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November 22, 2017

U.S. News

Finance Executive Alexander Amezquita Joins Herbalife

Los Angeles-based Herbalife Nutrition announced that Alexander Amezquita has joined the company as Senior Vice President, Finance and Strategic Planning, with global responsibility for corporate strategy, financial planning and analysis and pricing.

Amezquita was most recently Senior Vice President at Moelis & Company, a global investment bank, where he advised Fortune 500 companies on mergers and acquisitions (M&A), corporate governance, capital markets strategy and investor relations. During his five-year tenure at Moelis & Company, Amezquita worked extensively as a financial advisor with Herbalife Nutrition on key strategic and financial initiatives. Prior to Moelis & Company, Amezquita worked at Merrill Lynch and Centerview Partners as a strategic M&A advisor.

“We are excited to add another accomplished leader with tremendous experience in helping companies create value,” said John DeSimone, Chief Financial Officer, Herbalife Nutrition. “Alex will be instrumental in enhancing and implementing our strategic growth initiatives and driving innovation.”

Prior to investment banking, Amezquita worked in the aerospace, defense and the technology sectors as an engineer. He holds an MBA in finance from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and both a master’s and Bachelor of Science degree in electrical and computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

“After years of advising the company, I am excited for the opportunity to lead from within and be a part of a team that is keenly focused on success, growth and innovation,” said Amezquita, who will be based at Herbalife’s LA Live Headquarters in downtown Los Angeles.

November 22, 2017

U.S. News

ARIIX Recognized as Multiple Platinum Award Winner In 2017 Marcom Awards

Bountiful, Utah-based ARIIX, a company that promotes healthy, toxin-free living, recently announced that it garnered 18 Platinum awards, 10 Gold awards and two Honorable Mentions in the 2017 MarCom Awards. The MarCom Awards recognize outstanding achievement by creative professionals involved in the concept, direction, design and production of marketing and communication materials and programs.

ARIIX submitted its award-winning writing, design, branding and websites to the 2017 MarCom Awards and received high accolades for projects such as the ARIIX Business Orientation System (B.O.S.), which alone garnered 14 Platinum and five Gold awards. Additional winners included the updated Puritii and Moa branding, the 2017 World Reunion and Disruptive by Design branding, video scripts, video production and website design. According to Ed Dalheim, MarCom Awards Director, ARIIX received some of the highest scores in the competition.

“ARIIX looks like and competes with billion-dollar companies thanks to our immensely talented marketing department,” says Mark Wilson, ARIIX President and Founder. “We are incredibly proud that their hard work and creative abilities have been so properly honored by the MarCom Awards. We truly have a team of talented individuals, and with their contributions towards our success, the sky isn’t even the limit!”

The MarCom Awards is one of the oldest and largest creative competitions in the world. This year more than 6,000 international entries were received. Winning companies and individuals are recognized for having talent that exceeds a high standard of excellence and work, which serves as a benchmark for the industry. Judges are industry professionals involved in the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP).

November 21, 2017

World News

Strong Q3 2017 Results Mark the Beginning of Natura Group

Sao Paolo, Brazil-based Natura Cosmetics, now known as Natura Group, recently released its financial results for the third quarter of 2017. Consolidated net revenue amounted to R$2,365.4 million (Brazilian real), a 24.3 percent increase over the third quarter of 2016. Consolidated EBITDA came to R$450.4 million, a 40.8 percent increase over Q3 2016, and net income was R$61.0 million, a 16.6 percent decrease versus Q3 2016.

Through the first nine months of 2017, consolidated net revenue stood at R$6,119.8 million, an 8.9 percent increase versus the first nine months of 2016. Consolidated EBITDA amounted to R$1,113.6 million, a 26.3 percent increase versus the first nine months of 2016, and net income came to R$413.4 million, compared to R$318.5 million in the first nine months of 2016.

“This quarter represents a historical milestone for Natura: With the closing of the acquisition of The Body Shop, we took a decisive step towards becoming a global, multi-brand and multi-channel group, with three different businesses and brands committed to ethical and sustainable business practices that generate positive social impacts,” said CEO João Paulo Gonçalves Ferreira.

Expenses for the third quarter include one month of results from The Body Shop, which the company consolidated on September 1, as well as the non-recurring effects from this transaction and other one-off expenses. “Our results excluding these effects demonstrate the health and strength of the group we are building,” Gonçalves Ferreira said. “This quarter, Natura resumed its growth and leadership in various strategic categories in Brazil, while maintaining a strong pace of its expansion in Latin America. Aesop reported another quarter of strong sales, while The Body Shop also contributed to our robust performance. Net income before effects from acquisition of The Body Shop grew significantly, driven by recovery in our performance in the Brazilian market.”

In the quarter, the company made advances in sustainable development, including partnerships to leverage its positive social and environmental impact and to reduce its carbon emissions. The company’s commitments were rewarded by its inclusion, for the first time, in the FTSE4GOOD index, which recognizes companies with strong environmental, social and governance practices.

To read the full Natura Q3 2017 financial report, click here.

November 21, 2017

U.S. News

Nyla & Noelle Offers Unique Approach to Direct Sales

Nyla and Noelle, a social selling direct seller based in Richmond, Virginia, opened in April 2017. The new clothing company allows entrepreneurs looking for a career in fashion to run their own clothing and accessory boutique from home.

Nyla and Noelle supplies its Curators, as independent business owners are called, with dresses, tops, skirts, pants, leggings and jewelry. Curators can choose to invest in a single piece or carry a full range of sizes from small to 3XL. “Using our easy ordering system, the Curator simply logs in to our website and places the order for the exact styles they want to offer in their social boutique,” said co-owner Kari Chang. “They will, of course, purchase at their wholesale price and then resell to their customers at a very reasonable price.”

Curators sell their wares on their social media and during online live sales events. These sales are often fast-paced and hosted on the Curator’s private Facebook group, and, at times, on the more wide-reaching Periscope. The Curator’s friends and followers race each other to see who can type “sold” in the comment section the fastest. Curators also host home and event parties where women can join together with music and food and shop in a relaxed atmosphere.

Chang says the idea for her dream project was born after more than 10 years of operating brick-and-mortar boutiques herself. “During my time owning boutiques, women were always interested in becoming involved in the business,” she said. “They loved fashion and the fun atmosphere of working with like-minded customers. Owning or working in a boutique offers such a different vibe than office work or customer service work for a large company. I left work most days feeling fulfilled myself from every time I was able to help a customer leave happy knowing they have the perfect outfit and knowing they were going to look and feel beautiful when they wore our clothes.”

Chang says that, in her experience, the expenses of operating a brick-and-mortar storefront can be substantial and the learning curve can be steep when one has to invest in inventory. Though she had never been involved in direct selling, she saw most of the women on her Facebook page were engaged in social selling and thought it would be a good platform for her business.

“There was a better way to test the waters of boutique ownership without sinking your life savings into a brick-and-mortar store,” Change says. “To be sure, Nyla and Noelle was not the first company to offer clothing through direct sales, but I feel like ours offers our Reps or Curators a genuine taste of boutique ownership and the ability to offer truly boutique quality and styled clothing.”

November 20, 2017

U.S. News

WorldVentures Names Gareth Hooper New CIO

Plano, Texas-based WorldVentures™ Holdings LLC, parent company of the travel direct sales company WorldVentures, recently announced the appointment of Chief Information Officer Gareth Hooper. Hooper will lead technical operations, multi-level marketing solutions and the enterprise solutions that support the WorldVentures Holdings business.

“Gareth is a servant leader with a proven track record and over 15 years of direct-selling and enterprise experience,” said CEO Josh Paine. “His in-depth understanding of emerging technologies and their commercial applications will take us to the next level and help us thrive there.”

Previously, Hooper was CIO at another direct selling company, where he led the transformation of mission-critical systems, infrastructure and compliance standards. His prior experience also includes a variety of technical leadership roles at Wellness International Network and Blockbuster. Hooper has a bachelor’s degree in electronic engineering from the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom. He serves as an advisor on the Collin College Cyber Security Advisory Board.

“I am honored to be part of this organization,” said Hooper. “I look forward to working with our information and enterprise teams to enhance our technological capabilities and transform our business for the future.”

November 20, 2017

U.S. News

LifeVantage Reports 10.5% Revenue Decrease for Q1 2018

Sandy, Utah-based LifeVantage Corp. announced financial results for its first quarter ended September 30, 2017. Revenue decreased 3.0 percent sequentially to $49.1 million when compared to $50.6 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017, and decreased 10.5 percent when compared to $54.9 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2017.

Revenue in the Americas for the first quarter decreased 6.6 percent compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 and 9.9 percent compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2017.

Revenue in the Asia-Pacific and Europe region increased 8.7 percent compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 and decreased 12.2 percent compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2017. However, revenue in Japan increased by 7.0 percent compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 and increased 2.3 percent compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2017.

Revenue for the first fiscal quarter ended September 30, 2017, was negatively impacted $0.7 million, or 1.4 percent, by foreign currency fluctuations associated with revenue generated in several international markets when compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2017.

Active independent distributors and active preferred customers decreased 1.6 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively, when compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017.

Adjusted EBITDA decreased $0.6 million to $2.7 million when compared to $3.3 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 and decreased $1.6 million when compared to $4.3 million in the comparable period of fiscal 2017. Earnings per diluted share were 6 cents, compared to 1 cents in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 and 8 cents in the first quarter of fiscal 2017. Adjusted earnings per diluted share were 7 cents, compared to 4 cents in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 and 13 cents in the first quarter of fiscal 2017. 

“We generated strong sequential earnings per share growth during the first quarter when compared to the fourth quarter and believe we are on track to achieve our guidance for the full year,” stated LifeVantage President and Darren Jensen. “I remain excited about the work we are doing to transform our business and engaging with our global distributor force and customers regarding our key initiatives. We have already made good progress on several of our 2018 initiatives, each of which is focused on accelerating our global growth and further developing our biohacking culture.”

November 17, 2017

U.S. News

Nerium Announces Christi Clinger as New COO

Addison, Texas-based Nerium International recently announced Christi Clinger as the company’s new Chief Operating Officer.

Clinger has 25 years of leadership experience with Fortune 500 companies, including PepsiCo, 7-Eleven, Brinks, Target as well as direct sales companies. Her professional specialties include supply chain leadership, revenue generation, strategic innovation, P&L operations management, pricing, supply chain design, product development, financial modeling and leadership development. At Nerium, she will manage and oversee U.S. and global operations.

“We are excited about Christi’s role as Chief Operating Officer with our dynamic direct selling company,” said Nerium President Deborah K. Heisz. “Christi will provide fresh insights and solid management expertise to fine-tune our organization and propel Nerium to the next level of success.”

Nerium, which launched in August 2011, offers exclusive anti-aging skincare and wellness products. The company is currently operating in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Colombia, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand.

November 16, 2017

U.S. News

This Giving Tuesday, Thirty-One Gifts and World Vision to Partner for Hurricane Relief

PHOTO: 9-year-old Irene and 8-year-old Nelia from Zambia smile receive their new Thirty-One Gifts school bags from World Vision. (Credit: Deborah Johns/World Vision, July 2016)


This Giving Tuesday, Columbus, Ohio-based Thirty-One Gifts is partnering with humanitarian organization World Vision to provide backpacks, drawstring bags and clothing to thousands of children and families in the United States, Puerto Rico and elsewhere who have been affected by disasters this year or may otherwise be in need of items like these. Many of the bags will be distributed to refugees and internally displaced families in conflict zones who need sturdy, lightweight bags to help them carry their belongings.

“In many ways, this has been an unprecedented year for natural disasters,” said Jennifer Hawley, Senior Director for Corporate Engagement at World Vision. “Through a generous partnership with Thirty-One Gifts, we will be able to bring emergency relief items to thousands of children and families in the United States and around the world who have lost nearly everything.”

Any donation to World Vision on Giving Tuesday will have twice the impact, thanks to the partnership with Thirty-One Gifts. For every donation to World Vision on that day, Thirty-One Gifts will provide up to $1 million in backpacks, apparel and bags to help women and children in need.

“We’re honored to be involved with World Vision for the fourth year in a row,” said Wendy Bradshaw, Executive Director of Community Affairs at Thirty-One Gifts. “We’ve been very pleased to see our products used to assist people in need during recent disasters, and we’ve seen how World Vision is onsite immediately to help people when they need it the most. It’s our pleasure to help them further their impact and help more individuals and families in need everywhere through our donation match. We are hopeful many people will double their donation through this match on Giving Tuesday.” 

This is the fourth year the two organizations have partnered together on Giving Tuesday to spread generosity during the holiday season. Since this partnership first formed in 2013, Thirty-One Gifts has donated more than $4.7 million to the humanitarian organization.

Giving Tuesday, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, is a day devoted to charitable giving, volunteering and advocacy, in response to the consumer focus of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The World Vision Gift Catalog gives donors over 100 ways to join the movement to end extreme poverty with life-saving gifts such as child sponsorship that make a tangible impact on families in need. Shoppers don’t have to spend a lot of money to make a difference in a child’s life this holiday season as gifts range from $16 to $39,000. In 2016 alone, more than 112,000 people donated more than 274,000 items.

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by working to combat the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.

November 15, 2017

U.S. News

Nature’s Sunshine to Move Headquarters in June 2018

Nature’s Sunshine Products Inc., the Lehi, Utah-based natural health and wellness company engaged in the manufacture and direct selling of nutritional and personal care products, recently announced it will bring all of its business units together under one roof next summer as it moves its headquarters to the new, state-of-the-art Lone Peak Plaza. The company will begin its move in June 2018 with full occupancy expected by July 2018.

The move will allow Nature’s Sunshine to better leverage synergies, best practices and centers of excellence in each unit to accelerate business growth across all its units. With a more efficient layout, the Lone Peak Plaza will also help facilitate increased collaboration and teamwork leading to more streamlined processes and a reduction in duplicated efforts.

Additionally, the new building will provide more effective branding, creating a showpiece for the company that both employees and distributors can take pride in. Central to this is the Hughes Center for Research and Innovation, Nature’s Sunshine’s cutting-edge research facility dedicated to the advancement of nutritional supplements. The work of the Hughes Center has led to the development of clinically studied, patent pending products and programs that are exclusive to Nature’s Sunshine.

“We are excited to bring all the Nature’s Sunshine family together,” said Gregory L. Probert, Chairman and CEO of Nature’s Sunshine, “Making this move is an investment in our future as it will help us better serve our distributors and provide them with the tools and materials they need to succeed in a timelier and more efficient manner.”

Centrally located between the Salt Lake City and Provo–Orem metro areas, the new building will give Nature’s Sunshine access to talent in both regions. Approximately 200 employees will occupy 61,000 square feet of the 125,000-square-foot building.

“We are thrilled to open a new chapter in Nature’s Sunshine’s great history as we come together in a new facility,” said Nature’s Sunshine Chief Marketing Officer, Adriana Mendizabal. “Our new headquarters will give us an opportunity to welcome leaders from the many countries in which we operate, including our newest market, China, where we recently obtained our direct selling license. We look forward to sharing our new home with distributors and other guests from around the world beginning this next summer.”

November 15, 2017

U.S. News

Ambit Energy Expands Service to Canada

Dallas, Texas-based Ambit Energy, the world’s largest direct seller of energy and a leading U.S. retail energy provider, recently announced the company’s second international expansion with the launch of Ambit Energy Canada.

Enrollment is now available to more than 1.2 million potential residential and small commercial customers in Alberta throughout the ATCO Electric and ATCO Gas service areas.

“We are thrilled to expand into Alberta, and provide quality service and a variety of options to our new customers in Canada,” said Jere Thompson, Jr., Co-Founder and CEO of Ambit Energy. “Our first international expansion to Japan has been very successful, and we are proud to support the entrepreneurial spirit in our new international service areas.”

Ambit is also rolling out the “T.L.C. Pledge” so Texas residents can “Try it, Like it or Change it.” This means if a customer signs up for the Free & Clear Nights, Lone Star Plus 12, or Lone Star Basics 12 plan and is not happy with it, they can change to any other Ambit plan for free within 60 days of enrolling in one of the three new plans.

Canada is Ambit’s second international market expansion this year, following the launch of Ambit Energy Japan in July. In addition to Canada and Japan, Ambit currently provides electricity and natural gas services in 16 U.S. states and Washington D.C.

November 15, 2017

World News

Oriflame Q3 2017 Local Currency Sales Up 11%, Euro Sales Up 6%

Switzerland-based Oriflame Cosmetics, the direct seller of cosmetics and beauty products, recently announced financial results for the third quarter of 2017. Local currency sales increased by 11 percent and euro sales increased by 6 percent to €295.3 million (€278.9 million).

For the three months ended September 30, 2017,

  • Number of registered actives was stable at 2.6 million.
  • EBITDA amounted to €40.0 million (€30.8 million).
  • Operating margin was 11.0% (9.0%), negatively impacted by 160 bps from currencies, and operating profit was €32.5 million (€25.2 million).
  • Net profit was €17.4m million (€12.7 million) and diluted EPS €0.30 (€0.23). Following the successful refinancing of the Revolving Credit Facility during the quarter, the net profit was negatively impacted by a one-off amortisation of the replaced facility’s capitalised fees of around €1.0 million.
  • Cash flow from operating activities was €11.2 million (€-5.8m million).
  • During the quarter, Oriflame signed a new Revolving Credit Facility amounting to €160 million in total. The new five-year facility replaced the €110 million facility.
  • The year to date sales development is approximately 10 percent in local currency and the development in the fourth quarter to date is approximately 11 percent in local currency.

For the first nine months of 2017:

  • Local currency sales increased by 10 percent and Euro sales increased by 10 percent to €983.0 million (€894.3 million).
  • EBITDA amounted to €128.3 million (€99.1 million).
  • Operating margin was 10.5 percent (8.6%), negatively impacted by 10 bps from currencies, and operating profit was €102.8 million (€77.2 million).
  • Net profit was €56.8 million (€41.5 million) and diluted EPS €0.99 (€0.74).
  • Cash flow from operating activities amounted to €43.7 million (€51.4 million).

“During Q3 2017, we continued to execute on our strategic priorities resulting in yet another quarter of healthy growth and improved profitability,” said CEO Magnus Brännström. “The overall performance in Asia and Turkey remained strong, although with variations within the region. The growth in the CIS continued, supported by sustained high productivity levels. Latin America was affected by the earthquakes and negative timing. Our efforts to improve the capacity utilisation in manufacturing continued to render results during the quarter and the number of registered actives was stable. The local currency sales development for the Group in the fourth quarter-to-date is in line with our long-term financial target.”

To read the full Oriflame Q3 2017 financial report, click here.

 

November 13, 2017

U.S. News

Stream Announces David Faranetta as Chief Financial Officer

Dallas, Texas-based Stream (formerly Stream Energy), a direct selling company and provider of connected life services, recently announced the addition of David Faranetta as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Faranetta will oversee the company’s financial planning and reporting, accounting, tax and treasury functions. A veteran of the energy industry, Faranetta brings with him a proven track record of strategic executive leadership and a reputation for aligning people and resources to drive economic growth.

“I’ve been watching Stream for many years and am excited to finally be a part of this dynamic and fast-paced team,” Faranetta said. “I’m thrilled to join a team that will fuel our company’s growth and performance in the global energy industry.”

As CFO, Faranetta is responsible for driving Stream’s economic growth and overseeing all financial operations. He has a deep knowledge of and experience in financial, treasury and operations management, performance and risk management, mergers and acquisitions, and board and regulatory relations.

“I’m extremely pleased to welcome David to our team,” said Stream President and CEO Larry Mondry. “His long industry experience is of utmost value to our organization and his contributions are going to play a major role in shaping a bright future for Stream.”

Previously, Faranetta served as CFO of TXU Energy and electricity generator and wholesaler Luminant. He comes to Stream after serving as Senior Vice President of Planning and Treasury at Dallas-based Vistra Energy.

November 13, 2017

U.S. News

Primerica Q3 2017 Revenue Up 11%

Primerica, the Duluth, Georgia-based direct seller of financial services, recently announced financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2017. Both total revenue and adjusted operating revenue increased 11 percent year-over-year to $427.3 million. Net income and adjusted net operating income both grew 15 percent to $66.6 million compared with the prior year period. During the quarter, earnings growth and ongoing share repurchases drove both EPS and adjusted operating EPS to $1.46, increasing 19 percent compared to the third quarter a year ago. ROE expanded to 20.9 percent and adjusted operating ROAE expanded to 21.7 percent in the period.

“In the third quarter we continued to build on our strong foundation and overall business momentum to deliver solid results,” said CEO Glenn Williams. “The outstanding performance of our salesforce leadership produced an 8 percent increase in the size of our life insurance salesforce along with 4 percent growth in life insurance policies issued and 7 percent increase in Investment and Savings (ISP) product sales. Income before income taxes grew 13 percent with Term Life and ISP segments’ income before income taxes increasing 14 percent and 9 percent, respectively, year-over-year. Solid earnings and ongoing share repurchases contributed to a 19 percent increase in EPS year-over-year and 20.9 percent ROE in the third quarter. We are pleased with these results and continue to be well positioned to deliver meaningful value to our stakeholders in the future.”

Life Insurance Licensed Salesforce. Strong recruiting and licensing trends in recent quarters resulted in 8 percent year-over-year growth in the life insurance licensed salesforce to 124,436 representatives at the end of the third quarter. New recruits increased 22 percent versus the prior year quarter, including approximately 17,000 recruits from hurricane-affected areas whose Independent Business Application fees were waived during September. Strong recruiting levels following the company’s June biennial convention drove 9 percent growth in new life insurance licenses year-over-year. On a sequential quarter basis, the size of the life insurance salesforce increased 2 percent versus the second quarter.

Term Life Insurance. In the third quarter of 2017, Term Life insurance policies issued increased 4 percent year-over-year driven by growth in the life insurance licensed salesforce. Results were somewhat impacted by lower production in hurricane-affected areas. Term Life productivity in the third quarter was 0.21 versus 0.22 policies per life insurance licensed representative per month in the prior year period. Term Life revenues increased to $256.2 million driven by a 15 percent increase in net premiums compared with the third quarter a year ago. Income before income taxes in the segment increased 14 percent to $66.5 million year-over-year. During the quarter, normal claims volatility positively impacted benefits and claims by approximately $2 million.

Investment and Savings Products. In the third quarter, ISP revenue increased 8 percent to $140.1 million and income before income taxes grew 9 percent to $39.1 million compared with the year ago period. Product sales grew 7 percent year-over-year driven by a 10 percent increase in retail mutual fund sales as well as a 132 percent increase in managed account sales following the launch of the new Lifetime Investments Platform in June 2017. Managed accounts generate asset-based revenues and will provide for earnings in future periods. Annuities sales continued to be pressured in the quarter, declining 13 percent versus the year ago period. Net flows were positive $174 million and average client asset values increased 14 percent to $57.7 billion at the end of the third quarter. Account-based revenue grew 16 percent year-over-year largely related to a change made in the account-based fee structure in the fourth quarter of 2016 as well as a higher number of accounts subject to the fee. Canadian segregated funds DAC amortization was $1.1 million higher than a year ago, mostly reflecting the deceleration of DAC amortization in the third quarter of 2016.

To read the full Primerica Q3 2017 financial report, click here.

November 10, 2017

U.S. News

Nature’s Sunshine Q3 2017 Net Sales Up 4.5%

Nature’s Sunshine Products Inc., the Lehi, Utah-based natural health and wellness company engaged in the manufacture and direct selling of nutritional and personal care products, recently reported its financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2017. Net sales of $89.3 million increased 4.5 percent, compared to $85.4 million in the third quarter of 2016. On a local currency basis, net sales increased 4.3 percent as compared to the third quarter of 2016. China and New Markets net sales increased approximately 44.5 percent, compared to the same period in 2016.

“We are pleased to report improved third quarter sales performance, returning to both year-over-year and sequential growth led by a recovery at Synergy Worldwide and strong growth in China,” said Gregory L. Probert, Chairman and CEO. “The disruptions that impacted sales earlier in the year have moderated with enhanced distributor engagement in Korea and improvements in the performance in North America. We will continue to focus on regaining sales growth in these two markets while driving continued growth in China as we expand our direct selling efforts. The growth at Synergy Worldwide was led by strength in Japan and our NSP business in Russia, Central and Eastern Europe contributed another quarter of growth.”

Synergy WorldWide net sales increased approximately 10.0 percent compared to the same period in 2016 (or 10.7 percent in local currencies). NSP Russia, Central and Eastern Europe net sales increased approximately 11.0 percent compared to the same period in 2016. NSP Americas net sales decreased approximately 4.5 percent compared to the same period in 2016 (or 5.2 percent in local currencies). Net sales were impacted by $0.2 million of favorable foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations.

Year to Date Results

For the first nine months of 2017, net sales of $253.7 million decreased 1.3 percent, compared to $257.2 million in 2016. On a local currency basis, net sales decreased 1.5 percent as compared to 2016.

China and New Markets net sales increased approximately 37.2 percent compared to the same period in 2016. NSP Russia, Central and Eastern Europe net sales increased approximately 12.4 percent compared to the same period in 2016. NSP Americas net sales decreased approximately 5.9 percent compared to the same period in 2016 (or 6.0 percent in local currencies).

Synergy WorldWide net sales decreased approximately 2.2 percent compared to the same period in 2016 (or 2.4 percent in local currencies). A modest overall weakening of the U.S. dollar versus local currencies resulted in an approximate 0.2 percent or $0.4 million increase of its net sales during the period.

