that there’s something we have that others have to search for, and that is the understanding that this new business is commerce with the purpose of human connection.”

In times of economic turmoil in countries all over the globe, many companies may get lost in their difficulty operating internationally. He acknowledges that his own company lost $500 million in revenue during the last 30 months due to the devaluation of four currencies. But despite this, direct selling companies, perhaps more so than those in other industries, have a greater purpose because they are in the business of helping people improve their lives.

“We have a greater task, to unite the world to make it a better place for the people because they deserve it and we have the means to do it. So let’s unite and bring the direct selling industry into the future, where people who are seeking security will not seek it as employees through companies or governments but where they will be working as partners with great direct selling companies.”

Impacting Lives for Better World

Scott Schwerdt, who accepted Nu Skin’s award for its No. 10 ranking on the Global 100 with sales of $2.25 billion in 2015, reinforced the importance of companies working toward the betterment of all. “Here’s to the industry!” Schwerdt said. “This is truly emblematic of the sharing economy and the sharing team that we have, so congratulations to everyone. Thank you.”

No. 6 on the Global 100, Mary Kay continues to be a top beauty brand in direct selling, active in more than 35 markets. Nathan Moore, who accepted Mary Kay’s award, spoke about the lasting legacy the company’s founder set in place all those years ago.

“Mary Kay started her business some 50 years ago with a purpose. And that is to enrich women’s lives,” Moore said. “Think about how many millions of lives have been touched and positively impacted since then. I know she would be honored to know where we are on this list today, but she would be extremely proud to know we have never wavered from that purpose and we never will. Congratulations to all of you in the Top 100 for all of your accomplishments and I wish you continued success.”

TEXTAmway’s David Vanderveen and Kyle Van Andel, grandson of Co-Founder Jay Van Andel, accept the award for the company’s No. 1 ranking on the Global 100.

David Vanderveen, Vice President and General Manager for Amway’s XS business globally, who accepted Amway’s award for No. 1 direct seller in the world, spoke too about purpose and the one that all companies in the channel can embrace to build an inclusive future.

“I cut my teeth in the wine industry, and the coolest thing you learn in Napa Valley is that when Robert Mondavi created what became the appellation of Napa Valley it wasn’t about selling his wine,” Vanderveen said. “It was about creating a tide that raises all ships because he realized if he made the Napa Valley a premium wine appellation for the entire world (a geographic area named and recognized for winemaking) then every wine in that valley increased margin, increased value and became something that people desired everywhere. And that’s what we’re doing.

“I think what Magnus Brännström talked about is exactly what we need to be thinking about as DSA organizations, that what we are doing is changing people’s lives fundamentally in ways that can transform the future of enterprise and business. I think if we keep doing that together we can actually transform what business means to people so that it is not about being an employee but it’s actually about correlating your work and your reward so that we all own a piece of the action and all change the future together.”

SUCCESS Partners was the lead sponsor for the DSN Global 100 Celebration. The following companies also provided generous sponsorship for the event:

Platinum Sponsors: ACN, Amway, Isagenix, It Works!, Jeunesse, Le-Vel and Total Life Changes; Gold Sponsors: AdvoCare, Ambit Energy, Oriflame, Plexus Worldwide, Stream, World Global Network, WorldVentures and Zurvita; Silver Sponsors: ID Life, LifeVantage, Immunotec, Mannatech, Mary Kay, Nerium, New Avon, Nu Skin, Scentsy, and Young Living.

June 01, 2016

Financial News

Public Direct Sellers Post First Quarter 2016 Results

by Andrea Tortora

Click here to order the June 2016 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.

The economic outlook for 2016 remains strong among the largest publicly traded direct selling companies, despite some declines. Quarterly financial results reported in April and May reveal better-than-expected outcomes and sales, despite continued pressure from a strong dollar overseas. And in many cases, companies are reiterating or boosting their 2016 outlooks. Here we focus on nine of the largest—Herbalife, USANA, Primerica, Medifast, Nu Skin, Natural Health Trends, Nature’s Sunshine, Tupperware and Avon.

Herbalife made big gains and beat Wall Street expectations by reporting year-over-year sales growth for the first time in many months. In the first quarter Herbalife earned net income of $95.8 million or $1.12 per diluted share. That’s up 22.5 percent compared to $78.2 million or 92 cents per share a year ago during the same time period. Net revenue jumped to $1.1 billion, up 1 percent as reported and 11 percent on a constant currency basis. “We’ve started the year by exceeding EPS guidance on both the top and bottom line and by returning to reported net sales growth, year over year, for the first time in five quarters,” says Michael Johnson, Chairman and CEO. Herbalife’s biggest gains came from China, which saw sales jump 32 percent to $217.4 million. North America (9 percent growth to $246 million) and the EMEA countries (6 percent growth to $198.4 million) reported the next largest expansions. This momentum pushed Herbalife to raise its full year 2016 adjusted diluted EPS guidance to between $4.40 and $4.75, up from $4.05 to $4.50. Herbalife also reported that it is in advanced talks with the Federal Trade Commission to settle an investigation into allegations that the company is a pyramid scheme. If the settlement is reached, Herbalife told investors it expects the terms to include injunctive and other relief as well as a monetary payment of approximately $200 million.

Utah health sciences company USANA posted net income of $22.3 million, or $1.77 a share, on record sales of $240.4 million. Revenue rose 9.6 percent for the fiscal first quarter that ended April 2, up from $219.4 million in the prior-year period. The number of new associates grew 16.2 percent to 437,000. “USANA delivered solid performance in the first quarter, notwithstanding the continued impact of a stronger U.S. dollar and a tough prior year comparable,” says Dave Wentz, Co-CEO. Wentz says the dollar’s strength negatively impacted net sales by $14.2 million in the first quarter. On a constant currency basis, revenue increased by 16.1 percent. Even so, sales are up across Asia: 15.5 percent in Greater China, 14.4 percent in North Asia and 7.8 percent in the Southeast Asia Pacific region. In the Americas/Europe overall revenue growth is flat, with big gains in Canada (up 22.1 percent) and Mexico (up 16.0 percent).

Georgia-based Primerica also was a strong performer, with revenue up 6 percent to $363.0 million and net operating income increasing 7 percent to $45.7 million, or 92 cents per share. The growth comes from continued strong sales of Primerica’s term life insurance product and 10 percent growth in the number of new sales associates joining the firm, to 108,200. CEO Glenn Williams says the increase in associates drove a 19 percent growth in life insurance policies issued. “We have begun 2016 with strong distribution growth,” Williams says. “Solid core performance across business segments coupled with recent share repurchases resulted in a 17 percent increase in diluted operating EPS.”

Medifast exceeded its company guidance in the first quarter, increasing its fiscal year 2016 outlook. The Maryland company makes and distributes weight-loss and healthy living products. For its Take Shape For Life direct sales business unit, Medifast reported a revenue increase of 9 percent to $56.7 million in the first quarter, up from $52.1 million a year ago. This is the fifth straight quarterly improvement in the year-over-year trend. Overall, Medifast’s first quarter adjusted income from continuing operations was $5 million, or 42 cents per diluted share, down 10.7 percent when compared to adjusted income from continuing operations of $5.6 million, or 46 centsper diluted share in the first quarter of 2015. “We are pleased with our start to 2016, particularly as momentum accelerated in our Take Shape For Life business segment,” says CEO and Chairman Michael MacDonald. “Going forward, we remain focused on taking steps to optimize each of our business units, by differentiating products, programs, and service offerings.”

Nu Skin reported better-than-expected numbers for the quarter, but its revenue and income were significantly lower than prior-year results because of margin declines. The Utah skincare and nutritional products retailer raised its outlook for 2016 based on new product launches and a favorable view on currency. Nu Skin reported net income of $3.3 million, or 6 cents a share, on revenue of $471.8 million, down 13.2 percent from $543.3 million a year ago. Revenues are taking a hit from currency headwinds, yet they were higher than Nu Skin’s guidance of $450 million to $470 million. “Our first-quarter performance was in line with our expectations and we are optimistic about the impact of upcoming product launches, which began in April and will continue in the second quarter,” said Truman Hunt, President and CEO.

Natural Health Trends Corp., a personal-care and wellness company, showed tremendous double-digit revenue growth in the first quarter, mostly driven by continued growth in the Hong Kong market, which represents 92 percent of total revenue. For the first quarter, NHT reported net income of $11.3 million, or 95 cents a share, on revenue of $74.3 million, up 83 percent from $40.7 million a year ago. The number of active members increased 93 percent to 119,800 up from 62,010 in the same period in 2015. “Our positive momentum continued with a strong start to 2016,” commented Chris Sharng, President of Natural Health Trends Corp. “The double-digit increase in revenue growth for the quarter was driven by our emphasis on leadership programs, product development and promotional incentives.”

Supplement maker Nature’s Sunshine Products saw its overall sales drop by 1.8 percent to $82.4 million in the first three months of 2016, down from $83.8 million a year ago, due to unfavorable exchange rates in some markets. Revenue grew for the seventh consecutive quarter for NSP United States and NSP Canada, generating a 0.3 percent jump to $38.3 million for NSP North America overall. Net income was $1.8 million or 11 cents a diluted share, down from $4.2 million or 23 cents a diluted share in the first quarter of 2015 due to Nature’s Sunshine Products’ investment in China of 7 cents a share, and unfavorable changes in the effective tax rate of 2 cents a share. Despite the declines, Gregory Probert, Chairman and CEO says he is pleased because the numbers “reflect the progress we have made toward returning Nature’s Sunshine to sustainable, long-term growth.” Subsidiary Synergy WorldWide reported its best first quarter ever, with revenue jumping 3.8 percent to 29.8 million. Probert said Nature’s Sunshine continues to make progress in China and is on-track to receive its direct selling license in the third quarter of 2016.

Florida-based Tupperware, which faces tough prospects in many emerging markets and saw big impacts from currency fluctuations, remains optimistic for 2016. Tupperware’s first quarter net income was $43.4 million, or 91 cents (diluted) a share, on revenue of $525.7 million, down 9.6 percent from $581.8 million during the same period a year ago. In constant dollars, sales grew 1 percent. “While we continued to achieve strong performances in Argentina, Brazil, China, Tupperware Mexico and Tupperware U.S. and Canada, we have continued to need to navigate through economic and political headwinds,” says Rick Goings, Chairman and CEO. “Even so, we were able to come in above the high end of our diluted earnings per share range, reflecting lower resin costs and our initiatives to manage costs, gross margin and leverage under our promotional programs, as well as improved exchange rates.” The first quarter performance prompted a full-year outlook increase of 28 cents on GAAP basis (or 21 cents) to $4.28 to $4.38 a share.

Avon Products reported declines across the board, but CEO Sheri McCoy said the results were in line with company expectations and should improve as the company executes on its transformation plan. Total revenue dropped 16 percent to $1.3 billion, but increased 2 percent in constant dollars. Excluding the sale of Liz Earle, revenue was up 3 percent in constant dollars. Avon’s loss per share was 38 cents on a net loss of $165.4 million. “Since sharing the (transformation) plan with the investment community in January, we have successfully completed the sale and separation of the North America business, implemented a new organizational structure, identified actions to deliver our 2016 savings targets, and reconstituted our Board of Directors,” McCoy says. “With these actions, we are well-positioned as we move forward aggressively to drive out cost, invest in growth, and improve our financial flexibility.”

June 01, 2016

Bravo Awards

Thriving Community: Technology Brings Le-Vel’s Growth Story to Life

by Courtney Roush

Click here to order the June 2016 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.



Photo: In accepting their Bravo Growth Award at DSN‘s Global 100 Celebration in April, Le-Vel co-founders Paul Gravette and Jason Camper share how from the beginning of their company they wanted to be as mainstream as possible and product-driven.

Four years ago, Jason Camper and Paul Gravette took their combined expertise in the technology, health and wellness and direct sales industries and charted a new course when they launched premium lifestyle brand Le-Vel. This entirely virtual company—the first of its kind in direct sales—generated an astounding 254 percent growth in 2015, an accomplishment that earned the company the prestigious title of Direct Selling News’ 2016 BRAVO Growth Award during DSN’s Global 100 celebration held April 7 in Dallas. Le-Vel also ranked No. 48 on the Global 100 and No. 29 on the North America 50, a subset of the Global 100. Annual sales for Le-Vel were $10 million in 2013, which grew to an eye-popping $100 million in 2014, then $350 million in 2015. By the time 2016 comes to a close, the executives at Le-Vel believe the company will hit $500 million in revenue, if not more.

What’s attracting people to Le-Vel? Its brand image is modern, streamlined, youthful, energetic. And it’s a company whose loyal following proves that personal testimonials are the most effective advertising.

One of the most incredible aspects behind Le-Vel’s rapid growth is that it’s largely U.S.-based. Le-Vel has a presence in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, but has only dipped a toe into the waters of its potential for international success. And company executives say it isn’t anywhere close to its ceiling in the United States. “There’s still tons of room to grow in the U.S. At some point, the growth will slow down, but for us, that’s not in the near future. 2016 has been an absolute rocket ship of growth so far, and there’s no end in sight,” says Drew Hoffman, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer.

A New Kind of Direct Selling Company

Le-VelLe-Vel co-founders Jason Camper and Paul Gravette accept the Bravo Growth Award for their company’s extraordinary growth of 254 percent, amounting to revenue of $349 million in 2015.

When Camper and Gravette founded Le-Vel in 2012, both brought a keen knowledge to the table about what worked and what didn’t in the direct selling and nutritional supplement industries, and they knew what kind of brand they wanted to create: one that embraced technology from the very outset. They were well aware that one of direct selling’s biggest challenges was how to play both hands successfully, in other words, offer the personalized service customers couldn’t find anywhere else, and position itself as a forward-thinking, tech-savvy company. Camper and Gravette had no plans to sacrifice the service aspect; rather, they set out to redefine it.

Knowing that customer service and technology weren’t mutually exclusive, these co-founders, co-CEOs and co-owners built their company on a cloud-based infrastructure that would, in turn, free them to invest in the production of excellent products and offer their independent Brand Promoters a very generous rewards plan. They pledged to create and foster a strong sense of community, and they knew that social media would be the means to build it. Equally critical, Camper and Gravette had the foresight to realize that by creating a culture in which Le-Vel products, not the opportunity, led the conversation, they could grow and maintain a strong and fiercely loyal customer base that would be key to the company’s longevity. Further, they would reward those customers for their loyalty.

“No one gets up in the morning looking for a direct sales company. But everybody gets up in the morning looking to feel better, have more energy, manage their weight better, sleep better. You attract people based on what they’re looking for.”
—Jason Camper, Co-Founder and Co-CEO

Success stories in direct selling most often begin and end with great products; without those, a company simply can’t sustain itself. Take a deep dive into what has enabled Le-Vel not only to create but maintain its hyper-growth, and you’ll first notice an atypical infrastructure that has allowed maximum investment in products. The company’s signature product line, THRIVE, is a three-step regimen that enjoys a viral following of consumers who swear by the results they experience, from weight management and lean muscle support to more energy, better digestion and simply more zest for life. Le-Vel has continued to introduce supplementary products designed to enhance the core benefits from THRIVE, including its Black Label Derma Fusion Technology, or DFT, in 2015. Black Label DFT was the company’s most successful product launch, surpassed only by FORM, the latest addition to Le-Vel’s Sequential Gel Technology line, in March 2016, which generated millions in sales within its first few hours.

Second, while the company’s products assert to deliver a host of health benefits, the brand message of helping people to feel better is refreshingly simple, enabling Brand Promoters to describe and share the products in easy, straightforward terms, and they do, predominantly via social media with personal testimonials and pictures. As Camper says, “No one gets up in the morning looking for a direct sales company. But everybody gets up in the morning looking to feel better, have more energy, manage their weight better, sleep better. You attract people based on what they’re looking for.”

In 2015, two major milestones occurred, as Le-Vel exceeded 500,000 Brand Promoters and 3 million customers.

Third, while Le-Vel is completely virtual, it also enjoys a particularly close-knit culture, even as its Brand Promoter and customer base continues to expand. That’s not only due to the sense of community generated by this viral social media movement; it’s also coming from the top down. Camper and Gravette were driven to create the kind of rewards plan and easygoing, supportive and inclusive environment they would want.

The cloud-based infrastructure does more than keep overhead costs low. It has enabled Le-Vel to be more agile, responding to challenges quickly before they become larger issues. The communication loop is open and efficient. The company’s employee base remains lean four years later and is based throughout the United States on staggering shifts to provide maximum coverage and support to Brand Promoters. It’s a hands-on, nonstop approach as opposed to a standard 8-to-5 schedule—challenges never occur during normal business hours, after all. The company expects to keep its headcount low even as it continues to expand into new markets in the coming years.

‘We Just Dug in Our Heels’

Despite what the numbers might suggest, Le-Vel didn’t gain traction immediately. The company’s first year required patience and belief, well beyond the point at which other companies may have changed course. “2013 wasn’t the best year for us,” Camper says. “Growing our supply chain was tough, but we did it. We just dug in our heels and stayed consistent. We didn’t want to fall victim to the mindset that if it doesn’t take off in six months, it’s not working. It takes a while to hit velocity.” They began to see the fruits of their efforts the following year. “In 2014, we were given a telltale sign of what was to come. And then we took off like a bottle rocket last year.”

“It’s really important to us as a company that we don’t put the spotlight on the top people; we want the spotlight on every single person that you meet face to face.”
—Paul Gravette, Co-Founder and Co-CEO

In 2015, Camper adds, the company strengthened its cloud-based infrastructure, and both the business and its product line began to mature. Two major milestones occurred, as Le-Vel exceeded 500,000 Brand Promoters and 3 million customers. “We were building the engine,” he says, for what 2016 and 2017 have in store: a series of product launches and international expansion into Mexico, greater Latin America and, ultimately, Asia. The progression into new markets will be “thoughtful and strategic; we’re not going to get ahead of ourselves,” Hoffman says, although, thanks to social media, demand for Le-Vel products is coming from potential markets all over the globe.

An ‘Inverted Model’

For Le-Vel, the term culture isn’t just about the company’s relationship with its Brand Promoters. Camper and Gravette knew from the outset that a strong and loyal customer base was absolutely key to building a firm foundation for growth and longevity. With that in mind, Le-Vel extended the same reward to customers as it does to Brand Promoters: Refer two customers, and you’ll receive your product free. The rationale was to eliminate that moment of hesitation every potential customer has before a first-time purchase—and the strategy has helped create a devoted following of loyalists. While some of them ultimately will choose to become Brand Promoters, the reality is that many of them won’t. And, yet, according to executives, those customers are considered no less important to the company’s future, in essence validating the integrity of the company and its products.

“When you think about direct selling, growing up in an era where it was about one-on-one communication, [social media and online] are the evolution. You have to adapt to it.”
—Paul Gravette

From the Brand Promoter’s perspective, Le-Vel offers an encouraging network of support that’s largely online, but no less effective. The web is so much more than a communication platform; it impacts both a company’s reputation and bottom line. It’s a powerful channel for sharing stories, and stories can certainly help sell products.

“From the outset, we started our business with the goal and focus on growing via social media and online, moving forward with what’s available,” Gravette says. “When you think about direct selling, growing up in an era where it was about one-on-one communication, this is the evolution. You have to adapt to it.”

Le-Vel is based on what Camper refers to as an inverted model, in which rank-and-file, new to midlevel Brand Promoters are recognized, and their small victories are given focus and are celebrated. For some newer consultants, it can be daunting to attend an event that focuses primarily on top-earning salesforce members and their long successes. The journey may feel unattainable.

If there remains any doubt about the efficacy of social media to build a direct selling brand, consider this: Approximately 90 percent of Le-Vel’s customer acquisition happens online.

“We’re attempting to change the spectrum of direct selling and corporate America, too,” Camper says. “We want to recognize people for their individual achievements, but our primary focus is on our achievements as a whole, as a team. That creates a more level playing field.” During incentive trips, Brand Promoters don’t advertise their respective ranks, and events aren’t segregated. Everyone mingles with each other. “It’s really important to us as a company that we don’t put the spotlight on the top people; we want the spotlight on every single person that you meet face to face,” Gravette says. There’s another mission behind that inclusive culture: to create a larger movement of health and wellness, in which the small victories are celebrated, and stories of new to midlevel Brand Promoters are at the forefront.

Simplicity Rules

From time to time, our channel as a whole and the distributors who represent our brands are asked to prove their validity—to provide compelling evidence that we’re indeed selling quality products and offering a legitimate business opportunity. It’s tempting to flood skeptics with information in response; but the result is likely to be further confusion. For a brand to establish itself on solid ground, for its products to carry the conversation and result in lifetime customer acquisition—the hallmark of any successful company—its messaging must be as straightforward as possible, Camper says. He adds that, while extensive research and superior science are at work behind the scenes, it’s not necessary to delve into the data with potential customers to validate the efficacy of the products; all they’re looking for is authenticity.

“Our approach is to provide enough information to validate a purchasing decision,” Camper says. “There’s no need to give someone an encyclopedia about your products. We have more training on the back end for Brand Promoters to build confidence and education, but on the front end, it’s simple. We don’t bombard people with data. You don’t have people’s attention for long.”

“We didn’t want to fall victim to the mindset that if it doesn’t take off in six months, it’s not working. It takes a while to hit velocity.”
—Jason Camper

The company’s call to action is simply this: If Le-Vel products make you feel better, share your story. There’s no better marketing tool than a personal testimonial. And that’s precisely what Le-Vel customers and Brand Promoters have done, taking to social media, most often Facebook, to spread the word. Is Internet oversaturation a concern? As long as there remain opportunities to expose new audiences to Le-Vel products, the answer is a resounding no, says Camper: “It’s natural to wonder about oversaturation, but there are still people who don’t know about us, and that’s true even for the biggest brands.”

If there remains any doubt about the efficacy of social media to build a direct selling brand, consider this: Approximately 90 percent of Le-Vel’s customer acquisition happens online. Technology doesn’t diminish the power of stories; rather, it brings them to life, and it’s giving direct sales companies like Le-Vel a powerful means to impact a larger audience than ever before.

June 01, 2016

DSN Global 100

The 2nd Annual North America 50 List

by DSN Staff

Click here to order the June 2016 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.



North America is among the largest direct selling markets in the world, and DSN is once again celebrating the companies with headquarters in this market with the 2nd annual North America 50 List. The companies on the overall Global 100 list have combined net sales of $82 billion, and North American companies represent 61 percent of that total at $50.3 billion.

Newcomers to the list represent a collective $3.3 billion in 2015 net sales and included a diverse range of products. New Avon, at No. 10 on the list with net revenue of $1.01 billion, became a privately held company when Avon Products sold its North American business to Cerberus Capital Management at the end of 2015. Le-Vel made an impressive debut on the list at No. 29 with $349 million in net sales. Le-Vel also took home the Bravo Growth Award for the highest percentage growth at 254 percent. Young Living’s growth over the past few years has pushed its net sales up to $1 billion, joining the elite group of companies that has reached that benchmark.

With net sales of $9.5 billion in 2015, Ada, Michigan-based Amway once again leads both the Global 100 and the North America 50 in the No. 1 spot. In fact, six of the Top 10 Global 100 companies were based in North America in 2015: Amway, Avon, Herbalife, Mary Kay, Tupperware and Nu Skin.

New to the List:

  • 10 - New Avon, $1.01B
  • 11 - Young Living, $1.00B
  • 27 - Omnilife, $406M
  • 29 - Le-Vel, $349M
  • 37 - Jamberry, $224M
  • 44 - Pure Romance, $164M
  • 48 - Zija, $129M

The number of salespeople involved with the North America 50 companies, according to the profiles submitted by the companies, includes nearly 5 million individuals who have chosen the direct selling channel for an entrepreneurial opportunity. The number of employees working for the North America 50 companies exceeds 27,000. Several of the younger companies on the list have former successful field leaders in founder or executive positions, illustrating the power of bringing direct field experience into the C-Suite.

Eighteen companies on the list operate in one to four markets and once again represent a diverse range of products from weight-loss, fitness and coaching to energy services, accessories, financial planning and household products. Ten companies operate in more than 50 markets, and the remaining 22 companies have international presence in five to 49 countries. This incredible variety of markets and products speaks volumes about the breadth and depth of the opportunity within the direct selling channel.

The DSN Global 100 and North America 50 lists continue to grow in influence and prestige each year. We at Direct Selling News are grateful for the continued support and engagement of all of the companies who work with us to complete the lists. We will continue to expand our research efforts in order to bring new insights and greater transparency to this tremendous channel of opportunity.

June 01, 2016

DSN Global 100

2016 Profiles

Click here to order the June 2016 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.



1. Amway

North America 50: 1

2015 Net Sales: $9.50 billion
Country: USA

Amway is a $9.5 billion direct selling business based in Ada, Michigan. Top-selling brands for Amway are Nutrilite vitamin, mineral and dietary supplements; Artistry skincare and color cosmetics; and eSpring water treatment systems, all sold exclusively by Amway Business Owners.  

  • 2014 Rank: 1
  • 2014 Net Sales: $10.80 billion
  • Sales Method: Person-to-person
  • Compensation Structure: Multi-Level
  • Products: Appliances, cosmetics, food and beverage, home care, home decor, kitchenware, personal care, wellness
  • Markets: 100
  • Primary Market: China + 9 others
  • Salespeople: 3,000,000
  • Employees: 19,000
  • Headquarters: Ada, Michigan
  • Executives: Steve Van Andel and Doug DeVos
  • Year Founded: 1959
  • Website: www.amway.com


2. Avon Products Inc.+ 

North America 50: 2

2015 Net Sales: $6.16 billion

Country: USA

Avon is the company that for 130 years has proudly stood for beauty, innovation, optimism and, above all, for women. Avon products include well-recognized and beloved brands such as ANEW, Avon Color, Avon Care, Skin-So-Soft, and Advance Techniques. 

  • 2014 Rank: 2
  • 2014 Net Sales: $8.90 billion
  • Sales Method: Person-to-person 
  • Compensation Structure: Multi-Level
  • Products: Cosmetics, personal care
  • Markets: 70
  • Primary Market: Brazil
  • Salespeople: 6,000,000
  • Employees: 28,300
  • Headquarters: New York, New York
  • Executive: Sheri McCoy
  • Year Founded: 1886
  • Stock Symbol: AVP—NYSE
  • Website: www.avon.com

+ At the end of 2015, No. 2 Avon Products Inc. sold its North American business to Cerberus Capital Management. No. 19 New Avon is now a privately held company. The revenue figures listed here reflect Avon Products' year-end filing with the SEC.


3 . Herbalife Ltd.

North America 50: 3

2015 Net Sales: $4.47 billion

Country: USA

Herbalife is a global company that sells products intended to support a healthy lifestyle. Its products are formulated according to nutrition research and science and are manufactured to the highest standards of safety and quality. Herbalife products are available exclusively through independent Members. 

  • 2014 Rank: 3
  • 2014 Net Sales: $5.00 billion
  • Sales Method: Person-to-person
  • Compensation Structure: Multi-Level
  • Products: Cosmetics, personal care, nutrition, weight-management
  • Markets: 91
  • Primary Market: USA
  • Salespeople: 4,000,000
  • Employees: 7,400
  • Headquarters: Los Angeles, California
  • Executive: Michael O. Johnson
  • Year Founded: 1980
  • Stock Symbol: HLF—NYSE
  • Website: www.herbalife.com


4. Vorwerk & Co. KG

2015 Net Sales: $4.00 billion
Country: Germany

Vorwerk & Co. KG is a family-owned company established in 1883. Vorwerk’s core business is the worldwide direct selling of premium household products (Kobold vacuum cleaners, the Thermomix kitchen appliance, Lux Asia Pacific products) and cosmetics (JAFRA Cosmetics).