To read the full Nature’s Sunshine Q3 2017 financial report, click here.

November 09, 2017

U.S. News

Medifast Q3 Revenue Up 12.6%; OPTAVIA Up 17.5%

Owings Mills, Maryland-based Medifast Inc., a provider of healthy living products and programs, has announced financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2017. Revenue increased 12.6 percent to $77.2 million from revenue of $68.6 million for the third quarter last year.

“Our third quarter results reflect some early successes of our strategic growth initiatives, and we are pleased to report revenue and earnings above our expectations,” said Daniel R. Chard, Medifast’s CEO. “We have created a powerful, transformational message that has helped us achieve our highest number of quarterly active OPTAVIA Coaches in our history along with the highest quarterly revenue for our OPTAVIA business unit in our company’s history. We believe we are well positioned for future growth and value creation for our shareholders as a result of our positive business momentum combined with our scalable infrastructure and strong balance sheet.”

Net income for the third quarter of 2017 was $6.7 million, or 55 cents per diluted share, based on approximately 12.1 million shares outstanding. Third quarter 2016 net income was $6.1 million, or 51 cents per diluted share based on approximately 11.9 million shares outstanding.

OPTAVIA revenue increased 17.5 percent to $66.4 million in the third quarter of 2017, compared to $56.5 million for the third quarter last year. This is the eighth consecutive quarter of growth. The total number of active earning OPTAVIA Coaches for the third quarter of 2017 increased to 14,200, compared to 12,800 for the third quarter of 2016. The average revenue per active earning OPTAVIA Coach for the third quarter of 2017 increased 6.2 percent to $4,693 compared to $4,421 for the third quarter last year.

Medifast Direct revenue decreased 3.7 percent to $7.8 million in the third quarter of 2017, compared to $8.1 million for the third quarter of 2016.

Revenue in the Franchise Medifast Weight Control Centers decreased to $2.8 million from $3.7 million for the third quarter of last year. The decrease in revenue was primarily driven by fewer franchise centers in operation during the period combined with a decline in activity within the centers and a decrease in resellers. The company ended the quarter with 35 franchise centers and 2 reseller locations in operation compared to 55 franchise centers and 1 reseller location at the end of the same period last year.

To read the full Medifast Q3 financial report, click here.

November 09, 2017

U.S. News

Mannatech Q3 Net Sales Down 12.8% from 2016

Coppell, Texas-based Mannatech has announced financial results for its third quarter of 2017. For the three months ended September 30, 2017, net sales were $42.0 million, a decrease of $6.1 million, or 12.8 percent, as compared to $48.1 million in the third quarter of 2016.

Mannatech’s operations outside of the Americas accounted for approximately 66.4 percent of its consolidated net sales.

Third quarter 2017 Asia-Pacific net sales decreased by $1.1 million, or 4.3 percent, to $24.4 million, as compared to $25.5 million for the same period in 2016. This decrease was primarily due to a 4.7 percent decrease in revenue per active independent associate and preferred customer, which was partially offset by a 0.4 percent increase in the number of active independent associates and preferred customers. During the three months ended September 30, 2017, the number of product orders in Asia-Pacific decreased by 4,000, from 117,000 to 113,000, as compared to the same period in 2016. Pack sale revenue in Asia-Pacific decreased by $4.2 million, from $5.6 million to $1.4 million, as compared to the same period in 2016.

Net sales in the Americas decreased by $4.9 million, or 25.8 percent, to $14.1 million, as compared to $19.0 million for the same period in 2016. This decrease was primarily due to a 21.0 percent decrease in revenue per active independent associate and preferred customer and a 6.1 percent decline in the number of active independent associates and preferred customers. The number of product orders in the Americas decreased by 9,000, from 97,000 to 88,000, as compared to the same period in 2016. Pack sale revenue in the Americas decreased by $0.5 million, from $0.8 million to $0.3 million, as compared to the same period in 2016.

EMEA net sales decreased by $0.1 million, or 2.8 percent, to $3.5 million, as compared to $3.6 million for the same period in 2016. This decrease was due to a 13.5 percent decline in revenue per active independent associate and preferred customer, which was partially offset by a 9.3 percent increase in the number of active independent associates and preferred customers. The number of product orders in EMEA increased by 3,000, from 33,000 to 36,000, as compared to the same period in 2016. Pack sale revenue in EMEA decreased by $0.4 million, from $0.5 million to $0.1 million, as compared to the same period in 2016.

To read the full Mannatech Q3 financial report, click here.

November 08, 2017

U.S. News

Isagenix’s Jim Coover Receives CEO of the Year Award

Jim Coover, Co-Founder and CEO of Isagenix International, was recently honored at the 2017 Arizona Corporate Excellence (ACE) Awards as the 2017 CEO of the Year. The event is held by the Phoenix Business Journal.

“I am extremely honored to accept this award on behalf of the entire Isagenix family,” said Coover. “We are so proud to be part of this outstanding community, and I can’t think of a better place to have our global headquarters than here in Arizona. It means so much to me to receive this amazing honor from a business community that I respect so much.”

Upon receiving the award, Coover offered this advice to entrepreneurs: “Dream big, surround yourself with great people and execute with integrity.”

Isagenix, based in Gilbert, Arizona, was also recognized at the ACE event as a Top Private Arizona company, ranking No. 4 on the annual list. The awards program recognizes companies based on their overall revenue and revenue growth.

Isagenix was also recently recognized as a 2017 Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Company for the 11th consecutive year. It is one of 120 Arizona companies included and one of only four Arizona companies that has made the list for more than 10 consecutive years.

Coover has successfully led several companies, serving more than 7 million customers and exceeding $1 billion in sales. In 2001, he and his wife, Kathy, co-founded Isagenix in pursuit of a vision to impact world health and free people from physical and financial pain. Along with their son, Erik, and management team, the couple remains actively involved in the day-to-day operations in 15 markets across the globe.

In 15 years, Coover has led Isagenix to cumulative revenue of more than $5 billion. Annual revenue for 2017 is expected to reach $1 billion, and the company goal is to reach $2 billion in annual sales by 2020. According to ASU’s Seidman Research Institute, the company had a $1.5 billion impact on the 2016 U.S. economy and over $1.1 billion in labor income, supporting 13,444 jobs.

The Phoenix Business Journal’s list recognizes top companies in a variety of industries. The publication has recently recognized Isagenix as a largest Corporate Philanthropist, a top Family-Owned Business and a Healthiest Employer.

November 08, 2017

U.S. News

Princess House Recognized Among Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts

Taunton, Massachusetts-based Princess House, a direct seller of housewares and home décor, has been recognized as one of the top 100 women-led businesses in the state of Massachusetts. The annual list compiled by the Commonwealth Institute, in partnership with The Boston Globe, ranked Princess House No. 27 for its leadership in diversity and innovation.

“We are proud to be honored alongside so many incredible organizations,” said Connie Tang, President and CEO of Princess House. “I applaud all of our executives, employees and independent consultants for everything they do to make a difference in the lives of so many.”

This is the third consecutive year that Princess House has been recognized by the Commonwealth Institute as a top women-led business on this list. A local nonprofit that supports female business leaders, the Institute creates the annual rankings of for-profit and nonprofit organizations by applying a formula that takes into consideration revenue or operating budget and other variables, including number of full-time employees in the state, workplace and management diversity and innovative projects.

Appointed the first woman President and CEO of the company in 2012, Tang has witnessed the evolving, multi-cultural makeup of the U.S. and the power of Princess House to reach an increasingly diverse population. As a respected company with a consultant and consumer base that is three-quarters Latino, Princess House support of hundreds of thousands of women in achieving more for themselves and their families. The company is proud of its multi-cultural field base as well as the role that diversity in all its forms plays as a catalyst for positive change, growth and business success. Princess House is a member of the Better Business Bureau as well as the Direct Selling Association (DSA), fully adhering to the DSA’s strict ethical code of business conduct.

November 08, 2017

U.S. News

Natural Health Trends Corp. Q3 Revenue Drops 43%

Natural Health Trends Corp., the Rolling Hills Estates, California-based direct-selling and e-commerce company that markets premium quality personal care, wellness and “quality of life” products under the NHT Global brand, recently announced its financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2017. Total revenue decreased 43 percent to $40.1 million, compared to $70.7 million in the third quarter of 2016.

Revenue from the company’s Hong Kong operations, which represented 87 percent of total revenue, decreased 47 percent to $35.0 million, compared to $65.9 million in the third quarter of 2016. Revenue outside of Hong Kong increased 6 percent to $5.1 million, compared to $4.8 million in the third quarter of 2016.

Operating income decreased 44 percent to $8.5 million, compared to $15.2 million in the third quarter of 2016. As a percent of total revenue, operating income was 21 percent, compared to 22 percent in the third quarter of 2016. Net income was $7.3 million, or 65 cents per diluted share, compared to $12.6 million, or $1.12 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2016. The number of Active Members decreased 7 percent to 99,690 at September 30, 2017, compared to 107,290 at June 30, 2017, and decreased 19 percent compared to 122,900 at September 30, 2016.

Year to date, total revenue decreased 33 percent to $151.5 million, compared to $225.4 million in the first nine months of 2016. Operating income decreased 22 percent to $34.4 million, compared to $44.1 million in the first nine months of 2016. As a percent of total revenue, operating income was 23 percent, compared to 20 percent in the first nine months of 2016. Net income was $28.1 million, or $2.49 per diluted share, compared to $36.0 million, or $3.14 per diluted share, in the first nine months of 2016.

“While we made progress during the third quarter to revitalize sales growth, certain short-term factors exerted significant adverse effects and masked a quarter that was otherwise indicative of positive developments,” saidd Chris Sharng, President of Natural Health Trends Corp. “The difficult market conditions we have been experiencing since the third quarter of 2016 were further compounded by the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover in July, as well as China’s Communist Party’s 19th National Congress in October, which tempered economic activities. These events impacted the operations of our logistics partners and detracted from our leaders’ ability to organize meetings, which hindered our progress in comparison to the prior quarter. As we view both occurrences as short-term issues, we are working to revitalize sales in Asia through enhancements to our incentive programs as well as adjustments to our bonus and reward programs in an effort to provide more resources to up-and-coming members.”

Sharng further sateded, “Partially offsetting the year-over-year decline in net sales was strength in our emerging international markets including: Peru, Northern Europe, Southeast Asia and Japan. We also received positive responses from our members to our most recent product introductions during the quarter, notably OcuFocus, NaturalGlo and CogniMax. Further, after receiving approval for a direct selling license in Malaysia, on-site and follow-up orders at our Kuala Lumpur event in August were substantially greater than those of the Macau event in March. Despite challenging market conditions, we were able to maintain a healthy gross profit margin of nearly 80 percent and an operating income margin of over 21 percent due to strong consumer allegiance to our products and proactive expense management.”

To read the full NHT Q3 financial report, click here.

November 08, 2017

U.S. News

Le-Vel Thinks Pink

Frisco, Texas-based Le-Vel Brands recently presented the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) with a donation from the proceeds of its limited-edition NBCF Derma Fusion Technology (DFT) DUO, of which $5 from every purchase in October was earmarked for the NBCF. This is the third consecutive year that Le-Vel has partnered with NBCF to promote breast cancer awareness; the company has donated more than $730,000 in total to NBCF during the past three years.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide, but thanks to better screening and early detection, along with increased awareness and continually improving treatment options, death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1990. NBCF, founded in 1991 by breast cancer survivor Janelle Hail, maintains a steadfast mission to provide help and inspire hope to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education and support services. The organization has received the highest rating of four stars by Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for 12 years. 

“Since 2015, Le-Vel has helped NBCF provide thousands of mammograms and patient navigation services for women in need,” said Hail, who serves as CEO of NBCF. “The donations have also allowed us to provide breast health education and early detection services in communities across America. We could not do this without partners like Le-Vel.”

More than 3.3 million breast cancer survivors are alive in the United States today, and that’s largely due to early detection and education. NBCF provides free mammograms to women in all 50 states through its network of hospitals, and offers other free services all aimed at empowering women to take control of their health.

“The National Breast Cancer Foundation works tirelessly on behalf of women’s health,” said Le-Vel Co-CEO, Co-Founder and Co-Owner Paul Gravette. “At Le-Vel, we share that passion. We’re absolutely dedicated to doing whatever we can to champion the cause and encourage women everywhere to educate and empower themselves.”

“This is a disease that affects everyone—individuals and families—and it’s touched many of our Brand Promoters and customers directly,” said Le-Vel Co-CEO, Co-Founder and Co-Owner Jason Camper. “The more we can support the National Breast Cancer Foundation in its efforts to spread the word, provide support and better educate people about breast cancer, the more lives we can impact or even help save. Le-Vel is deeply honored to champion the NBCF’s continued efforts to find a cure, and we look forward to the day when every breast cancer story has a happy ending.”

November 06, 2017

U.S. News

jBloom Design and Harry Moon Bring Home Stories That Matter

Saint Peters, Missouri-based jBloom, the direct seller of personalized jewelry, and Harry Moon, the popular children’s book franchise, recently announced a strategic partnership to deliver the value-based children’s series into homes across America.

The best-selling Harry Moon and Honey Moon books are popular character-building kids’ series that teach children to look for their purpose, help their fellow schoolmates, seek wisdom from their elders and remain curious, according to the Harry Moon website. This aligns well with jBloom’s purpose, says President Jennifer Bonacorsi. “jBloom champions the core values that shape the lives of successful women,” said Bonacorsi. “Our Designers go into a hostess home every month showcasing versatile and personalized jewelry. The best-selling Harry Moon and Honey Moon series provide another life-changing resource in the jBloom treasure chest.”

jBloom Designers will offer Harry Moon and Honey Moon personalized jewelry along with special book bundles for purchase. “We love Harry Moon’s message of ‘Good Mischief’ and ‘Do No Evil,’ ” said Bonacorsi. “Honey Moon’s ‘Be Brave’ is perfect for young readers. We are thrilled to put our love into this wonderful line of children’s jewelry.”

The popular book franchise has been searching for an alliance in the home market for more than a year. “We are delighted to broaden our reach into the home with tween jewelry from jBloom,” said Rabbit Publisher’s Steve Goerth. “It is important that our young readers are able to wear what they are reading. The world needs heroes. For us, it is a magic fit.”

The Harry Moon and Honey Moon books, featuring the line of Harry Moon and Honey Moon jewelry, will be available through jBloom’s 1,500 Designers beginning this fall.

The Harry Moon and Honey Moon books are available through Barnes & Noble, independent book stores and through Amazon. jBloom will also feature the two latest color editions, Harry’s Christmas Carol and Scary Little Christmas.

November 03, 2017

U.S. News

Herbalife Q3 2017 Net Sales Decline 3.3%

Los Angeles-based Herbalife Ltd. announced its financial results for the second quarter ended September 30, 2017. The wellness company reported net sales of $1.1 billion, which represents a decline of 3.3 percent and 4.0 percent on an as-reported and constant currency basis, respectively, compared to the third quarter 2016.


“During this year of transition, we believe our performance has now stabilized and we are seeing improvements in trends,” said Rich Goudis, CEO of Herbalife. “By continuing to implement our strategic plan, we expect to build on the improving trends and return to growth in 2018.”

Net sales declined in four of the six regions: In North America, sales of $199.8 million were down 17.2 percent from Q3 2016, excluding foreign exchange impact. Sales were also down in Asia Pacific (0.5 percent), Mexico (3.8 percent) and China (2.0 percent). Sales were up in EMEA (2.0% percent) and South & Central America (1.5 percent).

Third quarter 2017 volume points of 1.3 billion declined 5.6 percent compared to the prior year period. On a reported basis, third quarter 2017 net income was $54.5 million, or 66 cents per diluted share, compared to third quarter 2016 net income of $87.7 million, or $1.01per diluted share.

For the full year 2017, the company is narrowing its 2017 reported and adjusted diluted EPS guidance to ranges of $3.90 to $4.10 and $4.42 to $4.62, respectively, from the previous ranges of $3.80 to $4.20 and $4.30 to $4.70, respectively.

For the full year 2018, the company is providing initial volume guidance in the range of 2 percent to 6 percent growth and initial full year 2018 GAAP diluted and adjusted diluted EPS guidance in the range of $3.82 to $4.22 and $4.60 to $5.00, respectively.

To read the full Herbalife Q3 2017 report, click here.

November 03, 2017

World News

Avon Reports 1% Increase for Q3 2017 Revenue

Avon Products Inc. the London-based direct seller of beauty and related products, announced its results for the quarter ended September 30, 2017. Revenue increased 1 percent to $1.4 billion, while Active Representatives and Ending Representatives, both from reportable segments, declined 3 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

“Our third quarter has been a productive period,” said CEO Sheri McCoy. “While we saw mixed results, I am encouraged by the revenue improvement in many of our top 15 markets and the underlying business trends we are beginning to see. Our innovation pipeline is starting to gain traction and we are close to realizing our annual cost reduction milestone. We remain intensely focused on improving our Representative experience, which results in higher engagement and her success. It will take time to fully realize the benefits from our near and long-term initiatives in this highly competitive market, but with the right team in place we are poised to accelerate the pace of our progress.”

Commenting on behalf of the Board, Chan Galbato, non-executive Chairman of Avon Products’ Board of Directors said, “The search for a new Chief Executive Officer for Avon is underway. The Board is pleased with the progress and the strong interest we are receiving.”

Q3 2017 Segment Review (Compared with Q3 2016)
Total Reportable Segment constant-dollar revenue was relatively unchanged, with average order growth offset by Active Representative declines, primarily in Brazil. The company saw constant-dollar revenue improvement in many of its top 15 markets. While these trends are encouraging, there is still a lot of work to be done, particularly in some of its larger markets, which are highly competitive and in various stages of recovery.

Europe, Middle East & Africa revenue was up 1 percent, or down 2 percent in constant dollars, driven by a decrease in Active Representatives. Russia revenue was up 3 percent, or down 6 percent in constant dollars, due to a decrease in Active Representatives, as well as lower average order. U.K. revenue was down 13 percent, or 12 percent in constant dollars, primarily due to a decrease in Active Representatives.

South Latin America revenue was down 1 percent, or relatively unchanged in constant dollars, driven by a decrease in Active Representatives, offset by higher average order. Brazil revenue was down 3 percent, or 5 percent in constant dollars, primarily due to a decrease in Active Representatives, partially offset by higher average order.

North Latin America revenue was up 5 percent, or 2 percent in constant dollars, driven by higher average order and an increase in Active Representatives. Mexico revenue was up 4 percent, or down 1 percent in constant dollars, primarily due to a decline in Active Representatives.

Asia Pacific revenue was down 1 percent, or up 3 percent in constant dollars, primarily due to higher average order. Philippines revenue was up 4 percent, or 12 percent in constant dollars, driven by higher average order and an increase in Active Representatives.

To read the full Avon Q3 2017 financial report, click here.

November 02, 2017

U.S. News

Plexus Hires Mary Beth Reisinger as Chief Human Resources Officer

Scottsdale, Arizona-based Plexus Worldwide, a direct-selling health and wellness company focused on health and happiness, recently announced it has hired Mary Beth Reisinger to a newly established position of Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO).

In this role, Reisinger will oversee the human resources activities of the rapidly growing company that has expanded from a dozen employees in 2011 to more than 400 full-time employees today. 
 
“I’m excited to join the leadership team of this rapidly growing company as it continues to expand,” said Reisinger. “I look forward to lending my expertise in recruiting dedicated leaders and team members to help the company attain its next level of success locally, nationally and globally.”
 
“This is another step in continuing to help build the people who build our company,” said Plexus Worldwide CEO Tarl Robinson. “Mary Beth is a highly respected human resources executive, business leader and chief administrative officer who will help enhance the efforts of our human resources team as we move forward and continue making Plexus one of the ‘Best Places to Work’ in Phoenix.”
 
Reisinger has spent the past 17 years guiding and leading the human resources team at AAA Arizona. She received her Executive MBA from Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business and earned her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Maryland College Park. She is also active in the non-profit organization, Dress for Success, where she currently serves as Board President.

November 02, 2017

U.S. News

Nu Skin Q3 Revenue Down 6.7% Over Prior Year

Provo, Utah-based Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. has announced financial results for the third quarter of 2017. The company reported third-quarter revenue of $563.7 million, compared to $604.2 million in Q3 2016, which included $56 million in limited-time-offer (LTO) sales. Q3 2017 was negatively impacted approximately 1 percent by foreign currency fluctuations.

“During the third quarter, we continued to execute our growth strategy and delivered results at the top-end of our previous guidance range,” said CEO Ritch Wood. “We generated sequential improvements in the business and are confident that our focus on social selling served as an important catalyst for steady customer and business growth in many of our markets. We also saw healthy energy within our salesforce leading up to our October Nu Skin LIVE! event.

“As we look ahead to the fourth quarter, we remain focused on expanding our customer base as we begin rolling out our platform, product and program initiatives,” said Wood. “During our LIVE! event, we introduced several new products aimed at increasing the pace of our social selling efforts, including the ageLOC LumiSpa treatment and cleansing device, which we plan to launch in every market during the first half of 2018. Over the next several quarters, we will begin implementing enhanced programs to more effectively reward our sales leaders and build long-term customer loyalty. We are confident that our strategic focus on these initiatives will help us build a solid base for future growth and enhanced value for our shareholders.”

“Looking forward, we expect fourth-quarter revenue in the $650 million to $670 million range, which includes a 1 percent negative foreign currency impact,” said Mark Lawrence, Chief Financial Officer. “In the quarter, we continue to anticipate approximately $100 million from the introduction of ageLOC LumiSpa, and project fourth-quarter earnings per share of $1.16 to $1.21.”

To read the full Nu Skin Q3 report, click here.

November 01, 2017

U.S. News

Amazon Now Key Player in Health and Wellness Sector

The “Amazon Effect,” the disruption of the retail market by the online giant, made many in the direct selling channel take notice regarding their e-commerce and customer service practices. Now Amazon’s purchase of eco-minded natural grocer Whole Foods is helping it to become a formidable challenger in another area that has typically been strong in direct sales: the health and wellness space.

A new report from One Click Retail, a market leader in e-commerce data measurement, found that Amazon’s sales in the health and wellness channel grew by 30 percent in the past 52 weeks. The total category size was $2.55 billion, comprised of nutrition ($1.8 billion in sales), followed by wearable health devices ($600 million) and wellness and relaxation ($150 million).

Nathan Rigby, Vice President of One Click Retail, noted Amazon’s investment in Whole Foods was a direct response to the consumer trend towards clean, natural products containing fewer ingredients and minimal processing. The acquisition of Whole Foods allows Amazon to retain customers that might have otherwise gone to a competitor.

The One Click Retail report found a strong demand for sports nutrition among Amazon customers—an estimated $590 million in sales—followed by herbal/minter supplements ($530 million), vitamins/multivitamins ($250 million), diet supplements ($180 million) and meal substitutes ($90 million).

The sports nutrition subcategory is driven mainly by sales of standard sport drinks and powders, representing 70 percent of the category; another 27 percent is made up by nutritional bars. The remaining 3 percent contains nutritional foods, a segment that witnessed double the sales during the past 52-week period as compared to the previous 52 weeks.

Amazon announced in June that it was acquiring Whole Foods Market Inc. for approximately $13.7 billion in cash.

November 01, 2017

Company Spotlight

How Transparency Shapes Leaders: Marking 20 Years at Team National

by Jenny Vetter


Click here to order the November 2017 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


Team National

Founded: 1997
Headquarters: Davie, Florida
Top Executive: President and CEO Angela Loehr Chrysler
2016 Revenue: $659 Million
Global 100 Ranking: No. 34
Products: Membership savings on products and services


nameAngela Loehr Chrysler

As Hurricane Irma approached the Florida coast in September, Angela Loehr Chrysler and Team National had some decisions to make about the operations at their Davie headquarters.

Closing the office meant downtime and slower call response rates, but the team knew they had to prioritize business activities. Rather than deciding behind closed doors and simply alerting the sales field, Loehr Chrysler and her team drew from Team National’s long-standing commitment to transparency.

“We communicated a lot with our sales field prior, during and after the storm,” she says. “We shared our priority for the next two weeks, which was to pay our staff and the sales field.” All emails and phone calls received during this time were put on hold, so the office staff could focus solely on making sure everyone continued to receive paychecks on time. The decision literally paid off. “Because we openly communicated it, they were amazing. They were grateful that we knew the importance of paying them,” she adds. “That’s definitely a lesson learned from my dad, and exactly how he would have handled it.”

Her dad, Dick Loehr, founded Team National in 1997, guided by a set of personal values and beliefs that are woven into the fabric of the company to this day. Team National celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, as well as Angela Loehr Chrysler’s 10th year in her role as CEO. These two anniversaries give Loehr Chrysler and her team the opportunity to reflect on the successes and challenges they’ve navigated over the past two decades. 


“Absolutely my dad is a big part of our story and my personal story because his leadership impacted mine and is the foundation of how we run the business today.”
Angela Loehr Chrysler, President and CEO, Team National


One-of-a-Kind Business Model

The sole member of the Direct Selling Association to offer group-buying memberships, Team National shares this savings product through a network of more than 475,000 customers and distributors, called Independent Marketing Directors (IMDs). Memberships offer savings and factory-direct pricing across a catalog of products and services, spanning more than 20 industries, everything from financial products and wireless services to furniture and jewelry.

“You can compare us to a Costco or a Sam’s Club,” explains Phil Chrysler, Executive Vice President and Loehr Chrysler’s husband. “We both sell a membership; however with Team National, you don’t need to go to that physical location to obtain that product or service; it will come to you automatically.” Team National partners with Fortune 500 companies such as ADP, Home Depot, AT&T and an extensive directory of other recognizable names to offer wholesale pricing on products and services that many households use every day.

“When a [potential] member is going to buy a product or service outside of our membership, and then finds out about our membership, they realize they’re able to save that money and keep that money in their bank account for other purposes. That thrills us. It really does,” Phil Chrysler adds.


One new development at Team National is the official launch of Team National Hope Foundation, a 501(c)(3), with Hope standing for Helping Other People Everyday.


For IMDs, the business model is simple: Purchase a membership, reap the benefits and share it with others. As friends, family and new contacts purchase their own memberships, IMDs earn commission on those sales. The only “product” is the membership itself—no inventory, no products to purchase and resell—only an opportunity to save money. (The company has a small line of health and wellness products, but the membership is the main driver of sales). And that savings opportunity continues to expand as Team National is constantly evaluating new products and services to offer their members, though the cost of membership hasn’t changed since the very first membership was sold. Just as there were in 1997, there are two membership options: a two-year membership for $795 or a lifetime membership for $2,195.

An Inspired Beginning

Prior to launching the company in 1997, Dick Loehr spent nearly 20 years in the automotive industry—the perfect spot for the former captain of the Ford Drag Racing Team. Loehr ultimately owned two dealerships and nine different franchises and sold 145,000 cars before pursuing new entrepreneurial paths, including the development of a one-of-a-kind savings program. He began designing a kind of package that would give individual customers the same discount buying power that large companies have through the purchase of that package, or membership.  Loehr first offered his new idea to a small direct selling company, before eventually purchasing that company to create what is known today as Team National.

Loehr led the organization for 10 years, incorporating his personal business philosophies and practices into daily operations—and mentoring Angela Loehr Chrysler to do the same. Those values—honesty, integrity and character—serve as the foundation for the company Loehr built and grew until 2007, when he announced that his daughter would step into his role as CEO. She had been named President the year before. Several months after stepping down from leadership, Loehr passed away after a 10-year battle with cancer. Still he was able to accomplish a great deal at Team National during the course of his illness.

“Absolutely my dad is a big part of our story and my personal story because his leadership impacted mine and is the foundation of how we run the business today,” Loehr Chrysler says. “We are very much a company that appreciates where we came from and our foundation, so we honor him at every convention.”

Today, Loehr Chrysler continues to keep her father’s values top of mind. “For me personally, it’s a lot of what might be considered really simple business practices that continue to influence my daily decisions and my daily desire to stay positive, to treat others the way I’d like to be treated and to lead with authenticity and transparency,” she says.


The Team National Hope Foundation donated $100,000 to the company’s local Boys & Girls Club in Broward County, Florida.

Leaders Growing Leaders

Just as Loehr was intentional about investing in and inspiring his daughter, Loehr Chrysler is dedicated to growing leaders at Team National, through training, a strong sense of ethics and an organizational culture where those core values shine. She and her executive team have established consistent opportunities to pour into both their IMDs and corporate employees through inspirational leadership messages shared through conference calls, videos and Facebook Live. Each month either Loehr Chrysler or a member of her team leads a personal growth session for the entire office. “We share videos and have discussion time in between. Topics might be attitude, gratitude, finding your why, finding passion in life; each month is unique,” she says. She also writes a blog that shares stories of personal growth and inspiring events. “I’m passionate about personal development because of what it has done for me personally and for our company and our team,” she says. “I think it’s a difference maker for our culture and our company’s longevity and growth.”


“If a company feels they haven’t been as transparent with their sales field, I would encourage them to go all in. It’s so well received when your sales field knows you’re looking at them as a partner.”
Angela Loehr Chrysler


In addition to her role as President and CEO, Loehr Chrysler recently served as the Chairwoman for the DSA’s Ethics Committee, an experience that proved meaningful to her team. “It really helped me gain greater understanding of the work that’s been done by DSA and the Ethics Committee prior to me, and it helped me to be even more transparent because I was part of the process.”

Her team’s response to her role on the committee wasn’t what she expected. “Our sales field, more than I recognized, was really proud of the fact that I was not only on the committee but that I chaired it that year because it was an important time for the industry,” Loehr Chrysler notes, referring to the changing environment Team National and all direct sales companies are navigating. “They really saw it as a great way for Team National to have a seat at the table.”

The new regulatory environment is challenging for companies across the direct selling channel, but Team National saw these changes as an opportunity to be more open and model that to their IMDs in the field. One significant change was the addition of an income earnings disclosure that is featured prominently in both onboarding and training materials, as well as on the company’s website. “After having great discussions with leading companies in our industry and our direct selling attorney, we decided to require an income earnings chart be used any time our leaders are presenting our program,” Loehr Chrysler says. Another change was the institution of a checklist for all leaders to review and agree on before posting a local or regional event: Leaders must agree to ethical standards at the meeting, use the new income earnings disclosure chart and have it available for all attendees to view. “We felt the best way for us as a company to navigate through this change was to go all in and do it transparently,” she shares. “We told our sales field, ‘Here are aspects of things that we need to change. Here are things we need to get better at. Here are things that we need your advice on.’ We looked at them as partners throughout it, so they could really help guide us,” she explains.


“When a potential member… finds out about our membership and they’re able to save that money and keep that money in their bank account for other purposes, that thrills us. It really does.”
Phil Chrysler, Executive Vice President, Team National


Tried and True Training

Like any direct sales organization, Team National has used different training methods during its years in business; however, Loehr Chrysler believes that the training they have in place today represents the very best of the methods they’ve worked with. New IMDs have access to Team National’s four-step training program that features the company’s “Toolbox Approach.”

As Phil Chrysler explains, “At each step of the process are different tools, depending on the comfort level of the IMD. Whether it’s through our mobile app or the good old-fashioned paper method or a DVD, we’ve tried to integrate technology as well as old proven items that promote and explain our product. And then we encourage them to use what they’re comfortable with.” These tools have allowed Team National to reach customers across all demographics, a strategy that he says fits within the company’s existing system. 

New IMDs are trained on Team National’s ethics policies through both written materials and videos. The company has taken a proactive approach to ensure that prospective IMDs receive a fair and accurate explanation of the compensation program and the earning potential that lies within each level of leadership. This information also is shared through library videos on the Team National website as well as in printed materials that any visitor to the site can access.

TextAt a Team National event, Angela Loehr Chrysler welcomes DeVon Franklin, author of Produced by Faith.

Strong and Steady at Team National

Loehr Chrysler says that much about the way Team National operates has remained constant. “In the last five to seven years we’ve had a very consistent aspect to the business when you look at our growth, our sales field, our corporate office. Our focus of getting better has been the same for the last few years and we’ve seen the benefits of that.” She notes that even additions to the membership program have been consistent and credits this as being a result of truly listening to the sales field about new products and services that would add value to their members. Today, the total product, service and membership sales for the company continues to grow, currently on track to reach around $659 million.

One new development at Team National is the official launch of the Team National Hope Foundation, a 501(c)(3) private foundation established by the Loehr and Chrysler families. “Hope stands for Helping Other People Everyday,” Phil Chrysler says. The TN Hope Foundation, founded in April, accepts donations from Team National members, the Loehr and Chrysler families and Team National itself, then donates those funds to various causes and charities close to the company’s heart. The company has had a commitment to philanthropy since its inception, but the launch of this new foundation offers the same benefit that the company’s membership product does: choices. “With this foundation, we can fund causes that are important to our members where they live, allowing our members to be heroes in their hometowns. It really expands our reach,” he explains. To date, the foundation has donated $288,993.


This year marks the company’s 20th year in business, as well as Angela Loehr Chrysler’s 10th year in her role as CEO.


Wisdom for Leaders Building Leaders

The gift of her father’s mentoring is something that Loehr Chrysler can’t help but pay forward—it’s in her DNA. As the company continues to inspire both the sales field and more than 72 corporate team members, Loehr Chrysler has words of encouragement for her industry peers. “If a company feels they haven’t been as transparent with their sales field, I would encourage them to go all in,” she recommends. “It’s so well received when your sales field knows you’re looking at them as a partner.”

November 01, 2017

Company Focus

MONAT: A Focus on Family

by Lin Grensing-Pophal


Click here to order the November 2017 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


Monat Global

Founded: 2014
Headquarters: Miami, Florida
Top Executives: Chairman and Founder Luis Urdaneta; CEO Ray Urdaneta; and President Stuart MacMillan
Products: Anti-Aging Hair Care


“What has made you so successful?” It’s a question he hears frequently, says Ray Urdaneta, CEO of anti-aging hair care brand MONAT, and it’s not an easy one to answer. After all, he points out, in a direct sales company so many things have to come together in order for the company to work. But, he says, “If somebody were to ask me the No. 1 thing that has made us successful, it’s our focus on a culture of family.” Urdaneta feels strongly this applies not only in the field, but for MONAT corporate as well. It is this focus, he believes, that has allowed the company to accomplish so much in such a short amount of time.

Stuart MacMillan, President of MONAT, agrees. “We focus on family—family, family, family. It’s in everything we do.” Today that family has grown to a sales field of about 130,000 distributors, MacMillan says.

Jason Russell, Director of Communications, says this is especially true on the social level. “The cross-line/side-line support and connection here is unbelievable. In July, eight of our Market Partners (distributors) got together in Nashville for some fun. Four were from Illinois, two were from Indianapolis, one was from Nova Scotia, and one was from Rochester, New York. This represented five different, unconnected teams, so they don’t literally work together, but they love each other and celebrate each other’s successes.”

nameStuart MacMillan, Luis Urdaneta, Ray Urdaneta

Results from this strategy show in MONAT’s current numbers—the percentage of month-to-month growth continues to be in the double digits. But that momentum started building early in the company’s life. Sales increased 300 percent from 2015 to 2016, with monthly revenue tripling between October 2016 and January 2017 and growing another 50 percent by February. MONAT’s 2017 annual revenue is anticipated to be more than $300 million, according to Russell.

Direct Selling Expertise Drives Business Growth

MONAT’s family focus has been important to business growth, but success is also likely driven by the extensive direct selling background of the company’s senior leaders. Ray Urdaneta is a second-generation direct sales entrepreneur and the co-founder of L’eudine Global, along with his father Luis Urdaneta, Chairman of the Alcora Group, which launched MONAT in 2014.

Market Partners on a recent incentive trip.

MONAT is a wholly owned subsidiary of Alcora Corp., which has holdings that include L’eudine Global. All three companies are headquartered in and around Miami. Monat, Urdaneta says, is “a very independent company—under the Alcora umbrella, but we are completely independent with separate product lines, different brands and even different staff.” MONAT’s market focus began in the United States and, a year after its launch, expanded into Canada.

MacMillan was brought on board as president of MONAT when the company was formed in 2014; he brought 30 years of management experience, with a heavy emphasis on direct selling, to the role.

The market also can be pointed to as a driver of success, MacMillan says. MONAT was positioned at the right place, at the right time, to resonate with its audience. With anti-aging products for skin care dominating the market, MONAT, MacMillan says, was the first to take a narrower focus by developing anti-aging products specifically for hair care.

Truly Social Selling

MONAT has a strong focus on social selling, recognizing its ability to bring people together to experience the product in a social setting. The creation of excitement around its products has been largely achieved through Meet MONAT events, which typically take place in a bistro or a restaurant to create an upscale, night-out-on-the-town experience.


“If somebody were to ask me the No. 1 thing that has made us successful, it’s our focus on a culture of family.”
- Ray Urdaneta, CEO, MONAT Global


Guests dress up, get together and socialize, with the event focused on a presentation as well as trying the product through samples. They take samples home and follow up with Market Partners in a couple of days to share their feedback on the products. The ability to sample broadly, MacMillan says, is aided by the fact that MONAT owns its own manufacturing facility and can cost-effectively create samples and sachets of products. The samples are provided to guests in a gift bag at the Meet MONAT events, creating a no-pressure, fun environment.

The demographics of MONAT’s market align well with the social “night out” focus, an idea that started when a lot of distributors would “band together” at a local wine bar. MacMillan says the experience appeals to many of the female attendees in the 29-to-44 age range, as well as to young moms. “The whole idea of the customers getting a night out has played so well,” he says. “We discovered it by accident when women started doing it on their own, and it’s just absolutely snowballed.”

That focus on social selling doesn’t only apply to distributors’ interactions with their customers, though. MONAT is also heavily focused on the use of social media tools—like Facebook Live to connect with the field. “Sometimes we’ve been blamed for over-communicating,” Urdaneta says with a laugh, but adds, “People want to know what’s happening—so we use email, we use social media a lot, and we have groups, mainly on Facebook.” Facebook Live has represented a very effective way to communicate with the field, he says. “The good thing about Facebook Live is I can do it myself, or Stuart can do it himself on the ground. You can just do it in the moment.”

Linda Padilla is Chief Marketing Officer at MONAT and brings more than 30 years of direct selling experience to the job. She’s a relatively new member to the team—she’s been on board for less than a year—and her focus has been on “ensuring that we upgrade our visual brand,” she says. “Our branding and our aesthetics are extremely important, especially on the social marketing side. We attract Market Partners who like the kind of edgy, fun, MONATitude. Our social media and our communications are very important to support that.”


“Our branding and our aesthetics are extremely important, especially on the social marketing side. We attract Market Partners who like the kind of edgy, fun, MONATitude.”
- Linda Padilla, Chief Marketing Officer, MONAT Global


More specifically, Russell adds, “MONATitude is shorthand for our happy, determined, striving, carefree way of doing what we do. Our brand is in the premium space, but we are approachable and fun and inclusive. So one aspect of it is we help people enjoy great hair while encouraging them to be themselves and have fun.”

It’s a process that has really worked, says Padilla, who points out that the company’s VIP, or preferred customer program, has increased tenfold to twelvefold in the past six months, and close to 40,000 new customers join the preferred program monthly. The preferred customer program is designed to focus on the end user, in addition to nurturing Market Partners, or distributors. VIP customers pay a one-time membership fee of $19.99 and make three qualifying orders. They then receive 15 percent off their purchases, a free product with qualified orders and free shipping on orders of $85 USD.

Product First, But Don’t Hide the Opportunity

In the direct selling channel, MacMillan says, there are often discussions about what to present first: the product or the opportunity. “We typically lead with the product, but we don’t hide the opportunity,” he says, adding that the product is something you don’t have to convince anyone to buy—shampoo, but with an added appeal. “It’s not only a good product, it’s innovative and appealing.”


“Our brand is in the premium space, but we are approachable and fun and inclusive. So one aspect of it is we help people enjoy great hair while encouraging them to be themselves and have fun.”
- Jason Russell, Director of Communications, MONAT Global


Having its own manufacturing plant as well as scientists and labs, MacMillan says the company is able to produce its wares with a product plan that spans 40 years. And with a name derived from “modern” and “nature,” MONAT’s innovation starts at home. As a result of its clinical research, MONAT has combined naturally based botanical oils as the foundation for its special product formulations. The company uses state-of-the-art technologies to create safe, high-quality, naturally based, hair care products, which work to restore hair that has been exposed to the damaging effects of the environment and the aging process. Products are infused with Rejuveniqe™, its proprietary blend of oils, and key ingredients such as Capixyl™ (Red Clover Extract), Procataline™ (Pea Extact), and Crodasorb™ (a UV absorber).

“We’re constantly looking and planning as it relates to expanding our product line, but we do so in such a way that we’re not trying to sell a lot of SKUs,” Padilla says. “We concentrate on those hair care items that will bring to the market something unique, or something on-trend, and keep that momentum in the field.”


“Our goals are really tied to touching millions of families’ lives by adding $500 or more for their household. We focus our message on the mainstream as opposed to focusing on the top end.”
- Stuart MacMillan, President, MONAT Global


The best is yet to come, Padilla adds. “As we grow and look at extending our portfolio, there’s a lot out there as far as hair care. We will continue to be looking at innovative additions to the line. We have a great niche, and we intend to stay close to that, but to continue to be on the leading edge.”

Even though products are front and center, MONAT welcomes everyone interested in the opportunity and who come aboard as distributors. From day one, Market Partners are given support, training, motivation and encouragement with a focus on the midrange of earners—those people who can add $500 a month in income for their families. “Our goals are really tied to touching millions of families’ lives by adding $500 or more for their household,” MacMillan says. “We focus our message on the mainstream as opposed to focusing on the top end.” 

Run a Tight Ship, But Focus on Fun

MONAT is also focused on the bottom line and works hard to ensure cost-effectiveness in its operations.

The company manages “super-tightly,” MacMillan says. “We benchmark every single month to industry averages for companies our size.” There’s one area where they don’t skimp, though—events. “We do a lot of events,” MacMillan says. “We have a cruise to Bermuda where we expect about 2,000 people coming up in May; we have a leadership summit that we expect to take about 700 people to in San Francisco in February—a few weeks ago we took our top level, 80 of our directors, to a resort in Arizona. Events are a huge part of our culture, and we think that this differentiates us as well.”


“As we grow and look at extending our portfolio, there’s a lot out there as far as hair care. We have a great niche, and we intend to stay close to that, but to continue to be on the leading edge.”
- Linda Padilla


MONAT hosts a number of events to both educate and reward its Market Partners:

  • Leadership Summit. Each year MONAT issues a challenge to its Market Partners to achieve a certain level of success. Those that do earn an all-expense-paid trip to the Leadership Summit with a focus on training and helping Market Partners achieve the next level of success.
  • Incentive Trips. These have a focus on fun and luxury. Market Partners who qualify for incentive trips earn an expense-free trip to locations that have included Miami, Orlando, Los Cabos, Maui and more.

“In order to spend that much money on events, we have to be super-frugal in some other areas and manage efficiently,” MacMillan says.

Despite the bottom-line focus, fun is a big part of the mix, Padilla adds. “I just think it’s important that the element of fun is a huge part of our culture. We celebrate our success as a family, and we do constantly talk about working hard and meeting goals,” she says. “But we also make sure that the balance of the fun part and the celebratory part is a huge part of our culture. That’s why I think a lot of people love working for MONAT.”

As far as advice for other direct sales organizations, at the end of the day, Urdaneta says, “My advice is to focus on what’s important and what really affects your field.” Fancy ideas and fancy strategies, he says, won’t drive success if they’re not designed to help the field and help the leaders. That’s why MONAT focuses its investments on its people. “Focus on what’s important, and make the investments where it really matters,” he says.

November 01, 2017

Company Focus

SeneGence International: A Whirlwind of Growth

by J.M. Emmert


Click here to order the November 2017 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


SENEGENCE INTERNATIONAL

Founded: 1999
Headquarters: Irvine, California
Executives: Joni Rogers-Kante
Products: Skincare, Anti-Aging, Cosmetics, Body Care


nameJoni Rogers-Kante

SeneGence International, the orange county, California-based direct seller of skincare, body care and cosmetic products, has achieved dramatic growth over the past four years. Since 2013, the privately held company founded by Joni Rogers-Kante in 1999 has seen revenue grow by 100 percent year over year. In 2017, executives anticipate more of the same as sales revenue numbers are again on pace to achieve such results.

For many years, Rogers-Kante, always one to lead with tenacity and fearlessness she learned at a young age, had focused on connecting with the women in the field and supporting them in their endeavors; however, the recent rapid growth has necessitated a revisiting of all areas of the company. New positions have been added—both in the employee base and to the executive management team—to keep up with the current and future expansion of the company. New office and facilities spaces are being developed, with an eye toward expanding the company to the Midwest and Rogers-Kante’s roots. New entries to the product line are in the process of being launched, and innovative technology platforms and support tools are being developed to help Independent Distributors grow their businesses. 


Since 2013, the privately held company founded by Joni Rogers-Kante in 1999 has seen revenue grow by 100 percent year over year.


For Rogers-Kante, who serves as Chairman and CEO, the future of her company looks bright. The pieces are all coming together for what should continue to be an exciting future, she says.

New Leaders, New Initiatives

To guide the ramp-up in production and company growth, SeneGence hired Philippe Guerreau in May as President. A SeneGence Advisory Board member for four years, Guerreau was previously Vice President at L’Oréal USA, overseeing finance for North American manufacturing operations as well as plant expansions and manufacturing cost optimization projects.

“We are so grateful to have the experienced leadership he brings to our company,” Rogers-Kante says. “In the past months, Philippe has been working diligently on overseeing operations and manufacturing process improvements, assisting in the hiring of numerous new professionals, managing the considerable increase of our production capabilities, and preparing for the company’s future as it continues to grow.”


The long-term plan is for SeneGence to expand from California to a 225-acre campus in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, where Rogers-Kante grew up.


To meet new demands, Steve Jarvi (formerly Vice President of Operations) was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in November 2016, and two other seasoned professionals—Jerome Kaiser and Tom Doria—joined the executive team.

Jarvi has been concentrating on operations improvements and advancement, including increasing product inventory levels and product quality across all SeneGence product lines. His team of professionals in each country play a critical role in ensuring immediate delivery of products to Distributors from varied “pick-n-pack” locations, expanding vendor-partner relationships and adding more talent to the Supply Chain department.

Scaling the finance department also required someone experienced in such buildout. For this, SeneGence brought in Kaiser as Chief Financial Officer. Previously with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Liz Claiborne and Mikasa, Kaiser and his team are focused on supporting Independent Distributors with new finance tools and sustaining a high-quality international cross-border compensation plan. “Jerome and his team have immensely enhanced many aspects of the finance department to improve payments to Distributors, support services and options to employees and our partner vendors alike,” Rogers-Kante says. “He plays a key role in helping SeneGence navigate the way to expand globally.”


“In the short term, this expansion will bring hundreds of jobs for citizens in the surrounding local areas; in the long term, it will mean thousands.”
- Ben Kante, Chief Strategy Officer, SeneGence International


Chief Information Officer Doria brings a wealth of global IT technologies and implementation experience to the team. With more than three decades of experience in network architecture, video conferencing, application development and systems engineering development in large-scale operations, Doria is leading his team in the development of new technology initiatives at the company. These range from migrating all systems toward cloud-based applications and platforms to the creation of a new quick-order page for the web. Among many other improvements, he and his team implemented new security features to provide a more secure online experience for Distributors. The coming months will see the launch of more innovative tools and technologies that will benefit Distributors and streamline internal processes for employees. In addition, Doria and other key personnel will be instrumental in helping to “connect” SeneGence as it expands across the globe.

In order to strengthen and expand company personnel, SeneGence also recently brought in James Roh as the Chief Human Resources Officer. With more than 24 years of global management and business advisory experience, Roh is skilled and proficient at driving results and organizational effectiveness while executing HR best practices. As SeneGence continues to grow their business, he will play a crucial role in managing employee growth and future personnel development in other countries.

Finally, to provide added focus to staffing in the midst of this change, Rogers-Kante’s oldest son, Alan Kante, was named the company’s first Chief Experience Officer. His role is to ensure SeneGence remains inclusive and receives value for all who interact with the company internally and externally, while taking actions to ensure the health and well-being of its workforce.

New Headquarters, Future Home

One of the major challenges of a growing company is space, and SeneGence certainly has had its share of pains in this area. Last fall, the company made its third move, relocating its corporate offices and warehouse into a much larger 50,000-square-foot space in Foothills Ranch, California. However, this will not be the last move for the company.

The long-term plan is for SeneGence to expand from California to a 225-acre campus in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, where Rogers-Kante grew up. The company already has broken ground on a 150,000-square-foot distribution center and a 250,000-square-foot warehouse, both of which are slated for completion in mid-2018. The next construction phase will include developing corporate offices with manufacturing, research and development, and convention facilities on site. Buildout is estimated to take five to seven years
to complete.


“The past five years have been a whirlwind experience of growth. We imagine that the next five years will likely see the same rapid expansion as we continue market penetration.”
- Joni Rogers-Kante, Founder, Chairman and CEO, SeneGence International


In March, former Oklahoma State Senator Ted Fisher was hired as SeneGence’s Economic Development Officer. A longtime trusted adviser to Rogers-Kante, he has been guiding the expansion to the additional benefit of Creek County and the state of Oklahoma. “His role as an active civic leader in Sapulpa as well as in the business community through Oklahoma has been critical to our success,” Rogers-Kante says. “Ted’s growing SeneGence team of community-minded professionals are helping to ensure that the company’s impact upon local citizens and within the surrounding communities is nothing but positive.”

In addition to the future campus, Rogers-Kante and her husband, Ben, who serves as the company’s Chief Strategy Officer, bought historic buildings in Sapulpa to restore and turn into functional facilities for visiting executives overseeing the expansion. One building will become eight individual apartments, with a storefront on the bottom floor to contain a soda fountain-type establishment, a bakery and a lounge for the hotel guests. The second flow-through connecting building will become a boutique hotel, with rooms on the second and third floors and a café on the bottom floor. A third will be used for company private offices and facilities; a fourth building, once the town feed store, has already been transformed into a beautiful open-air company call center featuring a park to help beautify the area. The facilities also will be open to the public and aid in attracting additional traffic to the quaint downtown area of Sapulpa where Rogers-Kante spent her childhood.


We are looking to reach out to as many Distributors as possible to help them meet their goals and find the success they deserve.”
- Christopher Simonian, Chief Sales and Distributor Development Officer, SeneGence International


“In the short term, this expansion will bring hundreds of jobs for citizens in the surrounding local areas; in the long term, it will mean thousands,” Ben Kante says. “The effect of service providers of all kinds and independent contractors, ranging from land care to floral design, to builders and contractors, printers, photographers, hotels, and the food industry, will be—well, let’s just say the positive effect upon the business opportunities are boundless.”