  • 2014 Rank: 5
  • 2014 Net Sales: $3.90 billion
  • Sales Method:  Person-to-person and party plan
  • Compensation Structure: Multi-Level and Single-Level
  • Products: Appliances, cosmetics, home decor, kitchenware, personal care
  • Markets: 71
  • Primary Market: Europe, Mexico, USA
  • Salespeople: 612,884
  • Employees: 12,612
  • Headquarters: Wuppertal, Germany
  • Executives: Reiner Strecker, Frank van Oers and Rainer Genes
  • Year Founded: 1883
  • Website: www.vorwerk.com


5. Infinitus Co. Ltd.

2015 Net Sales: $3.88 billion
Country: China

Infinitus health products combine extracted natural plant essences with traditional Chinese herbs to stimulate the body’s immunity and resistance. The company seeks to advocate for and modernize the 5,000-year-old traditional Chinese herbal philosophies and practices. 

  • 2014 Rank: 7
  • 2014 Net Sales: $2.64 billion
  • Sales Method: Person-to-person
  • Compensation Structure: Not available
  • Products: Skin care, cosmetics, healthcare
  • Markets: 2
  • Primary Market: China
  • Salespeople: Not available
  • Employees: 4,000
  • Headquarters: Hong Kong, China
  • Executive: Sammie Lee
  • Year Founded: 1992
  • Website: www.infinitus-int.com


6. Mary Kay Inc.

North America 50: 4

2015 Net Sales: $3.70 billion

Country: USA

Mary Kay is a global manufacturer and marketer of beauty and related products sold under the “Mary Kay” trademark. Products are sold globally to independent beauty consultants who sell the products directly to consumers.

  • 2014 Rank: 4
  • 2014 Net Sales: $4.00 billion
  • Sales Method: Person-to-person and party plan
  • Compensation Structure: Multi-Level
  • Products: Cosmetics, personal care
  • Markets: 35
  • Primary Market: USA
  • Salespeople: 3,500,000
  • Employees: 5,500
  • Headquarters: Addison, Texas
  • Executive: David Holl
  • Year Founded: 1963
  • Website: www.marykay.com


7. Perfect

2015 Net Sales: $3.58 billion
Country: China

With a company mission of “Building a perfect career while gaining a perfect life,” Perfect has a commitment to provide high-quality products to consumers, create opportunities for Perfect distributors to develop their careers, and to maintain long-term investment and development in China.

  • 2014 Rank: Not ranked
  • 2014 Net Sales: Not ranked
  • Sales Method: Person to Person
  • Compensation Structure: Not available
  • Products: Cosmetics, personal care, skin care, household, wellness
  • Markets: 7
  • Primary Market: China
  • Salespeople: Not available 
  • Employees: Not available 
  • Headquarters: Guangdong Province, China
  • Executive: Woo Swee Lian
  • Year Founded: 1994
  • Website: www.perfect100.com


8. Natura Cosmeticos SA

2015 Net Sales: $2.41 billion
Country: Brazil

Natura is the largest Brazilian multinational company of cosmetics, toiletries and beauty products. It reaches millions of consumers with a constant search for innovative products. Guided by an organizational culture focused on sustainable development throughout our relationship network, Natura is the largest company in the world to receive the B Corp certification for its social and environmental performance. 

  • 2014 Rank: 6
  • 2014 Net Sales: $3.20 billion
  • Sales Method: Person-to-person
  • Compensation Structure: Multi-Level
  • Products: Cosmetics, personal care
  • Markets: 8
  • Primary Market: Brazil
  • Salespeople: 1,880,000
  • Employees: 7,700
  • Headquarters: São Paulo, Brazil
  • Executive: Roberto de Oliveira Lima
  • Year Founded: 1969
  • Stock Symbol: NATU3.SA—São Paulo
  • Website: www.natura.net


9. Tupperware Brands Corp.

North America 50: 5

2015 Net Sales: $2.28 billion

Country: USA

Tupperware is a global seller of innovative products across multiple brands and categories through an independent salesforce. Products include design-centric preparation, storage and serving solutions for the home.

  • 2014 Rank: 8
  • 2014 Net Sales: $2.60 billion
  • Sales Method: Person-to-person and party plan
  • Compensation Structure: Single-Level and Multi-Level
  • Products: Beauty, personal care, storage and serving
  • Markets: 100
  • Primary Market: Indonesia
  • Salespeople: 2,600,000
  • Employees: 13,500
  • Headquarters: Orlando, Florida
  • Executive: Rick Goings
  • Year Founded: 1946
  • Stock Symbol: TUP—NYSE
  • Website: www.tupperware.com


10. Nu Skin Enterprises

2015 Net Sales: $2.25 billion
Country: USA

Founded more than 30 years ago, Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. develops and distributes innovative consumer products, offering a comprehensive line of premium-quality beauty and wellness solutions in 54 markets worldwide. 

  • 2014 Rank: 9
  • 2014 Net Sales: $2.57 billion
  • Sales Method: Person-to-person
  • Compensation Structure: Multi-Level
  • Products: Cosmetics, personal care, wellness
  • Markets: 54
  • Primary Market: Greater China, North Asia
  • Salespeople: 994,000
  • Employees: 1,200
  • Headquarters: Provo, Utah
  • Executive: Truman Hunt
  • Year Founded: 1984
  • Stock Symbol: NUS—NYSE
  • Website: www.nuskin.com


11. Tiens/Tianshi

2015 Net Sales: $1.55 billion
Country: China

Tiens is engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of healthcare products including herbal products, vitamin and mineral supplements and personal care. The company has produced 45 types of healthcare products, including food products, all of which have obtained the “Health Food Certificates” issued by the PRC Ministry of Health. 

  • 2014 Rank: 15
  • 2014 Net Sales: $1.16 billion
  • Sales Method: Person-to-person
  • Compensation Structure: Single-Level
  • Products: Health and wellness, skin care, household
  • Markets: 110
  • Primary Market: China
  • Salespeople: Not available
  • Employees: 2,827
  • Headquarters: Tianjin, China
  • Executive: Li Jinyuan
  • Year Founded: 1995
  • Stock Symbol: TBV-AMEX
  • Website: www.tiens.com


12. Primerica Financial Services

North America 50: 6

2015 Net Sales: $1.41 billion

Country: USA

Primerica assists clients in meeting their needs for term life insurance, which it underwrites, as well as mutual funds, annuities and other financial products, which it distributes primarily on behalf of third parties. Primerica insured more than 4 million lives and maintained approximately 2 million investment accounts on behalf of clients. 

  • 2014 Rank: 14
  • 2014 Net Sales: $1.34 billion
  • Sales Method: Person-to-person
  • Compensation Structure: Multi-Level
  • Products: Financial services
  • Markets: 2
  • Primary Market: USA
  • Salespeople: 98,358
  • Employees: 1,932
  • Headquarters: Duluth, Georgia
  • Executive: Glenn Williams
  • Year Founded: 1977
  • Stock Symbol: PRI—NYSE
  • Website: www.primerica.com


13. Ambit Energy

North America 50: 8

2015 Net Sales: $1.40 billion

Country: USA

Ambit Energy provides electricity and natural gas to residential and small business customers in deregulated energy markets across the United States.

  • 2014 Rank: 12
  • 2014 Net Sales: $1.50 billion
  • Sales Method: Person-to-person
  • Compensation Structure: Multi-Level
  • Products: Services
  • Markets: 1
  • Primary Market: USA
  • Salespeople: 40,000
  • Employees: 685
  • Headquarters: Dallas, Texas
  • Executives: Jere W.
  • Thompson Jr. and Chris Chambless
  • Year Founded: 2006
  • Website: www.ambitenergy.com


14. Oriflame Cosmetics

2015 Net Sales: $1.35 billion
Country: Switzerland

Oriflame sells a wide portfolio of Swedish, nature-inspired, innovative beauty products. Respect for people and nature underlies Oriflame’s operating principles and is reflected in its social and environmental policies. The company supports numerous charities worldwide and is a co-founder of the World Childhood Foundation. 

  • 2014 Rank: 11
  • 2014 Net Sales: $1.68 billion
  • Sales Method: Person-to-person 
  • Compensation Structure: Multi-Level
  • Products: Cosmetics, personal care
  • Markets: 60
  • Primary Market: Turkey, Africa and Asia
  • Salespeople: 3,473,000
  • Employees: 6,462
  • Headquarters: Switzerland
  • Executive: Magnus Brännström
  • Year Founded: 1967
  • Stock Symbol: ORI-SS—Stockholm
  • Website: www.oriflame.com


15. Belcorp

2015 Net Sales: $1.20 billion
Country: Peru

Belcorp is a direct selling company that develops, manufactures, and distributes cosmetics and personal-care products. In addition it has a unit in charge of the purchase and sale of clothing and accessories. All of its products to date are primarily sold through independent sales consultants.

  • 2014 Rank: 13
  • 2014 Net Sales: $1.40 billion
  • Sales Method: Person-to-person and party plan
  • Compensation Structure: Single-Level and Multi-Level
  • Products: Clothing and accessories, cosmetics, personal care
  • Markets: 15
  • Primary Market: 
  • Salespeople: 802,580
  • Employees: 8,352
  • Headquarters: Lima, Peru
  • Executive: Eduardo Belmont
  • Year Founded: 1968
  • Website: www.belcorp.biz


16. Telecom Plus Plc

2015 Net Sales: $1.17 billion
Country: UK

Telecom Plus, which owns and operates the Utility Warehouse brand, is the UK’s only fully integrated provider of a wide range of competitively priced utility services spanning both the communications and energy markets. Customers benefit from the convenience of a single monthly statement, consistently good value across all their utilities and exceptional levels of customer service. 

  • 2014 Rank: 16
  • 2014 Net Sales: $1.10 billion
  • Sales Method: Person-to-person
  • Compensation Structure: Multi-Level
  • Products: Telecommunications
  • Markets: 1
  • Primary Market: UK
  • Salespeople: 49,539
  • Employees: 740
  • Headquarters: London, England
  • Executive: Andrew Lindsay
  • Year Founded: 1996
  • Stock Symbol: TEP—London
  • Website: www.utilitywarehouse.co.uk


17. New Era Health Industry Group Co. Ltd. (Zhong Jian)

2015 Net Sales: $1.16 billion
Country: China

Based in China, New Era is dedicated to the research and development of health foods, nutrition foods, cosmetics and chemical commodities. The company partners with many research institutions at home and abroad. 

  • 2014 Rank: 17
  • 2014 Net Sales: $928 million
  • Sales Method: Person-to-person
  • Compensation Structure: Single-Level
  • Products: Cosmetics, health care, cleaning
  • Markets: 14
  • Primary Market: China
  • Salespeople: Not available
  • Employees: 1,000
  • Headquarters: Beijing, China
  • Executive: Not available
  • Year Founded: 1995
  • Website: www.intgz.com/en


18. Jeunesse Global++

North America 50: 9

2015 Net Sales: $1.09 billion
Country: USA

Founded in 2009, Jeunesse grew to sales of over $1 billion in 6.5 years. The company has a limited number of products (12) that it sells around the world. It supports 28 languages on a platform that operates for the entire worldwide sales team using the native language and currency.

  • 2014 Rank: 38
  • 2014 Net Sales: $419 million
  • Sales Method: Person-to-person
  • Compensation Structure: Multi-Level
  • Products: Cosmetics, personal care
  • Markets: 125
  • Primary Market: Asia Pacific
  • Salespeople: 500,009
  • Employees: 800
  • Headquarters: Altamonte Springs, Florida
  • Executives: Randy Ray and Wendy Lewis
  • Year Founded: 2009
  • Website: www.jeunesseglobal.com

++ Jeunesse's $1.09 billion in net sales revenue includes $73.1 million in acquisition revenue


19. New Avon LLC+

North America 50: 10

2015 Net Sales: $1.01 billion

Country: USA

Avon has been empowering women since 1886 by offering them a unique earnings opportunity, through what is arguably the original social network: direct selling. Direct selling at New Avon is about Representatives constantly connecting to and building personal relationships with new customers as well as other Representatives.

  • 2014 Rank: Not ranked
  • 2014 Net Sales: Not ranked
  • Sales Method: Person-to-person
  • Compensation Structure: Multi-Level
  • Products: Cosmetics, personal care
  • Markets: 2
  • Primary Market: U.S.
  • Salespeople: 304,388
  • Employees: 2,400
  • Headquarters: New York, New York
  • Executive: Chan Galbato
  • Year Founded: 1886 (New Avon 2016)
  • Website: www.avon.com


20. Young Living Essential Oils

North America 50: 11

2015 Net Sales: $1.00 billion

Country: USA

Young Living Essential Oils is the world leader in essential oils with a strict Seed to Seal® process to produce pure essential oil products for every individual, family and lifestyle. This process ensures that all products are genuine, free of synthetic chemicals and pure. This commitment stems from the company’s years of stewardship of the earth.

  • 2014 Rank: Not ranked 
  • 2014 Net Sales: Not ranked
  • Sales Method: Person-to-person
  • Compensation Structure: Multi-Level
  • Products: Cosmetics, food and beverage, home care, personal care, wellness
  • Markets: 14
  • Primary Market: USA
  • Salespeople: 1,500,000
  • Employees: 2200
  • Headquarters: Lehi, Utah
  • Executive: Jared Turner
  • Year Founded: 1993
  • Website: www.youngliving.com


21. USANA Health Sciences

North America 50: 12

2015 Net Sales: $918 million
Country: USA

USANA Health Sciences is one of the top health and wellness companies in the world. Founded in 1992, USANA has become a global company that is highly regarded for not only the quality of its products but the exceptional work of its employees. USANA’s products consist of supplements, vitamins, foods and a skincare line all manufactured to meet the highest of standards.

  • 2014 Rank: 24
  • 2014 Net Sales: $790 million
  • Sales Method: Person-to-person
  • Compensation Structure: Multi-Level
  • Products: Wellness
  • Markets: 20
  • Primary Market: Greater China
  • Salespeople: 421,000
  • Employees: 765
  • Headquarters: Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Executive: Dave Wentz
  • Year Founded: 1992
  • Stock Symbol: USNA—NYSE
  • Website: www.usana.com


22. Isagenix Worldwide

North America 50: 13

2015 Net Sales: $890 million

Country: USA

Isagenix’s vision is to impact world health and free people from physical and financial pain, and create the largest health and wellness company in the world. Isagenix develops and manufactures nutritional and personal-care products that include weight-loss and weight-management solutions, energy and performance, as well as those that support healthy or youthful aging.

  • 2014 Rank: 27
  • 2014 Net Sales: $725 million
  • Sales Method: Person-to-person
  • Compensation Structure: Multi-Level
  • Products: Wellness
  • Markets: 13
  • Primary Market: USA
  • Salespeople: 506,000
  • Employees: 591
  • Headquarters: Gilbert, Arizona
  • Executive: Jim Coover
  • Year Founded: 2002
  • Website: www.isagenix.com


23. Stream

North America 50: 14

2015 Net Sales: $866 million
Country: USA

Stream is a leading nationwide provider of essential services, including energy, mobile and protective services. Stream innovated the energy market in 2005 by applying a direct selling model to energy, generating more than $7 billion in total revenue in just 10 years. 

  • 2014 Rank: 18
  • 2014 Net Sales: $918 million
  • Sales Method: Person-to-person
  • Compensation Structure: Multi-Level
  • Products: Energy, home-life, and essential services
  • Markets: 1
  • Primary Market: USA
  • Salespeople: 300,000
  • Employees: 224
  • Headquarters: Dallas, Texas
  • Executive: Larry Mondry
  • Year Founded: 2004
  • Website: www.mystream.com


24. DXN Marketing Sdn Bhd

2015 Net Sales: $862 million
Country: Malaysia

DXN cultivates, processes, manufactures and markets health food supplements. Based in Malaysia with operations worldwide, the company is known for its Ganoderma business and commitment to environmental conservation. 

  • 2014 Rank: 25
  • 2014 Net Sales: $780 million
  • Sales Method: Person-to-person
  • Compensation Structure: Multi-Level
  • Products: Appliances, cosmetics, food and beverage, home care, kitchenware, personal care, wellness
  • Markets: 184
  • Primary Market: Indonesia, India, Philippines,
  • Salespeople: 6,000,000
  • Employees: 1,200
  • Headquarters: Kedah, Malaysia
  • Executive: Dr. Lim Siow Jin
  • Year Founded: 1995
  • Website: www.dxn2u.com


25. Pola Inc.

2015 Net Sales: $823 million
Country: Japan

Founded by Shinobu Suzuki, Pola has earned a global reputation for its high-quality skincare, hair-care and cosmetics products as well as its commitment to supporting women in their pursuit of more satisfying lifestyles. 

  • 2014 Rank: 23
  • 2014 Net Sales: $800 million
  • Sales Method: Person-to-person
  • Compensation Structure: Single-Level
  • Products: Cosmetics, skincare, personal care, nutrition
  • Markets: 13
  • Primary Market: Not available
  • Salespeople: 150,000
  • Employees: 1,326
  • Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan
  • Executive: Hiroki Suzuki
  • Year Founded: 1929
  • Website: www.pola.co.jp


26. ACN Inc.

North America 50: 15

2015 Net Sales: $821 million
Country: USA

ACN is one of the world’s largest direct sellers of telecommunications, energy and other essential services people use every day, including phone service, wireless, natural gas and electricity, solar, high speed internet, security and automation and payment processing.

  • 2014 Rank: 22
  • 2014 Net Sales: $827 million
  • Sales Method: Person-to-person
  • Compensation Structure: Multi-Level
  • Products: Services
  • Markets: 24
  • Primary Market: Not available
  • Salespeople: 200,000
  • Employees: 1,500
  • Headquarters: Concord, North Carolina
  • Executives: Robert Stevanovski, Greg Provenzano, Tony Cupisz, Mike Cupisz
  • Year Founded: 1993
  • Website: www.acninc.com


27. Market America Inc.

North America 50: 16

2015 Net Sales: $791 million
Country: USA

Market America Inc. is a product brokerage and Internet marketing company that specializes in one-to-one marketing. Its mission is to provide a robust business system for entrepreneurs, while providing consumers with an alternative way to shop for everyday products.

  • 2014 Rank: 29
  • 2014 Net Sales: $626 million
  • Sales Method: Person-to-person
  • Compensation Structure: Single-Level
  • Products: Appliances, clothing and accessories, cosmetics, food and beverage, home care, home decor, kitchenware, leisure and educational, personal care, services, wellness
  • Markets: 9
  • Primary Market: USA
  • Salespeople: 180,000
  • Employees: 800
  • Headquarters: Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Executive: JR Ridinger
  • Year Founded: 1992
  • Website: www.marketamerica.com


28. Team Beachbody

North America 50: 17

2015 Net Sales: $780 million
Country: USA

Team Beachbody creates products and services to help millions achieve their personal nutrition, fitness and weight loss goals. The company is the creator of numerous in-home fitness and weight-loss solutions, including P90X® Series, INSANITY®, FOCUS T25®, 21 Day Fix®, Body Beast®, PiYo®, and Hip Hop Abs®. Its core mission is to “help people achieve their goals and live healthy, fulfilling lives.”

  • 2014 Rank: 32
  • 2014 Net Sales: $518 million
  • Sales Method: Person-to-person
  • Compensation Structure: Multi-Level
  • Products: Health and wellness
  • Markets: 2
  • Primary Market: North America
  • Salespeople: 400,000
  • Employees: 900
  • Headquarters: Santa Monica, California
  • Executive: Carl Daikeler
  • Year Founded: 2007
  • Website: www.beachbody.com


29. It Works!

North America 50: 18

2015 Net Sales: $748 million
Country: USA

It Works! offers personal-care and wellness products that address issues for body-shaping and anti-aging, as well as for stress relief, vitamin and mineral supplementation, and more. The company maintains and promotes a debt-free lifestyle.

  • 2014 Rank: 31
  • 2014 Net Sales: $538 million
  • Sales Method: Person-to-person
  • Compensation Structure: Multi-Level
  • Products: Wellness
  • Markets: 20
  • Primary Market: USA
  • Salespeople: 150,000
  • Employees: 148
  • Headquarters: Palmetto, Florida
  • Executive: Mark Pentecost
  • Year Founded: 2001
  • Website: www.myitworks.com


30. Yanbal International/Unique

2015 Net Sales: $747 million
Country: Peru

Yanbal International is a global multi-level corporation expert in cosmetics and jewelry, whose mission is to change the lives of all women and their families through beauty and inspiration to fulfill their dreams. It operates under the principle of “prosperity for all.”

  • 2014 Rank: 20
  • 2014 Net Sales: $856 million
  • Sales Method: Person-to-person
  • Compensation Structure: Multi-Level
  • Products: Cosmetics, personal care
  • Markets: 11
  • Primary Market: Peru
  • Salespeople: 400,000
  • Employees: 5,330
  • Headquarters: Lima, Peru
  • Executive: Janine Belmont
  • Year Founded: 1967
  • Website: www.yanbal.com


31. AdvoCare International

North America 50: 19

2015 Net Sales: $719 million
Country: USA

AdvoCare provides innovative nutritional, weight-management and sports performance products developed through conprehensive research and backed by a Scientific & Medical Advisory Board. In addition, the AdvoCare business opportunity empowers individuals to explore their ultimate earning potential.

  • 2014 Rank: 35
  • 2014 Net Sales: $630 million
  • Sales Method: Person-to-person
  • Compensation Structure: Multi-Level
  • Products: Wellness
  • Markets: 1
  • Primary Market: USA
  • Salespeople: 517,666
  • Employees: 300
  • Headquarters: Plano, Texas
  • Executive: Brian Connolly
  • Year Founded: 1993
  • Website: www.advocare.com


32. WorldVentures

North America 50: 20

2015 Net Sales: $693 million
Country: USA

WorldVentures is the leading international direct seller of vacation club memberships and helps people achieve more fun, freedom and fulfillment by offering award-winning DreamTrips™, which include premium vacations at reduced prices.

  • 2014 Rank: 47
  • 2014 Net Sales: $352 million
  • Sales Method: Person-to-person
  • Compensation Structure: Multi-Level
  • Products: Leisure and educational services
  • Markets: 28
  • Primary Market: USA
  • Salespeople: 421,532
  • Employees: 604
  • Headquarters: Plano, Texas
  • Executives: Dan Stammen, Mike Azcue and Wayne Nugent
  • Year Founded: 2005
  • Website: www.worldventures.com

June 01, 2016

Bravo Awards

Dream Builder: Magnus Brännström Defines Oriflame’s Path with Consistent Leadership

by Courtney Roush

Click here to order the June 2016 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.



Photo: Oriflame CEO and President Magnus Brännström accepts the Bravo Leadership Award for his steadfast leadership during a transitional time for the beauty brand.

In an industry based on the very premise of serving others, selecting a leader among leaders—one who exemplifies the best of what direct selling represents—is one tall order. The recipient of the 2016 DSN Bravo Leadership Award, Magnus Brännström, CEO and President of European beauty company Oriflame, is the kind of leader who embodies both the personal and professional qualities required to lead his company and our industry into what promises to be a bright future.

Each year, Direct Selling News presents the Bravo Leadership Award to one direct selling executive who embodies exceptional leadership, someone who articulates the vision, then provides the motivation and inspiration to rally teams behind a common mission. Most importantly, the Bravo Leadership Award recipient is a leader who serves others, who helps them rise to the challenge and become the best version of themselves. An exceptional leader knows that by giving his or her employees the tools to rise to the occasion, both the company and the field will benefit.

Brännström received the 2016 Bravo Leadership Award during the 2016 DSN Global Celebration, held April 7 in Dallas, and delivered the keynote address. Oriflame ranked No. 14 on the list, with 2015 revenue of $1.35 billion, having first reached the billion-dollar revenue milestone in 2006, one year after Brännström became CEO.

Oriflame faced some volatile market conditions in 2015 but emerged as a stronger company, Brännström says. With double-digit growth, Latin America, Turkey, Africa and Asia accounted for almost half of the company’s sales and an even larger share of its operating profit for the year. These four regions are where Brännström believes Oriflame holds its largest potential for future growth. In September, Oriflame finalized its move to Switzerland and began reporting as Oriflame Holding AG. Though it remains proud of its Swedish heritage, Oriflame’s move to Switzerland was a critical first step toward aligning the company’s legal structure with its organizational setup, Brännström says. A focus on strategic product categories continued in 2015, including the launch of a new flagship skincare brand, NovAge; skin care represents Oriflame’s largest sales category. Also in 2015, the company rolled out its new online platform, supporting the emergence of a truly digital business model in which more than 90 percent of sales occur online. The company’s strong social media presence includes more than 7 million followers, and its websites attract more than 50 million visitors annually.

Brothers Jonas and Robert af Jochnick and their friend Bengt Hellsten founded Oriflame in 1967. These three leaders sought to establish a global community in which the entrepreneurial spirit could thrive. In the years that followed, even as the company embraces its digital transformation, Oriflame has strived to maintain an unwavering focus on its people. That’s a mission Brännström took to heart during his earliest days at Oriflame. From the very beginning, he recognized culture as the biggest competitive advantage that his company—and, in fact, the direct selling industry at large—had to offer.

TEXTDuring his keynote address at DSN‘s Global 100 Celebration, Magnus Brännström said he looks forward to helping bring direct selling into the future.

His career in direct selling began in 1997, when Jonas af Jochnick tapped Brännström to lead Oriflame Russia. “I think being in Russia at the time opened my eyes to the enormous potential of the business model,” he says. “It brings great value to people with an entrepreneurial spirit. I fell in love with the business quickly, but it really takes years to master all of the details and complexity of direct selling.”

He ultimately was appointed CEO of Oriflame in 2005 and has led his company through a number of significant transitions, including both geopolitical and technological, over the past 11 years. Brännström remains a vocal advocate of the direct selling channel and serves as Chairman of the Board of Seldia, the European Direct Selling Association; and Vice Chairman of the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA). Today, Oriflame maintains a presence in 60 countries, including markets operated by franchisees. Russia is its largest market. More than 3 million independent consultants represent Oriflame throughout the globe. With corporate offices in Switzerland and Luxembourg and additional support offices worldwide, the company maintains a global employee base of approximately 6,500. 

Representing Oriflame as chief executive “is a true privilege,” Brännström says. “I’m very proud to work in a company that’s enabling people to change their lives for the better—to start their own business, to feel confident, to achieve their dreams. I’ve received trust from the Oriflame community, and that’s a big responsibility. That trust is precious to me, and I do my best to meet their expectations. Being a CEO brings a fantastic opportunity to travel to our many different markets and meet our consultants and employees. They keep me sharp and inspired.”

Before Oriflame

Brännström grew up in northern Sweden in the city of Umea. “I don’t come from a conventional academic home,” he says. “My inspiration to study came from my mother. She stayed at home with us kids when we were young, but before she met Dad she managed to receive a professional education as a dental nurse. This was extraordinary at the time for a woman in the area where she was brought up. When we became older and more independent, she started studying accounting and eventually founded her own business. The business became successful and caught the interest of the big international consulting firm Deloitte. She sold it and took a manager’s position at Deloitte. Her achievement and academic success was very inspiring. My mother truly is one of my greatest heroes.”

“I’ve received trust from the Oriflame community, and that’s a big responsibility. That trust is precious to me, and I do my best to meet their expectations.”
—Magnus Brännström, CEO and President, Oriflame

Brännström’s college studies in law, economics and Russian began at Uppsala University in Sweden, then continued in the United States at Chicago’s Harper College. Studying abroad opened his eyes to the opportunities that an international education can bring, and a global career became his goal. “I find great interest in history and international relations, and because I knew the Russian language, Russia became a perfect match to start. It later became my home for 15 years.”