Product Innovation, Broadway Recognition

So, too, are the choices Distributors and consumers have when considering SeneGence’s product line. In 1999, the company began with LipSense® Liquid Lip Color; today there are more than 300 products and accessory items available among the patented LipSense® long-lasting lip color, SenseCosmetics®, SeneDerm® Anti-Aging Skin Care, and Abundance Parfums categories.

In charge of managing the formulas for SeneGence products is Chief Research and Development Officer Jose Fermin. “Jose monitors the manufacturing processes to make sure our products maintain the highest level of quality, and creates laboratory test protocols to ensure our products are safe and effective to use,” Rogers-Kante says. “He builds strong relationships with ingredient suppliers from all over the world to incorporate unique ingredients and innovation in SeneGence products.”

In January, the company will introduce additional items to the product line, including new LipSense colors and selections for other product categories. Until then, some of the company’s current products are being displayed to a captive audience of an estimated 84 million through a 5,000-square-foot digital billboard in New York City’s Times Square.

TextFounder Joni Rogers-Kante (far right) is pictured in Times Square with her husband, Ben Kante, and two sons, Alan and William.

Ticket-seekers for today’s hottest Broadway shows can see the SeneGence ads, which appear approximately 40 times a day, through New Year’s Day. The media company that owns the billboard space approached SeneGence about the opportunity because Broadway professionals using the company’s products were raving about them. In addition, LipSense is being recognized as the smudge-proof makeup of Broadway, used by performers of such hit shows as Hamilton, Wicked, Cats, Kinky Boots and Lady Gaga’s new show.

“It has been an exciting and rewarding experience to display our company and its amazing products in the heart of Times Square,” Rogers-Kante says. “We decided to include our Distributors in the experience by launching a contest to offer the chance for them to submit photos/videos for the billboard. Each of our billboard ads feature the winning entries of our lovely, hardworking Distributors, as our Distributors are our models and our business builders.”

Tools, Training and Events

SeneGence has achieved consistent growth in the number of new Distributors over the years; however, like the recent substantial growth in other areas of the company, this segment of the business also enjoyed tremendous success in 2016. The company reports the Distributor growth rate increased 100 percent in each of its seven markets.

Overseeing the growing legion of Distributors, which now numbers in the hundreds of thousands, is Christopher Simonian, who was hired as Chief Sales and Distributor Development Officer in March. “Chris has been an integral addition to the company,” Rogers-Kante says. “His initial efforts have mostly been spent in growing and managing his team, which is necessary to accommodate and serve the Distributors with their immediate needs.”

Simonian is leading the development of more efficient and user-friendly sales tools, support programs, rewards programs, and field events to support Distributors. Those tools include a new program called Jump Start, a recruiting tool that offers discounts for new and current Distributors, and a customer mobile app called SeneBiz™ that was launched in April. “SeneBiz is a fantastic prospecting and lead gathering tool that our Distributors enjoy using,” Simonian says. “It also gives us a great portal to provide content for social media sharing, a platform that our field heavily relies on for marketing their businesses.”

TextSeneGence holds a grand opening for one building of its soon-to-be 225-acre corporate campus in Sapulpa, Oklahoma.

Improvements to the company’s SeneSentials training packages are continuing, as are the rollouts of new webinars and both distributor-led and company-sponsored training events. This fall, the company is preparing for a training road show called “Road to Royalty,” where executives and trainers will be visiting destinations across the country to deliver impactful business knowledge.

“We are looking to reach out to as many Distributors as possible to help them meet their goals and find the success they deserve,” Simonian says. “We conduct global events each quarter, each with a specific intention and purpose that responds to immediate business needs, including social media training, product education and leadership coaching. We replicate each event, giving our Distributors in the U.S., Canada, and Australia the same experience and caliber of guidance and recognition, no matter where they are representing SeneGence. It’s an exciting endeavor, and our team is constantly refining our program to bring in incredible industry trainers and educational entertainment as well as source the best venues for our gatherings.”

International Growth Aspirations

SeneGence International currently operates in seven markets: the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Poland and Indonesia. While Rogers-Kante anticipates expansion into additional countries in the coming years, the current focus is understandably on expansion and relocation efforts here in the States.


Some of the company’s current products are being displayed to a captive audience of an estimated 84 million through a 5,000-square-foot digital billboard in New York City’s Times Square.


Even with that focus, Rogers-Kante remains confident that her company will continue to grow and prosper given the growing popularity in the products and through the talented and entrepreneurial-minded Distributors leading the way.

“The past five years have been a whirlwind experience of growth,” she says. “We imagine that the next five years will likely see the same rapid expansion as we continue market penetration in our current countries and expand into other global markets.”

November 01, 2017

DSA News

Collaboration and Engagement Key to Achieving Our Policy Goals

by Brian Bennett



Click here to order the November 2017 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


DSA’s mission is to police, promote and protect its members. That’s how we ensure a landscape in which direct selling companies can operate effectively and ethically while protecting consumers from bad actors. A large part of this mission is the work DSA does with policymakers and regulators at the state and federal level. An increasing, and equally important, part of this work entails using the 24-hour news cycle, blogs and social media to maintain a constant flow of messaging that demonstrates the positive impact of direct selling on everyday life. After all, if we don’t tell our story, someone else will. In most cases, their story won’t have the ending we want.

Direct sellers have the honor and privilege of being in every state, district and hometown across the country. Most people are familiar with the business, whether they know it or not. I have heard countless times how policymakers or their staffs have a family member or close friend involved in direct selling. That sort of familiarity with our business and products is beneficial. However, we must be mindful that there are those out there who only read negative stories and coverage, regardless of accuracy.

Direct sellers must bridge this divide between cultivating relationships with policymakers supportive of direct selling and correcting misunderstandings about the segment among critics. DSA will always represent your interests. And while the association has a successful track record, company involvement in these advocacy efforts will continue to represent a huge piece of the puzzle.

At DSA’s recent Direct Selling Day on Capitol Hill, I was surrounded by amazing stories of people from all over the country involved in direct selling who were perfect industry advocates. Some of these stories included one of a woman overcoming serious health problems with the help of the company’s products to become a successful distributor, another chronicled a third-generation family direct selling business, and another told of a husband and wife who were so inspired by the company’s salesforce that they left their jobs in the company’s corporate office to become distributors.

Beyond representing your interests on a daily basis, the DSA tries to create opportunities to hold these types of conversations. But policymakers ultimately want to hear these stories directly from constituents. How the regulations they enact affect people in their community serve as much better motivators to support policies beneficial to direct selling.

You don’t have to come to Washington, D.C., to engage. Host federal, state and local policymakers at your office, so they gain an understanding of direct selling and the impact it has on their constituents. Lawmakers enjoy demonstrating their involvement in the community and will amplify the positive connections through various public channels. Your salesforce can also be an asset. With 20.5 million people involved in direct selling, many of those could have close, personal connections with policymakers—or even be policymakers, themselves. Knowing who these people are is an important asset in utilizing the influence of your company as well as of the DSA.

DSA will continue to be your voice and represent your interests at all levels of government. However, effective advocacy also requires a collaborative effort with members to ensure the messages conveyed by DSA are reinforced by real-world stories that only your companies can offer. It is through longstanding relationships with policymakers that policies beneficial to direct selling can thrive. We can accomplish more together than separately.

For help on how to get involved, please contact Brian Bennett at bbbennett@dsa.org.


Brian Bennett is the Senior Director of Public Affairs and Advocacy at the U.S. Direct Selling Association.

November 01, 2017

New Perspectives

Provide Clarity for Latino Businesses

by Hector Barreto



Click here to order the November 2017 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


Hispanic entrepreneurs are a powerful engine of growth in the American economy. Their continued success is crucial for the Hispanic community, and the entire nation. Hispanic-owned small businesses are the fastest-growing segment of small businesses in the United States.

Direct selling is a viable enterprise for many Latinos, who gravitate to companies that use independent salespeople to sell goods and services outside fixed locations. Latinos find direct selling appealing for numerous reasons, especially the autonomy it affords them to balance work and family. Like most entrepreneurs, they need clarity, particularly on what constitutes ethical business practices. This is critical in today’s economy where pyramid schemes masquerade as legitimate direct selling companies.

Representatives Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Marc Veasey (D-Texas) recently introduced legislation to clearly identify and punish pyramids in federal law and distinguish these illicit schemes from legitimate direct selling businesses. H.R. 3409, the Anti-Pyramid Promotion Scheme Act, establishes in federal statute a sanctioned definition of pyramid fraud based on existing case law and model legislation adopted by 21 states.

The bill gives guidance to direct selling companies on best ethical practices, and includes a new provision to protect independent contractors with inventory they can’t sell and can’t afford. A minimum 90 percent refund for unused inventory (which is already mandatory for members of the Direct Selling Association, the main trade association for direct selling companies) would now be a requirement for all legitimate direct selling companies.

The Blackburn-Veasey bill also clarifies that the personal use of products by people who affiliate with a direct selling company, because they want to buy its products at a discount, is a legitimate business practice as long as salesforce compensation is based on real sales to real end users of a good or service.

Some people work full time building their own direct selling businesses. Many others engage in direct selling part time, hoping to supplement family incomes with modest earnings. For some, such as Joanna G., who left Colombia for Florida to escape an abusive relationship, direct selling represents the embodiment of the American dream. After years of hard work, she is now a full-time direct seller, and gives back to her community by mentoring others on leadership and providing business training.

The Blackburn-Veasey bill protects all legitimate direct selling salespeople and their customers from pyramid fraud. Again, legitimate companies pay their salesforce for the actual sale of goods or services to an end user. That’s true for high sales volume transacted by networks of salespeople or for personal consumption. They are all real sales to real end users.

Pyramid schemes compensate primarily for recruiting others, not for real sales. The sale and use of the products are incidental to the scheme.

Pyramid schemes do not permit salespeople to return unused inventory, much less require it. The Direct Selling Association has required its members to repurchase unused inventory at 90 percent of the original net cost for more than 20 years.

Pyramid schemes posing as direct sellers do considerable reputational and financial harm to the marketplace. They harm the ability of honest businesses to build salesforces and earn the confidence of consumers, and they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Direct selling is thriving because of attributes that make this retail channel unique and appealing for a variety of economic, social and personal reasons. Operating your business on your own terms is, perhaps, its greatest appeal. A federal statute to protect legitimate enterprises and their salespeople from a pernicious form of fraud is long overdue. It will help Latino entrepreneurs increase their impact on the American economy.


Hector Barreto is the Chairman of the Latino Coalition, one of the largest Latino advocacy groups in the nation, and was administrator of the Small Business Administration from 2001 to 2006 under President George W. Bush.

November 01, 2017

Top Desk

New Trends That Will Make Us or Break Us

by Darren Jensen

Click here to order the November 2017 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


I LOVE BEING IN THIS CHANNEL. Over the past 27 years, I feel like I’ve seen it all. And really, truly, from daily field work to taking part in growing businesses, seeing the operations and mentoring young business leaders, I can’t imagine a better script for my career. I’ve seen lives changed, confidence grow and dreams become reality. I credit this to our channel. I believe it’s the only work environment that focuses on the whole self. And we continue to sit on a vast reservoir of untapped potential.

But today I love my job for a different reason.Leading LifeVantage has given me an exciting perspective—a bird’s-eye view of where we’re headed in the years ahead. I see a few trends emerging that will propel our industry into the future if we’re prepared. On the other hand, they’ll bury us if we ignore them.

THE RISE OF SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURISM

With the advent of Uber, I can’t remember the last time I took a taxi or rented a car. On a recent family vacation, we simply used Uber to get around. Instead of booking a hotel, we used Airbnb. Both experiences were so simple—and, might I say, affordable—that I can’t believe we ever did things differently. I loved the opportunity to chat with both our driver and our host, each of whom eagerly told us how much they loved working for their respective companies.

Uber and Airbnb aren’t simply a pair of companies that have completely disrupted the status quo. Now, they’re also our competitors.

That’s right.

The landscape is shifting and the various sales channels are converging. In the very near future, our main competition won’t be the other direct selling company down the road vying for the better products and distributors. We’re competing against the entire gig economy. That’s literally everyone out there who’s looking to run their own businesses, or run a side hustle or buy into an experience rather than just a product.

My big meta question to our universe is this: Are we really in the business of direct sales anymore?

I don’t mean this rhetorically. After asking myself this question almost daily, I believe that we’re evolving into something more akin to a mix between social commerce and social entrepreneurism.

Right now we’re seeing a massive convergence of business spaces and channels. Digital and brick and mortar are becoming seamless. Because huge brands can’t hog the mic anymore, social commerce is paving the way for an entirely new way to do business. Right now it’s a race to see who can provide the best product with the best experience. In a world where anyone online can cut through the clutter with a great review or by launching a game-changing product from their garage, our old model of slow-moving direct sales isn’t going to cut it.

The good news is that social commerce is already in our DNA. If anyone knows how to share a product and create vast networks, it’s us. The question that remains, however, is how do we Uber-ize our business model? In other words, how do we integrate the technology that simplifies our approach enough to keep competing in the new gig economy? The first company that answers this wins.

HEALTH IS GETTING PERSONAL

Health and wellness companies used to dictate to their customers. They showed the science and prescribed the doses, which was totally OK because customers didn’t expect anything else.

Now more data and better technology have democratized health. People understand their bodies on an unprecedented level. Personally, I know exactly how much REM (sleep, not the band) I need every night, what my ideal heart rate looks like and how many grams of protein I should eat. I have apps for this. I have data for this.

Our customers are managing their health like their finances, and they want a degree of personalization and control over the products they buy. We have to understand that scientific research is great, and we still have to show that our products work clinically. But we also have to show people what these products mean for them as individuals. 

For example, at my company, clinical studies show that our flagship product decreases oxidative stress, the imbalance between free radicals and the ability of antioxidants to neutralize them, by 40 percent in 30 days. But our customers won’t take this at face value anymore. They want to understand specifically what oxidative stress means for their own lives. They also need to be able to measure the effects in their own bodies. And most important, they have to see and feel these results. Our approach is to embrace this trend and create biohacking products and technology that allow individuals to take even more control over their health.

Each of our companies will have to identify its own approach. And the wonderful thing about our channel is that those approaches will be as varied as our companies. However, the health-activated individual is here to stay.

SIMPLICITY IS THE SECRET INGREDIENT

My Uber driver might not have realized it, but the best part of that ride (for him, at least) was that he didn’t have to find his customer. Technology pushed me to him effortlessly. He didn’t have to cold call, network, schedule a meeting or convince me.

We’re living in the middle of the gig economy where the side hustle now takes center stage. Make no mistake, we no longer hold a monopoly when it comes to attracting talented people who want to make additional income on their own terms. So we’re now tasked with competing within our own channel for market share while also competing against the Ubers of the world for the entrepreneurial spirit of millions of people.

If we’re going to win this battle, we have to simplify. And then we have to simplify some more. Looking at our channel as a whole, it’s an understatement to say that our compensation plans are complicated (sometimes you almost have to be Einstein himself to decipher the things). Our communications to the field can be slow. Finding customers can be a daily grind. As a channel, we need to embrace technology as a way to streamline everything we do. If we don’t, we’re in trouble.

If we ignore these trends, we do so at our own peril.

I believe that our channel is at a crossroads right now. We have incredible value to offer. We are very good at improving lives, creating products that work and giving thousands of people an incredible opportunity. But we must adapt or we won’t survive.

It doesn’t seem like long ago that my wife and I would drive to our local Blockbuster on a weekend and browse the aisles lined with DVDs. We all know how Blockbuster’s story ends. The company failed to see the growing trend of consumer convenience and personalization. They ignored technology. And they got Netflixed. Today, we can’t live without streaming services, so it’s easy to wonder how Blockbuster could have never seen its downfall coming.

I don’t want people to wonder the same thing about us.


Darren JensenDarren Jensen is the CEO of health and wellness company LifeVantage.

November 01, 2017

Executive Announcements

Executive Announcements, November 2017


Magnus Brännström Named Chairman of WFDSA

Oriflame CEO and President Magnus Brännström has been elected Chairman of The World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA), a global trade organization representing more than 60 national direct selling associations. Brännström assumes the role of Chairman from Doug DeVos, President of Amway, and will serve through October 2020.

“I am very honored and privileged to serve the direct selling industry as Chairman of the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations during these exciting times,” said Brännström. “The world is going through digital transformation. I believe direct selling, with its communities of people united by a joint purpose, is more relevant than ever for empowering entrepreneurship through offering quality products and services. I look forward to continue to build and develop on my predecessors’ long legacy of improving the standards of the global direct selling industry.”

Previously, Brännström was the Vice Chairman of WFDSA. He also held the position as Chairman of SELDIA, the European Direct Selling Association.

“It’s been a tremendous honor to serve as Chairman of WFDSA for the past three years,” said DeVos. “None of our goals could have been accomplished without strong partnerships and the support of the direct selling associations around the world. Direct selling is in good hands under the leadership of Magnus Brännström. I have never been more confident and optimistic about the future of our industry.”


USANA Announces New Foundation President, Board Member

The USANA True Health Foundation (THF) has promoted Brian Paul to President of the 501(c)(3) organization. Paul has been with USANA for more than 12 years, most recently serving as the foundation’s executive director of communications.

“Since joining THF in 2015, our team has had the opportunity to make a significant impact on children and families throughout the world, and I look forward to continuing to grow our efforts and expand our reach,” said Paul.

Paul has been active in driving the foundation’s fundraising efforts, most recently raising over 1 million meals during USANA’s International Convention in August. He has also spearheaded THF’s mission trips as well as coordinated aid efforts for victims of natural disasters throughout the world.

USANA also announced that J. Scott Nixon has been appointed to the company’s Board of Directors. Nixon joins the board as an independent director and brings a wealth of accounting, finance and corporate strategy expertise.

Nixon, a certified public accountant, retired in 2015 as a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, where he spent over 31 years in various roles, including office managing partner and engagement partner over public and private companies in many industries.


AdvoCare Names Brett Blake President of Global Sales and Strategic Planning

Plano, Texas-based AdvoCare International has added Brett Blake to the executive team as its new President of Global Sales and Strategic Planning.

“Brett’s deep expertise in direct sales and entrepreneurship will propel AdvoCare to even greater heights,” said Brian Connolly, Chairman and CEO of the health and wellness company. “We are fortunate to have him join the AdvoCare team. I know him to be a man of his word, who listens and leads with his convictions. He will be a great asset to AdvoCare, our 350 employees and more than 600,000 Independent Distributors and Preferred Customers.”

Blake joins AdvoCare from a direct selling jewelry brand where he served as CEO and led its acquisition of a skincare line of products for the tween market. Blake also has worked with another company’s field leaders to develop a simple, social media-enabled system to support the success of customers and new distributors, evolving the division from a small experiment to the primary driver of growth.

Reporting to Chairman and CEO Brian Connolly, Blake will help lead day-to-day sales operations and the company’s effort to develop strategy that ensures AdvoCare Distributors’ success.


Natura Taps David Boynton as The Body Shop CEO

Sao Paulo, Brazilian-based Natura Cosméticos SA has tapped David Boynton as CEO of Britain’s The Body Shop.

Boynton, who will replace current CEO Jeremy Schwartz on Dec. 4, has been the head of shirtsmaker Charles Tyrwhitt since 2016. He previously served several leadership roles in the French cosmetics company L‘Occitane Groupe SA.

Natura bought the lotions and soaps retailer from French cosmetics giant L’Oreal in July. The deal was reported to be for US$1.1 billion (€1 billion euros). L’Oreal had purchased The Body Shop for $833 million (£652 million pounds) in 2006.

The Body Shop was founded by British entrepreneur Anita Roddick in 1976 and earned the reputation as an eco-friendly company. Natura, which was founded by Luiz Seabra in São Paulo in 1969 and is one of Brazil’s biggest brands, is noted for its commitment to sustainability and uses biodiversity ingredients in its products. For its efforts, Natura was the first publicly traded company to become certified as a B-corporation.

In acquiring the Body Shop, which has more than 3,000 stores in 66 countries, Natura bolstered its international expansion. In 2013 the company purchased Australia’s Aesop for $70 million. Aesop has 261 locations in 20 countries.


LifeVantage Appoints Kevin McMurray to Management Team as General Counsel

Sandy, Utah-based LifeVantage has appointed Kevin McMurray as General Counsel.

A veteran of the health and wellness industry, McMurray brings more than 25 years of legal expertise to LifeVantage, where he will be responsible for leading the legal department and serving as counsel to the Board of Directors, Chairman of the Board and CEO.

“We’re thrilled to have Kevin joining our management team,” said LifeVantage President and CEO Darren Jensen. “He brings a track record of success, an amazing legal mind and a team-first philosophy to his work. With the growth and evolution we’re undertaking, I can’t think of anyone better suited to help us navigate our continued expansion.”

Prior to joining LifeVantage, McMurray served as Assistant General Counsel at another health and wellness direct seller since 2004. While there, he helped implement its first distributor compliance program while playing an integral role in the company’s expansion into new international markets. 


James B. Smith Joins SUCCESS Partners as Senior Vice President of Business Development

SUCCESS Partners has appointed James B. Smith as the Senior Vice President of Business Development, a newly created role that will oversee the support and growth of new business and to enhance service offerings.

Most recently, Smith has been President of the Direct Sellers Association (DSA) of Canada, as well as being a former Canadian DSA board member. Prior to that he was Owner/CEO of a U.S. direct seller’s Canada business for 17 years, where he initiated a successful turnaround strategy for the company.

Smith also held executive positions in the top advertising and publishing companies of New York City. He initiated new sales and marketing strategies that helped earn Conde Nast’s Traveler “magazine of the year,” and helped elevate Hearst’s Esquire magazine’s leadership position in the competitive men’s publishing arena.

“James comes to us with many years of experience in sales and a strong history in direct selling,” said Stuart Johnson, SUCCESS Partners CEO. “I couldn’t be more pleased to have him on our team and representing SUCCESS Partners in this new capacity.”


Naveen Anand Joins Oriflame in South Asia


Switzerland-based Oriflame has appointed Naveen Anand as Senior Director of Regional Marketing in South Asia. In his new role, Anand will spearhead operations in India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, and will be responsible for accelerating growth and enhancing the brand equity for the Oriflame business.

Anand is a marketing veteran with two decades of experience in the direct selling business. He spent 20 years with another global company in the area and was highly successful in rolling out mass media campaigns for various brands. In his role as Global Marketing Director for the previous company, he worked closely with numerous Asia-Pacific markets, including China, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, as well as markets in Europe and Latin America.

“We are delighted to welcome Naveen on board and will be looking forward to leveraging his extensive knowledge to drive more engagement and give vision and direction to Oriflame’s business for its next level of growth in the region,” said Sergei Kanashin, Senior Vice President and Head of South Asia & MD India at Oriflame.

November 01, 2017

Cover Story

The Evolution of Shopping

by Heather Martin


Click here to order the November 2017 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


Remember when getting online was a big deal? Twenty years ago, internet connections were wire-bound, sporadic and slow. Email addresses and web access at work were the exception. We flipped open a cellphone to make a call and that was about it.

Web-based and mobile technology seemed so cutting edge, but it was only developed enough to allow us to make a lateral move from conventional communication channels. So when omni-direct lifestyle company Youngevity International launched in 1997, its founders didn’t think much about having an online presence. Not many consumer product companies in any sector did. “We didn’t even have our own URL,” says Steve Wallach, CEO of the Chula Vista, California company.

In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau didn’t start tracking online sales until 2000, reporting $5.3 billion for the fourth quarter of 1999 as its first statistic. These dollars represented only 0.6 percent of the total retail sales reported.

As wireless communication became faster and more ubiquitous, we started to use our computers and phones in ways they had never been able to do before. Youngevity and others realized that the web was becoming an indispensable tool for growth and customer engagement. New questions began to emerge in boardrooms and marketing offices: What’s our brand’s digital strength? Are our products shareable? How many followers and likes do we have? Concepts that would have sounded like undecipherable slang years ago began to occupy a good portion of the marketing strategy and budget.

The ease and speed with which consumers can connect today has made being online no big deal and a bigger deal than it ever was—especially when it comes to shopping. The Census Bureau reports that the dollars spent online in 2016 had grown to nearly $390 billion—representing 8.1 percent of total retail sales—with no end in sight. The dollar amount estimated for 2017 year-end tops $450 billion. Research firm Forrester’s report, “Forrester Data: Online Retail Forecast, 2017 to 2022,” projects that e-commerce will account for 17 percent of all retail sales in a short five years from now.


The Census Bureau reports that the dollars spent online in 2016 had grown to nearly $390 billion—representing 8.1 percent of total retail sales—with no end in sight.


Following the trail that Amazon and eBay have blazed, retailers are pouring massive amounts of money and time into virtual versions of themselves to keep up with consumer demand for instant access to their favorite brands. The National Retail Federation says e-commerce will grow by as much as 12 percent this year alone, and a recent study by Astound Commerce, a digital commerce agency in San Francisco, says brand manufacturers have an advantage in the quest for online customer loyalty. More than half of the online shoppers it surveyed said they turn to brand websites over retail websites for product information, customer service and better prices.

Clearly, the continued growth in online selling and an increasing preference, particularly among millennials, for buying directly from brand manufacturers can only be ignored at great peril. Companies that have not fully embraced the digital storefront as the independent consultant’s ally in competing with retail may find themselves left behind.


Only those companies that critically examine their sales strategies and ensure their online brand message is strong will be fit survivors in the shopping evolution.


Only those companies that critically examine their sales strategies and ensure their online brand message is strong will be fit survivors in the shopping evolution.

Getting into the Game

Direct sellers, especially legacy companies, have traditionally been late to board the e-commerce train. It makes sense, given that at its core this channel is a person-to-person business. But as technology becomes a critical business management tool for distributors, and as regulators push the channel to connect more directly with end customers, e-commerce must become a priority for any company that wants to stay competitive in the sales game. Many have made this commitment; the proof is in the size of their technology investments.

LifeVantage, a health and wellness company headquartered in Sandy, Utah, has a similar story. “Ten years ago, we probably did not spend even 1 percent of our top-line revenue on technology initiatives,” says Stephanie Kelley, Vice President of Brand Strategy. “Now I think companies in our space are devoting 2 percent to 5 percent of top-line revenue to technology.”

How Does Your E-Commerce Strategy Stack Up?

Start by answering the following questions:

  • What’s our brand’s digital strength?
  • Are we weak in a channel that is growing quickly?
  • Are our products shareable on social media?
  • How many followers and likes do we have?
  • Who is buying from us online?
  • How much of our overall budget are we spending on technology?

If you discover gaps in your online presence, it can be overwhelming to choose where to focus your efforts. Here are some guidelines for the brand manufacturer that wants to get it right online. Winning brands offer e-commerce experiences that include these technical and content elements:

  • Make your website’s navigation clear and easy.
  • Offer complete, detailed product information.
  • State your return policies clearly.
  • Share your “soul and heritage” to make sure your shopper knows exactly what your brand stands for.
  • Make sure your marketing strategy is consistent across your channels and is appropriate for your customer demographics.
  • Focus on meeting basic expectations for an e-commerce experience before you introduce “shiny objects.”
  • Offer superior customer service.
  • Clearly differentiate your brand.
  • Identify companies against which you can benchmark and adjust your site’s shopping experience.

Personal care and wellness brand Arbonne first launched e-commerce websites for its independent consultants in the late 1990s, but over the past decade the company has significantly ramped up its digital marketing focus. Ten years ago at Arbonne, “there may have been one person leading the digital development,” says Chief Creative Officer Michael D’Arminio. The Irvine, California-based company has since expanded this department, hiring an in-house social media team, an email marketing team and user experience experts. Arbonne has also built a film studio that broadcasts live and produces videos for later use, all in support of the sales field.

Recent regulatory pressure to track and market more clearly to retail customers also is driving changes to the channel’s e-commerce strategies. Direct selling companies are making big investments to reconfigure back-end systems so consumers can buy product online without seeing any messages about the business opportunity, making their sites look more like, and be more competitive with, other retail sites.

Wallach says having a more conventional shopping portal is especially important for Youngevity, which has a wider variety of products than many of its peers. “We have tens of thousands of SKUs (product categories),” Wallach says. “We have to act like a retailer that manages multiple brands.”

Social Standings

Websites were the first e-commerce frontier. Brick-and-mortar multibrand retailers figured out early on that their websites couldn’t be just digital billboards—they had to be interactive online stores. Brand manufacturers have been playing catch-up as they realize that shoppers will buy directly from a brand’s website if it offers a larger assortment of its products, sizing tools, customization options and more-detailed brand information, says Lauren Freedman, Senior Vice President of Digital Strategy at Astound Commerce. And a strong brand supported by social media packs a double punch.

Social media is online shopping’s newest frontier, and it couldn’t be more fertile ground for direct sellers simply because both were built around the idea that people want to connect with others who share their interests and goals. This common bond can be leveraged by making it easy for distributors and customers to see and share content about products they love on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Snapchat. Astound Commerce’s research shows that the more visible a brand is on social media, the more visitors that brand’s website will get. Of the online shoppers surveyed, 51 percent said they are prompted to visit a brand manufacturer’s website after seeing an ad in a social media feed.

Napa, California-based WineShop At Home is especially ripe for a social media strategy, says President and CEO Jane Creed. “There is great alignment between our brand and what social media is,” she says. “The wine-tasting experience is social, and it can go across any medium. It was created thousands of years ago—I’m sure they wrote about wine on tablets!”

When Creed says any medium, she’s serious. WineShop’s consultants routinely work with hosts to conduct virtual tastings, with the consultant in one state leading a tasting party in another state through Facebook Live, Skype or Google Hangout. Tasters learn about the wines, compare notes and then place their orders online. “You can raise your glass online as easily as you can in person,” she says.

The hard work direct sellers are putting into raising their social media profiles is paying off. Creed says WineShop is on track to grow its social media presence by 20 percent in the next year. Arbonne Chief Sales Officer Ashley Good says the company’s global corporate social media profiles include more than 800,000 followers, and if you add those who follow its 250,000 independent consultants, that number exponentially increases. Arbonne’s consultants and customers regularly share videos from its Facebook page and YouTube channel, too, bringing the views to more than 5 million just since April.

LifeVantage and Youngevity, both of which have traditionally drawn a slightly older demographic, are seeing their corporate and distributor social media page followers grow into the hundreds of thousands as they broaden their appeal to millennial shoppers, who often become consultants.

Social Strategies

Social selling via social media is a deceptively sophisticated process, company officials say. Casual social media users don’t usually think about how their posts and tweets reflect on their personal “brand.” But a direct selling company needs its brand story to be consistent, clear and positive. That takes planning and oversight—especially in a medium where information can go viral in minutes and in a channel with independent consultants who want their marketing to be as personalized as possible.


“The wine-tasting experience is social, and it can go across any medium. It was created thousands of years ago—I’m sure they wrote about wine on tablets!”
Jane Creed, President and CEO, WineShop At Home


Executives who talked to us for this story have similar approaches to managing social media messaging. Cross-functional marketing teams write content and create videos and images for posts on the corporate-run social platforms and for consultants to share through their own social channels. Consultants also have access to templates and tools to create posts that align with the company’s brand while still reflecting their individual needs and style.

Good says Arbonne sees its social media presences as a “blend of what our home office does on our platform plus how we enable our independent consultants to create their own organic content. If they were all sharing just the exact same post from Arbonne, it wouldn’t resonate as real and true.”

Are You On-Trend?

Mobile: Mobile devices now make up over half of all web traffic, and Internet Retailer reports that mobile sales grew at a rate of 53.4 percent in 2016. Don’t think about mobile users and computer users as being different people—they aren’t. Research indicates shoppers tend to browse or research purchases on mobile, but tend to purchase through their computers.

Video: Technology company Cisco estimates that by 2021, a staggering 1 million minutes of video content will cross the internet each month. That same year, video traffic will account for 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic. That includes a built-in buying option directly from the video that will keep you in the game.

Social Selling:  We already know this works, and social selling is now on the rise in every retail sector. Stay on the leading edge with robust marketing plans that your consultants can tailor and personalize. The customer is now fully in charge of the buying experience, and shared experiences, peer reviews and referrals will only increase. Make sure your marketing plan has significant resources devoted to developing social selling techniques. One of the simplest methods is to keep your social sharing icons at the forefront. Customers like to show off what they’ve purchased—give them ample opportunity to do so.

Personalized Shopping: According to an eMarketer Report published in April 2017 (Personalization in Retail: The Latest Trends and Challenges), even though personalization is widespread—roughly 90 percent of senior marketers worldwide implement personalization strategies—only a very low 6 percent think their strategy is “advanced.” Continue to focus on ways to personalize the customer experience within the consultant’s primary relationship with retargeting advertising and email marketing.

Part of keeping distributors’ organic social promotions on brand is making sure they don’t run afoul of regulators. Sometimes in posting about a personal experience with a product, a consultant will make an innocent statement that violates product claim rules, Kelley says. “We have to monitor all of their posts and if a post isn’t compliant, we ask them to make it compliant.”

Direct selling companies also are capitalizing on the ease and popularity of social media video. LifeVantage and Arbonne use video to talk directly to independent consultants—introducing and answering questions about new products and providing training and demonstrations to field teams. Arbonne teaches its independent consultants how to use social media to engage their customers beyond just browsing and buying product—using it to conduct 30-day nutrition challenges, for example, Good says.

Top executives increasingly use video to connect on a more personal level with the field—something that’s been “unusual in our channel,” Kelley says. LifeVantage President and CEO Darren Jensen holds Facebook Live videos almost every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and is also active on LinkedIn. Kelley adds, “Ryan Goodwin, our Chief Marketing Officer, has Tech Tuesdays, and a lot of times people will send him messages saying, ‘I forgot how to do X. Can you teach us how to do it again?’ ”

Hands on Site

The rise of social media as an e-commerce and communication platform is great news for direct sellers. Maybe even greater news, though, is that the reports of the death of traditional shopping and in-person customer interactions are greatly exaggerated.

Yes, malls are closing or struggling to fill vacancies, and department stores and big box chains have thinned their ranks. But Goldman Sachs analysts told USA Today in August that 85 percent of retail sales still are made in physical stores. Even Amazon opened an actual bookstore in New York City in May and has plans to open six more. A great many shoppers continue wanting to see and feel merchandise before they buy it. In the Astound Commerce study, 70 percent of survey respondents said they go to a brand manufacturer’s physical store so that they can put their hands on a product. The Census Bureau statistics also bear this out—while the total dollars of e-commerce activity continue to represent huge numbers, online sales will only account for about 17 percent of total retail sales by 2020.

From structured in-home parties and demonstrations to casual consultant-to-customer meetings, the direct selling model holds its appeal because customers get to experience products in person. “Arbonne is a heart-to-heart business,” Good says. “Virtual experience and virtual connection are excellent tools to increase your connection with a broader client base, but they will never fully replace the in-person interaction.”

Millennial Force

Millennial shoppers represent the driving force behind the growing importance of building a strong brand online. According to Astound Commerce’s research, 64 percent of online millennial shoppers are prompted to visit a brand manufacturer’s website after seeing an ad in a social media feed. The report also indicates that 56 percent of millennials interact with their preferred brands on social media every week and make more than 36 percent of their total purchases online.


“Virtual experience and virtual connection are excellent tools to increase your connection with a broader client base, but they will never fully replace the in-person interaction.”
Ashley Good, Chief Sales Officer, Arbonne


But millennials see through slick. Beautiful, shareable content may bring them to the digital door, but substance and values will make them walk through it and stay. This demographic is most loyal to brands whose values they share—especially those that are socially and environmentally responsible. According to Nielsen’s annual Global Corporate Sustainability Report from 2015, 73 percent of surveyed millennials indicated they would spend more money on a product if it’s produced by a sustainable brand. Further, 81 percent expect companies to make public declarations about their sustainability efforts.

Direct selling companies demonstrate their values in a range of appealing ways, from creating philanthropic foundations to making sustainability a central business strategy. LifeVantage is converting its printed marketing materials to digital files to get them to the field more quickly and update them more often, but also to become a greener company, Kelley says. Arbonne’s environmental focus has always been strong, D’Arminio adds. For example, the company has used “clean” ingredients for its products from the beginning. “Our founder came up with that philosophy 37 years ago, way before that was in fashion,” he says. The company also focuses on decreasing its carbon footprint by using recyclable materials and reducing waste.

WineShop’s Creed sums up the importance of millennials in this channel this way: “Millennials will build the future. If you’re not getting them now, you’re going to be in trouble.”


According to Nielsen’s annual Global Corporate Sustainability Report from 2015, 73 percent of surveyed millennials indicated they would spend more money on a product if it’s produced by a sustainable brand.


Bottom Line for Brands

Shopping as we have known it is definitely changing as consumer habits and expectations adapt to changing technologies. Smart direct selling companies know how they fit into this rapidly evolving retail landscape and are spending money and time developing and integrating their commerce and marketing channels.

While it is true that retail stores are closing, department stores are shrinking and Amazon has changed retail forever, it is also clear that consumer confidence and attitudes toward buying remain high as the Consumer Confidence Index continues in a steady upward direction. Is your company doing what’s necessary to meet the new shoppers on their terms?

November 01, 2017

News in Brief

News in Brief, November 2017


ACN Making a Difference through Project Feeding Kids

Concord, North Carolina-based ACN is continuing to join forces with Feeding America®, the nation’s largest organization dedicated to fighting domestic hunger, and Food Banks Canada, a national charitable organization dedicated to helping Canadians living with food insecurity, to help feed children.

Childhood hunger is an epidemic, with approximately 17 million children in North America not knowing where their next meal will come from. ACN sells telecommunications, energy and other essential services for residential and business customers, and through its Project Feeding Kids Program, every time someone signs up for an ACN service, one meal is provided. The program began in 2015, and since that time, ACN has provided more than 2 million meals, with plans to donate 1.65 million more meals to Feeding America and 150,000 meals to Food Banks Canada before March 2018.

“Since ACN began in 1993, it’s been our hope to leave the communities in which we live, work and play a little better than we found them,” said ACN President Greg Provenzano. “We believe that when you impact the life of a child, you do more than just change their day—you change their life. Providing hope to the next generation—that’s the legacy we hope to leave.”


Herbalife Sponsored Triathlete Holds on to Top Ranking After IRONMAN Championship

Los Angeles-based Herbalife Nutrition’s sponsored triathlete Heather Jackson, has finished this year’s IRONMAN World Championship in fourth place and holds her rank as top American female triathlete. Jackson completed the 140.6-mile journey with an overall time of 9 hours, 2 minutes and 29 seconds, improving her 2016 finish time by 9 minutes.

“It’s an honor to be ranked the top female American triathlete, and I hope I can inspire people to live a healthier and active lifestyle,” said Jackson.

Jackson, who trains in Bend, Oregon, competed in seven triathlons this year to lock in her spot at the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, as one of only 2,365 athletes competing.

“Heather is one of our heroes, both on and off the course,” said Rich Goudis, CEO of Herbalife Nutrition. “In addition to fueling her performance with our nutrition products, she shares our purpose of making the world healthier and happier by giving back to the community.”

Jackson was among more than 80,000 athletes who competed for a starting slot in one of the world’s toughest endurance races, combining a 2.4-mile rough water swim, 112-mile bike race, and 26.2-mile marathon into one event.


Isagenix Continues European Expansion into Ireland and Netherlands

Gilbert, Arizona-based Isagenix International, a global health and wellness company providing nutrition and lifestyle solutions, is expanding into Ireland and the Netherlands with an anticipated launch at the end of 2017.

In March, Isagenix celebrated its 15-year anniversary, surpassing $5 billion in cumulative sales and expanding into the United Kingdom, the most successful market entry in company history.

“We are thrilled to continue our expansion into Europe and our internal teams have gathered valuable experience with our launch in the U.K.,” said Peter Kropp, Isagenix Europe General Manager. “We have exciting plans to continue growth across Europe over the next two years, and we look forward to sharing additional news in the months to come.”

Both markets will be managed from Isagenix European hub in London, and product offerings will focus on weight management, energy and performance.

Recent trends in Europe indicate a high demand for health and wellness products, particularly dietary supplements and meal replacements, within the direct selling channel.


Stream Now Powering Illinois with Latest Expansion

Dallas-based Stream (formerly Stream Energy), a leading direct selling company and provider of essential services, has launched its line of energy services, in addition to wireless, protective and home services, in northern Illinois. Illinois is the seventh state added to Stream’s growing energy retail provider footprint, which includes Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Georgia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.

“We are so excited to provide our Energy Services to the people of Illinois,” said Larry Mondry, President and CEO of Stream. “Our expansion here is something we’ve been planning for some time now, and we’re looking forward to offering our services and opportunities to Illinois and to make them a part of our Stream family.”

Chief Operating Officer Dan O’Malley adds, “Not only does our expansion into Illinois give us the chance to offer our service lines to a new market, but it allows our Associates to grow and expand their businesses as well.”


Mary Kay Expands Latin America Presence with Unveiling of Peru Headquarters

Dallas, Texas-based Mary Kay Inc. has opened in Peru. With a 54-year history, and operations in nearly 40 countries, this expansion strengthens Mary Kay’s foundation in Latin America.

The globally recognized company, with millions of Independent Beauty Consultants around the world, made an initial investment of $9 million in the Peruvian subsidiary. It is based in Lima, covering operations for the entire country. The company enters its newest market, following its recent and successful launch in neighboring Colombia in 2015.

“We are proud to further expand our operations in Latin America with the opening of Mary Kay Peru,” says David Holl, President and CEO for Mary Kay Inc. “As the demand for high-quality products increases and the entrepreneurial spirit strengthens with the country’s economic growth, we anticipate a successful launch in Peru.”

The concept of direct selling has been growing in Peru for the past 40 years. In 2016, World Bank ranked Peru 50th (out of 189 countries) for ease of doing business.


Thirty-One Gifts Helps Launch Domestic Violence Survivor Credit Project

Columbus, Ohio-based Thirty-One Gifts is partnering with the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) to launch the Independence Project, helping survivors of domestic violence build their credit scores.

The project is a credit-building program offered through micro-lending to help survivors build economic independence and is the first national project of its kind in the United States. The program launched in a few states in February and continued its national rollout through October, which also was the 30th anniversary of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Thirty-One Gifts provided $90,000 of seed money to pilot the program, and with this donation it has established the Thirty-One Fund within the Independence Project to support survivors.

The program has provided 145 loans, and the organization expected to offer the program in 36 states by the end of October. Already, other donors, including Verizon Wireless, have joined the project.

Independence Project provides $100 micro loans for survivors of domestic violence, who often have damaged credit ratings due to financial abuse that occurs in addition to physical and emotional abuse. The program offers short-term, no-interest loans that are paid back over 10 months, and are designed to help survivors build good credit so they can better secure housing, transportation and employment in the long-term.

“Financial abuse, whether you’re talking about ruining her credit, getting her fired or hiding money, is just as effective in controlling the victim as a lock and key,” said Kim Gandy, President of NNEDV.


LifeVantage Inspires Confidence at Utah’s What a Woman Wants Event

Sandy, Utah-based LifeVantage Corp. recently joined What a Woman Wants, Utah’s fast-growing shopping show, as a title sponsor. For LifeVantage, it represented an opportunity to communicate a message that hits home for the company as it launches its #TrueConfidence Campaign.

According to Michelle Oborn, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, the heart of LifeVantage’s sponsorship efforts was all about empowerment. “We’re always looking for ways to support entrepreneurs, especially those who are often overlooked. And sponsoring an event that was created by and for women was the perfect opportunity to give women a leg up and help them start their own businesses.”

Additionally, LifeVantage has developed a #TrueConfidence campaign that aims to reevaluate conventional beauty standards, inviting women to share what makes them truly confident.

“Our goal is to start an honest conversation,” said Akiko Larkins, Senior Brand Manager.

During the event, $1 of every ticket purchased was donated to Women of Worth Utah, a local organization that empowers women overcoming obstacles.


Well-Beyond Readies for January 2018 Launch

Well-Beyond, the Salt Lake City-Utah-based direct seller formed from the purchase of Xocai, the “Healthy Chocolate Company,” is preparing for its official launch slated for Jan.18–20 in Las Vegas.

Founders Jeremy Reynolds, Karen Reynolds, Jeff Graham, Porter Hall and Stephen Hall acquired Xocai, which had been founded in 2005, on May 15, 2017. They renamed the company Well-Beyond to reflect their philosophy of what they want to accomplish as a company.

“In product creation, we want to make sure the products go well beyond what people expect,” said Chief Products Officer Graham. “We also want to ensure customer service goes well beyond what people expect. And, from a personal development standpoint, we want people to believe they can go well beyond where they find themselves today, that what they are capable of is well beyond what they can imagine.”

Two of the founders were Master Distributors at Xocai, and others have worked in the direct selling and/or health sector. While Xocai’s legacy Healthy Chocolate products, a collection of Belgian dark chocolates offering nutrients and antioxidant protection, will remain the anchor products for the company, Well-Beyond has expanded its offerings. They will include three product lines that are intended to help create a healthier lifestyle, providing customers with better sleep, enhanced focus, improved energy and weight management.


World’s First Direct Seller of Camel Milk Products Launches

Camel Life, America’s newest entry into the direct sales space, is launching.

The Wellington, Florida-based company has been strategically planning its direct selling debut for more than a year. Camel Life will launch with 14 products and has more than a dozen products in development. Product offerings at launch include shower gels, foaming soaps, baby wash, exfoliating bars, body butter, lip balms, pet shampoo, bath bombs, and a line of tattoo aftercare products. Several of the company’s products are patent pending.

“We’ve been working hard and smart researching ingredients, developing and testing products, and working with the direct sales industry’s best ancillary services vendors,” said Camel Life President Stephanie Heering.

A pending member of the Direct Selling Association, Camel Life was created after the founder, Robb Heering, rescued a 2-month-old dromedary camel from an abusive petting zoo in 2015. After traveling to the Middle East to learn how to best care for a baby camel, company founders were introduced to the medicinal, healing and energizing properties of camel milk.

“Camel Life is a product-centric company,” said Heering. “We create, manufacture and sell amazing breakthrough products made with the finest organic ingredients and pure, all natural, cruelty-free, sustainably sourced camel milk.”


Scentsy Rock-a-Thon Raises Over $250,000 for Needed School

Meridian, Idaho-based Scentsy, the direct seller of personal and home fragrances, recently held its annual Rock-a-Thon that helped to raise $250,384 for the Salvation Army.

More than 1,200 volunteers took turns lining the sidewalks in front of Scentsy for the single-day event. Rocking chairs were in motion—all rocking to raise funds and awareness for the Booth Marian Pritchett School for Pregnant and Parenting Teens, the only school of its kind that serves pregnant and parenting teens in the Treasure Valley. The Salvation Army runs the school and plans on using the money raised to help build a much-needed, new building to house the school and a community center.

Scentsy’s owners, Heidi and Orville Thompson donated $250 an hour per chair ($210,000) for the full 12 hours. Another $40,384 was donated by the community, local businesses and the food trucks that were on site for the event.

“The funds raised through the Scentsy Rock-a-Thon have brought our fundraising total to $7.3 million toward the $8.5 million needed to build the new school campus and community center,” said Major Bob Lloyd of the Salvation Army.

Scentsy employees also held a diaper drive and collected nearly 28,000 wipes and about 13,000 diapers.


USANA China Subsidiary BabyCare Recognized for Helping Children

USANA’s China subsidiary, BabyCare, hosted the Angel Heart Project conference in Beijing. The conference aimed to celebrate the achievement of the project, and to draw awareness to children’s congenital heart disease. Representatives from China Poverty Alleviation Office, National Health and Family Planning Commission, and China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA) showed their support by attending the conference and recognizing BabyCare with a charity award.

“Our government and party have emphasized the importance of poverty relief,” said Jun Wang, Deputy Secretary General from CFPA. “Through partnership with corporations like BabyCare, we have worked together on helping children with congenital heart disease in undeveloped areas and effectively improved poor families’ healthcare situations.”

Congenital heart disease can be fatal for children, especially from underprivileged families, due to the inability to pay for surgeries needed to cure them. In the past two years, the Angel Heart Project has raised more than 6 million RMB and helped 215 children recover from congenital heart disease. Because of the project, 215 families have been able to lead a normal, happy life.

“With the corporate culture of giving back in mind, BabyCare will continue to help more people in need in the future,” said Frank Li, Vice President of Sales at BabyCare.

November 01, 2017

Exclusive Interviews

Natura Builds Strategy, Focuses on Positive Social Impact


Click here to order the November 2017 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


Brazilian beauty brand Natura, the ninth largest direct selling company in the world with 2016 net sales of $2.26 billion, has been busy in recent years. In the midst of leadership changes—long-time CEO Alessandro Carlucci retired in 2015 and subsequent CEO Roberto Lima resigned—the company has not only moved its business into the digital age, but also entered into the retail space. Economic instability in its home country, and largest market, spurred Natura to restructure its Brazil business and carve out distinct units for its direct sales, digital and retail activities there. However, new CEO João Paulo Ferreira seems to be taking it in stride. Guided by his leadership, the company has continued to diversify its business channels with the acquisition of two smaller beauty brands that share its commitment to ethical business practices, sustainability and making a positive social impact. DSN recently spoke with Ferreira about these changes.

DSN: Tell us about your transition into the role of CEO. What do you want to continue? What do you want to change?

JF: I greatly admire the work that Alessandro Carlucci and Roberto Lima did at Natura, and I’m very fortunate to have succeeded them at a moment of great evolution in our business model. With the acquisition of The Body Shop, Natura is accelerating its strategy of expanding its international footprint and building a purpose-driven, multibrand, multichannel cosmetics group.

Notwithstanding this transformation, one thing remains unaltered: the central role of the Natura consultants, our sales representatives, in our every decision. Actually, we have strengthened our commitment to our consultants with a new value proposition, which will enable us to achieve better results in our main market, Brazil.

We are focusing on the revitalization of our direct sales efforts, the development of innovative product proposals with surprising technology and performance, portfolio rationalization and the development of new channels.

For sure, we have extremely challenging goals ahead of us, but it is very reassuring to work alongside a team as competent as the one we have today. In recent years, we have formed a very well prepared Executive Committee, with committed professionals and complementary talents.

DSN: How did you get into direct sales and what is your history with Natura?

JF: I came to Natura seven years ago as Vice President of Logistics and Operations, then I held the position of Commercial Vice President. These are very sensitive areas for the business, and they were essential in converting me into an advocate of direct sales. But there is no better way to understand the needs and the beauty of the business than maintaining direct contact with our consultants. I’ve learned a lot from them.