Oriflame was Brännström’s entrée into direct selling, and he says he was struck immediately by the company’s commitment to its people. That culture, Brännström says, has proven to be Oriflame’s most powerful asset. “Whenever people feel truly empowered and motivated, their financial results skyrocket,” he says. “Competitors can achieve similar quality in products, customer service, delivery times, price levels. We compete around the emotion we bring to our consultants and consumers.”

Oriflame’s core values of togetherness, spirit and passion form the basis of the company’s culture. Togetherness equates to power in numbers, gaining strength from the exchange of ideas and cultures, and establishing a mutual respect that moves the company forward. Spirit lives in the heart of an entrepreneur, someone who dares to dream and make her ideas come to life. And passion inspires, pushes us beyond our comfort zone, and changes the course of our lives and the lives of others. Brännström’s personality and leadership style have helped keep Oriflame’s people-centric culture intact, even across international borders. “We stay true to ourselves, and that keeps us viable,” he says. “I believe that our mission to fulfill dreams is appealing to many by default. To be part of making a dream come true for another person or for yourself is an amazing feeling that people want to experience again and again.”

Leadership That Builds Others

Ask Brännström to describe his leadership style, and a quote from Jim Rohn comes to mind: “Managers help people see themselves as they are; leaders help people to see themselves better than they are.” The way Brännström sees it, he defines the path, sets the tone, inspires his people to strive to become the best versions of themselves, and then steps out of their way. That doesn’t imply that he’s not in the trenches, though. He’s a CEO who routinely walks the halls, remains engaged and invests the time to know his employees, both on a professional and personal basis.

The way Magnus Brännström sees it, he defines the path, sets the tone, inspires his people to strive to become the best versions of themselves, and then steps out of their way.

“By communicating a clear vision of where we’re all going, a set of clear goals, you empower people to make their own decisions,” he says. “A leader is often in the center, so having positive energy is a must. A leader to me is someone who talks and smiles a lot by the coffee machine.”

Brännström names five personal leadership rules that he always strives to follow:

  1. Be predictable: Have a clear vision and values.
  2. Delegate.
  3. Always surround yourself with the best people who complement you.
  4. Be a role model: Walk the talk.
  5. Always be a center of positive energy.

“I believe in the power of predictability,” he continues. “If your people know what to expect from you, and if you show them the big picture, including your destination, and act according to your common values, they’ll be able to focus on their tasks, make decisions and deliver great results, instead of trying to understand the last thing you said to them and what it means. I also believe in delegating. For me, it’s very important that my close colleagues are smarter than I am. I know that sounds strange. But, believe me, by having great people around me, I know that Oriflame is in great hands at all times. I also believe that a leader should personify the company’s culture and the way forward. And I always try to have a positive attitude. I don’t believe in scare tactics or exercising power. It’s so much more productive to work with friends who trust each other and share many laughs.”

What’s the one piece of advice he’d give an aspiring leader? “Be yourself,” he coaches. “Make sure you know your dreams, goals and values and can communicate them at all times. Treat your colleagues as you wish they would treat you, and be the center of positive energy.”

Still Learning

Despite more than a decade in the CEO role, Brännström says he’s still learning on the job, every day. “Every day is really different. I try to inspire curiosity, and as long as I learn and keep that curiosity myself, I feel alive. Over the years, I’ve learned more than I could possibly fit into this article, but it all boils down to people—how to find the best and bring out the best in them. It might sound like a cliché, but it’s not. Our greatest asset is our people and the culture we create together. We’re a global community of people who always aspire for more. It’s a culture we inherited from the great work of those who came before us, and we’re constantly adapting with every person who chooses to devote his or her efforts to Oriflame.

“Our challenges are many, but one I keep coming back to is how we keep reinventing ourselves and finding solutions to our very large geographical footprint. We’re facing great-changing economies and political climates. With it comes not knowing what will happen tomorrow. It challenges how we focus our resources and pushes us to think fast and make decisions quickly.”

What has surprised him most about leading this global company, he says, is what can be achieved, even in the face of limited resources, when people share a common vision, mission and values. As an example, he names the opening of three of the company’s most challenging, yet exciting markets—Algeria, Myanmar and Nigeria—which, along with the company’s 3 million-plus independent salesforce, are what he puts on the short list of Oriflame’s greatest accomplishments.

Fulfilling Dreams, Fulfilling Life

One of the greatest gifts of any direct selling business is that the principles it teaches—chiefly, serving yourself by serving others—spill over into our daily lives. Oriflame is no exception. According to Brännström, women may come to Oriflame for the products and the potential to earn money, but what keeps them there is the undeniable satisfaction they experience from helping others achieve their own dreams. They know they’re representing a brand founded upon a mission to fulfill dreams. And that’s a pursuit worth waking up for every day. 

“My career gives me a fulfilling life,” Brännström says. “I love my job. It makes me a happy man, and I meet a lot of fantastic people. This fulfillment allows me to be satisfied and focused whenever I’m with my family. My personal goal is that my children live an even better life than I have. I also want to contribute as much as I can to make this an even better world than the one in which I grew up.”

“I believe in the power of predictability. If your people know what to expect from you, and if you show them the big picture, including your destination, and act according to your common values, they’ll be able to focus on their tasks, make decisions and deliver great results.”
—Magnus Brännström

He leads a company founded on social selling, and while Oriflame has embraced technology wholeheartedly to establish itself as a digital brand, Brännström knows that personal interactions will always play an irreplaceable role in our industry’s higher calling to leave this world a better place. When people help each other to fulfill dreams, incredible things happen.

“Early on in my career, and by a mere coincidence, I met a cleaner at the Moscow airport,” Brännström shares. “We found a connection and started talking. Being a frequent visitor of the airport, we didn’t just meet once or twice; we would stumble upon each other regularly. She once mentioned a dream of hers to become not the cleaner, but a traveler of Moscow Airport. She people-spotted all the time, trying to figure out where they were going and what it looked like at their final destination. Her dream captured me. She had the willpower and the spirit to go for that dream, all that was missing were the means and the opportunity. We still keep contact, but today as fellow travelers. Because of her spirit and because of Oriflame, she’s now a highly ranked consultant traveling to conferences across the world. This captures what Oriflame’s mission means to me.”

June 01, 2016

Cover Story

Growth Comes in All Shapes and Sizes for the Global 100

by Andrea Tortora

Click here to order the June 2016 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.



Over the past seven years, the Direct Selling News Global 100 has become the definitive ranking of the world’s largest companies distributing their products and services through a network of independent direct selling entrepreneurs. But the list is much more than a recitation of company names and revenue numbers.

A deeper dive into the list unveils a dynamic channel. Direct selling company home offices, in partnership with their salesforces, are generating economic opportunities that have lasting social impact. They are accomplishing this in virtually every consumer product segment and in nearly every market around the world.

One of the insights gained from the 2016 Global 100 list is that growth within direct selling today can be as varied as the companies themselves. The list points out some common characteristics of growing companies: a focus on products, customers, serving their salesforce and creating a culture that reinforces a sense of family. It also reveals the power direct selling has to help a company grow rapidly, with more companies surpassing the $1 billion revenue mark than ever before. And, while direct selling continues to expand internationally, this year’s list also shows that there are plenty of growth opportunities to be had in the U.S.

Growing with Targeted Focus

Growth is happening, and it’s happening quickly. The time it takes direct selling’s top companies to surge to the upper levels of prosperity—and grow beyond $500 million and even to hit the $1 billion mark—is shrinking. How do upper middle market firms continue to prosper? They have a laser focus on superior customer acquisition; digital technology such as social commerce and data mining; and innovation at all levels.

Angela Loehr Chrysler, CEO of Team National, which increased its net sales by $150 million last year, said she and her team studied what was fueling the company’s year-over-year growth and developed strategies to keep those fires burning. The company is No. 26 on the Global 100 list, with 2015 revenue of $549 million.

For example, the company changed its core promotion efforts to increase rewards for new independent marketing directors as quickly as possible in order to capitalize on the early excitement and belief that comes with joining a direct sales opportunity. “We want to build up their belief, and that belief in turn inspires them to go out and have more success,” Chrysler says.

How do upper midmarket firms continue to prosper? They focus on products, customers, serving their salesforce and creating a culture that reinforces a sense of family.

Independent marketing directors can earn a cruise if they make two sales within their first two weeks. They get the support they need to do it within 24 hours of signing up, says Andres Forero, Vice President of Membership. A starter kit gets sent through the mail, but independent marketing directors can access all marketing materials, plus training videos online immediately. A mobile app that’s just 2.5 years old makes it all possible. And at first, “no one wanted to use it,” Forero says.

Team National executives did their homework and knew they needed to be in the mobile space, despite a salesforce that said it didn’t want or need the tool. Market research and internal Team National data said otherwise, so the app was created and became another arrow in the quiver. “That’s a hidden part of our success,” Chrysler says, noting that corporate provides a variety of tools that fit with the Team National system. Independent marketing directors can choose and use the tools that work best for them.

Data mining and statistics take the emotion out of decision making, and they are used more than ever to inform strategy about all aspects of the business, from product pricing to marketing materials. “We have sales leaders with great success who have never used the mobile app and we are OK with that,” Chrysler says. “Their teams are using it, and it is there and it lets us get into something different than the traditional way we did it.”

At It Works!, which offers personal-care and wellness products including its signature body contouring wrap, a game plan that allows for constant tweaking helps guide steady, fast growth, says CEO Mark Pentecost. It Works! is No. 29 on the Global 100 list with 2015 revenue of $748 million, an increase of $210 million over the prior year.

Pentecost and his managers spend a lot of time on preparation, culture and branding, and ensuring their consultants are properly trained in delivering these messages. In the past 15 years they’ve learned how to build a solid foundation. “Early on in the business, we had to learn when to say yes to opportunities and when to say no,” Pentecost says. “That was an important lesson, which has helped us get this far.”

“Early on in the business, we had to learn when to say yes to opportunities and when to say no. That was an important lesson, which has helped us get this far.”
—Mark Pentecost, CEO, It Works!

Social media is one area where It Works! shouts a resounding “yes!” It has become a business asset not to be ignored. “You have to embrace it,” Pentecost says. “We’ve taught our team to be thoughtful on social media. It’s been a change in mindset that has fueled our growth online.”

Kevin Guest, Co-CEO of USANA Health Sciences, agrees that social media has played an integral role in their success. Guest says, “Staying current, providing genuine content and reaching out on new platforms ensures we remain relevant to our field and our customers.” A key part of the USANA culture is the input executives seek from the field leaders. Guest says, “It has always been a part of our strategy to work closely with our Distributors and treat them as business partners. We use their feedback to create the tools they need to be successful.”

At Rodan + Fields, growth is fueled by focusing on the brand and the people, says Oran Arazi-Gamliel, Chief Global Officer. “The strength of our company is the winning combination of the strength of the brand in the hands of people that are trusted,” he says. “We are first and foremost a prestige skincare brand that is leveraging the channel as a go-to-market strategy.”

The Rodan + Fields culture and a combination of high touch, high tech and a social selling model that Arazi-Gamliel refers to as “Community Commerce,” which emphasizes that consultants are establishing caring relationships with their customers, even though technology plays a large part in the selling transaction. According to business intelligence firm Euromonitor, Rodan + Fields has been the fastest growing skincare brand in the United States for the past five years.

Expansion of the Billion Dollar Club

The ability to harness technology and data and execute on the insights those tools provide means companies can top revenue milestones at lightning speed. For some businesses, this puts the elusive $1 billion mark within reach in a matter years instead of decades. “The rate of speed at which firms are growing and hitting $1 billion is much faster,” says Bob Bass, a senior analyst at Amway’s world headquarters in Ada, Michigan. “Social media and digital commerce are combined to create an opportunity to share and tell the story while still leveraging friends and one’s network. We are just more connected, and we can see the opportunities available on a very quick time frame.”

Take a look at Jeunesse. A maker and distributor of youth enhancement products, the company broke the billion-dollar barrier in 2015 after just six years, growing sales by $672 million or 160.38 percent since 2014. The only other direct seller to achieve the $1 billion goal as fast as Jeunesse is Ambit Energy, which topped $1 billion in 2013 after launching in 2006. Scott Lewis, Chief Visionary Officer at Jeunesse, credits the company’s focus on generating growth in international markets for their meteoric rise to $1 billion.

According to Lewis, the company established 30 offices and 44 distribution centers around the world in six years. “Our key strategy was to build from the outside in,” Lewis says. “Rather than invest resources and drive growth in the domestic market, we invested in developing a strong international infrastructure, with a plan to get as many markets as possible around the world operating with $1 million monthly revenue, knowing this would set a foundation on which we could organically build sustainable growth for the long term.”

“Social media and digital commerce are combined to create an opportunity to share and tell the story while still leveraging friends and one’s network. We are just more connected, and we can see the opportunities available on a very quick time frame.”
—Bob Bass, Senior Analyst, Amway Inc.

Young Living, a maker and distributor of essential oils, also joined the Billion Dollar Club after boosting 2015 sales by $400 million or 66.67 percent. The 21 years it took Young Living to hit this milestone makes it only the fourth company to garner $1 billion in revenue in 21 years or less. Last year, Young Living invested heavily in infrastructure improvements, doubling shipping capacity, tripling manufacturing capability and growing from 1,000 to 2,000 employees in order to support the company’s growth trajectory. Though operating in 14 markets with three more market openings planned for this year, Young Living’s primary market remains the U.S.

Young Living embraces an ambitious customer acquisition model. The company’s goal is to bring essential oils into every home in the world.

Growth in the USA

The success of five companies on the Global 100 list exhibit the power that direct selling holds in the U.S. market. With sales only in the U.S., Thirty-One Gifts, Team National, Rodan + Fields, Team Beachbody and Stream are proof that there is a large, untapped market still available for the direct selling distribution model here at home.

It also illustrates that direct selling is applicable to a wide range of product categories within the market: handbags, beauty and personal care, health and wellness, energy services and savings memberships. Team National’s Chrysler says her company has no plans to expand into other markets—at least not until every person on the U.S. is covered by a Team National membership. She says Team National’s current growth shows that people here want to be their own boss: “That’s why we are seeing the YouEconomy grow with Uber and Airbnb. People are interested in growing their own wealth without having to work for someone else.”

In fact, Chrysler thinks that companies like Uber and Airbnb point out tremendous opportunities and could mesh well with direct selling. She envisions people who might rent out their home, use their car for Uber and be a distributor for a direct sales company all at the same time.

Five U.S companies appeared in the ranking for the first time this year and show the diversity in growth accelerators that can be found within the direct selling channel:

  • New Avon (No. 19)
  • Young Living (No. 20)
  • Le-Vel (No. 48)
  • Jamberry (No. 64)

  • Total Life Changes (No. 100)

New Avon is the resulting company after Avon Products Inc. sold its North Americca business earlier this year to Cerberus Capital Management LP. Cerberus acquired majority ownership of Avon’s domestic operations with a $435 million investment and took the company private.

Young Living, a leader in the essential oils category, is the veteran of the bunch, at 23 years old, and recently built out its infrastructure and manufacturing capabilities to meet growing demand, resulting in 2015 net sales of $1 billion.

Young companies Le-Vel and Jamberry have both embraced technology, building loyal communities and developing strong customer acquisition models in the process. Le-Vel guides its premium lifestyle brand from a cloud-based environment while nail-wrap maker Jamberry has successfully navigated virtual parties, with most of its nail parties now held online.

Health and wellness company Total Life Changes has seen a surge in growth over the past year, due in large part to the addition of key regional and national leaders in its North American market, and joins the Global 100 with $77 million in 2015 revenue.

Looking Ahead

As we close out the 2016 Global 100, we are grateful to all of the companies that have worked with us to share their stories and to contribute to creating more transparency in the direct selling community. From key ingredients for growth, the excitement of watching midmarket companies soar toward $1 billion and beyond, and the continued momentum in the U.S., the 2016 Global 100 was a great capstone on the year.

And, of course, we already are looking ahead to beginning the research for the 2017 list. Watch for nomination information toward the end of the calendar year as well as details on the 2017 Global 100 Celebration to be held in Dallas, Texas, in April.

The Chinese Direct Selling Revolution

For the first time, China is likely to eclipse the United States as the world’s largest direct selling market in 2016 or 2017. As the country hurtles toward the No. 1 slot, many of direct selling’s largest companies are paying close attention to the Chinese economy and the regulatory environment within its borders.

China’s potential is huge. Just take a look at the Top 11 companies on the 2016 DSN Global 100 list. Nine of them consider China to be a top market, or a market that is becoming more important to their revenue mix. Those companies include Amway, Herbalife, Vorwerk, Infinitus, Mary Kay, Perfect, Tupperware, Nu Skin and Tiens. Only Avon, which exited direct selling in favor of a retail play in China; and Natura, which focuses on the South and Central American markets, are not targeting the country.

And the Chinese government continues to issue more licenses to companies looking to offer direct selling within its borders. At the end of 2014, there were 48 licensed direct sellers in China. Today there are 78. That’s a jump of more than 50 percent in the number of companies competing in the China market, says Bob Bass, a senior analyst at Amway’s world headquarters in Ada, Michigan. “At this pace, you can see how there might be more than 100 companies competing in just a year or two,” Bass says. “That shifts the landscape and how you look at it and what kind of headwinds you will have.”

A revolution is underway as more homegrown companies gain a foothold. Euromonitor, a global provider of business intelligence and market research, reports that direct selling in China continued to post outstanding performance in 2015, registering current value growth of 10 percent. At the same time, up-and-coming Chinese companies are experiencing 15 percent to 20 percent year-on-year growth. “We see a trend of the government continuing to improve its positive, pro-business, friendly atmosphere, and this will help domestic companies to grow,” says Frank Jiang, who leads Amway’s global China sales team. These firms are starting to show up on the 2016 DSN Global 100 list. Companies like:

  • No. 81 Kangmei, which makes nutritional supplements and beauty products, had 2015 revenue of $151 million.
  • No. 83 Kasley Ju, which manufactures healthcare products, functional foods, and health management products, reported 2015 revenue of $149 million, up from $75 million in 2014.
  • No. 92 Golden Sun, which is a maker of nutritional products, earned 2015 revenue of $108 million, up from $83 million in 2014.
  • No. 95 Ten Fu Tenmax, which makes and distributes skincare and nutritional products made from tea extracts, posted 2015 sales of $90 million, up from $80 million in 2014.

China’s direct selling landscape will no doubt become more competitive. Large direct sellers such as Amway, Herbalife, Mary Kay, Nu Skin and Oriflame are keeping a close eye on the market and the loosening of regulations by the Chinese government. Amway remains the leading player in China’s direct selling market, and the company is optimistic about the market, says Jiang.

Jiang and Bass say China will continue to be a top investment priority for Amway. The company has grown and built an extensive network of distributors, as well as customers. It also improved its engagement and communication with customers by opening “experience stores” in Shanghai and Shenzhen, where customers can get product samples and information about innovative product developments.

While the Chinese government is opening up its direct selling market, it continues to be vigilant on the regulatory side, Jiang says. Such monitoring is a necessity, given the industry’s lack of maturity in China. He says, “This is a good thing for the industry because there are some players operating in the space and doing some fishy things.”

All of these factors combine to make China a direct selling powerhouse. The industry is expected to see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6 percent at constant 2015 prices, says Euromonitor.

All of China’s new direct selling companies may not make an immediate impact on the market, says Amway’s Bass. But changes will start to appear within five years. “Market share and company rankings within China, though they shift, are what we are watching very closely,” Bass says. “It will bring a new aspect of competition into a new marketplace that is very fluid.”


With annual sales increases of $100 million or more in one year, a dozen and a half companies are making a surge towards greater prosperity. Many of the same companies appear again in this elite group of achievers, but a handful of newcomers also are making waves in the $100 Million Growth Club.

What’s more, businesses in the $100 Million Growth Club make an impact far beyond their corporate employees and distributors. This elite group delivers big economic gains as the income earned by employees fuels job creation and more revenue spending in their respective communities.

A total of 18 companies on the 2016 DSN Global 100 list increased sales by more than $100 million between 2014 and 2015, and all but two of those businesses—NHT Global and AnRan—posted 2015 revenues above $500 million.

June 01, 2016

News in Brief

News in Brief, June 2016

Click here to order the June 2016 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.



Natura Launches Wider Retail Strategy

At the end of April, Natura Cosméticos launched a retail store in São Paulo, Brazil, also home to its global headquarters. The new venture marks a departure from Natura’s direct selling and e-commerce model as the company aims to expose more consumers to its beauty and household products.

The retail strategy produces important synergies for Natura, according to João Paulo Ferreira, Vice President of Sales, especially as the lines between channels become increasingly blurred. Currently, the $2.4-billion company has 1.4 million consultants in Brazil and about 500,000 across its international operations in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, France, Mexico and Peru. Natura sees physical stores as points of connection to introduce the brand to a new and wider audience.

“We noticed that we were losing shoppers who still admire the brand, but are not willing to buy through direct sales on certain occasions, because their shopping habits drive them to the retail experience,” Ferreira told DSN. “That was becoming more pronounced in bigger cities with younger consumers.”

Before launching the retail concept in Brazil, where Natura claims more market share than any other cosmetics brand, the company spent more than two years in development, even going so far as to build life-size mockups of two different stores, in order to collect feedback from stakeholders.

Natura’s sole other brick-and-mortar location opened eight years ago in Paris. The beauty brand has long taken a multi-channel approach in the French market, making it a laboratory of sorts for the company. The Paris store provided opportunity for trial-and-error, but the real education began in December 2012, when Natura took a majority stake in Australia-based Aesop, a natural beauty company with 147 stores in 18 countries.

“We learned from Aesop that the experience offered in a store—more than the products, the consulting experience that a well-trained crew can offer—creates loyalty and confidence in the consumer,” said Ferreira.

With that in mind, Natura sought to create an in-store experience that aligns with the ideal direct selling experience, right down to the “retail consultant” title given to salespeople. The design reflects Natura’s connection to nature, beauty and sophistication, but does so in an inviting manner. The end goal, said Ferreira, is to show consumers what a good consulting experience—i.e., direct selling experience—can be.

Lights, Camera, Ackman: Herbalife Responds to ‘Betting on Zero’ Documentary

The three-year battle between Herbalife and hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman, who is famously short $1 billion in the company’s stock, has made its way to the big screen in Betting on Zero, a new documentary by filmmaker Ted Braun (Darfur Now). The film premiered at April’s Tribeca Film Festival and, like its source material, has stirred up a fair amount of controversy.

The global nutrition company, whose executives declined to participate in the project, responded to the documentary by snapping up the website www.bettingonzero.com. On the site, Herbalife calls into question the objectivity of Betting on Zero and the motive of its anonymous financiers, hinting at a relationship between Ackman and the film’s producer, who were on the same crew team in college. According to the company, the film comes across one-sided, featuring Herbalife detractors but leaving out its many satisfied members.

Astronauts to Keynote Shaklee’s Annual Conference

Strengthening its longstanding ties to NASA, Shaklee has tapped astronauts and aviators Captain Mark Kelly, formerly Commander of the space shuttle Endeavor, and Captain Scott Kelly to deliver the keynote speech at Shaklee Live, the company’s annual salesforce conference slated for August 3–7. The twin brothers are currently undergoing NASA’s first “twin study” to show the effects of space on the human body. Shaklee products have been on every NASA mission since 1993, when the agency’s scientists partnered with Shaklee to develop a rehydration product, designed to help astronauts re-entering Earth’s atmosphere.

ForeverGreen Updates Investors on Cost-Cutting Measures in 2016

ForeverGreen Worldwide Corp. management recently discussed the company’s push to return to profitability, saying thus far in 2016 it has cut more than $500,000 in monthly costs, primarily by trimming operations and restructuring staff in various markets.

“With these efforts, including staff and region reorganization, and anticipating the launch of several new products in the next few weeks, we anticipate second-quarter revenues to be stable and then accelerating and moving forward into the third quarter and thereafter,” said Chief Financial Officer Jack Eldridge.

The seller of nutrition, weight-management, and pain-relief products experienced a rocky 2015, despite boosting revenue 15 percent to $67.1 million. The company (FVRG—OTC.BB) reported a loss of $2.6 million, after turning a profit of $1.0 million in 2014. In its full-year earnings report, management said major challenges in 2016 would include responding to real-time economic conditions and tailoring systems and logistics to meet global demand.

Revenue in the first quarter was approximately $12 million, Eldridge said, putting the Utah-based company on track to meet its previously stated guidance. For the full year, management expects revenue in the range of $55 million to $60 million, with 2 percent to 4 percent net profit margins.

Direct Selling Brands Take the Field with Professional Sports Sponsorships

Three of the world’s largest direct selling companies have recently expanded their sports marketing efforts. California-based Herbalife sealed a five-year deal with the Vietnam Sports Administration; Utah-based USANA signed on as the official nutrition brand for three top Colombian soccer clubs; and Texas-based AdvoCare continued its commitment to NASCAR with a special tribute to renowned driver Mark Martin. While none of the companies disclosed the dollar value of their marketing campaigns, they demonstrate the continued interest direct selling companies see in promoting their brands through sports.

“Sponsorships breathe fresh life into brands by engaging fans in real time at each event, compared to repeat after repeat of the same broadcast advertisements,” said Kirk Wakefield, Professor of Marketing and Executive Director, Center for Sports Sponsorship and Sales at Baylor University. “Traditional forms of marketing all suffer from quick wear-out rates, but clearly-defined sponsorship activation strategies rely on the spontaneity and excitement of sports and entertainment to remain fresh.”

In its deal, Herbalife is extending its sponsorship as the Official Nutrition Sponsor of Vietnam Sports through 2021, meaning its products, sports-nutrition consulting and training are at the disposal of all Vietnamese athletes competing internationally, including at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics. The nutrition company, which derives about 23 percent of its revenue from the Asia Pacific region, initially stepped into the role ahead of the London 2012 Olympics. For the first time in Rio, Herbalife will sponsor the country’s Paralympic athletes as well as Olympic competitors.

“With our renewed commitment as Vietnam Sports’ Official Nutrition Sponsor, we are looking to deepen our relationship further and help athletes and coaches maximize the benefits of sports nutrition to achieve maximum performance,” said Stephen Conchie, Vice President and General Manager of Herbalife Southeast Asia.

USANA is taking a similar approach with the latest additions to Team USANA: Atlético Nacional S.A. and América de Cali S.A., which both compete in the country’s Categoría Primera A league, as well as Jaguares Fútbol Club S.A., a Categoría Primera B team with 13 national championships. Holding 19 domestic titles, Atlético Nacional is Colombia’s top soccer club, as well as the country’s largest. Outside Colombia, USANA recently added England’s AFC Bournemouth and Mexico’s C.F. Pachuca to its roster of sponsored clubs.

Last year, AdvoCare secured a multi-year NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) deal to be primary sponsor of the No. 6 Ford Fusion fielded by Roush Fenway Racing. In September, driver Trevor Bayne will head back to South Carolina for Darlington Raceway’s second throwback weekend, revolving around the Bojangles’ Southern 500 race on Sept. 4. As part of the track’s The Tradition Continues celebration, each car will sport a paint scheme harkening back to one of the NASCAR greats.

In an April 26 appearance on the NBC Sports Network program NASCAR America, Bayne and team founder Jack Roush unveiled this year’s throwback scheme—a red, white and blue design carried by Mark Martin’s No. 6 Ford during the 1996 and 1997 NSCS seasons. During a successful career, Martin spent 19 seasons with Roush Fenway, winning 35 NSCS races and finishing second in the Cup Series point standings four times.

Fast Company Conference to Showcase Beautycounter Story

Natural beauty brand Beautycounter was in the spotlight May 24–25 at FC/LA, Fast Company’s second annual Creativity Counter-Conference in Los Angeles. The retreat brings together creative movers and shakers in business, technology, design and entertainment. It also pays tribute to the “Most Creative People in Business,” an annual list published in the June issue of Fast Company.