In these years I have also experienced very positive changes in my personal life, and I believe that I have become a better person since I started at Natura. Being at the forefront of a business that transforms the lives of so many people provides a tremendous sense of self-realization.

DSN: Natura has established retail shops and diversified its business, having purchased Australia-based Aesop and U.K.-based The Body Shop in recent years. What is your involvement in this business strategy? Please explain the new business model for direct selling.

JF: Natura has made decisive steps toward internationalization in recent years, with the growth of our Latin American operations and the acquisition of Aesop in 2013. It was a natural course to seek opportunities beyond Latin America. Since 2016, we’ve also been broadening our retail network as part of the effort to build a global, omni-channel approach in natural beauty. For these reasons, the strategic rationale behind the acquisition was so compelling.

The direct sales business, modernized by digital technology and offering higher-value opportunities for our sales representatives, is and will continue to be Natura’s main sales channel in Brazil and Latin America, with potential for expansion to other geographies. The Body Shop adds other significant channels to our structure, in line with our strategic aim. We believe that channel diversification promotes multiple purchase and experience opportunities with our brands.

DSN: With Brazil currently having an unpredictable economy, how has Natura navigated doing business in the country?

JF: Despite the crisis, we are experiencing a period of enthusiasm, a new cycle of expansion in Natura’s history, the revitalization of relationship selling and the acquisition of The Body Shop.

Of course, we are facing a very difficult situation in Brazil, but we can see our efforts beginning to stabilize the business. We have carried out a series of actions that will enable the recovery of our performance in the country. Among them, as I mentioned before, are the evolution in direct sales, the advance in the digitalization of our operations, the diversification of channels, especially in retail, and the growth of international operations.

The acquisition of The Body Shop expands Natura’s footprint and decreases Brazil’s participation in our revenue. Brazil’s share in our net sales will decrease from 68 percent to 47 percent after the acquisition of TBS.

DSN: Where do you see growth opportunities as you look out three to five years into Natura’s future?

JF: In the short term, we will be closely focused on executing the plan to revitalize direct sales in Brazil, with a different value proposition for our consultants. The rapid digitalization of our business is also strategic, with several different platforms for both consumers and consultants.
In the medium term, we see huge opportunities to accelerate international growth with the expansion of direct sales to other promising emerging markets in Asia and Africa, for example.

DSN: Natura has stood out in the global corporate world for its sustainability efforts and is considered a world leader in clean capitalism. How do you see innovating in an area in which your company is already exceptional?

JF: We have set ourselves the challenge of having a positive financial, social, cultural and environmental impact. These goals were consolidated in our 2050 Sustainability Vision, published in 2014. To accomplish these goals, we must be constantly innovating in our processes and products, and in the way we relate to customers, suppliers, consultants and the environment.

Our product development efforts combine sustainable design with traditional and scientific knowledge, using an open innovation model that involves a network of national and global partners. We work together with our suppliers to reduce the impact of our products, expanding the use of recycled materials, such as PET and glass. For a decade now, we have been a carbon neutral company.

In short, innovation in sustainability is an essential element to ensure Natura remains a relevant company for society.

November 01, 2017

Publisher's Note

A New Chapter for DSN

by Lauren Lawley Head



Click here to order the November 2017 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


November traditionally marks the beginning of a season of gratitude in the United States, and as always, I am in awe of how much I have to be thankful for: my family, first and foremost, our health, our friends and our many adventures.

Lauren Lawley Head

One of those adventures is ramping up in earnest this month, as I turn over the reins of Direct Selling News to incoming Publisher and Editor in Chief Michael Oricchio and turn my full-time focus to my new role as Senior Vice President of SUCCESS, where I am heading up SUCCESS Magazine, Success.com and our growing digital commerce businesses. Mike joins the DSN team after a thoughtful search process, and I am committed to working closely with him during this transition. He brings an extensive editorial and communications background to the role, including positions with The New York Times, AOL.com and Royal Dutch Shell. And just as I did, he is quickly discovering the unique potential that direct selling has to offer.

During my tenure with DSN, I have enjoyed taking time each month to highlight the great work of our team, and this month is no different. In some ways, transitions are a theme throughout this edition. Writer Heather Martin dives deep into the seismic shifts happening in the way consumers shop for products in today’s increasingly digital age in the cover story beginning on Page 19. The Company Spotlight on Page 34 takes an in-depth look at several key milestones at Team National as the company marks its 20th anniversary. And in our Top Desk column beginning on Page 74, LifeVantage CEO Darren Jensen shares three trends he sees shaping direct selling of the future. 

As I close out this edition, please know how grateful I am for each of you, our readers. Many of you welcomed me into the channel, introducing me to your companies and supporting the DSN team in our mission to serve as the premier resource of news, information and research for direct selling. It has been an honor and privilege to serve you these past few years. I also will always be thankful for DSN Ambassador John Fleming, who first introduced me to Direct Selling News and has become a trusted advisor and friend, as well as for the talented team that will carry on the publication’s mission into its next chapter.

As always, I wish you all the best.
Lauren

October 31, 2017

U.S. News

Youngevity Accepted as DSA Member

Chula Vista, California-based Youngevity International has been accepted as a member of the Direct Selling Association (DSA), the U.S. national trade association for companies that offer entrepreneurial opportunities to independent sellers.

“It’s certainly an honor to be accepted into the DSA,” said Youngevity CEO Steve Wallach. “We have every intention of taking full advantage of its many programs and activities, all of which we expect will help establish instant credibility around the world.”

As with all companies that have been accepted into the DSA, Youngevity was considered an applicant for a full year before being approved to become a member. This period starts when all required materials are received, and the applicant company is considered to be in compliance with the DSA Code of Ethics.

From there, the DSA conducts a full review of each company’s materials before requesting further information from various sources. At the end of the one-year waiting period, the DSA legal department reviews all materials and reevaluates compliance before presenting the applicant to the Organization’s Board of Directors for consideration as a member. Making it through this process and becoming a DSA member is a major milestone for Youngevity and all of its investors, according to the company.

“We are delighted to have Youngevity on board as an active DSA member,” said Nancy M. Burk, DSA Vice President of Membership. “Only companies that meet our high standards are accepted, and we are committed to making our various offerings even more productive and relevant for this dynamic company moving forward.”

October 31, 2017

U.S. News

4Life Research Names Danny Lee New CEO

Sandy, Utah-based 4Life Research recently named Danny Lee as the company’s new President and CEO. Steve Tew, who has served as President since 2004 and CEO since 2014, has been appointed Vice Chairman of the Board.


In addition to other chief executive responsibilities, Lee will strategize new and innovative ways to promote the growth of distributors around the world and continue the company’s rich heritage of support for its hundreds of thousands of distributors and customers.

“I have the utmost confidence in passing the responsibility of this office to Danny, whom I’ve known and worked with closely for many years,” said Tew. “He has continually demonstrated tremendous leadership skills and is one of the most talented individuals I have ever known. Danny is the right person to continue leading 4Life in its mission of Together, Building People.”

Lee began at 4Life in 2008 as Chief Operating Officer. In 2015, he assumed the role of Chief Marketing Officer. During his years at 4Life, Lee has helped improve 4Life Transfer Factor® quality and manufacturing, executive marketing initiatives and customer service practices.

Prior to 4Life, Lee worked at Overstock™ as Senior Vice President of Merchandising as well as Vice President of Finance and Controller.

Under Tew’s leadership, 4Life has opened offices in more than 20 countries and become one of the largest direct selling companies in the world. “Steve has many talents and great abilities,” said Founder and Chairman of the Board David Lisonbee. “Over the past 17 years, he has served as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer and President and CEO. Bianca and I are immeasurably grateful to Steve for his many years of dedicated service to the company, our employees and our distributors. We are thrilled that 4Life will continue to be blessed by Steve’s keen insights and business acumen in his new role as Vice Chairman of the Board. We are also confident that Danny will continue 4Life’s tradition of leadership and ensure our ongoing prominence in the areas of science, success, and service.”

4Life has offices in 24 markets to serve a global network of independent distributors and their customers.

October 31, 2017

U.S. News

Amway Names Nick Thole Chief Financial Officer

Amway, the $8.8 billion direct-selling leader, recently announced the appointment of Nick Thole to the role of Chief Financial Officer.

As a member of the executive team, Thole will provide broad financial oversight for developing strategic financial objectives to ensure the company’s continued financial performance. In this position, Thole also will have direct responsibility for Amway’s balance sheet, capital structure and the overall financial reporting and control process with broad oversight for Tax, Treasury, Accounting and Corporate Financial Reporting and Business Planning.

Thole previously served as Chief Financial Officer of the company’s Europe, India and Africa region, Vice President of Internal Audit and Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis. He joined Amway in 2008 as Manager of Mergers and Acquisitions.

Prior to Amway, Thole worked in the capital markets as an investment banker and investor relations consultant. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from Northwestern University and an MBA in finance from Michigan State University.

October 27, 2017

U.S. News

ARIIX’s Puritii Named Finalist in 2017 Sustainability Awards

Bountiful, Utah-based ARIIX, a company that promotes healthy, toxin-free living, recently announced that its Puritii Water Filtration System has been named a finalist in the 2017 Sustainability Awards by the Business Intelligence Group. The Sustainability Awards honor those people, teams and organizations who have made sustainability an integral part of their business practice or overall mission.

Since its launch, over 17,000 Puritii Water Filtration Systems have been sold around the world with the possibility of reducing landfills worldwide by 46 million plastic bottles in one year alone. One replaceable Puritii Water Filter can filter 60 gallons of water. That equals about two months of daily use and up to 450 bottles of water compared to buying bottled water.

“What an incredible product our Puritii Water Filtration System is,” said Deanna Latson, ARIIX CPO and Founder. “For the average U.S. consumer, the Puritii Water Filtration System will reduce their waste by an average of 2,700 bottles a year, improve their health, and save them at the very least $513 every year. Now that’s multi-dimensional sustainability.”

Russ Fordyce, Managing Director, Business Intelligence Group, said, “We are so proud to reward and recognize ARIIX for their sustainability efforts and smart business strategy. Their innovation and leadership serve as a high benchmark for other organizations and leaders around the globe.”

The Business Intelligence Group was founded with the mission of recognizing true talent and superior performance in the business world. The organization’s proprietary and unique scoring system selectively measures performance across multiple business domains and then rewards those companies whose achievements stand above those of their peers. Business executives judge the programs.

October 27, 2017

U.S. News

Le-Vel Introduces Thrive Café

Frisco, Texas-based Le-Vel Brands recently announced the launch of its Thrive Café Premium Coffee Beverage, a mocha-flavored beverage designed to be a more nutritious alternative to coffee.

“With Thrive Café, we’ve found a way to give people the flavor and warmth of a good cup of coffee, along with premium-grade ingredients that support a healthy lifestyle,” said Le-Vel Co-CEOs Jason Camper and Paul Gravette. “You can still enjoy that morning or afternoon ritual you love while giving your body the nutrition it needs, so you get the best of all worlds.” 

Featuring antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and plant extracts, Thrive Café can support weight management, energy and clarity. The latest addition to the Thrive Plus product line, it can be enjoyed hot or cold by adding to a mug of hot water or bottle of cold water.

Each convenient, single-serve packet of Thrive Café contains just 50 calories, 2 grams of fat and 3 grams of sugar. In comparison, a typical café mocha from a coffee shop contains hundreds of calories, a large amount of fat and several teaspoons of sugar.

In addition, Thrive Café Coffee provides nutrients that contribute to lasting energy, and does not have the typical side effects associated with the excess consumption of coffee, such as acid indigestion, which occurs due to coffee’s high acidic profile.

October 26, 2017

U.S. News

Dr. Myron Wentz Science Center Dedicated at North Central College

USANA Founder Dr. Myron Wentz is already well known for his revolutionary work in microbiology and the life sciences, and now he’s leaving his mark on the world of academic science. After making a generous donation to North Central College for its new science center, Dr. Wentz attended a formal dedication ceremony in his honor on Friday, October 20, in Naperville, Illinois. The new facility has been named The Dr. Myron Wentz Science Center.

“The Wentz Science Center will transform and elevate the experience of every North Central College student,” President Troy D. Hammond told the Chicago Tribune. “Dr. Wentz’s remarkable gift provides a significant leap toward fully funding the science center and toward our long-term $150 million Brilliant Future Campaign goal.”

The new $60 million Wentz Science Center encompasses 125,000 square feet and has 18 teaching labs, 16 research labs, 15 classrooms, an auditorium, 53 faculty offices and 19 student social areas.

“It is a remarkably modern facility that equips faculty and students to model how science is conducted in the real world,” said Wentz. “The Wentz Science Center so adeptly facilitates a collaborative, hands-on approach to teaching and learning. As an undergraduate student at North Central College, I could only have dreamed about such an amazing facility.”

This isn’t the first building on campus that bears the Wentz name. In 2008, the magnificent Wentz Concert Hall and Fine Arts Center was opened and named after the distinguished scientist and avid music lover as a result of his gifting.

Wentz’s life-long determination to provide the world vital nutrition drove him to create USANA, a billion-dollar health and wellness company that manufactures nutritional supplements, skin care and healthy food products in Salt Lake City, Utah. This passion has also resulted in the creation of Sanoviv Medical Institute, the USANA True Health Foundation and a partnership with the Children’s Hunger Fund to create multiple Wentz Medical Centers in Africa and Asia for orphaned and impoverished children.

“It gives me great pride knowing that I’ve made a difference in the lives of students at my undergraduate alma mater by equipping the college to expand on its strong science tradition,” said Wentz.

October 26, 2017

U.S. News

Tupperware Third Quarter Sales Up 3% Over last Year

Tupperware Brands Corp. yesterday announced third quarter 2017 operating results. Net sales were $539.5 million, up 3 percent (2 percent local currency). Emerging markets, accounting for 71 percent of sales, were up 4 percent (3 percent local currency).

The most significant contributions to the third quarter growth in local currency were in Brazil and China, partially offset by India and Indonesia. Established market sales increased 3 percent (decreased 1 percent local currency). Contributing to the local currency sales decrease were France, Germany and Nutrimetics Australia, partially offset by Beauticontrol and the United States and Canada.

Rick Goings, Chairman and CEO, said, “In the face of significant challenges in externals across many parts of the portfolio, I am pleased to report that we grew local currency sales 2 percent in the third quarter, which is the mid-point of our July guidance range. China was the stand-out in the quarter, growing 33 percent. Profitability exceeded expectations with adjusted earnings per share coming in 7 cents above the high-end of our range in local currency before a 1 cent drag from foreign exchange rates versus July guidance and 18 percent above last year.”

Goings continued, “Our restructuring program, much of which relates to improvement actions in Europe, is on track, while we are also focused on strategies to reignite revenue growth in key markets, particularly India and Indonesia. Moving forward, our local management teams, highly experienced in our direct selling fundamentals, will continue to navigate these challenging externals as we evolve the business model to fully leverage our strong aspirational brand, providing an earning opportunity for our 3.2 million global salesforce.”

Total salesforce of 3.2 million was up 4 percent. This was a 1-point sequential improvement from the end of the second quarter, including a 2-point negative impact from removing the Beauticontrol salesforce. Average active sellers in the third quarter were down 4 percent. This was a 3-point improvement from the second quarter.

In Europe, segment sales were up 3 percent (down 2 percent local currency). Emerging markets in Europe were up 9 percent (7 percent local currency), mainly in CIS, up 23 percent (13 percent local currency) and Tupperware South Africa, up 12 percent (7 percent local currency). Established markets were down 1 percent (7 percent local currency), primarily in France, which was down 19 percent (24 percent local currency), and Germany was down 2 percent (8 percent local currency).

In Asia Pacific, segment sales were down 2 percent (1 percent local currency). Emerging markets in Asia Pacific were down 2 percent (even in local currency), reflecting sales in China, up 33 percent on the strength of 62 percent more members and continued leveraging of the product portfolio, digital technologies and its 5,900 studios (7 percent advantage over 2016). This was offset by decreases in India, down 30 percent (32 percent local currency), reflecting challenges in reaching a salesforce size advantage under the government direct selling guidelines, along with a negative 6 percent impact from a new goods and services tax effective in July, as well as in Indonesia, which was down 18 percent (17 percent local currency) from fewer active sellers. The segment’s total salesforce was 3 percent lower year-over-year, primarily reflecting a negative 6 percentage point impact from the comparison in India. 

For Tupperware North America, segment sales were up 7 percent (4 percent local currency). Tupperware United States and Canada sales were up 8 percent (7 percent local currency). Tupperware Mexico sales were up 9 percent (3 percent local currency), despite the impact from natural disasters during the quarter.

For Beauty North America, segment sales were up 3 percent (down 1 percent local currency). Beauticontrol sales were up 25 percent, or $2.5 million, in connection with salesforce stocking during the wind-down period. Beauticontrol lost $3.2 million, $0.9 million and $2.6 million in the third and fourth quarters of 2016 and first seven months of 2017, respectively. It had $9.8 million and $11.5 million of sales in the third and fourth quarters of 2016 and $30.9 million the first nine months of 2017. Fuller Mexico sales were down 4 percent (9 percent local currency), including disruption from natural disasters during the quarter.

In South America, Brazil continued to drive segment sales growth of 12 percent (13 percent local currency). Brazil was up 11 percent (8 percent local currency), leveraging a 15 percent salesforce size advantage to overcome challenges in the consumer spending environment and lower salesforce additions in light of credit scores of some potential sellers. Sales in Argentina were up 12 percent (31 percent local currency) mainly from price increases related to the highly inflationary environment.

To see the full Tupperware Q3 report, click here.

October 26, 2017

U.S. News

Beautycounter CEO Gregg Renfrew Recognized by Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs is recognizing Beautycounter Founder and CEO Gregg Renfrew as one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2017 at its Builders + Innovators Summit in Santa Barbara, California.

Goldman Sachs selected Renfrew as one of 100 entrepreneurs from multiple industries to be honored at the two-day event.

Renfrew founded Santa Monica, California-based Beautycounter in 2011 with a mission to get safer beauty and personal-care products into the hands of everyone. She launched the brand as a Certified Benefit Corporation (B corp) in 2013, leading the way to better beauty by putting performance and health first. Since founding the company, Renfrew has advocated for stronger federal regulations to ensure the safety of all skincare and cosmetic products. A direct-retail brand (direct-to-consumer through multiple channels), Beautycounter is experiencing explosive growth and is on pace to sell 10 million products by the end of 2017.

“I am proud and honored to be selected by Goldman Sachs as one of the top 100 most intriguing entrepreneurs of 2017,” said Renfrew. “As the leader in the cleaner and safer beauty space, this recognition is a testament to the incredible work we are doing at Beautycounter to get safer and high performing products into the hands of everyone.” 

David M. Solomon, President and Co-Chief Operating Officer at Goldman Sachs, said, “We are pleased to recognize Gregg as one of the most intriguing entrepreneurs of 2017. This is the sixth year that we’ve hosted the Builders + Innovators Summit where emerging business leaders gather to discuss their common interests in building prosperous organizations.”

For more than 145 years, Goldman Sachs has been advising and financing entrepreneurs as they launch and grow their businesses. In addition to honoring 100 entrepreneurs, the Summit consists of general sessions and clinics led by Goldman Sachs experts, seasoned entrepreneurs, academics and business leaders as well as resident scholars.

October 25, 2017

U.S. News

Plexus Worldwide’s Cindy Latham Wins Chief Marketing Officer of the Year

Scottsdale-based Plexus WorldwideTM (Plexus), a leading direct-selling health and wellness company focused on health and happiness, recently announced that Chief Marketing Officer Cindy Latham has been selected by The Phoenix Business Journal as CMO of the Year for its inaugural C-Suite Awards. Latham was one of three finalists to be selected for the CMO category.

Latham has been the CMO at Plexus since February 2016. She is a marketing executive with more than 29 years of experience leading global marketing, research and development teams within the direct selling channel. Since joining Plexus, Latham has spearheaded new product initiatives, which generated $66.4 million in sales. Along with a complete company rebranding project, she has led the strategy and design of more effective tools that Plexus Ambassadors use to sell products to consumers, including an award-winning catalog.

“In a short amount of time, Cindy’s clear vision and hands-on leadership have influenced every corner of our company, from our products to how our brand is embraced,” said Tarl Robinson, CEO of Plexus Worldwide. “We are so proud of Cindy for being selected as CMO of the Year and continue to look forward to the contributions she and the rest of her team make to Plexus.”

“For almost three decades, I’ve worked to have a voice in formulating corporate strategy, and I am so honored to be chosen as CMO of the year at this inaugural event,” said Latham. “I feel fortunate to be part of a great leadership team at Plexus and for the opportunity to influence and contribute to the continued growth of the company, its employees and our Ambassadors.”

The panel of judges considered a nominee’s impact on the company, significant achievements and career history, and contributions to company growth, profitability, areas of corporate management and community.

October 25, 2017

U.S. News

USANA Reports Record Third Quarter Net Sales

Salt Lake City, Utah-based USANA Health Sciences, Inc. recently announced financial results for its fiscal third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2017.

For the third quarter of 2017, net sales were $261.8 million compared with $254.2 million in the prior-year period, or a 3.0 percent increase year over year. There was no meaningful year-over-year impact from changes in currency exchange rates on quarterly net sales. The company’s total number of active customers increased by 2.4 percent year over year to 563,000.

Net earnings for the third quarter were $23.8 million compared with $30.1 million during the prior-year period, a decrease of 21.0 percent. Higher SG&A expense and a higher effective tax rate reduced net earnings during the quarter as they have throughout 2017.

Earnings per diluted share for the third quarter were 97 cents compared with $1.20 in the prior year period, a decrease of 19.2 percent. The expense related to China and the company’s internal investigation into its China operations, which was disclosed in February 2017, negatively impacted the third quarter by approximately $1.9 million and earnings per diluted share by 5 cents. Weighted average diluted shares outstanding were 24.6 million for the third quarter of 2017, compared with 25.1 million in the prior-year period.

“The third quarter was significant for USANA, not only for delivering record quarterly sales, but because of the accomplishments and announcements we made during the quarter,” said CEO Kevin Guest. “In particular, we celebrated our 25th anniversary at our annual International Convention, where we introduced a new skincare line, Celavive®, and announced our plans to expand into four additional European countries. Celavive is formulated with our cell-signaling technology, InCelligence. Both the launch of Celavive and the rollout of our European expansion will take place throughout 2018. These announcements were well received by thousands of our Associates at our convention and demonstrate our commitment to improving the health of more individuals and families around the world.”

Regionally, net sales in the Asia-Pacific region increased by 4.7 percent to $199.3 million. Within Asia Pacific, net sales increased 5.5 percent in Greater China; increased 35.9 percent in North Asia; and decreased 3.8 percent in the Southeast Asia Pacific region. Sales growth in Greater China was primarily driven by 8.7 percent active customer growth in Mainland China, while sales growth in North Asia resulted from 39.1 percent active customer growth in South Korea. The total number of active customers in the Asia-Pacific region increased by 6.5 percent year-over-year.

Net sales in the Americas and Europe region decreased by 2.1 percent to $62.5 million, largely due to an 8.6 percent decrease in active customers.

“For the first time in nearly three years, the overall revenue impact from changes in currency exchange rates was neutral,” said Guest. “Our Asia-Pacific region continues to be the driver of our sales growth. While we continue to face a challenging trend in the Americas and Europe region, we will continue to offer short-term promotions leading up to the launch of Celavive and the opening of our new European markets next year.”

To see the full USANA Q3 2017 report, click here.

October 24, 2017

U.S. News

Tupperware to Close Factory in France

Orlando, Florida-based Tupperware Brands Corp. recently announced plans to close its only factory in France in March 2018. The closing of the factory will bring an end to 45 years of production at the plant in Joué-lès-Tours and will result in the loss of 235 jobs, according to The Connexion, a French news publication.

Another French news source, France Bleu, reported that the decision to close was due to falling profitability. Tupperware stated the closure of the factory was needed to restore its competitiveness: “Ten years ago, there were 55 machines at the Joué-lès-Tours plant. Today, there are 8, and they do not run at full speed.” Tupperware’s press service also said it estimates 40 percent excess production capacity in 2018, which is why it wants to shut down the site. Production is ensured by three factories based in Belgium, Greece and Portugal.

Factory employees, some of whom have worked at the plant for more than 25 years, have anticipated an announcement of job losses and reduced production, reports The Connexion. One employee told the French newspaper that over the course of several months, many of the machines at the factory have been moved to facilities in Portugal and Africa, where labor costs are lower.

The Joué-lès-Tours factory, located in the province of Indre-et-Loire in the western-central part of France, opened in 1973 to meet the French production of the Tupperware needs. In the 1980s, the company expanded its production efforts to build more high-tech items able to resist high temperature ovens and microwaves. The factory has also been the location where the pigments hues for Tupperware products have been created and sent to other manufacturing locations around the world, according to a Huffington Post article.

Tupperware’s response to the job losses to factory workers, as reported by France Bleu, was that everything would be done to help find a solution for the affected employees.

Tupperware, the global direct seller of preparation, storage and serving solutions for the kitchen and home through the Tupperware brand—and beauty and personal care products through the Avroy Shlain, Fuller Cosmetics, NaturCare, Nutrimetics, and Nuvo brands—is currently in 100 markets around the world. The company achieved $2.21 billion in revenue in 2016, down slightly from $2.28 billion in 2015.

In its Q2 2017 earnings report, the company reported that sales in France were down 20 percent for the quarter (19 percent in local currency). Tupperware South Africa, where Joué-lès-Tours factory machines have been moved, saw a significant increase, up 60 percent in dollars (41 percent local currency). Tupperware sales in France were down 18 percent (16 percent in local currency) for the first quarter of 2017 as well.