Day One of this year’s event, hosted on the L.A. campus of ad agency 72andSunny, took participants to businesses across the region in a series of Fast Tracks. One stop along the way was the Santa Monica headquarters of Beautycounter, where Founder and CEO Gregg Renfrew discussed the brand’s approach to cleaning up the beauty industry, helped along by collaborations with the likes of J.Crew and Goop.

On Day Two, participants heard from a lineup of speakers that included Sean Rad, CEO of the popular dating app Tinder, which reported nearly 10 million daily users earlier this year. Also featured were Academy Award-winning actress Geena Davis, Founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and The Bentonville Film Festival; WWE superstar John Cena; and Henk Rogers, co-creator of the iconic Tetris video game.

Stream Appoints Two New Execs amid Push to Diversify Offerings

Following the February appointment of President and CEO Larry Mondry, Stream has brought on two additional executives to help diversify its energy-centric business.

The Texas-based company recently announced that Dan O’Malley, a consumer products and services veteran, is stepping into the roles of Executive Vice President and Chief Products and Services Officer, a new position within the company. O’Malley has held similar roles with Viamericas, an international payment services provider, and mobile payments platform Mozido Inc.

For a number of years, he served as Executive Vice President and President of the Americas and Emerging Markets for MoneyGram International, helping the financial services provider achieve multibillion-dollar revenue. Stream is looking to tap O’Malley’s expertise as it pursues a national growth plan, according to Mondry.

“Stream is an already successful company on the edge of significant expansion,” O’Malley said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to being part of the company’s strong executive team and applying my expertise to help Stream reach its growth goals.”

On the technology side of the business, Stream recently named Kelly Habbas as its Chief Information Officer. Habbas hails from the energy industry, where he has held leadership roles across various U.S. and Canadian energy markets. He will oversee Stream’s IT strategy as the company expands its existing energy, mobile, protective and home services.

“With his impressive technology expertise, specifically in various energy markets, Kelly is a fantastic addition to our team, and we’re fortunate to have him on our executive team,” said Mondry. “I know that Kelly will help advance our mission of propelling Stream to the next level of growth.”

Seldia Now Registering for 2016 European Direct Selling Conference

Seldia, the European Direct Selling Association, has commenced registration for its annual gathering of key players in the European direct selling community. Now in its sixth year, the European Direct Selling Conference is coming to Brussels, Belgium, on Oct. 5–6.

The membership of Seldia includes 28 national Direct Selling Associations and 16 Corporate Member companies, all of whom are signatories of the European Direct Selling Codes of Conduct, a formal set of consumer protection practices. The association promotes the benefits of the direct selling channel, both to the public and to EU and national policy makers.

This year’s European Direct Selling Conference will feature speakers, panelists and workshops focused on the theme of “Direct Selling: Retail without Boundaries.” Keynote speakers will include Magnus Brännström, current Chairman of Seldia and CEO and President of Oriflame, and Doug DeVos, President of Amway and Chairman of the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations.

June 01, 2016

DSN Global 100

2016 By The Numbers

June 01, 2016

DSA News

Diversity and Empowerment: Strengthening Direct Selling

by Joseph N. Mariano

Click here to order the June 2016 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.



I truly believe that direct selling is the epitome of the American Dream: entrepreneurs from all walks of life striving to better themselves and improve the lives of their families by building a business of their own. I particularly wish to emphasize all walks of life. As the United States becomes more demographically diverse, so too, of course, does the consumer base that buys goods and services from direct selling companies. Common sense would decree, therefore, that ensuring your salesforce is reflective of and conversant with your customer base is not only socially responsible, but commercially prudent.

Direct selling can offer a route to entrepreneurialism not found elsewhere for members of untapped or underserved market constituencies (UUMs)—those who may have few or no transferable formal qualifications, limited access to capital, language and/or cultural barriers to overcome, and unfamiliarity with U.S. business practices. Our business model, with its relatively low risks and low entry costs, and its flexibility in terms of hours and location of work, is incredibly viable to people from all cultures and backgrounds.

In 2013, the U.S. Direct Selling Association (DSA) established its Diversity & Empowerment Council, charged with supporting member companies in developing a broader consumer base by recruiting salesforce members and customers from minority groups and UUMs. One of the fruits of the council’s labors was the successful U.S. Hispanic Submarket: Increase Your Sales in One of the Fastest Growing Markets panel, offered at DSA’s Sales and Marketing Conference in Las Vegas in 2015. If you missed it, we will be offering an encore Hispanic Market panel at this year’s Annual Meeting in Phoenix this month.

DSA’s most recent industry overview factsheet, which will be updated at the June Annual Meeting, shows that 21 percent of those involved in direct selling in the United States are of Hispanic ethnicity—higher than the 17.1 percent of the overall U.S. population reported by the Census Bureau to be Hispanic. To help realize the enormous potential of the Hispanic market, DSA made available in February a Spanish translation of its Code of Ethics. Translations of other DSA consumer protection resources are in the pipeline. And in March, the Association formed a partnership with The Latino Coalition, a membership and advocacy organization for Latino-owned small businesses. This partnership will enable DSA to keep abreast of the concerns of the Latino community and also to raise awareness of the direct selling opportunity.

I would strongly guard, however, against resting on our industry laurels. DSA’s research also reveals that the number of people involved in direct selling who are Asian is lower than the overall Asian population of the United States — five percent and 5.3 percent, respectively. Black/African-American representation in direct selling is lower still: 13.2 percent of the population, as compared to 11 percent involvement in direct selling. As an association, we want to see these figures improve. DSA’s Diversity & Empowerment Award works to that end by recognizing and celebrating the achievements of DSA Members in promoting diversity and empowerment. The inaugural award was presented in 2015 to Primerica in acknowledgement of the company’s African American and Hispanic American Leadership Councils and its Women in Primerica initiative, which provide leadership and resources to establish an inclusive environment of financial independence through entrepreneurship.

Direct selling must be a mirror on society. DSA members adapt well to changing demographics by updating their product line to meet the shifting needs of customers, but more can be done to promote the direct selling business opportunity itself as one that is open to all walks of life. Is your company equipped beyond simply translating websites, starter kits and other documents into another language for use by existing distributors? Do you even do that much? Ensuring your salesforce is truly representative of your desired market will go a long way to overcoming the language and cultural barriers that can hinder access to new markets and new success stories for direct selling.

NameJoseph N. Mariano is President of the U.S. Direct Selling Association and the Direct Selling Education Foundation.

June 01, 2016

DSN Global 100

2016 DSN North America 50 List

Click here to order the June 2016 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.




2015 DSN North America 50 List

Click here to view the 2016 DSN Global 100 list.

DSN Announces the 2016 North America 50!

This marks the seventh year for the Global 100 list of top direct selling companies in the world, and we would not be Direct Selling News if we did not continually strive to raise the bar.

That is why we are sharing with you this year’s North America 50. A new component of the project that we introduced in 2015, it is a subset of the Global 100 and draws attention to the most significant players in one of the world’s largest direct selling markets.

As DSN embarks on the annual research for the Global 100, we continue to refine the process as we identify the largest companies and acknowledge their achievements while bringing attention to the magnitude of the direct selling industry as a whole. Within that context, the impact that North American companies have on the global marketplace as well as on those that buy and sell through this channel cannot be overstated.

The following contains the North America 50 ranking for the 2016 DSN Global 100 (based on 2015 revenues). Both lists will be published in the June issue of Direct Selling News.​

2016 Rank

Company Name

2015 Revenue

1 Amway  $9.50B
2 Avon +  $6.16B
3 Herbalife $4.47B
4 Mary Kay  $3.70B
5 Tupperware   $2.28B
6 Nu Skin  $2.25B
7 Primerica  $1.41B
8 Ambit Energy $1.40B
9 Jeunesse ++ $1.09B
10 New Avon +  $1.01B
11 Young Living  $1.00B
12 USANA  $918M
13 Isagenix $890M
14 Stream $866M
15 ACN $821M
16 Market America $791M
17 Team Beachbody $780M
18 It Works! $748M
19 AdvoCare $719M
20 WorldVentures $693M
21 Rodan + Fields $624M
22 Team National $549M
23 Nerium $516M
23 Thirty-One Gifts $516M
25 Arbonne $502M
26 Scentsy $429M
27 Omnilife $406M
28 Plexus  $384M
29 Le-Vel $349M
30 Nature's Sunshine  $325M
31 Viridian Energy $324M
32 4Life Research $321M
33 PartyLite  $273M
34 NHT Global $265M
35 Family Heritage Life $254M
36 Southwestern  $225M
37 Jamberry $224M
38 CUTCO $204M
39 Take Shape For Life $202M
40 Hy Cite  $195M
41 LifeVantage $190M
42 Mannatech  $180M
43 Princess House $170M
44 Pure Romance $164M
45 Youngevity $156M
46 Seacret $151M
47 JRJR Networks $140M
48 Zija $129M
49 ARIIX $112M
50 Zurvita $81M

+ At the end of 2015, Avon Products sold its North American business to Cerberus Capital Management. New Avon is now a privately held company. The revenue figures listed here reflect Avon Products’ year-end filing with the SEC.                         

++ Jeunesse’s $1.09 billion in net sales revenue includes $73.10 million in acquisition revenue.

Note: The final 2016 Global 100 list will be published in our June 2016 issue of Direct Selling News.

June 01, 2016

DSN Global 100

2016 DSN Global 100 List

Click here to order the June 2016 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.



DSN 100

Click here to view the 2016 DSN North America 50 list.

DSN Announces the 2016 Global 100!

Since 2004 Direct Selling News has been dedicated to telling stories focused on relating the opportunities direct sellers provide to millions of independent business owners around the globe. So it seemed only fitting for DSN to further recognize the industry by compiling a comprehensive list, starting in 2010, of the top direct selling companies in the world.

The DSN Global 100 list offers a unique perspective on the global impact of the industry on economic and social realms. It provides a range of mutual learning not only for industry members but also for researchers, investors and—most important—those seeking opportunities within the industry.

We thank all the companies that willingly participated in our survey as well as our dedicated team of researchers who helped us present to you the remarkable achievements of direct sellers around the globe.

The following contains the ranking for the 2016 DSN Global 100 (based on 2015 revenues), our annual list of the top revenue-generating direct selling companies in the world. The list is published in the June issue of Direct Selling News.

2016 Rank

Company Name

2015 Revenue





Avon + 












Mary Kay 












Nu Skin 









Ambit Energy









Telecom Plus



New Era



Jeunesse ++



New Avon + 



Young Living 





















Market America



Team Beachbody



It Works!












Rodan + Fields









Team National









Thirty-One Gifts






Forbes Lux Group


















PM International 






Naturally Plus 






For Days



Nature's Sunshine 



Viridian Energy



4Life Research



Kang Ting



LR Health & Beauty 












NHT Global



Family Heritage Life















Take Shape For Life



Menard Cosmetics



Hy Cite 












For You



Naris Cosmetics



Princess House






Pure Romance



World Global Network


















Kasley Ju



BearCere' Ju 



JRJR Networks






Alphay International









FuXion Biotech 






Golden Sun












Ten Fu Tenmax






Vision Int'l People Group






Total Life Changes


+ At the end of 2015, Avon Products sold its North American business to Cerberus Capital Management. New Avon is now a privately held company. The revenue figures listed here reflect Avon Products’ year-end filing with the SEC.                         

++ Jeunesse’s $1.09 billion in net sales revenue includes $73.10 million in acquisition revenue.

Note: The final 2016 Global 100 list will be published in our June 2016 issue of Direct Selling News.

May 31, 2016

World News

Herbalife Announces Sponsorship of Four National Olympic Committees

Photo: Maraca Stadium, Brazil’s famed soccer stadium, will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympics.

In the lead up to the 2016 Olympic Games, coming to Rio de Janeiro this summer, health supplements maker Herbalife has signed on as official nutrition sponsor of four National Olympic Committees.

The California-based company said it will sponsor Olympians and Paralympians representing Costa Rica, Israel, Italy and Vietnam. The terms of each agreement vary, but across the board Herbalife will supply athletes with sports nutrition products and training from its team of nutrition scientists.

In addition to its involvement at the national level, Herbalife is backing a number of individual athletes headed to Rio, including more than 50 Olympians and 19 Paralympians representing 16 countries. As a result of partnering with the company, each athlete will receive a personalized nutrition package designed by Dana Ryan, Ph.D., Herbalife’s ‎Manager of Sports Performance and Education, as well as access to ongoing nutrition consulting.

“The spirit behind the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympic Games is all about hard-working athletes pursuing their dreams of competitive excellence, and we are proud to help these athletes optimize their nutrition and post-performance recovery,” said Michael Johnson, Chairman and CEO of Herbalife.

When the athletes converge upon Rio in August, Herbalife members around the world will host viewing parties at their local nutrition clubs to cheer on the company’s sponsored competitors.

May 31, 2016

World News

LifeVantage to Expand EU Infrastructure with Netherlands Opening

Photo: Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

LifeVantage Corp. has set June 1 as its official launch of operations in the Netherlands, which will serve as the company’s logistics hub in Europe.

The Utah company aims to establish a “base of operations” in the Netherlands that will support further growth across Europe. Direct sales research published by the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations found that, overall, the European Union accounted for nearly $33 billion in retail sales last year.

The maker of health supplements and skincare products had focused its international expansion on the Asia Pacific region until last fall, when management announced plans to enter the EU in 2016. The first phase came in March with the launch of LifeVantage United Kingdom.

“The European market as a whole is in alignment with our culture at LifeVantage because they are a brand and product focused area with loyal customers and incredible field leadership,” said Darren Jensen, LifeVantage President and CEO.

On June 11, following the Netherlands launch, LifeVantage will host its first-ever European Leadership Academy in London. The event is designed to update distributors on developments in Europe and provide business training from top-level leaders.

May 27, 2016

World News

This Week: Door to Door in Africa, Corporate Events in the Sharing Economy

Catch up on this week’s industry chatter with these click-worthy links:

  • In 2006, entrepreneur Chuck Slaughter launched Living Goods, a door-to-door business bringing crucial healthcare products to remote villages in Africa. The Wall Street Journal featured the company’s efforts to fight disease while providing economic opportunity, an approach that has garnered praise even from Uganda’s prime minister, formerly health minister of the country.
  • Before there were pink Mary Kay Cadillacs, there were very nearly pink Mary Kay Lincolns. Road & Track magazine tells the story—more lore than story, at this point—of just how the pearlescent pink Cadillac came to be the ultimate status symbol at the beauty company.
  • Is there a sharing economy for large-scale corporate meetings? The idea is gaining traction as tight turnaround time between groups puts meeting space and event staff at a premium across the U.S. Last year, Scentsy’s event team benefitted from putting the concept into practice at its Las Vegas event, sharing a production company and stage setup with the group coming into the venue ahead of them.
  • Through the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation, a group of doTERRA Wellness Advocates recently took a humanitarian trip to Guatemala, one of countries where doTERRA sources its essential oils. Kirk Jowers, the company’s Vice President of Corporate Relations, visited the local CBS studio to discuss the group’s experience working with community members to install vented stoves in homes.
  • Jessica Herrin, Founder and CEO of Stella & Dot, is making the rounds to promote her new book, a guide to achieving success on your own terms. In an interview for Fashion Times, Herrin discussed what our younger selves have to teach us, why it’s important to choose “gratitude over guilt,” and the main thing she hopes readers will take away from the book.

May 27, 2016

U.S. News

Youngevity to Pursue Stock Uplisting in Strategic Growth Push

Photo: Youngevity distributors on board a company incentive cruise.

Youngevity International (YGYI—OTCQX) is pursuing a strategic growth plan that includes a capital raise and possible uplisting of the company’s stock.

In Youngevity’s first-quarter earnings call, management announced its intent to secure a listing on either the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ, a move aimed at increasing visibility and driving liquidity for the California-based company. Youngevity is a direct seller of nutrition and lifestyle products, and a vertically-integrated producer of gourmet coffees sold through commercial, retail and direct sales channels.

During the call, President and CFO Dave Briskie told analysts, “Based on the current sales trajectory of our direct selling division, our acquisition pipeline, the evident sales growth occurring in our global markets—especially in Mexico and Canada—and the coffee contracts currently in hand for the back half of this year, we anticipate revenue guidance of $175 million to $190 million for 2016.”

In the first quarter of 2016, Youngevity logged revenue of $38.2 million, up 3.8 percent from $36.8 million a year earlier. The company cleared a profit of $151,000, in the black following its year-ago loss of $369,000. Management also reported increases in gross profit, up 15 percent to $23.4 million, and operating income, up 211 percent to $1.2 million.

In the CLR Roasters coffee segment, Youngevity reported deals with three new major distribution partners for its Cafe La Rica and Josie’s Java House brands. Monthly green coffee orders climbed as high as 18.5 million pounds in February, and in May Youngevity announced that its Siles Family Plantation Group in Nicaragua was recertified as Fair Trade Organic for 2016, as well as Rainforest and Bird Friendly.

Management believes the coffee model, with its potential for retail expansion, a growing family of direct selling brands, and extensive infrastructure improvements underway at the company, make Youngevity an attractive proposition for investors. “Our [strategic growth] plan is ambitious; however, with strong product sales, over 1000 products available, organic growth and the stepped up activities of our distributors, we believe we are well positioned for the future,” said Briskie.

May 26, 2016

World News

Jeunesse Takes Home 10 Telly Awards for Excellence in Video Production

Skincare and nutrition company Jeunesse recently collected 10 statuettes for its video entries in the 37th Annual Telly Awards.

The Telly Awards is a global program honoring excellence in film and video production, both for web and TV.  Video submissions are scored by a panel of judges, whose combined scores determine the program’s Bronze and Silver winners. This year’s winners were selected from a pool of more than 13,000 entries.

Florida-based Juenesse took home 10 awards for seven videos, including a Silver Telly for its Life with Jeunesse submission. The Silver Telly, the program’s top honor, is awarded to less than 10 percent of entries. Jeunesse also received Bronze Telly awards in a number of categories, including cinematography, music and editing.

According to Scott Lewis, Chief Visionary Officer at Jeunesse, the videos are a means of telling the company’s story, engaging customers and educating distributors about the products and business model.

“I am proud that this work has been recognized alongside renowned brands, top agencies and major media outlets, and I sincerely congratulate our talented team for their continued legacy of producing quality creative work,” said Lewis.

Fellow award winners include names such as CNN, Coca-Cola and Disney. Over the past three years, the creative team at Jeunesse has garnered 41 Telly Awards in all.

May 26, 2016

U.S. News

Silpada Designs Confirms Plans to Close at End of July

Jewelry and accessories maker Silpada Designs will close its doors at the end of July, company officials confirmed Wednesday.

The team at Lenexa, Kansas-based Silpada has sought to breathe new life into the brand since it parted ways with Avon Products nearly three years ago. The beauty company bought Silpada in 2010, looking to grow its North American sales. Avon paid $650 million for the family-owned business and kept the founders and management team in place.

In July 2013, amid heavy cost cuts at Avon, Silpada co-founders Jerry and Bonnie Kelly and Tom and Teresa Walsh, along with their respective daughters, Ryane Delka and Kelsey Perry, formed Rhinestone Holdings Inc. to buy back Silpada for $85 million. Delka and Perry were then appointed Co-Presidents, and later became Co-CEOs of the company.

According to Vice President of Marketing and Product Development, Andrea Carroll, Silpada has seen declines in sales and recruiting since 2010, when it joined forces with Avon. At the time, revenue had grown to $230 million annually.

Under the leadership of Delka and Perry, Silpada has ventured beyond its trademark collection of sterling silver jewelry. In 2014, it introduced the KR Collection, an updated jewelry line featuring brass, leather and Swarovski crystals in fashion-forward designs. Then, last year, an accessories line launched with a variety of handbags, scarves and travel goods.

However, fresh offerings and additional investments in the company were not enough to reverse negative trends, management said in a link made available to Silpada Representatives.

“One of the things we’ve seen since reacquiring the company is how different the party environment is from when Silpada started in 1997, particularly in two areas that drive sustained growth at a direct selling company,” Carroll told DSN. “We’re not seeing as many recruits come in as we have in past years, and women aren’t hosting traditional parties as much.”

The decision to shutter the company was relayed to Representatives in a Tuesday conference call with Silpada’s board of directors. The plan is to continue business as usual through July 31, the last day Representatives will be able to submit orders and receive commissions. At that point, Silpada will begin liquidating inventory and shutting down operations, with the goal of completing the process by Dec. 30.

May 25, 2016

World News

Vorwerk Reports Direct Sales Revenue up 28% in 2015

The Vorwerk Group, a household products and cosmetics maker based in Germany, recently disclosed record sales for 2015, largely driven by growth in its direct selling operations.

The group’s seven business divisions generated consolidated revenue of €4.1 billion*, up 23 percent from 2014. In its core business, direct sales of premium products, revenue rose 28 percent to €2.9 billion. Management said growth trends carried into the first four months of 2016, with overall sales up 6 percent from the same period last year.

“As a family-owned company, we naturally also keep our sights on long-term development,” Vorwerk’s Managing Partners said in a statement. “In a 10-year comparison from 2005 to the present day, sales have almost doubled: from 1.8 billion euros to 3.5 billion euros.”

In 2015, the group’s Thermomix division led in year-over-year growth. Sales of the all-in-one kitchen appliance jumped 49 percent to €1.4 billion. Kobold vacuum cleaner sales rose 16 percent to €1.0 billion. At JAFRA Cosmetics, a 7 percent increase brought sales to €457 million. Vorwerk’s direct-to-consumer offerings are sold through more than 600,000 advisors in 49 markets.

Officials said manufacturing expansion will be a main focus for the company throughout 2016. To that end, the group’s executive board has approved a €170 million investment in major infrastructure developments.

*At the time of this writing, €1.00 was equal to $1.12.

May 24, 2016

U.S. News

TriVita Partners with BaseHealth to Launch Personalized Wellness Service

Health and wellness company TriVita is partnering with BaseHealth, a healthcare-focused predictive analytics company, to bring personalized health assessments straight to consumers.

Arizona-based TriVita is rolling out TriVita Shield, a new wellness service that will be available to the company’s Premier Members in July. The platform leverages BaseHealth’s technology to give users a comprehensive look at their health, and what they could do to improve it. BaseHealth’s predictive model analyzes an individual’s genetic, medical, family, and lifestyle data to produce a personalized assessment.

“Personalization is revolutionizing both point-of-care solutions and wellness,” said TriVita CEO Michael Ellison. “By integrating BaseHealth’s comprehensive health assessments into our subscription-based wellness platform, we’re delivering actionable insights tailored to each of our users’ specific needs.”

TriVita will introduce the new program to its core market of more than 300,000 members this July. In addition to the online health portal, users will have access to experienced healthcare professionals through the medically licensed TriVita Wellness Center, as well as motivational support through the TriVita Shield Coaching App. A multi-channel advertising campaign featuring the program is slated to run this fall in the U.S. and Canada.

May 23, 2016

U.S. News

Primerica Foundation and Employees Support Hometown Relay for Life

The Primerica Foundation this month helped the American Cancer Society (ACS) raise funds and awareness as presenting sponsor of the local ACS Relay for Life, a fundraising walk now in 20-plus countries.

This marks the fifth year the financial services firm has presented Relay for Life of Gwinnett County, home to Primerica’s corporate headquarters. The Primerica Foundation focuses on giving back to local nonprofit and community organizations in Gwinnett County, Metro Atlanta and the state of Georgia.

In addition to Primerica’s sponsorship of Relay for Life, company employees formed 11 teams and raised $39,000 through cookouts, raffles and other events held on the corporate campus. In all, Primerica contributed $75,000 to fund cancer research, patient services, early detection and treatment.

Relay for Life is an overnight fundraising event, with food and entertainment provided as teams await their turn to walk. Each year, more than 4 million people take part to honor loved ones suffering from cancer and fight back against the disease. More than 5,400 participated in this year’s Gwinnett Relay for Life, which raised a total of $1.4 million.

May 23, 2016

U.S. News

USANA Explores ‘Personalized’ Nutrition Offerings with MySmartFoods

Photo: USANA’s new MySmartFoods line. (USANA)

USANA Health Sciences is supplementing its nutrition offerings with MySmartFoods, a health-conscious line of personalized protein shakes and bars.

The Utah-based company developed MySmartFoods to meet the demand for clean-eating, on-the-go products that deliver balanced nutrients, said Dr. Brian Dixon, USANA’s Executive Director of Health and Science Education. “We recognized a desire among consumers for simple and pure products with ingredients they can pronounce and understand—meaning cleaner labels and ingredients that are close to nature.”

With that in mind, USANA created a line of low-glycemic, gluten-free products with non-dairy options. The brand’s MySmartShakes allow customers to personalize their formula, beginning with a protein base of plant, soy or whey. Separately, customers can purchase “Flavor Optimizers” in varieties such as Dark Chocolate, Cappuccino, or Peach Mango, and then top it off with a protein or fiber booster. USANA also introduced MySmartBars, a selection of protein bars made with coconut oil and minimal sugar.

“The market for high-quality food products is constantly changing, and while USANA understands the need to evolve with these trends, it’s also important to us that we are creating top-of-the-line products that are not only innovative, but beneficial to those consuming them,” said Doug Braun, Chief Marketing Officer.

USANA officials also said the company is creating a 28-day transformation program aimed at helping consumers maintain their healthy lifestyle changes. Called MySmartStart, the program is set to launch in June.

May 20, 2016

World News

This Week: Brewing Sales at Steeped Tea, Bettering Lives at Keaton Row

Catch up on this week’s industry chatter with these click-worthy links:

  • Downton Abbey might have ended, but tea time is alive and well in Canada, thanks in part to entrepreneur Tonia Jahshan, Founder and President of Ontario-based Steeped Tea. Jahshan, recently named Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneur, told Canadian Business the story behind her $20-million loose-leaf tea direct selling business.
  • Knowledge@Wharton, the online business journal of The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, shared insights from serial entrepreneur Jessica Herrin on cultivating an entrepreneurial spirit. The founder and CEO of Stella & Dot outlines what she calls the 6 P’s of the “entrepreneurial spirit” in an excerpt from her new book, Find Your Extraordinary: Dream Bigger, Live Happier, and Achieve Success on Your Own Terms.
  • Keaton Row’s Co-Founder and CEO, Cheryl Han, believes the current wave of e-commerce is all about making people’s lives better, not just easier. The service she helped to launch takes a similar approach to personal styling, with a focus on building personal relationships and improving wardrobes with fewer, smarter pieces. Han spoke to Forbes about the company’s styling philosophy, raising capital, and what’s next for Keaton Row.
  • Isagenix is going Hollywood for its annual Gala Awards, coming in August to Celebration 2016, the company’s annual salesforce event. To host the awards night, Isagenix is bringing in Mario Lopez, star of Saved by the Bell and host of MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew and Emmy-winning entertainment show Extra.
  • In a boon for area businesses, Nu Skin North Korea has selected Sydney as the destination of a five-day incentive trip slated for 2017. Following this year’s Nu Skin Greater China Success Trip to Sydney, the multibillion-dollar cosmetics and nutrition company said it plans to bring 1,400 of its North Korean Consultants Down Under.

May 20, 2016

U.S. News

Agel Signups Spike on Agreement with Innovative Global

Photo: Agel gel supplements.

In a recent update on its Agel business, JRJR Networks said the return of Agel’s founder has brought an influx of new consultants to the nutrition and skincare company.

JRJR Networks announced earlier this month that Glen Jensen, who founded Agel Enterprises in 2005, had rejoined the company as Group CEO. Agel was acquired by the direct selling conglomerate in 2013, two years after Jensen’s departure. Like all JRJR Networks companies, Agel has retained its own brand identity and structure, while benefiting from efficiencies on the operations side of the business.