October 24, 2017

U.S. News

Amway Launches Its First Car Air Treatment Product

Ada, Michigan-based Amway introduced Atmosphere Drive™, a world-class air treatment system designed to provide clean, safe air inside your vehicle, which can be up to 15 times worse than the air outdoors, according to a study by the British Environmental Audit Committee.

Atmosphere Drive is the first generation of car air treatment systems from Amway, makers of the Atmosphere™ Air Treatment System, which is the world’s largest-selling home air treatment product based on a Verify Markets study of 2015 global sales revenue.

“The Atmosphere Drive system leverages the proven Atmosphere brand filtration technology to provide consumers with fresher, safer air inside their vehicles,” said Bill Luke, Director of Durables R&D. “Using its unique three-in-one filter, the unit maintains a high level of industry performance by effectively removing airborne particles in your vehicle down to 0.015 microns.”

The three-in-one filtration technology first captures large contaminants such as hair and dust. Then, like a HEPA filter, the second stage removes small particles and smoke. This helps with PM2.5 and other major airborne contaminants. Another benefit of the three-in-one filtration is the reduction of odors inside the vehicle.

“The Atmosphere Drive system’s three-in-one filter not only reduces airborne tobacco smoke, and exhaust, but also chemical pollutants such as formaldehyde, toluene and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs),” said Luke.

The Atmosphere Drive system has a Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) of 30m3 / hour at max speed and also has received the Allergy UK Seal of Approval.

The British Allergy Foundation is a medical charity that works with manufacturers worldwide to test and promote the benefits of products and appliances which may be of benefit to people affected by allergies. Products that receive the Seal of Approval, such as the Atmosphere Air Treatment System, have been through scientific testing carried out by an independent laboratory to protocols that have been created by leading allergy specialists.

“Amway has improved indoor air quality for more than 3 million people around the globe and continues to offer innovative solutions that provide cleaner and safer air quality, whether at home or on the road,” said Mark Nelson, Director of Home brands for Amway.

The Atmosphere Drive car air treatment system is sold exclusively by Amway Business Owners throughout the region.

October 23, 2017

U.S. News

Crowned Free Announces Direct Sales Model

Photo: Crowned Free founders Heidi VanderWal and Danielle DeSmit.


Crowned Free, a women’s clothing, jewelry and accessory company, recently announced its new national direct selling and party plan model.

“This is a huge milestone for Crowned Free,” said the company’s Chief Difference Maker and Co-Founder, Danielle DeSmit. The new party plan model allows Representatives to join Crowned Free in their fight against human trafficking by selling fashions while building a career in the growing women’s fashion and accessories industry. DeSmit says that nationwide, one in six U.S. households have someone involved in the direct selling channel. She added, “It’s the perfect vehicle to raise human trafficking awareness while empowering woman.”

Chief Crowned Officer and Co-Founder Heidi VanderWal agreed. “We are hitting the ground running,” she said. Representatives are already conducting parties in Texas, Michigan, Idaho, Virginia, Indiana, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Tennessee and as far west as California. “Our Reps can purchase beautiful products they love at a discount without maintaining inventory, have a totally flexible work-life balance, earn extra income, drive their own career and directly change the lives of the victims of human trafficking,” said VanderWal.

DeSmit expressed how excited she is to see so many women embrace the idea of giving back through Crowned Free. She said she feels that every Pop Up Shop home party is an impactful way for customers to help rescued woman receive counseling, housing or even gain meaningful employment. “We are thrilled to share that 45 percent of our products are created by women who have been rescued from human trafficking,” said DeSmit.

Crowned Free is a women’s direct sales clothing, jewelry and accessory company that employs human-trafficking survivors who create premier products manufactured both here in the U.S. and throughout the world. They also invest 15 percent of their profits into organizations that focus on restoring and rebuilding those who have been rescued from human trafficking.

October 20, 2017

U.S. News

ASEA Opens New International Headquarters

Utah-based ASEA recently celebrated the opening of the company’s new headquarters in Pleasant Grove. The 50,000-square-foot facility is less than a mile from the company’s production facility, built in 2013.

President Jarom Webb said the building represented a new foundation for the company’s future. “Our vision is to become a global leader in cellular health, and this building represents a significant beginning in ASEA’s chapter of realizing that vision.”

ASEA was formerly headquartered in Salt Lake City. The company’s founders and executives felt a move to Pleasant Grove, in Utah County, would benefit the company as it plans for future growth. The production facility has always been in Utah County, and CEO Charles Funke said having both the headquarters and production facility in close proximity to each other helps to create a synergy and allows the company to run more efficiently. Between the two buildings, the company now has the capacity to significantly grow in employees and global reach.

ASEA manufactures and markets cellular health products. In less than 10 years, the company has grown into a global direct sales company, now operating in more than 30 markets worldwide, with more than 65,000 active distributors across the globe. Webb said expansion plans will focus on Asia over the next few years. The company is already in Hong Kong and Singapore, and recently announced plans to enter Taiwan, Thailand and the Philippines.

ASEA, co-founded by Verdis Norton and his son, Tyler Norton, uses proprietary bio-technology to replicate redox signaling molecules in a sustainable form outside of the body.

October 20, 2017

U.S. News

Nu Skin Shares Growth Strategy; Introduces New Products

Provo, Utah-based Nu Skin Enterprises concluded its Nu Skin global LIVE! event in a sold-out venue in Salt Lake City with the company’s sales leaders and customers, along with tens of thousands of viewers from around the world celebrating online via live stream. During the conference, company leaders outlined Nu Skin’s growth strategy focused on engaging platforms, enabling products and empowering programs. In addition, the company and its sales leaders raised funds for children’s causes around the world as part of Nu Skin’s Force for Good initiatives.

“The energy from our sales leaders onsite and online was powerful as we leveraged a new format for our global convention, attracting a sell-out audience in Salt Lake City, with even more participating in real time through our Nu Skin LIVE! webcast,” said CEO Ritch Wood. “We continue to orient our sales leaders on our growth strategy as we work to become the world’s leading opportunity platform, helping people improve their lives and the lives of those around them.”

Speakers during the event highlighted the rise of social selling around the world and the important role it will play in driving future growth at Nu Skin. Company leadership outlined the steps being taken over the next year to engage its salesforce with tools and technology that enhance their ability to reach more prospective customers and business builders via social platforms.

At the event, Nu Skin unveiled its latest ageLOC skin care device and 18 additional products that have been developed to support sales leaders’ social selling efforts. The new products include ageLOC LumiSpa, a new dual-action skin care device; PowerLIPS Fluid, a long-lasting lip color that contains a special blend of skin-nourishing ingredients; Dr. Dana™ Nail Renewal System, the first and only dermatologist-developed nail care system designed to not simply cover-up nail appearance issues, but actually solve them; and Rau, a new high-performance, natural beauty line that combines the highest quality natural ingredients from around the world with a crowd-funding philanthropy program.

The company also announced a new program called “Velocity” that provides more flexible and timely rewards for sales leaders. In addition, the company announced plans to introduce “Blu Rewards,” a new customer loyalty rewards program designed to enhance the customer experience with tiered recognition and flexible point redemption.

Another highlight of Nu Skin LIVE! was the fundraising dinner and auction, with proceeds going directly to the company’s charitable initiatives that have a goal of improving the lives of children by offering assistance in combatting disease, illiteracy and poverty. The fundraising from the dinner and auction, as well as other onsite fundraising initiatives, generated more than $2.2 million in donations for the company’s global Force for Good projects.

October 18, 2017

U.S. News

Well-Beyond Readies for January 2018 Launch

Well-Beyond, the Salt Lake City-Utah-based direct seller formed from the purchase of Xocai, the Healthy Chocolate Company, is preparing for its official launch in January.

Founders Jeremy Reynolds, Karen Reynolds, Jeff Graham, Porter Hall and Stephen Hall acquired Xocai, which had been founded in 2005, on May 15, 2017. They renamed the company Well-Beyond to reflect their philosophy of what they want to accomplish as a company.

“In product creation, we want to make sure the products go well beyond what people expect,” said Chief Products Officer Graham. “We also want to ensure customer service goes well beyond what people expect. And, from a personal development standpoint, we want people to believe they can go well beyond where they find themselves today, that what they are capable of is well beyond what they can imagine.”

CEO Jeremy Reynolds was a Master Distributor for Xocai for 12 years, and had previously owned VMI, a contract manufacturer of products for the direct selling channel. Graham previously developed products for companies in the channel and was an executive at two direct selling companies. Porter Hall, who spent 33 years with Arthur Andersen and one year as CEO of a health and wellness direct selling brand, handles the company financials as CFO. Stephen Hall, COO, spent 30 years at Mutual of New York, and along with Porter, created two successful companies in the fitness and merchant services industries. Karen Reynolds, also a Master Distributor at Xocai, handles public relations for the company. Rounding out the executive team is Tyler Sohm, Well-Beyond’s Chief Marketing Officer.

What attracted the founders to Xocai are the many loyal customers who continue to purchase the legacy Healthy Chocolate products, which are a collection of Belgian dark chocolates offering vital nutrients and antioxidant protection. While these remain the anchor products for the company, Well-Beyond has expanding its offerings to include three product lines that help to create a healthier lifestyle, providing customers with better sleep, enhanced focus and improved energy: XE and XE Light Natural Energy superfruit drinks that assist with mental clarity and focus; Remity dietary supplements that not only promote restful and restorative sleep but also work to improve memory, mental speed and concentration; and Well-Beyond weight management shakes.

“We want to be able to provide the content, the culture and the products to help people take that extra step,” said Graham.

Well-Beyond’s official launch is slated for Jan.18–20 in Las Vegas.

October 18, 2017

U.S. News

EDC Q2 2018 Net Revenue Down 6.6%; Usborne Books Down 6.9%

Educational Development Corporation (EDC) recently reported record net sales and earnings per share results for the second quarter ended Aug. 31, 2017.

Randall White, CEO of EDC, announced that the company had net revenues of $24,181,300, a decrease of $1,711,700, or 6.6 percent, when compared to $25,893,000 for the second quarter of the previous year. Net earnings totaled $1,036,900 for the quarter ended Aug. 31, 2017, compared to $318,500 for the quarter ended August 31, 2016, an increase of 225.6 percent. Earnings per share for the quarter were 25 cents compared to 8 cents for the same quarter in the previous year, up 212.5 percent on a fully diluted basis.

The direct sales division, Usborne Books & More (UBAM), continued to be the largest operating segment of the company. Net revenues of this division was $22,204,300, a decrease of 6.9 percent from $23,857,400 reported in the second quarter ended Aug. 31, 2016. The average number of active direct sales consultants increased 6,300, or 26.9 percent, to 29,700 for the quarter, over the average active consultant count in the second quarter of last year.

The Publishing’s divisions revenues remained consistent at $1,977,000 for the second fiscal quarter ended Aug. 31, 2017 as compared to $2,035,600 for the same quarter a year ago.

The company’s year-to-date net revenue in the first two quarters of the year was $51,112,100, an increase of $2,434,900, or 5 percent, from $48,677,200 reported in the same period last year. Year-to-date earnings increased 32 cents, or 140 percent, from 23 cents for the six months ended Aug. 31, 2016 to 55 cents for the six months ended Aug. 31, 2017.

“Our UBAM division experienced a slight decline in revenues from the second fiscal quarter of last year,” said White. “However, during the second quarter of last year we experienced incredible growth in new consultants and revenues, which overshadowed the typical seasonal decline that we experience in the second quarter. Our second quarter includes the summer months when order sizes are typically smaller than our fiscal first and fiscal third quarters. Also during the second quarter we hold our annual convention and host our annual incentive trip, in which our top earners typically participate and has an impact on their sales during the quarter. 

“During the second quarter we continued our efforts to expand our daily shipping capacity and implement additional technology enhancements which we expect will continue to improve our operating margins. These efforts started when we first began experiencing rapid growth in our UBAM Division dating back to fiscal 2015. Since that time, we have overcome several obstacles including last year’s decision to replace a failed software program that was purchased from an outside vendor. Since that difficult decision was made, we have reported steady improvements in our operating margins and earnings. These margins improvements would not have been possible without the hard work and commitment of our IT staff, which have replaced the failed software product with our own proprietary program and made further enhancements to our warehouse distribution system.

“Our second quarter’s earnings per share grew 212 percent to 25 cents, over the 8 cents reported in the same quarter last year, which had higher sales. Our earnings growth is primarily attributed to efficiencies in our warehouse operation. Over the past year we have implemented changes to our packaging types which has reduced packaging costs, weight and related outbound shipping costs. During the second quarter we also implemented new equipment and software changes in our picking lines, which has significantly increased our daily shipping capacity. With this increase in capacity, we are excited about our ability to stay current with shipping orders during the Fall Selling Season, which is our busiest time of the year.”

EDC is a publishing company specializing in books for children. EDC is the exclusive United States distributor of the UK-based Usborne Books and owns Kane Miller Publishers; award-winning publishers of international children’s books. EDC’s current catalog contains over 2,000 titles, with new additions semi-annually. Both Usborne and Kane Miller products are sold via 5,000 retail outlets and by independent consultants, who hold book showings in individual homes, through social media, book fairs with school and public libraries, direct and internet sales.

October 18, 2017

U.S. News

ACN Making a Difference through Project Feeding Kids

Concord, North Carolina-based ACN is continuing to join forces with Feeding America®, the nation’s largest organization dedicated to fighting domestic hunger, and Food Banks Canada, a national charitable organization dedicated to helping Canadians living with food insecurity, to help feed children and empower families to live healthier lives.

Childhood hunger is an epidemic, with approximately 17 million children in North America not knowing where their next meal will come from. With ACN’s Project Feeding Kids Program, every time someone signs up for an ACN service, one meal is provided. Every time a customer pays their bill for a select service, such as Flash Wireless, another meal is provided. The program began in 2015, and since that time, ACN has provided over 2 million meals, with plans to donate 1.65 million more meals to Feeding America and 150,000 meals to Food Banks Canada before March 2018.

“Since ACN began in 1993, it’s been our hope to leave the communities in which we live, work and play a little better than we found them,” said ACN President Greg Provenzano. “ACN supports a long and ever-growing list of organizations on a global scale, with our effort concentrated on those directly impacting children. We believe that when you impact the life of a child, you do more than just change their day—you change their life. Providing hope to the next generation—that’s the legacy we hope to leave.”

According to Feeding America, one in eight people in the United States struggles with hunger. More than 46 million people turn to Feeding America each year for extra support, with 72 percent of those households served living at or below the poverty level. One in six children do not know where they will get their next meal. More than 5 million senior citizens currently face hunger, often having to choose between groceries or medical care. The Feeding America network includes 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries. Of all donations raised, 98 percent go directly into programs serving people in need. For more information on Feeding America, click here.

Food Banks Canada represents the food bank community in Canada, including the network of Provincial Associations, affiliate food banks and food agencies that work at the community level to relieve hunger. The network assists over 850,000 Canadians each month. For more information on Food Banks Canada, click here.

Founded in 1993, ACN is the world’s largest direct seller of telecommunications, energy and other essential services for residential and business customers. The company operates in 25 countries throughout North America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific.

October 17, 2017

U.S. News

Thirty-One Gifts Helps Launch Domestic Violence Survivor Credit Project

Columbus, Ohio-based Thirty-One Gifts is helping the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) launch the Independence Project to help survivors of domestic violence build credit scores.

The project is a credit-building through micro-lending program to help survivors build economic independence and is the first national project of its kind in the U.S. The program launched in a few states in February and continues its national rollout through October, which also is the 30th anniversary of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Thirty-One Gifts provided $90,000 of seed money to pilot the program. The donation established the Thirty-One Fund within the Independence Project to support survivors.

The program now is available in 19 states and has provided 145 loans. By the end of October, the organization expects to offer the program in 36 states. Of the loans provided so far, 50 were funded through the Thirty-One Gifts Independence Fund. Now other donors, including Verizon Wireless, have joined the project.

“NNEDV currently works with several state coalitions that have microloan programs serving survivors in their regions,” said Kim Gandy, President of NNEDV. “With Thirty-One’s funding, we will be able to augment funds they are distributing, enabling each coalition to help dozens of additional survivors to rebuild their credit and move toward long-term financial stability.”

Independence Project micro loans are $100 micro loans for survivors of domestic violence, who often have damaged credit ratings due to financial abuse that occurs in addition to physical and emotional abuse. The program provides short-term, no-interest loans that are paid back over 10 months, and are designed to help survivors build good credit so they can better secure housing, transportation and employment in the long-term.

“I know my credit score is 480,” wrote a borrower, “and I feel relieved and excited that once I successfully complete the loan, I can continue to re-apply for another loan until I get my score back up.”

Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive, controlling behavior that can include physical, emotional, sexual or financial abuse. One in four women will be a victim of domestic violence at some point in her lifetime, and financial abuse occurs in 99 percent of domestic violence cases. Victims frequently face immense financial barriers and often are forced to access expensive financial services and products.

“Financial abuse, whether you’re talking about ruining her credit, getting her fired or hiding money, is just as effective in controlling the victim as a lock and key,” said Gandy. “Women are literally being forced, because of financial dependency, back into abusive relationships.”

Another component of the Independence Project is to provide training and technical assistance to the domestic violence field to increase general knowledge about credit and banking. In March, conducted their first Annual Economic Justice Summit: Navigating Economic Justice: Dollars, Sense and Safety.

Other Initiatives
NNEDV and its supporters also are conducting several other initiatives during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, including NNEDV’s annual #31n31 social media campaign. Throughout October they will share and define a buzzword about domestic violence each day, encouraging understanding of the issue and actions that can be taken.

From Oct. 15 through 21, NNEDV will conduct the National Week of Action, providing activities each day to understand and build awareness among others about domestic violence.

The week includes Oct. 19, when NNEDV will observe national #PurpleThursday, where everyone is encouraged to wear purple to honor victims and support survivors of domestic violence. NNEDV, using the hashtag #PurpleThursday, will conduct a Thunderclap campaign, whereby social media followers are encouraged to share the message of Domestic Violence Awareness Month through social media posts.

Thirty-One Gifts will dedicate and match all funds raised through its purchase roundup program throughout October, up to $31,000. Customers will have the option to donate by rounding up their purchases to the nearest dollar or making a donation of any amount to support domestic violence service providers in the U.S.

The company also has pledged $100,000 to a capital campaign for a new facility for CHOICES for Victims of Domestic Violence in Columbus, Ohio, where they are headquartered.

Independent sales consultants with Thirty-One are being encouraged to work in their local communities in support of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The company has more than 67,000 sales consultants throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The Verizon Foundation supports domestic violence in several ways, including the HopeLine program, where Verizon collects no-longer used wireless phones, batteries, chargers and accessories in any condition from any service provider to benefit victims and survivors of domestic violence. Donated phones are then turned into valuable resources for nonprofit organizations and agencies that support domestic violence victims and survivors nationwide.

For more information about NNEDV, the Independence Project and their October activities, click here.

About the National Network to End Domestic Violence
The NNEDV is a social change organization dedicated to creating a social, political and economic environment in which violence against women no longer exists. As a membership and advocacy organization of state domestic violence coalitions, allied organizations and supportive individuals, NNEDV works closely with its members to understand the ongoing and emerging needs of domestic violence victims and advocacy programs. Then NNEDV makes sure those needs are heard and understood by policymakers at the national level. NNEDV also offers a range of programs and initiatives to address the complex causes and far-reaching consequences of domestic violence. Through cross-sector collaborations and corporate partnerships, NNEDV offers support to victims of domestic violence who are escaping abusive relationships—and empowers survivors to build new lives.

October 16, 2017

U.S. News

MONAT Global Celebrates 3rd Anniversary; Expects $300 Million in Revenue for 2017

Doral, Florida-based MONAT Global welcomed 3,000 of its Market Partners and guests to Las Vegas the first week of October as the company celebrated its third anniversary and began its fourth year in style.

“All of the Market Partners attending earned this incentive trip for helping make us one of the fastest growing brands in the social selling space,” said CEO Ray Urdaneta. “We had a similar trip in the spring, with 500 attending, so this second event is another gratifying demonstration of how much growth we have experienced in the last year.”

“This event was our biggest ever and shows that MONAT opens doors,” added President Stuart MacMillan. “We are truly humbled that at the three-year mark, we were able to bring thousands to Las Vegas and prepare them for the next stage in our remarkable growth. MONAT is on track to have $300 million in total revenue this year, and we owe it to our Market Partners.”

During the event, the company also launched its first holiday gift sets, including hand creams, a shower kit set, a beard care set and a hair tools set.

MONAT officially opened its doors in the U.S. in October 2014 and in Canada in October 2015. MONAT Market Partners total more than 50,000 across all 50 states and all 10 Canadian provinces. In September, MONAT added more than 45,000 new Preferred Customers to its ranks. MONAT had approximately 4,000 VIP Preferred Customers in 2015 and now counts more than 150,000.

October 16, 2017

U.S. News

Herbalife Sponsored Triathlete Holds on to Top Ranking After IRONMAN Championship

Los Angeles-based Herbalife Nutrition today congratulated its sponsored triathlete Heather Jackson, who finished this year’s IRONMAN World Championship in fourth place and holds her rank as top American female triathlete. Jackson completed the 140.6-mile journey with an overall time of 9 hours, 2 minutes and 29 seconds, improving her 2016 finish time by 9 minutes.

“It’s an honor to be ranked the top female American triathlete, and I hope I can inspire people to live a healthier and active lifestyle,” said Jackson. “All the days, hours and sacrifices have paid off, and I am thankful to my husband, family, friends and to my official nutrition sponsor Herbalife Nutrition for fueling my entire journey leading up to Kona, and for being there when I crossed the finish line.”

Jackson, who trains in Bend, Oregon, competed in seven triathlons this year to lock in her spot at the World Championship. One of only 2,365 athletes competing, Jackson completed the 112-mile leg on the bike in 4:53:55 minutes, which advanced her ahead of the competition, giving her the lead she needed for a fourth-place finish.

“Our distributors and employees are proud of all our sponsored athletes who competed in this grueling race, and we applaud Heather on her tremendous win,” said Rich Goudis, CEO of Herbalife Nutrition. “Heather is one of our heroes, both on and off the course. In addition to fueling her performance with our nutrition products, she shares our purpose of making the world healthier and happier by giving back to the community. Earlier this year, Heather donated her prize money from the IRONMAN Peru race to those impacted by this year’s floods. She’s always a winner to us.”

Jackson was among more than 80,000 athletes who competed for a starting slot in one of the world’s toughest endurance races, the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, combining a 2.4-mile rough water swim, 112-mile bike race, and 26.2-mile marathon into one event.

In addition to Jackson, 15 endurance athletes sponsored by Herbalife Nutrition competed in the IRONMAN World Championship race. Herbalife Nutrition supports more than 190 athletes worldwide.

October 13, 2017

U.S. News

Obesity Among U.S. Adults at All-Time High; Teen Rates Stable

Several direct selling companies, such as OPTAVIA and Team Beachbody, have made it their mission to help combat the obesity epidemic in America. Others, such as Herbalife, USANA and Amway have conducted extensive research to understand the dietary habits of consumers and offer products to encourage balanced nutrition. It appears their efforts will be needed for some time.

The growth in the health and wellness industry has been largely driven by the obesity epidemic. And according to research released today by the National Center for Health Statistics, nearly 40 percent of adults and 19 percent of youth in the United States are obese. This is the highest rate the country has ever seen in adults.

The study’s lead researcher, Dr. Craig Hales, Medical Epidemiologist at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that since 1999 there has been a staggering rise in the prevalence of obesity, particularly in adults, without any “signs of it slowing down.”

Youth obesity rates seem to be more stable in recent years. However, it is “too early to tell” what direction youth obesity prevalence will take. Hales said least four more years of data are required to truly understand the direction.

There has been a 30 percent increase in adult obesity and 33 percent increase in youth obesity when comparing 1999–2000 data to 2015–2016. When looking at the goals of Healthy People 2020—a 2010 government effort to improve the health of Americans, including by reducing obesity—the crisis looms even larger. The initiative aims to lower obesity rates to 14.5 percent among youth and 30.5 percent among adults by 2020.

Hispanic adults had an obesity rate of 47 percent and Non-Hispanic black adults a rate of 46.8 percent in 2015–2016, the new report showed, with non-Hispanic white adults at 37.9 percent and Asian adults at 12.7 percent.

Among youths, Hispanics and non-Hispanic blacks also had higher rates of obesity, at 25.8 percent and 22 percent respectively, compared with 14 percent of non-Hispanic whites and 11 percent of Asians.

Hales explained that for the study, data were collected from Americans ages 2 to 19 and 20 and older, through mobile physical examination centers across the country, and then measured using body–mass index (BMI). Body mass index is the ratio between a person’s weight and height; a BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight, while anything over 30 is obese.

Michael W. Long, Assistant Professor at the Milken Institute of School Public Health at George Washington University, said that improving racial disparities in obesity may involve implementing policies such as raising soda taxes and improving the quality of benefits in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which provides healthy food for families, housing vouchers and home energy assistance.

According to Dr. Ihuoma Eneli, Professor of Pediatrics at Ohio State University and Director of the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, efforts to reduce obesity, especially in children, will also come from a change in policy. It is important to start looking at the effectiveness of available health programs at public health institutions, school systems and clinics.