In a statement, John Rochon Jr., Founder and Vice Chairman of JRJR Networks, said Agel has signed on thousands of independent sellers in the weeks since Jensen’s return. “We partnered with Glen Jensen in the beginning of May. Since then, he has brought about 28,000 people to Agel. We’re excited at the prospect of what will happen next.”

Those joining Agel’s salesforce have come largely from Innovative Global Inc., another direct seller of nutrition and skincare products co-founded by Jensen, who serves as CEO. Rochon said the companies have agreed in principle that Innovative Global will also sell Agel products and adopt its compensation plan, using the Agel website.

“Now that Glen is back, we expect the pace of people returning to Agel to continue over the remainder of this year,” said Rochon.

May 20, 2016

U.S. News

In Meetings with Congress, Herbalife Members Share Company’s Positive Impact

Embattled nutrition company Herbalife brought a delegation of its independent members to Washington, D.C., this week for face-to-face meetings with members of Congress.

The Los Angeles-based company has made numerous headlines amid its three-year tussle with Bill Ackman, whose Pershing Square hedge fund is short $1 billion in Herbalife, based on Ackman’s belief that the company is using deceptive business practices. A couple of years ago, in an effort to tell its own story, Herbalife began flying in members from across the U.S. to share their personal Herbalife experiences with representatives in Congress.

“We appreciate the time our Herbalife members have taken to make their voices heard in Washington, D.C.,” said Ibi Fleming, Senior Vice President and Managing Director for Herbalife’s North American region. “Herbalife is proud of the positive impact we have in the lives of our members and their customers around the world.”

This year, members traveled from 12 states—including California, where Herbalife has 100,000-plus members, and Texas, where the total exceeds 79,000—to take part in meetings on Capitol Hill. In all, the company has more than 550,000 independent members across the U.S. Herbalife logged annual sales of $880 million in North America, its second-largest region behind Asia Pacific.

May 19, 2016

U.S. News

USANA Collects Top Honor at Utah’s Best of State Awards

Utah-based USANA Health Sciences Inc. recently collected six new awards, including the Best of State Statue or BOSS, at the 2016 Best of State Awards in Salt Lake City.

Best of State was created to recognize outstanding individuals, organizations and businesses in Utah. Since the program’s founding in 2003, USANA has earned 43 Best of State awards for its products, technology and research, including four BOSS honors in the merchandising and consumer services category.

Each year, Best of State submissions are evaluated by a panel of 100 judges. The panel selects winners who excel in their endeavors, use innovative approaches or methods, and contribute to a better quality of life in Utah.

“We are delighted to have our efforts recognized year after year by such a prestigious, local awards organization like Best of State,” said Dan Macuga, Chief Communication Officer at USANA.

Macuga also hinted at further innovations to come from the maker of nutrition and personal-care products. USANA’s research and development team plans to roll out one of its latest scientific advances at the company’s 2016 International Convention in August.

May 19, 2016

World News

Isagenix Mobilizes Members for Good with Global Give Back Day

Photo: At Isagenix’s Arizona headquarters, volunteers gather for Global Give Back Day.

Isagenix International recently held its first-ever Global Give Back Day, led by the company’s START group of young entrepreneurs.

Ahead of the event, which took place May 7, Isagenix challenged its employees and Associates to focus on giving back in their communities for the day. Volunteers could find a local project through a designated events page or collaborate with others on the START Facebook page to organize their own.

In all, the health and wellness company said that its START members—Associates ages 18-35—led humanitarian projects in nine countries across the Americas and Asia, where Isagenix operates.

“I had goosebumps all day as I realized what was happening,” said Erik Coover, Isagenix Senior Vice President of Global Field Development. “There’s nothing more powerful than a movement that’s rooted in contribution. That’s why the START movement and Isagenix are so powerful.”

The largest initiative took place at the company’s new world headquarters in Gilbert, Arizona, where more than 100 employees and customers gathered. The group donated blood, collected 450 pounds of food, and created 300 activity packets for patients at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital, among other projects.

May 18, 2016

World News

Oriflame Hits Profit, Beats Revenue Expectations in First Quarter

Oriflame’s (ORI—Stockholm) first-quarter sales rose 10 percent in local currency and dipped 1 percent in euros to €305.8 million*, from €307.8 million a year ago, the Swedish cosmetics maker said Wednesday.

The results reflect a 19 percent increase in productivity among Oriflame consultants, countered by a 9 percent decrease in total consultants, management said. The skincare and wellness categories logged the strongest performance in the quarter.

On a regional basis, Asia and Turkey posted the largest gain, with local currency sales up 31 percent. Latin America revenue rose 13 percent, while Europe and Africa edged up 2 percent in local currency. CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) revenue stabilized, reversing a negative sales trend that followed economic and political uncertainty in the region.

The Switzerland-based company cleared a profit of €10.7 million, or 19 cents a share, compared to €11.2 million, or 20 cents a share, in the first quarter of 2015. Operating profit was €21.1 million versus the year-ago €17.2 million.

On average, analysts polled by Reuters had predicted operating profit at €21.1 million and net sales at €293 million.

“The underlying business and financial performance is encouraging, although we continue to be heavily impacted by persistent currency headwinds and deteriorating macro across many of our regions,” said CEO Magnus Brännström. “Efficiency initiatives are ongoing and are delivering desired results.”

The company also said it is still seeking a reason for local authority visits to its offices in Moscow, which took place in April, and remains fully transparent to the authorities.

Following its annual shareholder meeting on May 17, Oriflame announced a dividend of 40 cents a share, to be paid out in two installments set for November 2016 and February 2017.

*At the time of this writing, €1.00 was equal to $1.12.

May 18, 2016

U.S. News

PartyLite and Candle-lite Company to Combine under Luminex Umbrella

Photo: PartyLite Market Fresh™ Scented Jar Candles on display.

The Carlyle Group is looking to grow its PartyLite candle business by joining forces with another New York asset manager, Centre Lane Partners LLC, to create Luminex Home Décor & Fragrance Holding Corp.

Carlyle acquired PartyLite parent Blyth Inc. in October 2015, at the same time appointing Harry Slatkin, a leading name in home fragrance, as CEO of the direct-to-consumer company. After more than 40 years in business, PartyLite sells its home décor and fragrance products through a network of 45,000 consultants in 24 markets.

The new holding company combines PartyLite and Centre Lane-backed Candle-lite Company, which will operate as wholly-owned subsidiaries of Luminex Home Décor & Fragrance. Candle-Lite is a designer, manufacturer and wholesaler of candles and home fragrance products for mass merchant, food and drug retail outlets in the U.S.

The new, omni-channel operation is intended to leverage R&D and product development efforts and broaden consumer reach for both companies. Candle-lite CEO Calvin Johnston will head up Luminex and serve on the board of directors, along with representatives from Carlyle and Centre Lane.

“Our teams are excited by the opportunities and growth potential the combination of these two great companies offers,” said Johnston. “This structure will enable us to leverage the strengths and capabilities of both businesses, allow us to serve our existing customers and consultants better, and provide a platform for growth by entering new product categories and markets over the coming years.”

Luminex will be based out of Candle-lite’s headquarters in Ohio, where the candle maker got its start in 1840. In all, the combined company will have more than 1,200 employees in 12 offices worldwide.

May 18, 2016

U.S. News

ACN and Celebrities Tee Up to Raise Funds for Ronald McDonald House

ACN Global Reach Charities recently hosted its largest annual event, the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte Celebrity Golf Tournament. This year, presenting sponsor Dish Network and 75 corporate sponsors helped to raise a record $261,500 for local families.

All proceeds from the tournament go to the Charlotte chapter of Ronald McDonald House Charities, the organization ACN selected as its global charity partner in 2008. The houses are a home-away-from-home for families of seriously ill or injured children, providing home-cooked meals and a place to stay as they focus on their child’s health.

“We are so fortunate to have the support of ACN,” said Mona Johnson-Gibson, Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte. “We always have a blast at the events they host for us throughout the year, but the best thing about them is that they are focused on the families we serve.”

More than 30 foursomes, each led by a celebrity captain, took part in the sixth annual fundraiser at Trump National Golf Course in Mooresville, North Carolina. Ron Rivera, head coach of the Carolina Panthers, and Karen Jansen, LPGA teaching professional and Nike Golf Performance Specialist, were among the celebrities who donated their time to participate in the event.

May 17, 2016

World News

Natura Brings Retail Model to Brazil with São Paulo Opening

Photo: Inside Natura’s São Paulo, Brazil, store.

Natura Cosméticos is the leading cosmetics brand in Brazil, but the beauty company is looking to expand its customer base with a brick-and-mortar approach.

At the end of April, the sustainability-minded brand opened a retail store in São Paulo, Brazil, also home to its global headquarters. The store is one of two operated by the $2.4-billion company, which just a year ago added e-commerce to its direct sales model. Natura opened its first store in Paris eight years ago as part of a multi-channel operation in France.

The São Paulo store was more than two years in the making, including a test run in a smaller Brazilian city, where Natura found that brand recall increased as a result of its brick-and-mortar presence. In the design phase, the company even constructed life-size mockups of two different concepts, in order to collect feedback from stakeholders.

The retail strategy is part of a larger effort to connect to consumers who, historically, have not formed strong ties to Natura. For example, management believes an in-store experience will draw young consumers in big cities, where direct selling is not as widespread, as well as crowds shopping for holidays and other special occasions.

According to João Paulo Ferreira, Vice President of Sales, the model creates important synergies for Natura, attracting shoppers who will eventually buy through all available channels, including the brand’s consultants, who number 1.5 million in Brazil and 400,000 across international markets.

May 16, 2016

U.S. News

Plexus Appoints McCormick Scientist to Head Up R&D

Plexus Worldwide has tapped Alan Jiang, M.D., Ph.D., to serve as Vice President of Research and Development. The role provides oversight of product development, medical affairs, claims substantiation and science education at the health and wellness company.

Since earning his M.D. from the College of Medicine at China’s Zhejiang University, one of the top schools in Asia, Jiang has held research and management roles in both academia and the dietary supplement and food industries. His articles have appeared in outlets such as the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and the Journal of Medicinal Food, in addition to a book chapter published by the Pharmaceutical Press.

“A graduate with honors from one of the most prestigious medical universities in the world, and with numerous published studies, Dr. Jiang brings Plexus a 20-year track record of success within academia and the health and wellness industry, researching and developing top-quality products,” said Cindy Latham, Chief Marketing Officer at Plexus.

Most recently a senior scientist with established herbs and spices brand McCormick & Co., Jiang previously was Director of Scientific Affairs for a top direct selling nutrition company. Before transitioning to the health and nutrition industry, he was appointed as a faculty member and Laboratory Director of the Center for Human Nutrition, the world-class research center at John Hopkins University.

“In considering this opportunity, I was very impressed by the company’s leadership, and it was clear that Plexus was on the right track—not only because of its fast growth but because of its long-term investments and commitment to excellence and science,” said Jiang.

Founded in 2008, Plexus logged revenue of $384 million last year, landing the No. 46 spot on the 2016 DSN Global 100, a list of the top direct selling companies in the world. The Arizona-based company ranks No. 28 among North America-based direct sellers.

May 13, 2016

World News

This Week: Amway Hosts Founders Council, Silpada Co-CEOs Share the Load

Catch up on this week’s industry chatter with these click-worthy links:

  • On May 8–12, Amway hosted more than 200 top sellers in London at the company’s 2016 Founders Council. The iconic direct selling brand launched the event in 1998 to recognize leading Amway Business Owners (ABOs) and provide a direct channel to company executives. During the group’s annual gathering, members help to shape Amway’s future by serving as a sounding board for ideas and strategies, and then taking that vision back to their own teams. Amway posted a series of videos to give its millions of ABOs an inside look at the event.
  • Jewelry and accessories maker Silpada Designs is one of those rare companies helmed by two chief executives. Not only that, but Co-CEOs Ryane Delka and Kelsey Perry, whose respective parents founded the company, were friends long before taking over the family business, which now reaches 5 million customers a year. Their approach to leadership, and the company they lead—Silpada was owned by Avon  for a time—were featured by the Kansas City Business Journal.
  • Beautycounter has a message for the beauty industry that is causing big-name retailers to take notice. The safe beauty brand made a big splash this week when it announced a forthcoming partnership with Target. Over at HuffPost Canada, the company’s Founder and CEO, Gregg Renfrew, shared nine things consumers need to know about their beauty products, highlighting the industry’s lack of regulation and Beautycounter’s efforts to change the game.
  • The beauty aficionados at Refinery29 love a good exfoliator, including Avon’s Anew Clinical Advanced Retexturizing Peel, or what those in the know call a “multi-acid cocktail.” The brand’s new formula ups the ante by swapping out straight glycolic acid for a proprietary blend, addressing a wider range of pesky skin issues. Bottom line: same effort, superior results.

May 13, 2016

U.S. News

Reliv Reports First-Quarter Loss on Lower Revenue

Reliv International Inc. (RELV—NASDAQ) on Friday said quarterly sales of its health supplements fell 12 percent to $13.0 million, compared to $14.8 million in the first quarter of 2015.

Sales in the U.S. market were down 11 percent from a year ago, while international sales dropped 17 percent, cut 7 percent by foreign currency fluctuation. Results were also impacted by the rollout of a new compensation structure in the U.S. and Canada.

In February, the Missouri-based company introduced a Preferred Customer program in North America and tweaked the requirements for an entry-level distributor to advance and begin earning retail and wholesale profits. The company also adjusted the group sales volume required for a distributor to reach its Master Affiliate level.

“The revised structure places a whole new emphasis on the business opportunity aspect of our company; however, the changes made had a near-term negative impact on sales in the United States and Canada as the distributor force adapts to the changes,” said Robert Montgomery, Chairman and CEO.

Overall, the company lost $44,000 in the quarter, versus earnings of $116,000 in the same period last year. Management said the decline in sales was partially offset by reduced selling, general and administrative expenses.

At the close of the quarter, the company’s distributors and preferred customers numbered 45,050, down 9 percent from a year earlier.

May 13, 2016

World News

Herbalife Experts Push Active Lifestyle during Asia Pacific Wellness Tour

How many times did you eat lunch at your desk this week? According to Herbalife’s recent Nutrition At Work survey, focused on the Asia-Pacific region, half the workforce eats lunch over the keyboard two to five times a week—part of a sedentary lifestyle the nutrition company hopes to combat through its Asia Pacific Wellness Tour, running from April to May.

In March, Herbalife polled 5,500 respondents in 11 markets across the region, in an effort to understand the lifestyle habits and attitudes of Asia Pacific’s modern workforce. The findings were bleak, showing that 85 percent of workers spend at least six hours a day sitting at their desk. In another statistic, 83 percent said they exercise less than three times a week, putting them at risk of obesity. Seven out of 10 workers claimed they strive to stay active, but the majority found it difficult to balance work and working out.

“While the majority of Asia Pacific’s workforce desire to lead healthy, active lives, there are tangible constraints preventing them from doing so,” said Frank Lamberti, Herbalife’s Senior Vice President and Managing Director, North Asia.

That’s where Herbalife comes in. Five years ago, the supplement and shake seller launched its Asia Pacific Wellness Tour, a string of educational events providing practical steps toward a healthy, active lifestyle. The tour features members of Herbalife’s Nutrition Advisory Board, in a variety of formats, on topics ranging from weight management to brain health and aging. All told, the company has hosted more than 80,000 at its open-to-the-public events.

The Asia Pacific Wellness Tour 2016 set out to visit 26 cities across the region throughout April and May. California-based Herbalife derives a fifth of its sales from Asia Pacific, making it the company’s largest region in terms of revenue. Last year, Herbalife logged total revenue of $4.47 billion, earning the No. 3 rank on the 2016 DSN Global 100, a list of the top direct selling companies in the world.

May 13, 2016

U.S. News

Target to Carry Beautycounter This Fall in Limited-Edition Partnership

Photo: Beautycounter Lip Sheer.

Safe beauty brand Beautycounter is hitting Target shelves this fall, in a limited-edition partnership that marks a first for both companies.

California-based Beautycounter came on the scene in 2013 with a mission to clean up the beauty industry. Gregg Renfrew, CEO, founded the company to offer safe beauty alternatives and promote greater oversight of the industry. Taking a proactive approach, Beautycounter has compiled a never list of more than 1,500 ingredients—including known and suspected toxins—banned from its products.

Up to now, the cosmetics and skincare line, including new offerings for baby, has been sold through Beautycounter consultants, the company’s e-commerce website, and collaborations with the likes of J.Crew and Goop. The Target deal is Beautycounter’s first foray into mass-market retail, and Target’s first limited-edition partnership with a beauty brand since it introduced designer collaborations seven years ago.

“We know our guests are on the lookout for high-quality products that contain safer, cleaner ingredients, and Beautycounter is an up-and-coming brand that’s made a big splash in this area,”  Dawn Block, Target’s Senior Vice President, Beauty and Essentials, said in the company’s announcement.

From Sept. 12 to Nov. 5, 1,500 Target stores will carry a collection of Beautycounter’s top sellers, hand-picked to provide a well-rounded introduction to the brand. The lineup of 17 products, including five kits, will come in smaller sizes than Beautycounter’s standard offerings, keeping pricing at a moderate $12-$39.

May 12, 2016

U.S. News

Youngevity Reports Revenue up 4% in First Quarter

Youngevity International Inc. (YGYI—OTC.QX) on Thursday said revenue rose 3.8 percent to $38.2 million in the first quarter, compared to $36.8 million in the same period last year.

The California-based company sells a range of health, beauty, and home products through its direct selling division, which posted a 10 percent increase in quarterly revenue. Youngevity also is a producer of gourmet coffees sold through commercial, retail and direct selling channels.

In the quarter ended March 31, the company cleared a profit of $151,000, in the black following its year-ago loss of $369,000. Management also reported increases in gross profit, up 15 percent to $23.4 million, and operating income, up 211 percent to $1.2 million.

Steve Wallach, CEO, called the quarter one of the most active and exciting in the company’s history, with the launch of a new social selling platform and expansion into small business lending and merchant services.

Youngevity also strengthened its management team, said Wallach, with the addition of Scott Salik, Vice President of Global Content; Scott Bell, Vice President of Analytics and Promotions; and Scott McElroy, Director of Information Technology and Project Management Operations.

May 11, 2016

U.S. News

JRJR Networks Founder Named Finalist in EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

The man heading up direct selling conglomerate JRJR Networks, John Rochon Jr., is in the running for EY Entrepreneur Of The Year in the Southwest region.

Ernst & Young has been recognizing business leaders for 30 years through its prominent EY Entrepreneur of the Year program. All told, the regional, national, and global awards extend to more than 60 countries.

Rochon and other regional finalists were selected from more than 1,500 nominations submitted across the U.S. Nominees are evaluated by a panel of independent judges on factors that include innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.

“It’s a great honor to have been named a finalist for this very prestigious honor,” said Rochon, Founder and Vice Chairman of JRJR Networks. “I believe this shows that what we are accomplishing as a team at JRJR Networks is being noticed and valued.”

Under Rochon’s leadership, JRJR Networks has built a portfolio of 10 direct-to-consumer companies. The holding company, formerly known as CVSL, launched three years ago as a platform to acquire direct selling companies and increase profitability by leveraging operational efficiencies.

JRJR companies include basket maker The Longaberger Co. and gourmet spice seller Your Inspiration At Home, as well as U.K.-based home, health and beauty businesses Kleeneze and Betterware, among others.

“We believe this is only the beginning and we’re determined to make this company a global powerhouse over the coming years,” said Rochon.

EY will announce its regional award winners at a gala event on June 25 in Dallas. From there, the winners will be eligible to take part in the EY Entrepreneur of the Year program on the national level.

May 11, 2016

U.S. News

Nature’s Sunshine Posts Q1 Profit as Strong Dollar Hurts Sales

Herbal health supplement maker Nature’s Sunshine Products (NATR—NASDAQ) saw its overall sales drop by 1.8 percent to $82.4 million in the first three months of 2016, down from $83.8 million a year ago.

Revenue grew for the seventh consecutive quarter for NSP United States and NSP Canada, generating a 0.3 percent jump to $38.3 million for NSP North America overall. The Utah company said net revenue was negatively impacted by $2.5 million of unfavorable exchange rate fluctuations and a $1.1 million decline in net sales in the NSP Russia, Central and Eastern Europe segment.

Net income was $1.8 million or 11 cents a diluted share, down from $4.2 million or 23 cents a diluted share in the first quarter of 2015. Earnings per diluted share were negatively impacted by the company’s investment in China of 7 cents a share, and unfavorable changes in the effective tax rate of 2 cents a share.

The number of Nature’s Sunshine distributors and customers dropped by 4 percent to 253,400 in the first quarter, while the number of managers grew by 8.6 percent to 13,800. Despite the declines, Gregory Probert, Chairman and CEO, says he is pleased because the numbers “reflect the progress we have made toward returning Nature’s Sunshine to sustainable, long-term growth.”

Subsidiary Synergy WorldWide reported its best first quarter ever, with revenue jumping 3.8 percent to $29.8 million. Probert says the growth was driven by process improvements taking hold in Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Thailand.

Probert also noted that Nature’s Sunshine Products continues to make good progress in China and is on-track to receive its direct selling license in the third quarter of 2016.

May 10, 2016

U.S. News

Mannatech Reports Lower Revenue, Profit in Q1

Mannatech Inc. (MTEX—NASDAQ) on Tuesday said its bottom line decreased in the first quarter from a year earlier.

The maker of health and wellness products reported quarterly earnings of $0.6 million, or 21 cents per share, compared to $1.1 million, or 40 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2015.

Due in part to currency pressures, revenue was down across all regions. When measured by the dollar, revenue fell 6 percent in Asia-Pacific, 8 percent in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa), and 12 percent in the Americas.

Overall in the quarter, revenue decreased 8 percent to $40.7 million, versus $44.4 million a year ago. The results were cut by $2.1 million as a result of unfavorable exchange rates.

Management said recruiting of independent Associates slowed by 7 percent on a year-over-year basis, with a 16 percent jump in EMEA offset by declines in Asia-Pacific.

In 2015, Mannatech sales slipped 5.2 percent to $180.3 million, placing the company at No. 71 on the DSN Global 100, an annual ranking of the top companies in direct selling.

May 10, 2016

U.S. News

LegalShield to Provide Legal Services on Demand with New Mobile Solutions

LegalShield is getting a major technology upgrade in 2016 with the launch of new legal products and services tailored to the “YouEconomy” or sharing economy.

The initiatives are an outgrowth of LegalShield’s partnership with New York-based Shake Inc., a technology startup acquired by LegalShield in April 2015. Shake is the creator of the Shake law app for iOS and Android, which aims to simplify and modernize the legal contract process. Announcing the strategic acquisition, LegalShield CEO Jeff Bell said the move would “fast forward LegalShield’s advancement into mobile solutions.”

A year later, the Oklahoma-based company is preparing to roll out seven new mobile offerings, including a redesigned LegalShield app that provides instant access to legal services, as well as special perks. Across the country, LegalShield retains a network of law firms that exclusively serve its members, who number more than 3.7 million. In its new app the company also will introduce Snap, a feature that enables members to upload a picture of any traffic ticket and send it to their firm for resolution.

“Forty-four years ago, LegalShield disrupted the legal industry by offering services at an affordable cost—creating a community of members and matching them to accountable and responsive law firms,” said Bell. “The costs of legal services are out of reach for most North Americans, and we are again reshaping the future of law services by putting a law firm in the palms of all citizens and our members with LegalShield mobile apps.”

Beginning in June, the company plans to introduce its new services on a month-by-month basis. The lineup includes the new Shake, which will provide free contract templates to members; Launch, a one-stop legal shop for those looking to start a business; Ask, a resource for common legal questions; and Enhance, which will offer education, lawyer ratings and other tools for law firms. LegalShield also will target “gig economy” drivers of the Uber and Lyft variety with a custom legal plan for those who use their own car to earn income.

May 10, 2016

U.S. News

Agel Founder Glen Jensen Rejoins Company as Group CEO

JRJR Networks recently announced that Glen Jensen is joining its operation as Group CEO of Agel Enterprises, the company he founded in 2005.

Agel made a name for itself in the nutrition industry by introducing supplements in suspension gel form, in lieu of conventional pills and juices. The products target specific needs such as energy, joint health and weight management. In 2010, the year DSN introduced the Global 100 list, Agel ranked No. 65 with prior-year revenue of $175 million. In the next year, it dropped to No. 92 on revenue of $80 million.

Jensen led the company for six years before exiting in 2011. Two years after his departure, Agel joined the JRJR Networks family of companies. Formerly known as CVSL, JRJR Networks is a holding company for a growing group of direct-to-consumer brands, including basket maker The Longaberger Company and gourmet spice seller Your Inspiration At Home. Under the JRJR Networks umbrella, each company retains its own identity while benefiting from operational efficiencies.

“Glen Jensen was the heart and soul of Agel in the days when he established it as a successful business and led its growth across the globe,” said John Rochon Jr., Founder of JRJR Networks and Chairman of Agel. “Glen’s return to Agel after a five-and-a-half-year absence sends the bold message that Agel is back and has found its voice again.”

Jensen spent the past two years heading up another direct seller of skincare and nutrition products, this one primarily operating in Asia. Before launching Agel, he had founded another direct selling company and held executive roles with several others. Jensen also is a former member of the CEO Council of the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations.

“I’m beyond thrilled at returning to Agel, a company I truly love and the company that I envisioned as a way to change lives around the world,” said Jensen. “This is a deeply emotional moment for me. I am so thrilled that John Rochon Jr. and the team at JRJR Networks have invited me to come back home again and help them lead Agel to what I know is going to be massive global growth.”

May 06, 2016

U.S. News

Primerica Reports Q1 Earnings Beat on Revenue of $363M

Primerica Inc. (PRI—NYSE) recently posted quarterly earnings that beat Wall Street expectations, thanks to healthy growth in the company’s term life segment.

In the quarter ended March 31, the financial services provider cleared a profit of $45.2 million, or 92 cents a share, topping the average prediction of 91 cents put forth by analysts, according to Thomson Reuters. Quarterly revenue totaled $363.0 million, up 5 percent from a year ago.

“We have begun 2016 with strong distribution growth,” said Glenn Williams, Chief Executive Officer. “The size of our life insurance licensed salesforce grew 10 percent, which drove 19 percent growth in life insurance policies issued versus the first quarter a year ago.”

Management primarily attributed the growth to a 13 percent increase in net premiums and a 28 percent increase in term life earnings before income taxes (EBIT) from a year ago. In the investment and savings product (ISP) segment, the company felt the pressure of a volatile market, which led to a 10 percent year-over-year decline in EBIT.

May 06, 2016

U.S. News

Herbalife Says FTC Deal Imminent in Upbeat Q1 Report

(Getty Images)

Shares in Herbalife Ltd. (HLF—NYSE) surged Friday after the company reported better-than-expected earnings and progress in its talks with the Federal Trade Commission.

In February, management disclosed that the nutrition company was in talks with federal authorities to resolve an investigation of Herbalife’s business practices. The probe resulted from fraud accusations leveled by hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman, who launched a campaign against the supplement seller in December 2012, backing his claims with a $1 billion short position in Herbalife stock.

“While there are a number of open issues, those discussions have progressed to an advanced stage and the range of outcomes now includes litigation or settlement,” Michael Johnson, Herbalife CEO and Chairman, said of an impending resolution during a call with analysts. “If a settlement is reached with the FTC, it would likely include injunctive and other relief as well as a monetary payment with our best estimate of a payment being $200 million.”

The news follows a strong first quarter at Herbalife, wherein net income rose 22.5 percent to $95.8 million, or $1.12 a share. On an adjusted basis, the company earned $1.36 a share, beating the average analyst estimate of $1.09 a share, according to Thomson Reuters.

Net sales edged up 1 percent to $1.12 billion, topping the average estimate of $1.07 billion. The company is seeing momentum in China, where revenue was up 32 percent in the quarter, alongside gains of 9 percent in North America and 6 percent in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa).

“We’ve started the year by exceeding EPS guidance on both the top and bottom line and by returning to reported net sales growth, year over year, for the first time in five quarters,” said Johnson.

Following the company’s announcement on Thursday, shares in Herbalife jumped 10 percent in after-hours trading. The stock sustained its momentum on Friday to close at $63.60. When Ackman entered his short position in December 2012, Herbalife’s shares traded around $47.

May 05, 2016

World News

Avon Posts Surprise Loss on Stronger Dollar and Restructuring Costs

Avon Products Inc. (AVP—NYSE) on Wednesday posted first-quarter results that fell below expectations, as the beauty company absorbed the impact of restructuring costs, the deconsolidation of its Venezuela business, and the stronger U.S. dollar.

New York-based Avon is in the midst of a transformation plan put forth in March, when the company spun off its North America business in a deal with Cerberus Capital Management LP. Cerberus agreed to inject $435 million into the business for majority ownership of Avon’s domestic operations, which it then took private as New Avon LLC, along with another $170 million investment in the iconic beauty brand.

For the first quarter, Avon reported an adjusted loss from continuing operations of 7 cents a share, versus earnings of 3 cents a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had projected earnings of 2 cents a share. The adjusted results exclude a $120 million after-tax loss from the deconsolidation of its Venezuelan operations, due to the continued inability to exchange the local currency. The company also reported $46 million in restructuring costs.

Revenue declined 16 percent to $1.3 billion, in line with analysts’ expectations but driven down 18 percentage points by unfavorable currency exchange rates. When measured by the dollar, revenue was down across all regions. The most notable decline came from South Latin America, down 28 percent as a result of a new production tax levied in Brazil.

As Avon seeks to revitalize its overseas operations, the company is downsizing its corporate infrastructure, including a 7 percent reduction in global staff, and transitioning its headquarters to the United Kingdom. Management said these measures, combined with reductions in the supply chain, are expected to bring about pre-tax savings of approximately $350 million after three years.

May 04, 2016

U.S. News

USANA Health Sciences Reports 13% Growth in Bottom Line

Shares of USANA Health Sciences Inc. (USNA—NYSE) are enjoying a boost following the release of the company’s first-quarter results on Tuesday.

In the quarter ended April 2, the seller of nutrition and personal-care products cleared a profit of $22.3 million, up 13 percent from a year ago. On a per share basis, earnings increased 18 percent to $1.77. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had predicted earnings of $1.81 a share.

Revenue was up across the Asia Pacific region, most notably in Greater China, where the company posted a 16 percent year-over-year increase. North Asia revenue rose 14 percent, followed by an 8 percent uptick in Southeast Asia Pacific. In the company’s combined Americas and Europe segment, sales were essentially flat.

Overall, revenue climbed 10 percent to a record $240.4 million, narrowly missing analysts’ estimates of $244 million. Management attributed the strong quarter to a higher number of active Associates, up 16 percent, and Preferred Customer, up 9 percent.

“USANA delivered a solid performance in the first quarter, notwithstanding the continued impact of a stronger U.S. dollar and a tough prior year comparable,” Dave Wentz, CEO, said in the company’s earnings release.

USANA stock was up as much as 11 percent in Wednesday trading, before closing the day up 8 percent at $125.46.

May 04, 2016

U.S. News

Fast Company Creativity Conference to Showcase Beautycounter Story

Photo: Gregg Renfrew, Founder and CEO of Beautycounter.

Natural beauty brand Beautycounter will be in the spotlight later this month during FC/LA, Fast Company’s second annual Creativity Counter-Conference in Los Angeles.

Slated for May 24–25, the retreat brings together creative movers and shakers in business, technology, design and entertainment. It also pays tribute to the “Most Creative People in Business,” an annual list published by Fast Company and set to run in the magazine’s June issue. This year’s event will be hosted on the L.A. campus of 72andSunny, two-time “Agency of the Year” winner for Advertising Age and Adweek.

Day One of FC/LA takes participants to businesses across the region in a series of Fast Tracks. One stop along the way is the Santa Monica headquarters of Beautycounter, where Founder and CEO Gregg Renfrew will discuss the brand’s approach to cleaning up the beauty industry, helped along by collaborations with the likes of J.Crew and Goop. The day will kick off with a visit to the headquarters of AwesomenessTV to hear from CEO Brian Robbins and President Brett Bouttier, along with Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of Dreamworks Animation.

On Day Two, participants will hear from a lineup of speakers that includes Sean Rad, CEO of the popular dating app Tinder, which reported nearly 10 million daily users earlier this year. Also taking the stage at FC/LA will be Academy Award-winning actress Geena Davis, Founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and The Bentonville Film Festival; WWE superstar John Cena; and Henk Rogers, co-creator of the iconic Tetris video game.

May 03, 2016

U.S. News

On Track for Record Year, Mary & Martha Announces Executive Promotions

DaySpring-owned Mary & Martha is appointing three executives from within its own ranks, the company said Tuesday.

Mary & Martha launched in 2008 as the direct sales division of DaySpring, a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards Inc. The Arkansas-based brand offers a range of home décor, stationery and accessories featuring Christian themes.

This year is on track to be the strongest yet for Mary & Martha, and the man leading that growth, Mike Markovich, has been named General Manager. Markovich has spent more than 30 years at DaySpring in various management roles. At Mary & Martha, he has focused on improving the product portfolio and supply chain, raising the profile of the brand, and promoting internal talent.

The company also announced the promotion of Kim Gentile to National Sales Director. Gentile, who has more than 30 years of direct sales experience, works with the brand’s Consultants in the areas of training, recognition and leadership development. Under her leadership, the salesforce has doubled in size in the past eight months.

The final addition to Mary & Martha’s leadership team is Stephen Barnett, now Senior Finance and Operations Manager. In two years with the company, Barnett has built systems infrastructure to improve the online customer experience, launched the personalization category, and enhanced the Consultant career plan.

May 03, 2016

U.S. News

Direct Selling Association Unveils Finalists in 2016 DSA Awards

The Direct Selling Association on Monday announced finalists in the running for its annual DSA Awards, to be presented at the trade association’s Annual Meeting in June.

The program, formerly known as the ETHOS Awards, recognizes innovations across the direct selling channel that help companies do business better. Among last year’s winners were Mary Kay, for its Project Runway sponsorship, and Rodan + Fields, for its self-checkout point-of-sale system. The entries are judged by a panel of industry leaders and outside experts.

Seven DSA Award recipients will be selected from the following sub-category winners. This year’s honorees will be announced during an Awards Gala capping off the 2016 DSA Annual Meeting, coming to Phoenix on June 5–7.

Excellence in Salesforce Development

  • Amway (Business Tools)
  • Mary Kay Inc. (Business Training)
  • Rodan + Fields (Incentive Programs)

Marketing & Sales Campaigns

  • 4Life Research LLC
  • Nerium International
  • Princess House Inc.

Product Innovation

  • Nu Skin Enterprises (Personal Care)
  • Princess House Inc. (Home Décor/Durables/Home Care)
  • Shaklee Corp. (Wellness)
  • Viridian Energy (Education/Leisure/Other)

Partnership Finalists

  • Buy the Sea
  • IMPACT This Day
  • Smart Office Solutions Inc.

Rising Star Finalists

  • Damsel in Defense
  • Jusuru International Inc.
  • pawTree

Technology Innovation

  • Amway (Customer Service/Sales Support)
  • Scentsy Inc. (Back Office/Business Support)
  • Shaklee Corp. (Mobile Technology)

Vision for Tomorrow

  • ACN Inc.
  • Ambit Energy
  • USANA Health Sciences Inc.

May 02, 2016

U.S. News

Stream Appoints Two New Execs amid Push to Diversify Offerings

Following the February appointment of President and CEO Larry Mondry, Stream has brought on two additional executives to help diversify its energy-centric business.

The Texas-based company announced Monday that Dan O’Malley, a consumer products and services veteran, is stepping into the roles of Executive Vice President and Chief Products and Services Officer, a new position within the company. O’Malley has held similar roles with Viamericas, an international payment services provider, and mobile payments platform Mozido Inc.

For a number of years, he served as Executive Vice President and President of the Americas and Emerging Markets for MoneyGram International, helping the financial services provider achieve multibillion-dollar revenue. Stream is looking to tap O’Malley’s expertise as it pursues a national growth plan, according to Mondry.

“Stream is an already successful company on the edge of significant expansion,” O’Malley said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to being part of the company’s strong executive team and applying my expertise to help Stream reach its growth goals.”

Earlier this month, Kelly Habbas joined the company as Chief Information Officer. Habbas hails from the energy industry, where he has held leadership roles across various U.S. and Canadian energy markets. He will oversee Stream’s IT strategy as the company expands its existing energy, mobile, protective and home services.

“With his impressive technology expertise specifically in various energy markets, Kelly is a fantastic addition to our team, and we’re fortunate to have him on our executive team,” said Mondry. “I know that Kelly will help advance our mission of propelling Stream to the next level of growth.”

May 01, 2016

Company Spotlight

Scentsy: Reimagining The Future

by J.M. Emmert

Photo: The new Scentsy Commons corporate office at Christmastime.

Click here to order the May 2016 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.

Company Profile

Founded: 2004
Headquarters: Meridian, Idaho
Executives: Orville Thompson, Co-Founder and CEO; Heidi Thompson, Co-Founder and President
Products: Wickless Candles, Accessories, Home Décor
2015 Revenue: $429 million

It’s an oft-told sidebar in the retelling of the Scentsy story: How the multimillion-dollar international party plan company began in a 40-foot metal shipping container on a sheep farm in Meridian, Idaho. But it is an important sidelight for what it represents.

Even as the company’s hyper-growth prompted its operations to move to several locations throughout Meridian, the values and aspirations instilled by co-founders Orville and Heidi Thompson remain firmly rooted in that container. And that was critically important over a recent two-year period that saw Scentsy face declining numbers and increased competition from both retail and other direct sellers. Growing in net sales in 2015 for the first time in three years—from $419 million to $429 million—by refocusing on the core Scentsy brand has revitalized the company and its field.

Imagining Opportunities

Founded in 2004, Scentsy eclipsed the $500 million mark just seven years later when it achieved $535 million in sales of its fragrance products. But even as sales climbed to $560 million in 2012, catapulting it into the Top 25 direct selling companies in the world, the Thompsons were seeing Scentsy’s growth rate slowing. In fact, sales dropped off 13 percent in each of the next two years.

Heidi and Orville Thompson Heidi and Orville Thompson

“In 2012 we were facing retail pressure and there were a lot of direct selling companies suddenly doing well,” says Orville. “As other companies started to succeed, our field was not ready for the competition. They had not dealt with that before. A lot of people were doing multiple companies and getting distracted.”

The Thompsons were worried. They looked at different options and finally came upon the idea of offering multiple brands under the Scentsy Family umbrella. “We wanted to create an opportunity in case the worst-case scenario happened,” says Orville. “So we looked at different brands. What if we could offer our direct sellers the opportunity to build one downline but represent different companies and then all flow into one downline? That was really a thesis that we had—that it would work. It was defensive in some degree, but also we thought it might have a real opportunity.”

And so in 2012 Scentsy introduced two new brands: Velata, a line of kitchen products, was released in April; five months later came the company’s fashion accessories line, Grace Adele. While both brands were profitable, the distraction caused by a multi-brand downline led to the flattening off and decline of the overall company. They were ultimately discontinued; Grace Adele in 2014 and Velata earlier this year.

The impetus for changing strategies came during the very first planning meeting held at the company’s new 168,000-square-foot corporate headquarters, Scentsy Commons, which was completed at the end of 2013. During the meeting, senior executives were asked to speak about their projects for the following year. When all projects had been listed on a blackboard, Heidi spoke to the room full of men.

“Can you guys please explain to me how each of your projects speaks to simplicity, authenticity or generosity?” she asked. “Which one of them will warm the heart, enliven the senses or inspire the soul?”

ScentsyScentsy consultants at the company’s recent Spring Sprint.

Amid the ensuing silence, Heidi asked Orville to wipe the blackboard clean and to write words that meant something to Scentsy. “So we wrote ‘simplicity, authenticity, generosity, warm, enliven, inspire, family, friendly, industry-leading, contribute more than you take, Scentsy spirit,’ ” says Orville. “Things that came from our ethos, our aspirations and our values. Heidi put the gauntlet down and said that unless any project builds Scentsy’s spirit, we will not do it; unless a project enhances our ethos, we will not do it. I think that was the seed of the turnaround.”

That pivotal moment in Scentsy led to a reimagining of the company strategy and a refocusing of energies on the core business of Scentsy. And while Grace Adele and Velata may have helped them through a difficult two-year period, Orville believes the Scentsy core value proposition was much stronger than they had calculated, and the ability for retail to compete more limited than they had calculated.

“Scentsy proved to be so resilient; the other brands became a distraction,” says Orville. “People realized that a Scentsy party was way easier—and they made more money. And as much as they liked the idea of Grace Adele or Velata, when they compared it to how easy it was to build a Scentsy business, they saw the contrast. It helped people realize how valuable their Scentsy business was. That is what I think fueled the Scentsy resurgence.”

Scentsy’s corporate interior including the company’s new branding.

Reimagining Brand

That resurgence began when Orville and Heidi looked at putting their efforts into those things that could make Scentsy a world-class organization. “We started to identify our best-in-the-world opportunity and make it better,” says Orville. “That required a brand evaluation. What products fit and what products didn’t? What standards of quality were necessary to reflect the brand that we want—what image, what packaging, what messaging had to surround that brand in order to portray that message of best in the world?”

Chief Marketing Officer Mark Stastny adds, “Historically, companies were under the belief that they had complete control and ownership of their brand. Prior to the Internet and social media, that may have had a degree of truth to it. But with the advent of the Internet and certainly social media, companies need to recognize that they do not unilaterally own their brand. They are actually in partnership with a field or a sales organization—in our case, that is our consultants.”

“Heidi put the gauntlet down and said that unless any project builds Scentsy’s spirit, we will not do it; unless a project enhances our ethos, we will not do it. I think that was the seed of the turnaround.”
—Orville Thompson, Co-Founder and CEO

Scentsy has taken an approach where it feels the brand, and the experience of the brand, is a shared ownership between Scentsy, its consultants and its customers. “Orville and Heidi from the very beginning have always believed that the brand is not something that they own or control, but that they are stewards over, and that they have to take responsibility for that stewardship very seriously,” says Stastny. “We’ve always tried to share our culture and our values with our consultants and our customers in ways that empowered them to help us evolve and represent the brand.”

And brand is what ultimately draws in customers. While retail competition can be a key inhibitor to a company’s growth, the low-cost alternatives are not always what customers desire. “Because we were able to establish our product as a high-quality product at a fair price, we are now getting more people coming to us looking for a better version of what they can buy at retail than we are losing people to them,” says Orville. “That retail competition is dangerous at the beginning, but if you can withstand it, it actually establishes your product category and can lead to longer-term, realistic and rational growth moving forward.”

“With the advent of the Internet and certainly social media, companies need to recognize that they do not unilaterally own their brand. They are actually in partnership with a field or a sales organization—in our case, that is our consultants.”
—Mark Stastny, Chief Marketing Officer

Reimagining Creativity

Another dramatic turnaround at Scentsy was a fundamental shift in the creative process. As executives retired or left the company, Scentsy focused on hiring the best talent in the world. One of those hires was Lindsay Randolph, the former Global Creative Director at Disney Consumer Products. 

“We brought her in and she really elevated the creativity game,” says Orville. “We said let’s get out of a business that focuses on mechanics and let’s be a creative company, and let the mechanics support the creativity rather than being a mechanical company that had a creative department.” That creativity shift began in 2014 and has resulted in a creative spirit that has since established a product pipeline that is deep.

“You can see the difference in the catalog since Lindsay came on,” says Heidi. “The difference the creative team here at Scentsy has made is obvious—the catalogs are just beautiful.”

Scentsy currently has four to five catalog seasons’ worth of product reveals in a pipeline getting developed properly. “All the i’s are dotted, t’s crossed and intellectual properties protected,” says Orville. “So we are just much more professional moving into the catalog season.”

“Retail competition is dangerous at the beginning, but if you can withstand it, it actually establishes your product category and can lead to longer-term, realistic and rational growth moving forward.”
—Orville Thompson

Reimagining Marketing

Marketing also is greatly evolving at Scentsy. Stastny, who joined the company in 2008, is leading the charge in ramping up marketing efforts—especially social media.

“Scentsy was experiencing hyper-growth—from two times year over year to four times year over year, and at periods of time even six times year over year. When you are growing that fast, demand generation and marketing is not something you spend a lot of time on,” Stastny says. “We were trying to keep up with that demand curve. Growth continued that way so we did no more than organic marketing through our consultants from about 2008 through 2014. You get spoiled in that kind of a situation. We were just basically trying to support our consultants.”

Scentsy’s marketing efforts during that time were to take the best ideas from the field organization and then replicate those ideas and share them in ways that the entire field could benefit from them. “From a marketing perspective, that is a pretty passive approach,” Stastny says. “What we found is that we kind of peaked out on that growth curve. We spend a lot more time now looking at numbers, using data and analytics to see what is working—not just anecdotally listening to consultants the way we used to. We can actually go in and understand and know where consultants have higher levels of success and productivity over others, and where there are geographic pockets within markets that are underperforming relative to other areas.”

Stastny is helping to build a marketing competency for the first time at Scentsy that will help complement and supplement what the field is doing to market their businesses. “We view our relationship with consultants very much as a partnership and anything we are going to be doing, above and beyond what they do, needs to support and complement the efforts that they are doing. We are now able to dissect numbers, data and information in ways we never could before, which helps us to understand where consultants are doing things really well or where there are underserved areas in geographies. We are taking a much more focused approach on how we are turning the marketing knobs to try to improve in those areas, either through consultants or by trying to increase demand directly from the company, which then in turn sends people directly to consultants. Either way the consultants are going to benefit.”

Scentsy is heavily invested in Facebook, where it has 932,000 followers, and was able to reach 26 million customers in 2015. It also uses private Facebook groups to stay connected to consultants, including 4,000 of its top field leaders. Twitter is used for special messaging and, as many of the Scentsy products are visual and experiential in nature, the company also uses Instagram (42,200 followers), Pinterest (23,000 followers) and video-based platforms such as Periscope.

“We have been ramping up our efforts at the home office in Periscope to stay connected with our field organization,” says Stastny. “We found that it is a great mechanism to stay connected, and Orville and Heidi have personally invested in Periscope and have the largest amount of followers.”

“You can see the difference in the catalog since [Lindsay Randolph, the former Global Creative Director at Disney Consumer Products] came on. The difference the creative team here at Scentsy has made is obvious—the catalogs are just beautiful.”
—Heidi Thompson, Co-Founder and President

Imagining the Future

Sales and training at Scentsy also have experienced changes in the past few years. Sandy Spielmaker, who formerly led efforts at two other direct selling companies, was hired to put together a full sales department—the first ever for the company. Training is currently being developed by segmenting the field into different cohorts and then putting training on where people are in their business.

One of those cohorts Scentsy executives are most excited about are the millennials who have come into the company. “There is a massive youth movement,” says Orville. “We are seeing young, vibrant, fearless, excited people coming into Scentsy. They represent the later part of the millennial group that is willing to roll up their sleeves and go to work for their ideals rather than just focus on what is different about them and everyone else. We missed that group that was coming through our sweet spot demographically who were idealistic and are picking up those who are pragmatic.”

“We are now able to dissect numbers, data and information in ways we never could before, which helps us to understand where consultants are doing things really well or where there are underserved areas in geographies.”
—Mark Stastny

Back to the Beginning

Scentsy reimagined its strategy—from brand to creativity to marketing—and is now focused on its interaction with the field through enhanced training and development. That is the last step of its reimagining: to have the training and development and leadership that support the massively improved product development process.

However, all strategies will always lead back to the values established by Orville and Heidi. And while the spirit of that container holds the key to their success, the opening of Scentsy Commons was incredibly important in transforming the mood of Scentsy.

Scentsy reimagined its strategy—from brand to creativity to marketing—and is now focused on its interaction with the field through enhanced training and development.

“When you have a family-owned business that is in rented space, it is tough to trust what is going to happen to that business long-term,” says Orville. “When we put down the deep and expensive roots of our campus, it is a sign to everyone that we are ghere to stay. That allowed us to recruit people we would not have been able to recruit and hire the talent we have been able to hire as a result of their subconscious trust in the company because of the campus.”

May 01, 2016

Company Focus

Fresh perspective Brings Energy Boost to LifeVantage

by Lin Grensing-Pophal

Click here to order the May 2016 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.

Company Profile

Founded: 2003
Headquarters: Salt Lake City, Utah
Top Executive: President and CEO Darren Jensen
Products: wellness, anti-aging, weight loss and energy
2015 Revenue: $190 million

Darren Jensen Darren Jensen
Justin Rose Justin Rose
Ryan Goodwin Ryan Goodwin

A wonder kid of sorts that exploded onto the direct selling scene in 2009, LifeVantage has seen its fair share of exponential growth and powerhouse performance of its products. But momentum could become short-term unless a company reinvigorates its strategy and purpose, and that’s where LifeVantage was in 2015—it had a track record of growth but was losing traction. The company stock was at an all-time low and was in danger of being de-listed from the exchange. Furthermore, turnover was high and the field appeared to have lost confidence.

But the beginnings of a turnaround were being put into motion. New leadership, new products and a refocus on core competencies would rejuvinate this resilient company.

LifeVantage had seen its share of growing pains. In November 2006, the company formerly known as Lifeline Therapeutics Inc. was still trying to find its identity when it announced a name change at its annual meeting. As then-CEO Stephen K. Onody said: “…our new name better articulates the company’s vision and dedication to helping people reach their health and wellness goals with science-based natural solutions.”

The company had a lot going for it. LifeVantage’s signature product, a nutraceutical called Protandim, was backed by compelling science—its natural, indirect antioxidants signal the body’s genes to increase production of antioxidant enzymes that work together as the body’s first line of defense against free radicals. This was made possible through the research of Dr. Joe McCord, a scientist and former Chief Scientific Officer with the company. Originally sold through retail stores, the product was removed from those cluttered shelves in 2009 when the company chose to move forward with a direct sales model.

The ensuing years saw additional transitions as the company worked to gain a foothold. It expanded into more countries, and is now in nine markets with the most significant growth in the U.S. But while sales surged at times, the growth was hard to sustain. Then, in 2015, a new CEO arrived—Darren Jensen, a 25-year veteran of direct sales who came to the company from his most recent position as President of the Americas and Chief Sales Officer at a company showing significant growth in the channel.

LifeVantage LifeVantage corporate headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Since then, the company has been orchestrating a turnaround for LifeVantage. “The last nine months were really about applying certain principles and tactics to successfully manage a downturn in business and return it to growth,” says Jensen. Throughout his years in the direct sales industry, Jensen says he’s seen many examples of what he calls “pop and drop” companies: those that rise to significant success rapidly, but then fail just as rapidly. “As an industry, we need to be focused on sustainability,” he says.

Jensen didn’t know he would be taking the helm at LifeVantage when he attended SUCCESS Partners University in 2015. There, he says, he was inspired by a presentation given by Cindy Monroe from Thirty-One Gifts. Monroe, he says, talked about the whitewater that businesses sometimes need to navigate in order to move into a predictable success base. Jensen says he was definitely in whitewater when he assumed the role of CEO. He says: “The first thing that I was facing was a pending delisting from the Nasdaq.” Stock price must remain about $1.00, he says, or a company gets put on probation. The second challenge was an identity challenge. The company’s top executives didn’t seem to have alignment on what the company existed to do.

“We were facing an issue of sustainability. That’s where we were when I arrived at the company.”
—Darren Jensen, President and CEO

Jensen discovered this during an interview with the board. He gave them an assignment. In 30 seconds, or less, and in 20 words, or fewer, he asked them to write down what their message to the field was, and then he asked each board member to read his or her message out loud. “It was rather funny,” he recalls. “In general, they said that we were a product company—we did this, we did that, but there was nothing that distinguished us.” Jensen knew he needed to not only get everybody sharing the same message but also ensure that this message effectively distinguished the company and its offerings from the competition.

There were other challenges:

  • The leadership team needed some adjustments to move the company forward, Jensen decided. “I did a complete turnover of the executive leadership team, which happened within just a few months.”
  • The company had a heavy, and singular, focus on just one product. That, he felt, put the company at risk.
  • The field leaders appeared to have lost confidence and trust in the organization.
  • Public conversations were impacting the industry, which, says Jensen, “began to muddy the waters as to what was acceptable and what was not.”
  • “We were facing an issue of sustainability,” Jensen emphasizes.

Chief Sales Officer Justin Rose addresses the audience at a recent LifeVantage event.

A Focus on the Core

In an effort to turn the company around, executives began to identify what the core assets of LifeVantage were. Solidifying these would provide the scalability that is critical to a company’s sustainability. “As you begin to grow, you don’t want it to implode,” Jensen says. A number of core assets were identified:

  • The intellectual property that existed in the form of patents and scientific studies
  • The distributor field and leaders
  • The corporate executives
  • A trio of concepts that Jensen refers to as T3: “tools, training and technology”
  • Operational excellence
  • The ability to tell a compelling story and communicate it to the masses
  • Building a trust network

All were important, but the company would need to focus to regain success. It was doing too many things at once, and losing sight of what the field needed. Jensen says, the company knew that it had lost the confidence of its field leaders. One of his first moves was to fly in the field leaders to speak to them directly.

“I laid out a series of eight steps and the timeframe I was going to implement them. I knew I had to form a trust network with these people,” Jensen says. But, the message wasn’t a slam dunk. Many, he says, sat back and said, “We’ve heard this before.” He knew he had to prove himself. And he did.
“Basically, we were able to implement all of those eight steps within just a matter of a few weeks to a couple of months,” Jensen says. That really began to restore the confidence of field leaders.

“In my experience, most companies talk about moving into momentum. But once you’re in momentum, they don’t do anything because they don’t want to fall out of momentum.”
—Darren Jensen

Building Momentum

Once the company began to improve its outcomes and generate momentum, the challenge would become maintaining that momentum. “In my experience, most companies talk about moving into momentum,” he says. “But once you’re in momentum, they don’t do anything because they don’t want to fall out of momentum.” To combat this potential, LifeVantage created a framework to define, monitor and score momentum. After analyzing field activities and results, executives created a score to give to specific groups, as well as individuals, to value their momentum. Then the leadership team was able to look at the company as a whole to view the momentum shifts that occurred.

The company also began to focus on field data, looking closely at the lifecycle of distributors. In the direct selling industry, between the time people first enroll and when their first order is placed, a lot of them fall off or go into a significant period of inactivity. So the company began to quantify this lifecycle to improve retention. They defined a “month zero” as the month the first order is placed and months one, two, three, etc., as the months thereafter. “We wanted to maximize strategies to make our distributors more productive, so we began focusing some of our tactics on improving retention between month zero and month one,” Jensen says. In addition, he says: “We wanted to get money in the hands of distributors as quickly as possible. We knew that if they were making money, that it would prove that the business worked.”

To drive the momentum, LifeVantage put in place a number of programs and incentives. As a result, in just two months, distributors doubled the average purchase of when they joined the company. Retention also increased dramatically.

However, amidst the momentum, challenges in the channel emerged that required new thinking about incentive packages and compensation. In response, LifeVantage made a number of large and small changes to its comp plan.

Through it all, though, one key focus was rebuilding the trust network—showing field distributors and leaders that the company executives meant what they said and that they would deliver on the promises made.

“Including field leadership at the right time and showing them, specifically, how you’re telling a better brand story, and then finding out how well they think you’re doing and communicating design decisions is absolutely critical.”
—Ryan Goodwin, Chief Marketing Officer

Telling the Story

Another critical area of focus was creating and telling a compelling story. Jensen says, “We knew that we had to refine our message, and we knew that it had to be ‘repeatable, relevant and emotionally compelling,’ as one industry expert would say.” In this process LifeVantage reached out to a vendor partner in the industry with expertise in all forms of communication and branding. “They were critical allies for us in refining that message, helping us determine who we were and telling that story to create something that our field could rally around,” he says.

Ryan Goodwin, Chief Marketing Officer with LifeVantage, says the process of re-energizing the brand was “very near and dear to my heart because I come from a branding background.” The initiative had already been started when he joined the company, and it focused on telling the company’s story. The focus was twofold: the belief that it is the distributor’s, or individual’s, growth that is the path to future success, and positioning the company and its products as science-based. “We used both of those stories to base all of our decisions,” Goodwin says.

Unlike other rebranding initiatives Goodwin has seen, this one was a resounding success with the field. The discovery process, broad involvement and input likely played a role in that, he says. Stakeholders, including staff, customers and field members, were interviewed, culminating in the creation of a 100-plus-page document to encapsulate their input. Too often, Goodwin says, branding initiatives are created “in a bubble” and then introduced to an understandably less-than-excited field. He calls that “launching from the stage” and says, “That’s just not the way to do it.” Instead, the field was included in the process. In addition to the interviews, once some concepts had been developed, focus groups were held so the field could see and react to prototypes.

“Including field leadership at the right time and showing them, specifically, how you’re telling a better brand story, and then finding out how well they think you’re doing and communicating design decisions is absolutely critical,” he says. “When we do that, I find that you’ll get 97–100 percent approval ratings from your leadership.” 

The Field: Building a Trust Network

Justin Rose, Chief Sales Officer with LifeVantage, worked with Jensen when both were with another major company. “We kind of jumped into it right when they were experiencing some tremendous growth and really started our career there,” he says. Both went on to other direct sales organizations before finding their paths leading back to each other at LifeVantage. Rose started just a few months after Jensen. His first day on the job involved attending the company’s leadership Elite Academy, an event that drew about 5,000 people to Kansas City, Missouri.

“It was the first opportunity that Darren and I had to meet our leadership and, more importantly, their first time to meet us,” says Rose. “It was an opportunity for Darren to share with them his vision, and I can tell you that it was immediately adopted by our leadership.” It was a critical point for the company, he notes. “The thing that had been probably one of the biggest challenges here at LifeVantage was just the field’s belief that we truly have a management team that has their best interests in mind, and that are here for the long term.”

“The thing that had been probably one of the biggest challenges here at LifeVantage was just the field’s belief that we truly have a management team that has their best interests in mind, and that are here for the long term.”
—Justin Rose, Chief Sales Officer

The ability to get that group on board, and believing in the ability of the management team to move the company forward, was a must do, Jensen says, and it was done starting at that event in Kansas City. “When you get that belief, you start to see your leaders re-engage,” he says.

A key component of generating this engagement was the introduction of new products. Historically, the company had focused on one product—Protandim, a dietary supplement protected by six U.S. patents and made of five potent botanicals. But executives believed that the company’s sustainability would depend on the ability to introduce new product offerings. Today, LifeVantage offers a wider range of products, including a TrueScience line of facial products; PhysIQ, a line of weight-loss products; Axio energy supplements; and even Canine Health supplements for dogs.

The strategy was to take its hero product and create a family of products around it, and LifeVantage will continue to expand those lines, integrating core aspects of other product lines that have value within the channel.

LifeVantage has taken some innovative approaches to new product introductions, straying from the traditional direct sales method of introducing products at distributor meetings. In December, they introduced their weight-loss line through a cyberlaunch, which Rose says was, “a tremendous success.” As a result, December was one of the best months the company has seen so far. He says, “To close a year with that kind of momentum just kind of carried everyone into and through the holidays, and they had a fantastic start to the new year.”

Seeing Success

The hard work has paid off. “Over the last eight months, our stock went from a low point of $1.40 up to as high as $10.55,” Jensen says. “Right now, we’re averaging somewhere in the $8-9 range.” Up through the end of December, only a few months into their new initiatives, the company saw its first growth cycle in six quarters, he says, for the first time in eleven quarters in Japan.

“I believe the biggest thing for our distributors to really get them into action and engaged is the fact that they have a leader who’s leading with purpose,” Jensen says. “Someone who is following through on the things that he’s committed to them.”

May 01, 2016

Company Focus

Strong Product Sales and Customer Retention Drive Q Sciences’ Growth

by Angela E. Soper

Click here to order the May 2016 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.

Company Profile

Founded: 2012
Headquarters: Pleasant Grove, Utah
Top Executive: Daren Hogge, Founder and CEO
Products: health and wellness

Daren HoggeDaren Hogge
Mark WilsonMark Wilson

The story behind the creation of Pleasant Grove, Utah-based Q Sciences parallels a classic movie plot line. It’s a story that contains serendipity, two skeptics initially wary of working together and a powerful spark ignited by a product with an established reputation in Canada that is now fueling growing interest in the United States—and beyond.

Daren Hogge, Q Sciences’ Founder and CEO, has a 28-year history of creating successful direct selling companies. He was actually retired when a friend in the channel told him about a product formulated by a Canadian man who had been successfully retailing it there for 17 years. The Canadian wanted to bring the product to the United States, but Hogge’s friend felt selling it in stores was not the correct channel. However, there was a problem: The Canadian did not like direct selling nor anyone associated it. Hogge also was wary about the potential partnership; he had been approached by many other people who claimed their products delivered remarkable results.

Two Days of Conversations Sealed the Deal

In October 2012, a week to the day after Hogge had volunteered at a local school and learned about the devastating effect stress has on children both in and out of the classroom, he received a call from the Canadian formulator. During two days of talks, Hogge learned about the product’s many independent studies (20 at the time) on how it helped to alleviate stress—especially in children—and its demand by people in Canada. The formulator got to know Hogge and direct selling. After the two days, they struck a deal: Hogge could have exclusive rights to market the product through the direct sales channel.

By late December of the same year, Hogge had created Q Sciences with Marc Wilson and Jimmy Kossert and the company was selling and shipping the product, called EMPowerplus™ Q96. Hogge had been won over when he discovered that people had been buying the product for 17 years without making money on those purchases and with no intention of ever making money. “Something is happening here with a product like that,” he remembers thinking. “Because if it isn’t impacting people, they’re not going to buy a product for that long.”

Product demand in the United States spurred the quick launch. “We started without a website… without a compensation plan,” Hogge says. “We started with products that we knew would make a difference in people’s lives.” And it is this demand for the company’s products now offered that is driving steady and growing sales.

Korean IBOs enjoy a recent Q Sciences incentive trip to Hawaii.

A 65 Percent Retention Rate

Every year since that December 2012 launch, Q Sciences has nearly doubled its revenue and credits that growth to its focus on product sales and customer retention strategies. It is trending, especially in the past six months, toward a four-to-one ratio of customers to the company’s salesforce, or Independent Business Owners (IB0s), with approximately 20,000 IBOs and Preferred Customers.

Colby Greene, Q Sciences’ Chief Financial Officer, says each month the ratio of customers to IBOs is “getting more and more heavily weighed to the customer side.” The company also has notable customer retention. “We took a look at people who started with us back in January 2013, and of those people, how many purchased product in the last three months,” he says. “We came back with 65 percent. After three years, to still have 65 percent [customer retention] is something to be proud of, I believe.”

EMPowerplus™ Q96, considered the “Q foundation” for the company’s product line and billed as a product that provides “calm, coping and clarity,” has an impressive pedigree when it comes to its scientific background; it’s now backed by 28 independent, published clinical studies. “They’re all third-party studies… nothing has ever been paid for by the formulators, the manufacturer or by Q Sciences,” adds Greene.

Q Sciences is trending toward a four-to-one ratio of customers to IBOs.

Lowering the Price Was a Strategic Decision

Enhancing the product’s popularity among both customers and IBOs is its price; Q Sciences actually managed to lower the price when it acquired the rights to sell the product through the direct sales channel. Hogge says they felt lowering the price would get the product into the hands of more people, which was their primary goal.

Company Founder and Executive Managing Director Marc Wilson believes their ability to offer such a popular product at a lower price caught people’s attention. “I think that was quite a surprise to many people,” he says. “I don’t think they’d seen that happen too many times.”

Q Sciences’ products are a big reason Wilson is so pleased to be involved with the company—a business venture that is new to him on a full-time scale. “We have really seen that our products can make a difference in people’s lives,” he states. “And I can’t tell you how that makes me feel every morning.… I just can’t wait to hear what’s happened for someone or someone’s family—that’s just a phenomenal thing that I love about it.”

Q Sciences actually managed to lower the price when it acquired the rights to sell the products through the direct sales channel.

A Business Model He Never Forgot

Known as a skilled negotiator and leader, Wilson lives in Seattle, Washington, when he is not at company headquarters helping to devise corporate strategies. He has founded and managed several successful companies, including a real estate development and investment firm, a commercial property management and brokerage company, and a private equity firm. He also spent the first 10 years after college playing professional football for the Oakland Raiders, where his career included two Super Bowl Championship seasons.

TEXTQ Sciences corporate headquarters in Pleasant Grove, Utah.

Direct selling, however, had caught Wilson’s attention when he was still in college, and he never got it out of his mind. “I was an economics major in college and in one of these classes we studied all the distribution channels.… One of those channels was direct sales and I was absolutely blown away by the financial model of direct sales,” he explains. “I had never been exposed to it before, and I just thought it was the most incredible model I’d seen. I never really forgot that.” Years later he worked as a financial consultant for a startup direct sales company, which enabled him to learn about the business model from the inside out. This experience confirmed his positive opinion of direct selling and reinforced his desire to start Q Sciences with Hogge and Kossert, the company’s master distributor.

Q Sciences’ lineup of products has grown considerably since its beginning three years ago. The company now offers a wide range of health and wellness supplements and products. It even offers a Cellerciser—the mini-trampoline that facilitates a form of exercise known as rebounding— designed to promote daily exercise; Q MindFit with PorterVision, a brain/mind development tool; and a vitamin/mineral supplement for pets.

The product development process is overseen by a team of doctors led by Stephen Kimberley, M.D., the Chief Science Officer, and William Moshofsky, M.D., the Chief Medical Officer. Once a new product is developed to the team’s satisfaction and rigorous standards, its maufacturing is outsourced to an approved facility here in the U.S. Drs. Kimberley and Moshofsky make sure that the products stay firmly rooted in science.

“Something is happening here with a product like that… because if it isn’t impacting people, they’re not going to buy a product for that long.”
—Daren Hogge, Founder and CEO

Promoting the Science of Happiness

According to Marmion Harrington, the company’s Senior Director of Marketing, Q Sciences takes very seriously its philosophy to purify, optimize and protect as it promotes the “Science of Happiness” with each of its products as well as within its community and corporate culture. “Daren always says, ‘The purpose of life is to be happy,’ and our purpose is to make that possible,” Harrington says.

In keeping with Q Sciences’ emphasis on giving people more happiness in their lives and, as its slogan says, “Live Life eXponentially,” Greene says he feels that the company’s products help to alleviate the stress so prevalent in society today. “It’s such a good product because everybody out there is dealing with stress,” he notes. The majority of IBOs are women who want to own their own businesses and take charge of their families’ health and well-being. The company culture is built on a formula that is both simple and easy to embrace: Proper Nutrition + Physical Activity + Friendship & Community + Opportunity = Happiness. By incorporating fitness and proper nutrition, along with building healthy relationships, the company embraces and promotes to its IBOs and customers a culture that goes beyond product sales. Hogge believes this attractive culture is one of the key reasons for the company’s high customer retention rate.

The company also promotes its culture on social media by encouraging IBOs and customers to share quick notes of gratitude, perform simple daily tasks for others or even paying for a stranger’s lunch.

Expansion Up Ahead

Along with making sure each of its products is supported by reliable science, Q Sciences focuses on providing delivery systems that meet people’s needs. It has formulated its key product in powder form for those who can’t take a tablet or capsule, and its oral sprays offer an additional form of supplementation that is easily absorbed into the bloodstream. “We try to address every aspect of nutrition,” Harrington says.

“After three years, to still have 65 percent [customer retention] is something pretty unique to this industry, I believe.”
—Colby Greene, Chief Financial Officer

Hogge says the science team focuses first and foremost on absorption. “If the body can actually take [ingredients] in and use them, you’re going to see results,” Hogge explains. “I think that’s another one of the reasons our retention rate is so high.”

Rounding out Q Sciences’ mission to bring happiness to as many people as possible is its commitment to its IBOs. Harrington points out that the company has created product-specific replicated sites to help IBOs direct customers and prospects to particular product interests, as well sample packages that allow customers to try products. And, she adds, the back office provided to each IBO details all of the promotions going on in the company. “There’s quite a lot of information available on all the different products [and] for IBOs for their training,” she states.

“If the body can actually take [ingredients] in and use them, you’re going to see results…. I think that’s one of the reasons our retention rate is so high.”
—Daren Hogge

As customers continue to increase, company leaders feel these strong and steady sales will fuel growth around the world. Now marketing its products in Canada, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany with a relatively small staff of 52 employees, Wilson predicts Q Sciences will be open in 20 to 25 countries within five years and in 50 countries within 10 years and the company will continue to grow. “We have a product that’s going to play well in all those markets,” Wilson says. According to Hogge, the next market the company will open is Mexico, followed by countries in Central and South America.


For Hogge, serving the company’s IBOs and customers is the ultimate purpose for him and his staff. “We work for our Independent Business Owners,” he emphasizes. Hogge has become known for his “Q IT UP!” exclamation that defines what he feels is important about the company and its mission. Hogge explains that the Q stands for quality; the I for “I am third” after God and the IBOs/customers; the T is for trustworthy; the U stands for uncompromising values; and the P represents purpose.

“I was absolutely blown away by the financial model of direct sales… and I just thought it was the most incredible model I’d seen. I never really forgot that.”
—Marc Wilson, Founder and Executive Managing Director

Quick and astronomical revenue figures are not what is important at this stage of the company’s development, Hogge says. “We’re going to continue to grow and double if we’re doing what’s right for our IBOs,” he says. “They’re the ones who are going to make the growth, not the company. So let’s just keep doing what we need to do, and they will go out and do what they need to do in sharing our products out of trust and love of other people, and then this company will continue to do phenomenal things.”

May 01, 2016

DSA News

Direct Selling: Adapting and Growing in a Changing World

by Joseph N. Mariano

Click here to order the May 2016 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.

The theme for DSA’s Annual Meeting in Phoenix this year is Reimagine. I’ll provide some context.

Direct selling has always been and will always be built on establishing strong person-to-person relationships. Direct selling companies differentiate themselves and their businesses from other forms of retail by the heightened level of customer service required of the model, and by the entrepreneurial opportunity provided by the particular nature of the selling itself. But while the distinct qualities inherent in direct selling won’t change, the marketplace always does. And as the marketplace evolves, so must businesses, including direct selling businesses. That’s why DSA is looking forward to bringing executives and thought leaders together in Phoenix: to reimagine the evolution of direct selling.

Technology is undoubtedly changing the face of our channel, and the adaptability of our business model puts direct selling companies in an ideal place to capitalize on an increasingly independent yet interconnected, cyber yet “social,” world. Technology enables direct sellers to reach current and prospective consumers more effectively than ever before, and it affords consumers easier access to their independent sales rep. The potential is truly limitless, yet this changing environment presents challenges as well: unauthorized online sales through e-commerce and auctions sites, fraudsters who target direct sellers and their customers through stolen personal information, and increased customer demand for immediate order fulfillment at little or no cost.

I have been witness to the growing conversations among direct selling CEOs, company executives, field members and even policy makers on how best to seize these myriad opportunities and meet the challenges presented by a rapidly changing marketplace. And DSA’s Annual Meeting this June will be the forum for that conversation to continue in earnest. The Annual Meeting will provide the resources and education you need to harness emerging technologies and apply them to your business in the most practical and ethical way. We’ve asked Daniel Burrus, best-selling author and New York Times top-three business guru, to kick start the discussion with his strategies for capitalizing on technology advances so that your direct selling business can prosper.

DSA’s Annual Meeting has always been the premier direct selling event of the year, and the best place to share solutions with your peers. I have no doubt this year’s meeting in Phoenix will offer that and more. Not only plentiful networking opportunities, but a voice in the discussion of how our individual businesses—and, indeed, the entire business model—will seize new opportunities and thrive in changing times. The economic landscape is evolving, and so can we. But let’s not simply follow the change; let’s lead the change. I greatly look forward to seeing you at DSA’s Annual Meeting in Phoenix this June as we reimagine the future marketplace and the future of direct selling. Please visit annualmeeting.dsa.org to learn more.

Joseph MarianoJoseph N. Mariano is President of the U.S. Direct Selling Association

May 01, 2016

Publisher's Note

Let’s Celebrate!

by Lauren Lawley Head

Click here to order the May 2016 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.

Lauren Lawley Head

We’re wrapping up a month of celebrations at Direct Selling News, first with the April 1 publication recognizing our inaugural class of Best Places to Work in Direct Selling honorees and then just a few days later the seventh annual Global 100 Celebration.

We were honored to have record levels of participation in the Global 100 program. Nearly 400 people attended the gala, including some who traveled from Canada, Europe, Japan, Malaysia and Mexico, and many thousands participated in the countdown via social media. Twenty-five companies supported the Global 100 as sponsors, and we are especially grateful to each of them: Platinum sponsors A C N, Amway, Isagenix, It Works!, Jeunesse, Le-Vel and Total Life Changes; Gold sponsors AdvoCare, Ambit, Oriflame, Plexus, Stream, World Global Network, WorldVentures and Zurvita; and Silver sponsors New Avon, IDLife, Immunotec, LifeVantage, Mannatech, Mary Kay, Nerium, Nu Skin, Scentsy and Young Living. We also have been gratified to see so many companies celebrating their achievements on the Global 100 and North America 50 lists by sharing the news through their social networks and media contacts.

The list itself tells an exciting story of the power and potential direct selling has worldwide. This is the first year we’ve seen 20 companies with net sales of $1 billion or more, and it is the strongest showing for companies in the $500 million to $1 billion range as well. It is through the dedication and hard work of the entire direct selling community—executives, distributors and supplier partners alike—that the channel is able to bring unique, high-quality products and services to market while also offering a powerful path to entrepreneurship.

You’ll see even more coverage of the Global 100 in our June edition, which will feature in-depth analysis of the list along with profiles on all 100 companies. It also will include coverage of 2016 Bravo Leadership Award winner Magnus Brännström, CEO of Switzerland-based Oriflame, and 2016 Bravo Growth Award winner Le-Vel, which posted a 254 percent increase in net sales from $98.6 million in 2014 to $349 million in 2015.

For those of you attending the U.S. Direct Selling Association Annual Meeting in Phoenix June 5-7, be sure to stop by and say hello to the Direct Selling News team at Booth No. 904. We’d love an opportunity to connect in person and share story ideas, discuss upcoming research projects and explore ways in which we might be of service to you.

All the best,
Lauren Lawley Head
Publisher and Editor in Chief

May 01, 2016

Working Smart

How Breaking Tradition Can Help Your Social Sellers Shine

by Sharleen Reyes

Click here to order the May 2016 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.

Every salesforce has its traditions, whether it’s a quick ritual to gear up for the week or a unique way of approaching follow-up calls. Traditions can be a powerful way to strengthen the culture of a team, develop consistent practices and provide structure that enables each salesperson to thrive.

But traditions also can be a double-edged sword. Relying too heavily on the things you have done in the past can prevent you and your team from adapting and evolving. Many of the most effective sales teams know how to strike a balance between convention and thinking outside of the box. Sometimes, you stay ahead of the game and learn more by breaking the rules.

Legacy Republic experienced this lesson firsthand during our first Mother’s Day as a company last year. Our mission is to help people preserve and share their family legacies by digitizing their personal videos and photo albums. We achieve this through a network of social sellers, called “Legacy Makers,” who engage with customers by educating them on the importance of digitizing their family memories. While Mother’s Day is typically viewed as a one-day celebration, we decided to buck tradition and turn it into a week’s worth of festivities. The expanded “Mother’s Week” timeline ended up providing greater convenience for the sellers, hosts and guests alike, and gave the sellers more time to create immersive, customized experiences for their customers.

Switching up the way things are done and actively experimenting with new ways is an important part of planning long-term business strategies. In today’s fast-moving world, stagnation can be the kiss of death. Any business, no matter the size or sector, that wants to succeed is striving to stay agile and relevant. Let’s take a look at the five steps businesses can take to help their sales teams shine.

1) Defy Tradition

The glue of tradition can unite your independent sellers who don’t have the common ground of working together in an office.

But the “glue of tradition” also can cause your sellers to get stuck. If they cling too closely to what they know, they can become less responsive to the cues of their environments and may miss out on new opportunities. You may be able to sustain your sales, but your business may face limitations.

Therefore, sales managers should cultivate a culture of innovation. Let your sellers know that you want them to experiment, iterate, adapt and put their own personal spin on how they sell. Giving them wiggle room can make the sales process more authentic, since sellers are being true to themselves rather than convention, and they may just land on a golden nugget insight that could push their business forward. And don’t be afraid to be unconventional in your company’s approach to sales, since the most effective strategy is often the one that is unique and true to your brand and company culture. Create an entirely new experience for customers and sellers alike.

2) Make It Easy

Sellers can do their best work when they are not bogged down by bureaucracy, legwork and minutiae. Their focus and energies ultimately should be directed at the customer. And businesses have within their power so much to make the sales process easier for their sellers. This may require getting more involved in the creative support you offer your sellers.

For example, we designed and distributed special Mother’s Week-themed kits. Each “celebration in a box” included a step-by-step guide for running a successful celebration and branded content that promoted interactivity and fun, such as game cards with questions about memorable mom moments that helped foster conversation. In addition, it included Mother’s Week-themed wine bottles, labels and party favors that ensured they took the experience home with them, as well as photo booth signs that encouraged guests to take pictures and share on social networks.

Every element of these kits reduced the preparation our sellers had to do for their Mother’s Week sales push, while also making their celebrations as impactful and memorable as possible. What constitutes the sales support will differ widely for every business, but the key lesson is to make it easy for sellers to engage with their customers meaningfully before, during and after their pitch.

Don’t be afraid to be unconventional in your company’s approach to sales, since the most effective strategy is often the one that is unique and true to your brand and company culture.

3) Motivate with Tangible Rewards and Recognition

There is an art and a science to motivating employees and the sales field, whether they are an accountant or a sales star. Research from the American Psychological Association shows that recognition and rewards are essential for ensuring they are happy, motivated and productive. However, most people, especially millennials, “work for purpose, not paycheck,” according to Forbes writer Karl Moore, and it may surprise some sales leaders to learn that cash is not always the best way to motivate your salesforce.

You can boost the motivation and engagement of your sales team by breaking with tradition and looking for new, interesting ways to reward. Companies using incentive programs reported a 79 percent success rate in achieving their established goals when the correct reward was offered, according to Blackhawk Engagement Solutions.

And the more public and personal the recognition, the better. A study from Bersin and Associates found that organizations where recognition occurs perform 14 percent better on engagement, productivity and customer service than those where recognition does not occur. We learned that the most coveted prizes are ones that gain our Legacy Makers some visibility, and help them grow their businesses.

4) Make the Experience #Social

In today’s digital age, it is imperative that businesses incorporate social media into their long-term sales strategy, especially for companies whose sales take place “offline” and in person. Think about how you can leverage social media at every step of the sales process to make the experience complete; think creatively about how to use social media channels to expand the conversations happening offline.

At Legacy Republic, we conducted a Facebook Photo Contest and shared the photo entries to spark more mom conversations on our social media channels throughout the week. We also encouraged our sellers to share memories from their own Celebration events across social media. This widened the reach of these intimate events to our growing online community, and made more moms feel like they could participate, while we also personalized our brand and conveyed our mission in an authentic way.

Be sure to provide a specific hashtag so that everyone participating can drive traffic in a way you can easily monitor.

5) Make It Official

Press releases are traditionally reserved for big corporate announcements. But there is no hard-and-fast rule that says press releases have to be limited in this way. Press releases, as well as other forms of content, such as blog posts, can be a great way to connect with your sellers.

A press release can feel more “official” to laud their efforts and serve as both communication and recognition. This is especially important for a distributed salesforce, where each seller is really operating on their own as an entrepreneur. Press releases are an effective way to keep them informed and feel like they are part of the community. Additionally, blog posts can be a powerful way to convey lessons about sales strategies, among other relevant topics.

Don’t have the budget to hire a PR pro? Work with a strong writer internally. There are plenty of online resources to guide you through the process.

For all the countless books about “how to sell,” the reality is that there is no secret. What is effective in a salesperson varies significantly between individuals, campaigns and companies. Rather than adhering to tradition, break out of the norms. Inspire your team of social sellers to be creative and independent, so that they can have fun as they sell and drive long-term business results.

Which creative strategies has your team used to drive activity, engagement and sales?

Sharleen ReyesSharleen Reyes is Vice President of Marketing at Legacy Republic, the social selling division of YesVideo Inc. that offers services to preserve family photos and videos.

May 01, 2016

Top Desk

Sharing Our Story in the Thriving Gig Economy

by John Parker

Click here to order the May 2016 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.

The direct selling industry today is at a critical juncture. We can capitalize on the rising wave of the “Gig Economy,” in which people are increasingly looking to work independent from a traditional employer and with more flexibility. Or we can allow ourselves to be displaced into irrelevance by the rising tide of new ventures like Uber and Postmates, due to public misperception that we are an antiquated business model offering low earnings potential.

When facing this fork in the road, which path will we choose? We know that the potential for direct selling is vast. More than 18 million people were involved in the industry in the United States in 2014, with estimated sales reaching $34.5 billion, a 5.5 percent increase from 2013, according to the U.S. DSA. The direct sales channel continues to experience steady growth, as more individuals generated more revenue in 2014 than any year previously.

We also know that the gig economy is on the rise, no matter what you label it—sharing economy, on-demand economy, peer-to-peer economy, freelance nation, etc. By any name, the trend of individuals seeking to work independent from an employer with more flexible hours and more flexible locations is becoming a movement. According to a poll from Time magazine, Burson-Marsteller and the Aspen Institute Future of Work Initiative, 44 percent of U.S. adults have participated in this type of work, as lenders and borrowers, drivers and riders, hosts and guests.

Amway’s own annual Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report (AGER) also uncovers the increasing desire people have for more independent work. We surveyed nearly 50,000 people in 44 countries in 2015 and found that 75 percent have a positive attitude toward entrepreneurship. The age group most optimistic toward entrepreneurship was under 35, with 81 percent of respondents citing a positive attitude.

But is the direct selling industry considered a part of the Gig Economy trend? Perhaps the bigger question is, do we even want to be?

I would argue that yes, of course, we want to be part of this trend. In fact, we must be, if we want to continue to thrive. Whether they’re called solopreneurs, side-giggers or freelancers, these people want similar work options—income opportunity, flexibility in hours and location, and independence from an employer, all with low barriers to entry. These are benefits direct sellers have been offering for decades, since long before anyone ever uttered the term “Gig Economy.”

But we don’t often see direct selling referenced in the current conversation about the future of work. What’s holding us back from being top of mind as an attractive income opportunity for today’s entrepreneurs?

I challenge all of us to work on the following six areas. Many of these deal with how we tell our story. That’s because in my more than 20 years in the industry, I’m continually dumbfounded by the disconnect between the value of what direct selling actually offers and the public’s perception of our industry. The misunderstanding is clearly, in part, on us. We need to do a better job of owning our story and telling it consistently, clearly and concisely.

I’m continually dumbfounded by the disconnect between the value of what direct selling actually offers and the public’s perception of our industry. We need to do a better job of owning our story and telling it consistently, clearly and concisely.

Keep It Real

It’s critical that we position our income opportunity realistically. Statistics show most people work direct selling businesses part time and earn part-time income. When there is a gap between the income expectation created with a new distributor and the earnings they actually generate, there is real dissatisfaction that leads to a negative reputation. Clearly stated earnings disclosures are critical to managing expectations.

Be Transparent

There are not only widespread misperceptions about direct selling, there also are many misunderstandings about what we sell, how people earn money, what separates legitimate direct selling from illegal schemes, etc. Proactively and candidly explaining who we are and how our businesses work is an area we need to improve.

At Amway, we’re launching a new website called “Amway Answers,” which answers the most commonly asked questions about our business head-on. This includes the more difficult questions about pyramid schemes, retention rates, the role of recruiting, and others. We’re straightforward with these questions and empower Amway Business Owners with a resource from which to share answers or refer others.

Emphasize Our Products

Despite what some outside our industry might think, no one earns money in direct selling until a product is sold. And direct selling companies offer a wide array of high-quality, differentiated products that meet a variety of customer needs in health, beauty, jewelry, apparel, home care, kitchenware and other categories. Products are the income generator of our businesses and the very reason we are a $34.5 billion industry. We must be sure to emphasize this more often.

Demonstrate Distributor Value

A common question we receive is “Why would I buy from a distributor when I could just go to the store?” While the answer can be found partly in the above point on our differentiated products, the answer also lies in demonstrating the unique value that distributors bring to every sales transaction. Direct sellers have deep product expertise and customer service skills, enabling them to build relationships and provide their customers a level of personalized service that cannot be found by shopping in a traditional store or on a website. This is an aspect of our business that we must better illustrate in order to remain competitive.
Deliver Strong Consumer Protections

Direct selling is an inherently low-cost, low-risk venture. On top of our low barrier to entry, we need to improve our policies to ensure we offer the best satisfaction guarantees of any industry on products and registration fees. This is further proof that we care about our customers and do right by those who engage with us. It’s imperative we not only offer these strong consumer protections, but also make them front and center in our communications to underscore our industry’s commitment to customer protection.

Our 2015 research showed that when we use specific language and messaging, we can change perceptions.

Embrace Social and Digital

I’m often asked how we “compete” with online shopping, which I find a rather shortsighted question. Direct selling doesn’t compete with e-commerce—we’re part of it. Online shopping is a powerful tool for our distributors, as is social media for connecting with customers and sales groups, apps for demonstrating products, and mobile platforms for managing businesses. No industry is better poised to capitalize on the incredible rise of social and digital than direct selling. Pairing the personal touch of our model with today’s technology offers both customers and entrepreneurs the best of both worlds.

But don’t just take my word for it. We’ve done research at Amway that supports the importance of communicating more proactively and openly on the above areas. In 2015 we conducted a national survey and a series of focus groups to learn more about the best way to tell our story. Our research showed that when we use specific language and messaging, we can change perceptions. We saw individuals who at the beginning of the conversation were not at all open to direct selling, but as we changed our language they began to change their minds.

Those of us who are part of the direct selling industry know firsthand what an incredible platform we offer the world—quality products customers want combined with a low-cost, low-risk way people with entrepreneurial mindsets can own their own business selling those products. It’s our responsibility to ensure the world outside of our industry also understands our story. Improving how we communicate about ourselves, better connecting the value we provide to people looking for different ways to earn income, and addressing the misperceptions and misunderstandings about the industry head-on will enable us to capitalize on the trends in today’s business environment and continue to thrive well into the future.

John ParkerJohn Parker is Chief Sales Officer at Amway Inc.

May 01, 2016

Cover Story

Direct Selling: Our Unique Position in the YouEconomy

by Courtney Roush

Click here to order the May 2016 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.

A seismic shift is occurring right now in the American workplace. This shift is happening; there is no stopping it, and the impacts are not yet fully imaginable. The era in which employees invested lifetime tenure at a single company is essentially extinct. It used to be that you’d graduate college, find employment immediately after graduation, do your job well and rest easy that you had an insurance policy of sorts—a financial safety net that would carry you and your family for decades. You’d earn a promotion if you worked hard enough, and would receive the occasional perk over the years. The ultimate symbols of your achievement: the gold watch and pension plan upon your retirement.

Through a combination of changing economic conditions, corporate layoffs, employee ambition and evolving attitudes, lifetime employment became far less common. Downsizing forced employees to re-enter the job market as candidates, an experience that exposed them to new corporate cultures and different ideas. Some discovered jobs they liked better.

Among those who were spared a pink slip, morale began to decline as they watched longtime colleagues exit the building after years of service. Those layoff survivors were now expected to do more work for the same pay, or less. Employees’ professional goals were muffled in favor of bottom-line profits.

At the same time, we began to see a creep in the traditional corporate workday. The standard 9-to-5 schedule stretched to 8-to-5, then 8-to-6 and beyond. Commutes became longer as more families moved to the suburbs to avoid rising real estate costs. Technology tethered employees to their mobile devices and essentially put them on call 24 hours a day. Employee burnout was the inevitable result.

All of these factors have inspired some bold thinking among the American workforce. While some might say “new” bold thinking, we know that the current redefining of what it means to work is drawing upon the ideas and values that are fundamental to direct selling. Indeed, the market dynamics that are being celebrated today as the “Gig” or “Shared Economy” in which entrepreneurs have patched together various jobs, or “gigs,” based on their specific skill sets, draws heavily from the direct selling model of distribution.

Those involved in Uber, TaskRabbit, AirBnB, Rover and the myriad of other companies popping up are not traditional employees or temp workers but rather independent contractors. Given the potential this phenomenon has to change the way millions of Americans work—financial software company Intuit estimates that 40 percent of Americans would be performing some kind of freelance work by 2020—and its focus on the needs of the individual versus the corporation, we think the term “YouEconomy” is the most fitting descriptor.

As the YouEconomy continues to reshape the American marketplace, we as direct selling leaders have the opportunity to promote greater understanding of our channel and the role it can play in this movement toward more independence. New hip and modern brands are appearing on the would-be entrepreneur’s horizon every morning, each one competing, not just for customers, but for the independent contractor that powers the business. Each new opportunity presents viable options to every person who might consider your company as the chosen venue for their time, attention, energy and engagement. We must ensure we are conveying the many benefits of direct selling opportunities over the trendy alternatives. In fact, we must strive to be the hot alternative.

For anyone considering a more entrepreneurial lifestyle, this channel undoubtedly offers a slew of additional opportunities that make it one of the best choices. Today’s critical question for direct selling executives is simple: Is your company distinguishing itself as one of the most powerful avenues within the YouEconomy? If the answer is no, then you might be losing out even though you’re holding a winning hand.

Financial software company Intuit estimates that 40 percent of Americans will be performing some kind of freelance work by 2020.

Building Long-Term Income

There are several powerful differentiators between the rest of the YouEconomy opportunities and direct selling. One lies in the trading of time and assets for money. The contingent workers who represent most YouEconomy brands are making a direct exchange—their time and/or personal assets (car, home or other supplies) for a one-time swap of money. These companies provide a platform (in most cases, a mobile app) that connects service providers with customers who seek those services. They’re middlemen, so to speak. The workers who represent these brands realize almost immediate financial rewards; for example, a driver for Uber may spend four hours driving customers around today, and he or she will be paid for that time. The worker/customer relationship is likely to be a brief, transactional one.

By contrast, an individual can generate both near-term income from a new direct sales business, as well as a longer-term foundation for a meaningful income stream. Though this aspect does require a bit of patience and persistence, the rewards for that investment of time and effort can be greater than anything that can be found elsewhere in the YouEconomy: repeat business and residual income that works for the independent contractors even when they are not trading time or an asset.

YouEconomy brands are serving an important role in our marketplace. But how strongly tied are those contingent workers to the companies they represent?

This aspect of building a scalable business that transcends a mere point-of-sale transaction is one of the biggest draws of our channel. That’s also where direct selling stands alone in the YouEconomy. Automatic customer reorders plus team members’ sales and recruiting efforts all contribute to the solid foundation of a business that can sustain a consultant, earning her continued commissions, bonuses, trips, prizes and other recognition for years to come. Again, the focus is on the long term—not a quick sale. The more time and effort a consultant invests in her relationships with her customers and team members, the better the odds of developing a strong direct sales business with deep roots and significant residual income. With the emphasis on relationship-building, those strong customer ties result in longevity in direct sales.

A Culture of Community

Another differentiator within the YouEconomy opportunity of direct selling is the sense of community and culture that develops in and among the salesforce and in and among their customers. This community feel and engagement is akin to what employees may feel when they are engaged at work, and something that is often sacrificed when one joins the YouEconomy.

The rewards for the investment of time and effort in direct selling can be greater than anything you could find elsewhere in the YouEconomy: a broad customer base, repeat business, residual income, recognition and, above all, personal development.

The Society for Human Resource Management commissioned a survey of 600 employees in November 2014. The results, published in a research report titled “Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement: Optimizing Organizational Culture for Success,” revealed that there are several conditions under which engagement at work is more likely to occur. The top three: satisfaction with relationships they held with co-workers, satisfaction with the contribution of their work to the organization’s business goals, and the meaningfulness of the job. Indeed, identification with a purpose beyond one’s daily tasks is absolutely vital for employee retention. In those circumstances, work feels less like work and employees perform at a higher level, are more productive, experience less stress, and are simply happier. Employees who enjoy that connection to a larger corporate mission almost always work for a company that’s taken great care to build a solid culture that governs every decision. That culture is so pervasive that it builds a reserve of trust between employees and employer; employees are able to rest with the assurance that they work for a company with integrity.

Take a look around the YouEconomy landscape, and it becomes clear that most of these companies are a means for connecting product and service providers with interested consumers, usually via mobile technology. The entire economy depends upon strangers extending trust to one another for peer to peer transactions, and reliance upon referrals across that same peer network.

This foundational premise of today’s newer competitors has, of course, been the very fabric of direct selling for decades. Direct selling connects buyers and sellers through a network of trusted friends and acquaintances. These connections are made both online and offline and are forged between people who might otherwise never have been connected. The same tightknit culture that develops among friends, peers and trusted advisors also develops amidst the goods and services traded amongst those individuals. Direct sellers have always known this. The YouEconomy is now catching up.

In an environment in which faith in big corporations has waned, this decentralized new-world economy creates a sense of community in which peers become our trusted resource for information.

But how strongly tied are those non-direct selling contingent workers to the companies they represent? Do those companies recognize, reward and motivate their workers? Further, do those workers have the opportunity for advancement?

As all of us in the direct selling channel realize, the recipe for retention and sustained growth is creating a strong culture—a rallying cry, if you will—that forges loyalty among those who represent your brand.

With any independent business, there will be bumps in the road, at which point it’s vital to have a support system around you. A business owner who doesn’t have the benefit of a network, or who isn’t able to draw upon a greater purpose for her work, is more likely to lose her drive than someone with stronger ties to fellow representatives and a company that she knows has her back. 

Events serve as the cornerstone for motivating independent salesforce members, inspiring them and validating their decision to start a direct selling business. Within our channel are countless stories of consultants who, while sitting in the audience at one of those events, found themselves mesmerized during a salesforce leader’s speech. Many of those leaders began their journey with humble means and made the rise to the top through sheer determination and vision. For a representative to succeed, she has to see the journey beyond where she stands today, and that’s why attendance at company events is so important. It’s worth mentioning, too, that events typically offer professional training, recognition and product previews, which are all elements that can give direct sellers a leg up on their businesses.

On a more personal level, direct selling consultants have the benefit of other consultants within easy reach, in their respective networks and, often, in their communities. Regular meetings, phone calls and even social media all help reinforce those ties. And direct selling companies are known for maintaining close relationships with the independent salesforce members they serve; after all, without the salesforce, there would be no corporate jobs, and vice versa. That mutual support creates a family-like atmosphere that’s rare if not nonexistent within the broader YouEconomy, where it’s all too easy to be in a vacuum.

Personal Development

In this YouEconomy, success is entirely up to the individual. The very freedom that is offered away from the corporation also can be isolating if the individual does not seek community and personal opportunities on their own. Undertaking the journey of personal development is an absolute need within the YouEconomy. Yet, without being plugged into a group that also understands this need and makes it readily available, some members of the YouEconomy will falter in this area.

The opportunity for ongoing and systematic personal development is perhaps the most life-changing of all the differentiators that exist between direct selling and the rest of the YouEconomy opportunities. Opportunities for personal development are baked into the direct selling offering. From day one of any direct selling business, an independent consultant has full access to training and tools designed to help him share the products and, ultimately, the business opportunity. Everyone begins their journey at the same starting line, and the playing field is level. There is no discrimination by education, race, religion, age or any other factor. Expertise isn’t required, only passion.

Jim Rohn once said, “Effective communication is 20 percent what you know and 80 percent about how you feel about what you know.” As a channel, we have a tremendous opportunity to promote the wealth of personal development resources to which independent representatives are given access. Mobile technology has empowered direct sellers to invest in their personal development wherever they happen to be, whether it’s in the car between appointments or in the home office. Direct selling companies have taken great care to simplify this business and walk new consultants through this journey step by step. That path is well-worn by the consultants who traveled it before, and those veterans are an invaluable resource for newer salesforce members, with many of them traveling the country to inspire and motivate others.

Personal development is where the real magic of a direct sales business happens. Most people who begin a direct selling business are coming into the YouEconomy for the first time. They usually have little to no prior sales experience. They face the early roadblocks: the occasional no, the canceled order, the skepticism from family members or friends. It’s here that the road forks, and while some choose to remain focused on a long-term vision for their success, others can’t see beyond the short term. It’s the training that makes the difference here. It helps prevent the inevitable moments of discouragement from veering a consultant off course. There really is no finish line with direct sales—it’s an open-ended opportunity—and so the training never stops. Our channel serves it up every step of the way. The rewards for patience and determination are profound, including the personal satisfaction that comes from developing and nurturing a team and the transformation into a leader.

Unlike many other YouEconomy companies, we need never fear that technology will take over the direct selling industry. Instead, we’ve made room for its continued growth and evolution alongside the personalized customer service that continues to be our mainstay. 

Etsy, TaskRabbit, Society6 and other marketplaces are merely platforms for sellers; they do not provide the level of coaching, mentoring, encouragement and recognition that direct selling companies offer. These and other work opportunities in the YouEconomy are simply more flexible means to income generation than they are avenues for advancement. Direct selling, on the other hand, provides at every stage numerous opportunities for motivated individuals to stretch for the next rung on the ladder. No matter how high they climb, there’s always more to learn and achieve. And, of course, the beauty of this business is that distributors can’t reach the top without taking others with them. The opportunity for professional, personal and financial growth is exponential, as those team members in turn become mentors to their own team members. A direct sales business has the potential to be so much more than a financial stopgap. All of the ingredients are there for a representative to build and sustain a long-term, successful business and develop invaluable leadership skills good for a lifetime.

Our Channel Can Lead the Way

In our channel, we’ve been clear about the distinction between our corporate employees and the independent salesforce members who represent our brands. We’ve long defended ourselves against myths and allegations that sought to tarnish our reputation. We were pioneers of sorts, and that comes with the territory.

In our offering in the YouEconomy, we do not ask the sellers to bring extra rooms in their homes, or their cars, or their tools or any other asset. We supply everything they need and ask them to bring customers and invite them to leverage the material support we bring them. Our appeal as a channel is as broad as every consumer product and service imaginable—from household goods to beauty products; from health and wellness to essential services such as energy and broadband, and much more—all backed by support, training and proven systems. We are perfectly positioned to be the thought and action leaders in the YouEconomy.

We’re well aware that access to health insurance, a 401(k) and other perks would go a long way toward increasing salesforce attraction and retention. Those are challenges we’ve been mulling over as a channel for years, long before the YouEconomy came on the scene. However, now that these issues are garnering more mainstream attention, some important conversations are taking place, and the direct selling channel should play a leadership role in shaping those discussions.

While corporate America isn’t going anywhere, it’s undeniable that it has lost much of its appeal over the years, and that there are quite a few Americans who have decided it’s time to try something else. That fundamental shift has produced a question: What does it mean to be independent, and at what point is one really an employee?

In July 2015, David Weil of the U.S. Labor Department’s Labor and Wage division issued an opinion asserting that the majority of contingent workers were, in fact, employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The laws that define who’s who really haven’t changed over the past 60 years, according to Fortune reporter Anne Fisher in her article, “Does the U.S. Need New Rules for Workers in the Gig Economy?” But the advent of the YouEconomy and its subsequent momentum are raising some interesting questions.

The employee classification typically is determined by factors including whether work happens on the employer’s turf, whether the employer is providing the supplies used by its workforce, and the hours its workforce spends on the job. The worker versus employee classification is a critical distinction because companies must pay Social Security and Medicare taxes for employees, and adhere to state and federal laws that govern pay and hours. Employees also have the right to organize and bargain and are entitled to a minimum wage, overtime pay, unemployment insurance, workers compensation and civil rights protection.

While corporate America isn’t going anywhere, it’s undeniable that it’s lost some of its appeal over the years, and that there are quite a few Americans out there who have decided it’s time to try something else.

While Weil’s opinion isn’t law, it’s influential, raising what some consider to be a legitimate argument in the American marketplace, but especially within the YouEconomy. The name brands making news headlines today—the aforementioned Lyft, Uber and Rover, along with others like Thumbtack, Postmates, Instacart and Handy—perform the service of connecting, via an app, people who want a particular service and independent contractors who perform that service. Those contingent workers enjoy the freedom of working on a schedule of their choosing; however, there are aspects of their businesses that they don’t control, including fee caps, and they can be fired at the discretion of the companies they represent. The lines are becoming blurry, and that’s given rise to multiple lawsuits, most notably the class-action suit currently facing $40 billion giant Uber over the alleged misclassification of its workforce. The ability of the YouEconomy to continue to grow and prosper in large part depends upon resolving these lingering challenges, and that might include embracing—and absorbing the cost for—a broader definition of the term “employee.”

Direct selling companies can, and should, take a leadership role in these ongoing conversations. Collectively, direct selling represents over 18 million independent contractors in the U.S. alone and has established a network of political engagement at the local, state and national level. By participating in the discussions and leveraging our strengths, direct selling can support the growth of the YouEconomy, and thereby fuel a rise of entrepreneurship that can benefit us all.

Online magazine >em>Shareable posted its top 10 predictions for the Sharing Economy in 2016. Among the experts featured in the article was Natalie Foster, Co-Founder of Peers, a company that helps independent workers obtain portable benefits, or benefits that follow an individual throughout the YouEconomy. “A growing conversation around portable benefits is looking to create a ‘flexicurity’ answer for the United States,” Foster says. “In 2016, we will see the conversation around portable benefits grow into demonstration projects, as companies, unions and non-profits will try different variations of what it would look like for independent workers to have access to the social safety net.”

Another aspect of the YouEconomy that those in direct selling need not fear is that technology will take over the channel. Instead, we’ve made room for its continued growth and evolution alongside the personalized customer service that continues to be our mainstay. We can give the opportunity seekers a new way of life and a new way of thinking. We prove over and over again that it’s possible to maintain uncompromising standards of service while providing the technology, options and convenience absolutely essential for success in the 21st century.

It’s up to every one of us to promote better understanding of direct selling, and that’s not just because we have the great potential to attract many more Americans seeking to join the YouEconomy—our channel can and should help shape many of the important discussions that continue to come out of this movement.

May 01, 2016

Executive Announcements

Executive Announcements, May 2016

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Travis Ogden Joins Isagenix International as President, COO

 Travis OgdenTravis Ogden

Isagenix International is bolstering its finance and operations expertise with the appointment of Travis Ogden as President and Chief Operating Officer.

Ogden has worked with direct selling companies for more than a decade, most recently in the roles of COO and, previously, CFO of a leading wellness brand. Trained as an MBA and a certified public accountant, he has held a series of management positions focused on growth and sales. In his former role, Ogden helped shepherd the organization to $1 billion in annual sales.

“We’re excited to add Travis’ more than 12 years of direct selling industry experience and passion for health and wellness to our Corporate team,” Jim Coover, Co-Founder and CEO of Isagenix, said in a statement. “His specialization in the cultivation of entrepreneurship and the expansion of health and wellness companies around the world complements our growth initiatives.”

Isagenix continued to build momentum in 2015, as sales climbed 20 percent to a record $892 million. To accommodate recent growth, the health and wellness company invested in a new 150,000-square-foot world headquarters in Gilbert, Arizona, where it relocated in March. A commitment to quality in all areas of the business has positioned Isagenix for bigger things to come, according to Ogden.

“The company’s reputation and position in the market shows that it is poised for significant growth in the future,” said Ogden. “After using the products and meeting the team, I immediately knew that my personal values aligned with this company.”

JRJR Networks Taps Christopher Brooks as Chief Financial Officer

Christopher BrooksChristopher Brooks

JRJR Networks is bringing on a new Chief Financial Officer, Christopher Brooks, freeing up Vice Chairman John Rochon Jr. to focus on other aspects of the business.

Rochon has served as CFO of JRJR Networks, formerly CVSL, for the past year. The direct selling conglomerate said Brooks, a finance and private equity professional who has worked with JRJR Networks on past projects, is now stepping into the role. As a result, Rochon will concentrate on providing hands-on leadership to the company’s independent sales networks.

“We’re very pleased to have someone of Chris’ knowledge and background serve in the crucial role of CFO as our company continues to grow,” Rochon said in a statement.

Brooks, an MBA and CPA, has worked with a wide variety of companies on financial reporting, analysis and processes. He previously served as CFO of Assa Abloy Hospitality and Global Audio Visual, as well as Vice President of Finance for Bank of America’s Home Loan Division. Brooks also has worked with organizations such as Michaels Stores, Fannie Mae and 7-Eleven Inc.

At JRJR Networks, his experience with multi-entity companies will be applied to a growing stable of direct-to-consumer brands.

New Avon Appoints CEO to Lead North America Business

Scott WhiteScott White

To oversee the beauty company’s makeover in North America, New Avon LLC has appointed former Abbott Laboratories and Procter & Gamble executive Scott White as CEO.

White will focus on improving the Representative and consumer experience at New Avon, which spun off from Avon Products Inc. in a deal with Cerberus Capital Management LP earlier this year. Under White’s leadership, management plans to revitalize the iconic brand and bring a renewed focus to the operations side of the business.

Most recently President of Abbott Nutrition International, White led the $4 billion business in consistent double-digit revenue growth. Before that he served a 15-year stint in marketing at consumer goods giant Procter
& Gamble.

“Scott is a world-class executive whose diverse experience leading successful business turnarounds, building strong brands, setting winning strategies, and driving operational excellence provides the unique skill set required to lead New Avon on a path to long-term success,” said Chan Galbato, Chairman of New Avon’s Board of Managers.

New Avon has nearly 400,000 Representatives selling its cosmetics, skin care and fragrances. Sales in the region topped $1.01 billion in 2015, putting the company at No. 19 on the DSN Global 100 and No. 10 among regional players on the North America 50.

Daughter of Stampin’ Up! Founder Takes on CEO Role

Sara DouglassSara Douglass

Stampin’ Up! is keeping it in the family with the appointment of new CEO Sara Douglass, daughter of Co-Founder Shelli Gardner.

The role is one for which Douglass has been groomed over the course of several years, company officials said in a statement. The mother of five has worked with Gardner, longtime CEO of Stampin’ Up!, in all areas of the business. Most recently, Douglass led the company as Interim CEO while her parents undertook a year-long service mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

As she takes the helm on a permanent basis, Douglass will have the support of Gardner, who plans to remain active in the business as co-founder and board chair. “My mom’s passion and vision helped create Stampin’ Up!, and her ongoing guidance will be invaluable as we continue to collaborate and partner at the highest level to grow this amazing company,” said Douglass.

After 28 years in business, the Riverton, Utah-based company is in 10 countries across North America, Asia Pacific and Europe. More than 45,000 independent salespeople, known as demonstrators, sell the brand’s wide range of stamps and paper-crafting products.

Monroe Inducted into Enterprising Women Hall of Fame

Cindy MonroeCindy Monroe

Enterprising Women magazine has recognized Cindy Monroe, President and CEO of Thirty-One Gifts, with induction into the Enterprising Women Hall of Fame, an honor extended to one woman entrepreneur each year.

“We are honored to induct Cindy Monroe into our Hall of Fame for the important work she is doing to advance women’s entrepreneurship and create a lasting legacy in the women’s business community,” said Monica Smiley, Publisher and CEO of Enterprising Women, a women-owned publication that focuses on the growing political, economic and social influence of women in business.

Monroe founded Thirty-One Gifts in 2003, aiming to create a business opportunity for women with families. Today, about 85,000 Consultants across the U.S. and Canada sell Thirty-One bags, jewelry and home organization products, supported by a corporate staff of more than 1,000. The Columbus, Ohio-based company generated revenue of $516 million in 2015, earning the No. 38 spot on the DSN Global 100, a list of the top direct selling companies in the world.

In addition to building a thriving business, Monroe founded Thirty-One Gives, a philanthropic initiative dedicated to empowering girls, women and families. Since its launch four years ago, Thirty-One Gives has donated more than $80 million in cash and products to nonprofit partners, including Girl Talk and Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Sarah Bjorgaard Joins Plexus Worldwide As Vice President of Global Sales

Sarah BjorgaardSarah Bjorgaard

Weight-loss and nutritional company Plexus Worldwide has appointed Sarah Bjorgaard as the company’s new Vice President of Global Sales.  In her role she will lead the Business Analytics and Development team and will implement sales structures to better support field and customer growth. She will report directly to Plexus’ President, Alec Clark. 

“We’re very excited to add Sarah’s extensive sales and leadership expertise within the network marketing industry,” said Clark. “Our Ambassadors and Corporate team will greatly benefit from her advice and leadership and she will play a significant role as Plexus continues its phenomenal growth.”

Bjorgaard has a 24-year record of sales and operational achievement in the network marketing industry. Before joining Plexus, she served as National Vice President of Sales and Operations at another health and nutrition direct seller where she led a sales team responsible for customer growth, leader development and retention in the western United States. 

“Plexus has quickly gained a very positive reputation within the network marketing industry thanks to its strong leadership and commitment to putting its Ambassadors first,” said Bjorgaard.  “My passion for building relationships and helping others to succeed fits very well with Plexus’ values and I’m excited to work with its talented leadership team, employees and Ambassadors from across the globe.”

Success Partners Adds Tony Chaplin to Strategic Services Team

Tony ChaplinTony Chaplin

Success Partners has hired Tony Chaplin as its Vice President of Strategic Services. Chaplin will join a team of seasoned industry executives to pursue a new business focus of strategic consulting services. Their approach will include helping clients and prospective clients in developing or adapting their business strategies, branding development and design, field communications and selling tools development, and more.

Chaplin has more than 22 years of industry experience, including running a direct selling business from the startup phase to a mature organization. He also has helped a number of companies in the industry open over 28 different markets globally, ranging from Kazakhstan, Russia, and many other European countries, to Turkey and Israel. He has been part of the regional Direct Selling Associations (DSA) in the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Seldia at various levels, including serving as a DSA board member.