Family plays a role in curbing obesity as well. Interventions such as avoiding fast food, eating healthy meals together and planning family activities are great ways to support a child with obesity, Eneli suggested. The most important point is to avoid isolating children in trying to treat their obesity. Planning to be healthy together can put a family on the right path.

October 12, 2017

U.S. News

USANA China Subsidiary BabyCare Recognized for Helping Children

USANA’s China subsidiary, BabyCare, recently hosted the Angel Heart Project conference in Beijing. The conference aimed to celebrate the achievement of the project, and to draw awareness to children’s congenital heart disease. Representatives from China Poverty Alleviation Office, National Health and Family Planning Commission, and China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA) showed their support by attending the conference and awarding BabyCare the charity souvenir.

“Our government and party have emphasized the importance of poverty relief,” said Jun Wang, Deputy Secretary General from CFPA. “Through partnership with corporations like BabyCare, we have worked together on helping children with congenital heart disease in undeveloped areas and effectively improved poor families’ healthcare situations.”

Congenital heart disease can be fatal for children, especially from underprivileged families, due to the inability to pay for surgeries needed to cure them. In the past two years, the Angel Heart Project has raised over 6 million RMB and helped 215 children recover from congenital heart disease. Because of the project, 215 families have been able to lead a normal, happy life.

“With the corporate culture of giving back in mind, BabyCare will continue to help more people in need in the future,” said Frank Li, Vice President of Sales at BabyCare.

To honor the efforts and accomplishment that BabyCare has made for the Angel Heart Project, Su Meng from China Poverty Alleviation Office and Xiaowei Hou from the National Health and Family Planning Commission awarded BabyCare the charity souvenir.

Earlier this year, BabyCare was awarded the “Outstanding Contribution Award”—along with Disney, Unilever, JP Morgan and other prominent companies—for its contributions to China’s poverty alleviation and public welfare undertakings.

October 12, 2017

World News

India DSA Announces New Executive Team

The Indian Direct Selling Association (IDSA) recently announced its new Executive Committee at the 21st Annual General Body Meeting of the Association. Vivek Katoch, Director Corporate Affairs, Oriflame India Pvt. Ltd., was named the new Chairman of the Association. Rini Sanyal, Head, Worldwide Regulatory, Government and Industry Affairs, India, Herbalife, was elected as the new Vice-Chairperson of the Association.

Katoch brings with him, more than 16 years of experience in different verticals, including government and legal affairs, taxation (direct, indirect and international), financial management, litigation management and internal auditing. He has been one of the leaders in voicing the concerns of the industry.

Jitendra Jagota, Director Legal and Government Affairs, Avon Beauty Products India Pvt. Ltd., was elected Treasurer, while Rajat Banerji, Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Amway India Enterprises, was elected Secretary of the Association.

As per the recent changes, the elected members of the Executive Committee of IDSA will hold office for a period of two years.

Amit Chadha, Secretary General, IDSA, said, “The last couple of years have been remarkable for IDSA and the direct selling industry, thanks to the outgoing Executive Committee, who handled the industry concerns with utmost priority. A special mention about the outgoing Chairman, Jitendra Jagota, under whose guidance we were able to drive the industry initiatives very efficiently. It was under his chairmanship that we achieved important milestones in the form of issuance of direct selling guidelines, immediately followed by our grand two decade celebrations. I remain thankful to Jagota and his team for their spirited efforts for the Industry.”

“The year 2016 was a very significant one for the Industry as we saw Ministry of Consumer Affairs coming out with guidelines on direct selling and the coming years are equally important,” said Katoch. “Guidelines was just one step towards having regulatory framework for the industry, and Team IDSA will continue to work along with central and state governments to push for a legislative framework for this industry.”

Sanyal thanked all members for their belief in the Executive Committee and added, “The whole industry is going through a change and we shall look forward to continuous support from all the IDSA members, for their suggestions and inputs related to important matters of the industry to enable and empower the Executive Committee for effective functioning towards the organizational goal.”

“This Executive Committee consists of subject matter experts from food, government relations, legal affairs to finance,” said Chadha. “Such ‘unity in diversity’ makes a unique team that can handle almost all the current concerns the direct selling industry is facing on the regulatory and legislative front.”

October 11, 2017

U.S. News

Mary Kay’s Annual “Truth About Abuse” Survey Reveals Widespread Digital Dating Abuse

For young Americans in the dating scene, a new epidemic has emerged—digital dating abuse. Mary Kay Inc. recently released data from its eighth annual Truth About Abuse Survey which reveals that more than 1 in 4 (27%) of young Americans report they have personally experienced digital dating abuse and another 39 percent know someone who has. While the problem is widespread, it is also underreported, increasing the need for intervention and education.

“As a corporate leader in the fight against domestic violence, we know how important it is to educate and empower young people about warning signs before they happen,” said Kirsten Gappelberg, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability for Mary Kay Inc. “Through this year’s Truth About Abuse Survey, we’ve learned that young people have difficulty recognizing digital dating abuse. This tells us there’s an opportunity to raise awareness while helping to educate young people as they navigate the complex combination of today’s dating scene and the ever-changing world of technology.”

According to the survey, warning signs of digital dating abuse young people have experienced include:

  • Significant other going through their phone (46%)
  • Texting, calling or emailing excessively to “check-in” (33%)
  • A partner sending unwanted, lewd texts or emails (18%)
  • Posting embarrassing or negative content about a significant other on social media (14%)

The survey also revealed surprising results about the widespread epidemic:

  • Gender Gap: Young women are at an even greater risk for abuse with 30 percent of girls compared to 24 percent of boys reporting that they have personally experienced digital dating abuse.
  • Social Media Danger: 75 percent of young people believe social media has become more of a tool for abusers than a resource for victims.
  • More Education Needed: 82 percent of young people said they need more information to talk to friends about digital dating abuse.

“It is disheartening to see abusive partners leverage technologies that are intended to mobilize our lives and bring us closer to our loved ones as a tool for controlling their partners,” said Cameka Crawford, Chief Communications Officer at loveisrespect. “As technology changes every day, our strategies to prevent and to end abuse must change and adapt as well. The results from Mary Kay’s survey further illustrate the need for more education, ensuring young adults and teens are building healthy relationships in all contexts and across all landscapes, including the digital world.”

The 2017 survey is part of Mary Kay’s Don’t Look Away campaign, which works to educate the public on recognizing the signs of an abusive relationship, how to take action and to raise awareness for support services. In partnership with Wakefield Research, 1,000 young people ages 13–24 nationwide participated in the survey as a representation of America’s young population. To date, Mary Kay Inc. and The Mary Kay Foundation℠ have given $57 million to domestic violence prevention and awareness programs in an effort to end the cycle of abuse.

October 11, 2017

U.S. News

AdvoCare Names Brett Blake President of Global Sales and Strategic Planning

Plano, Texas-based AdvoCare International today announced the addition of Brett Blake to the executive team as its new President of Global Sales and Strategic Planning.

“Brett’s deep expertise in direct sales and entrepreneurship will propel AdvoCare to even greater heights,” said Brian Connolly, Chairman and CEO. “We are fortunate to have him join the AdvoCare team. I know him to be a man of his word, who listens and leads with his convictions. He will be a great asset to AdvoCare, our 350 employees and more than 600,000 Independent Distributors and Preferred Customers.”

Blake joins AdvoCare from a direct selling jewelry brand where he served as CEO and led its acquisition of a skincare line of products for the tween market. During his almost four years as Managing Director of another direct seller in the health and wellness space, Blake worked with the company’s field leaders to develop a simple, social media-enabled system to support the success of customers and new distributors. Under his leadership, the company’s direct selling division evolved from a small experiment to the primary driver.

“Over his long career, Brett has shown his passion for the direct selling channel and Distributors in the field,” said the Founding Family of AdvoCare. “His dedication to his family, calm strength and work ethic make him a great fit for AdvoCare. On behalf of the entire Ragus family and the Board of Directors, we welcome Brett to AdvoCare and know he will bring tremendous value.”

Reporting to Chairman and CEO Brian Connolly, Blake will help lead day-to-day sales operations and the company’s effort to develop strategy that ensures AdvoCare Distributors’ success in the U.S. and new global markets. His new position comes after several executive changes, including Patrick Wright moving into the role of Senior Vice President of International Sales and a promotion for long-time AdvoCare executive Rick Loy to Senior Vice President of U.S. Sales and Training.

“AdvoCare is a company known for its integrity and strong culture, and it is perfectly positioned for exponential growth within the wellness industry, one of the fastest-growing consumer segments in the world,” said Blake. “I plan to use my first months to learn from the sales leaders who have built this company on the foundation that founder Charles E. Ragus set through the Guiding Principles. AdvoCare is already a great organization. I look forward to being part of their future global success.”

October 10, 2017

U.S. News

Isagenix Continues European Expansion into Ireland and Netherlands

Gilbert, Arizona-based Isagenix International, a global health and wellness company providing nutrition and lifestyle solutions, recently announced its expansion into Ireland and the Netherlands with an anticipated launch at the end of 2017.

In March 2017, Isagenix celebrated its 15-year anniversary, surpassing $5 billion in cumulative sales and expanding into the U.K., the most successful market entry in company history.

“We are thrilled to continue our expansion into Europe and our internal teams have gathered valuable experience with our launch in the U.K.,” said Peter Kropp, Isagenix Europe General Manager. “In addition to offering multilingual support we will be adding local sales talent to support accelerated expansion. We have exciting plans to continue growth across Europe over the next two years, and we look forward to sharing additional news in the months to come.”

Both markets will be managed from Isagenix European hub in London and product offerings will focus on weight management, energy and performance. Featured products will include the company’s popular 30-Day Weight Loss System, as well as IsaLean™ Shake, e-shot™ and IsaDelight® for Cleanse Day support.

Recent trends in Europe indicate a high demand for health and wellness products, particularly dietary supplements and meal replacements, within the direct selling channel.

With a population of around 17 million in the Netherlands, nearly half of all adults are considered overweight or obese. Despite that, Dutch consumers are becoming increasingly interested in leading healthier lifestyles consisting of a nutritious diet and regular exercise.

Much like the Netherlands, current market trends indicate that Ireland is also positioned for growth. Ireland’s population of 4.6 million is currently in the midst of a weight crisis, according to the World Health Organization. This has led to an increase in government campaigns to promote healthier lifestyles and increase awareness, leading many consumers to begin seeking out ways to help combat the problem.

October 09, 2017

U.S. News

USANA Names New Foundation President, Board Member

Photo: Brian Paul


The USANA True Health Foundation (THF), today announced the promotion of Brian Paul to President of the 501(c)(3) organization. Paul has been with USANA for more than 12 years, most recently serving as the Foundation’s executive director of communications.

“I am honored and excited to continue this journey in this new role with the True Health Foundation,” said Paul. “Since joining THF in 2015, our team has had the opportunity to make a significant impact on children and families throughout the world, and I look forward to continuing to grow our efforts and expand our reach.”

Paul has been active in driving the Foundation’s fundraising efforts, most recently raising over 1 million meals during USANA’s International Convention in August 2017. He has also spearheaded THF’s mission trips as well as coordinated aid efforts for victims of natural disasters throughout the world.

“Brian is a proven leader who has demonstrated a combination of creative genius, heart and incredible work ethic from day one of joining THF,” said Jim Bramble, Chief Legal Officer at USANA. “We couldn’t have chosen a better candidate to lead the Foundation and look forward to seeing his growth and commitment to serving those in need throughout the world.”

Through humanitarian missions, regular contributions, fundraising projects and collaborations with the Women’s Tennis Association, the nonprofit organization has raised more than $13 million to aid hundreds around the world since its inception in 2012. 

USANA also announced last week that J. Scott Nixon has been appointed to the company’s Board of Directors. Nixon joins the board as an independent director and brings a wealth of accounting, finance and corporate strategy expertise. The USANA board now has eight members, five of whom are independent.

Myron W. Wentz, Ph.D., Chairman of the Board, commented, “I’m very pleased to welcome Scott Nixon to our Board. He brings significant finance, accounting and industry experience, with over three decades in international and domestic audit and business advisory services across a variety of industries, including direct selling, which will provide tremendous value to USANA.”

“Having spent several years working directly with USANA, I am very familiar with the company’s business and the strong corporate values and commitment to health and nutrition that make it a leader in its industry,” said Nixon. “I am honored to accept a seat on the company’s Board of Directors and look forward to contributing to USANA’s future success.”

Nixon, a certified public accountant, retired in 2015 as a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, where he spent over 31 years in various roles, including office managing partner and engagement partner over public and private companies in many industries. His career involved providing audit and business advisory services. He is a National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) Governance Fellow, the highest standard of credentialing for directors and governance professionals. He holds both a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Accounting from Utah State University.

October 06, 2017

U.S. News

Jeunesse Launches Luminesce HydraShield Mask

Adding to its flagship anti-aging skin care line, global youth enhancement company Jeunesse is rolling out the launch of its Luminesce HydraShield Mask™, a premium biocellulose sheet mask aimed at helping minimize the effects of exposure to environmental aggressors while providing superior hydration.

With discerning skin care consumers in mind, the Luminesce HydraShield Mask utilizes premium coconut biocellulose and includes powerful elements of hydration along with the company’s exclusive APT-200™. Infused with antioxidant-rich shea butter and ultra-hydrating Asian grass root extract to visibly soothe and moisturize dull, tired skin, this multi-tiered mask also works to purify and reveal a more radiant and youthful complexion.

Jeunesse Chief Visionary Officer Scott Lewis said, “With market trends moving away from paper and gel-based sheet mask products, the HydraShield Mask’s biocellulose formulation represents the latest scientifically and clinically supported advancements in sheet mask development.”

The Luminesce HydraShield Mask made its debut in the Greater China and Asia Pacific regions during the Jeunesse EXPO Elevate 2017 World Tour, at events held in Macau and Bangkok. Jeunesse Distributors welcomed this newest Youth Enhancement System™ product, watching demonstrations and receiving mask samples at the interactive Luminesce Brand Experience booths at these EXPO8 events.

According to Jeunesse, the product has been well received with users appreciating the more refined product experience created by the state-of-the art coconut biocellulose technology and refreshing botanical-infused fragrance, while experiencing skin hydration and an overall revitalized appearance.

The Luminesce HydraShield Mask will launch in Europe and North America at upcoming Jeunesse EXPO8 events. The European launch will take place in Milan Oct.13–15. The product will be released in North America at the event in company’s hometown of Orlando Nov. 2–5.

October 06, 2017

World News

Oriflame CEO and President Magnus Brännström Named Chairman of WFDSA

The World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA), a global trade organization representing more than 60 national direct selling associations, recently announced that Oriflame CEO and President Magnus Brännström will serve as the organization’s Chairman through October 2020. Brännström assumes the role of Chairman from Doug DeVos, President of Amway.

“I am very honored and privileged to serve the direct selling industry as Chairman of the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations during these exciting times,” said Brännström. “The world is going through digital transformation. I believe direct selling, with its communities of people united by a joint purpose, is more relevant than ever for empowering entrepreneurship through offering quality products and services. I look forward to continue to build and develop on my predecessors’ long legacy of improving the standards of the global direct selling industry.”

Previously, Brännström was the Vice Chairman of WFDSA. He also held the position as Chairman of SELDIA, the European Direct Selling Association.

“It’s been a tremendous honor to serve as Chairman of WFDSA for the past three years,” said DeVos. “None of our goals could have been accomplished without strong partnerships and the support of the direct selling associations around the world. Direct selling is in good hands under the leadership of Magnus Brännström. I have never been more confident and optimistic about the future of our industry.”

October 05, 2017

U.S. News

AdvoCare® Launches Champion’s Pathway

Plano, Texas-based AdvoCare International recently introduced the Champion’s Pathway, a series of new bonus opportunities designed to recognize and celebrate the achievements of its Independent Distributors. The Champion’s Pathway is designed to assist Distributors in their goal setting and provide them with more opportunities to achieve a bonus.

“The Champion’s Pathway will help guide our new Distributors on their journey to unlock the full potential of the AdvoCare opportunity,” said Rick Loy, Senior Vice President of U.S. Sales and Training. “This is going to be a great program to help Distributors consistently move towards their goals and learn healthy business behavior, and for us to recognize them for their achievements.”

Through the new program, new Distributors will be eligible to earn a bonus based on their achievements in selling products along with building a customer base. The Champion’s Pathway features three levels of bonus opportunities—the New Distributor Bonus, the New Advisor Bonus and the New Silver Plus Bonus.

  1. New Distributor Bonus: The New Distributor Bonus rewards those new to the AdvoCare business for the sales they make to their customers. New Distributors will be eligible to earn between $100 and $400 during their first three Pay Periods based on their sales to at least three registered retail customers or Preferred Customers.
  2. New Advisor Bonus: The New Advisor Bonus rewards Distributors for helping others get started on the Champion’s Pathway. Newly qualified Advisors who help three of their Distributors earn a New Distributor Bonus within nine consecutive Pay Periods will be eligible for a $500 bonus.
  3. New Silver Plus Bonus: The New Silver Plus Bonus rewards Distributors for instilling successful business practices within their teams and demonstrating excellent leadership. Distributors become eligible for the New Silver Plus Bonus once they attain the Silver Leadership Pin level. They must also meet sales criteria such as making $1,000 in volume for two consecutive Pay Periods in order to earn the $1,000 bonus.

AdvoCare is also offering a limited-time bonus for existing Distributors where, like the New Distributor Bonus, they can earn between $100 and $400 based on sales to at least three new registered retail customers or Preferred Customers.

In conjunction with the one-time cash bonuses, AdvoCare is also introducing an expanded AdvoCare University invitation system, where bonus earners receive exclusive invitations to educational sessions and in-person training opportunities.

October 04, 2017

U.S. News

Ambit Energy Launches New Plans for Texas Residents

Dallas, Texas-based Ambit Energy, the direct seller of energy and a leading national retail energy provider, recently announced three new service offerings available now for residents in Texas, the company’s largest market. The new plans, Free & Clear Nights, Lone Star Plus 12 and Lone Star Basics 12, are designed to meet a customer’s unique energy needs.

With Free & Clear Nights, households can enjoy free electricity from 9 p.m. to 5:59 a.m., seven days a week, while also having the peace of mind of using 100 percent wind-powered electricity, day and night. For Texas residents who prefer not to shift use to nighttime hours, Ambit designed Lone Star Plus 12, for customers with typically higher usage, and Lone Star Basics 12, for customers with typically lower usage.

“We created these plans to demonstrate our continued focus on providing competitive rates with exceptional service for our many loyal customers throughout our largest market, and the state that we also call home,” said Jere Thompson, Jr., Co-Founder and CEO of Ambit Energy. “Our customers’ energy needs are different, and these plans offer options for Texas residents to choose the plan that’s right for them.”

Ambit is also rolling out the “T.L.C. Pledge,” so Texas residents can “Try it, Like it or Change it.” This means if a customer signs up for the Free & Clear Nights, Lone Star Plus 12 or Lone Star Basics 12 plan and is not happy with it, they can change to any other Ambit plan for free within 60 days of enrolling in one of the three new plans.

The Free & Clear Nights plan is currently available in every Ambit Texas market where smart meters are available, while the Lone Star Plus 12 and Lone Star Basics 12 plans are available in areas serviced by Oncor and CenterPoint Energy.

October 04, 2017

World News

Natura Taps David Boynton as The Body Shop CEO

Sao Paulo, Brazilian-based Natura Cosméticos SA has tapped David Boynton as CEO of Britain’s The Body Shop, according to a securities filing on Friday.

Boynton, who will replace current CEO Jeremy Schwartz on Dec. 4, has been the head of shirtsmaker Charles Tyrwhitt since 2016. He previously served several leadership roles in the French cosmetics company L‘Occitane Groupe SA.

Natura bought the lotions and soaps retailer from French cosmetics giant L’Oreal in July. The deal was reported to be for US$1.1 billion (€1 billion euros). L’Oreal had purchased The Body Shop for $833 million (£652 million pounds) in 2006.

The Body Shop was founded by British entrepreneur Anita Roddick in 1976 and earned the reputation as an eco-friendly company. Natura, which was founded by Luiz Seabra in São Paulo in 1969 and is one of Brazil’s biggest brands, is noted for its commitment to sustainability and uses biodiversity ingredients in its products. Natura was the first publicly traded company to become certified as a B-corporation.

In acquiring the Body Shop, which has more than 3,000 stores in 66 countries, Natura bolstered its international expansion. In 2013 the company purchased Australia’s Aesop for $70 million. Aesop has 261 locations in 20 countries.

 

October 03, 2017

U.S. News

Herbalife Introduces Protein Bites in Time for Halloween

Just in time for Halloween and the holiday season, premier global nutrition company Herbalife today launched its new Protein Bites Variety Pack, fun-size treats that satisfy the trickiest of candy cravings. According to the National Retail Federation, the average American will consume 3.4 pounds of candy during Halloween. With the Protein Bites Variety Pack, consumers can now make good snack choices and forgo the guilt of overindulgence. This new seasonal offering was developed to keep up with today’s busy lifestyles and for those who crave choice and a convenient source of protein, furthering the company’s purpose of making the world a healthier and happier place.

“A healthy snack should deliver a good amount of protein without too much carbohydrate,” said Dr. John Agwunobi, Chief Health and Nutrition Officer, Herbalife Nutrition. “Snacking, when done right, keeps energy levels up between meals and helps control hunger, which makes Protein Bites a perfect go-to-snack to satisfy chocolate cravings.”

The Protein Bites Variety Pack contains 28 individually wrapped pieces in the following flavors: Crunchy Caramel Vanilla, Crunchy Caramel Lemon, Dark Chocolate Coconut and Dark Chocolate Orange. The fun-size bites each contain four grams of high-quality protein and no artificial sweeteners, and range from 55-65 calories per piece.

Additionally, for a limited time only, the company will launch on Oct. 5 its Formula 1 Trial Size Variety Pack, which includes three 10-serving size canisters in Dutch Chocolate, Pumpkin Spice and Banana Caramel flavors. Each canister contains nine grams of high-quality protein, 21 vitamins and minerals, and other essential nutrients.

October 03, 2017

U.S. News

Stream Now Powering Illinois with Latest Expansion

Dallas-based Stream (formerly Stream Energy), a leading direct selling company and provider of connected life services, recently launched its line of Energy Services, in addition to Wireless, Protective and Home Services, in northern Illinois. Illinois is the seventh state added to Stream’s growing energy retail provider footprint, which includes Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Georgia, Maryland, plus Washington, D.C.

“We are so excited to provide our Energy Services to the people of Illinois,” said Larry Mondry, President and CEO of Stream. “Our expansion here is something we’ve been planning for some time now, and we’re looking forward to offering our services and opportunities to Illinois and to make them a part of our Stream family.”

The expansion to northern Illinois will allow consumers there to access Stream’s line of Energy Services at 2 percent below the incumbent, including 6- and 12-month fixed-rate electric plans.

“Not only does our expansion into Illinois give us the chance to offer our service lines to a new market, but it allows our Associates to grow and expand their businesses as well,” said Chief Operating Officer Dan O’Malley. “There is so much room for growth in this new market, and we’re excited for what the future holds as Stream continues to expand.”

Stream and its Independent Associates will celebrate the Illinois expansion at a launch event on Jan. 13, 2018, at the famous Chicago landmark, Navy Pier.

October 02, 2017

U.S. News

LifeVantage Appoints Kevin McMurray to Management Team as General Counsel

Sandy, Utah-based LifeVantage recently announced the appointment of Kevin McMurray as General Counsel.

A veteran of the health and wellness industry, McMurray brings more than 25 years of legal expertise to LifeVantage, where he will be responsible for leading the legal department and serving as counsel to the Board of Directors, Chairman of the Board and CEO.

“We’re thrilled to have Kevin joining our management team,” said LifeVantage President and CEO Darren Jensen. “He brings a track record of success, an amazing legal mind and a team-first philosophy to his work. With the growth and evolution we’re undertaking, I can’t think of anyone better suited to help us navigate our continued expansion.”

Prior to joining LifeVantage, McMurray served as Assistant General Counsel at another health and wellness direct seller since 2004. While there, he helped implement its first distributor compliance program while playing an integral role in the company’s expansion into new international markets. 

“Throughout his career, Kevin has demonstrated the well-rounded ability to understand and navigate a broad range of legal issues,” said LifeVantage Chief Sales Officer Justin Rose. “His industry experience combined with an uncanny ability to create innovative solutions that create real value is something we look forward to.”

McMurray received his J.D. from Creighton University and a Master of Laws Degree from the University of the Pacific.

“I’m very excited about this new opportunity,” said McMurray. “I’ve always been drawn to the health and wellness industry because I love the lifestyle it promotes. LifeVantage has proven that it’s an industry leader with its innovative approach to product research and development. I look forward to being an active member of the management team as we grow and expand into new international markets.”

October 02, 2017

Industry with Heart

Natural Disasters: Direct Selling Relief Efforts

In the past month, three natural disasters have struck North America and the Caribbean, killing hundreds of people and causing property damage amounting to billions of dollars. Many people in the direct selling community, particularly those in Texas and Florida, were affected by these horrific events.

In late August, Hurricane Harvey devastated the Houston area, causing catastrophic floods that claimed over 70 lives and displaced hundreds of thousands of people. Nearly 50,000 homes were damaged—1,000 completely destroyed—and approximately 700 businesses were damaged.

In early September, Hurricane Irma roared through the Caribbean, devastating Barbuda, St. Maarten and St. Thomas, before impacting Cuba and then coming ashore as a Category 3 storm in southwestern Florida. Early reports indicate that in the Florida Keys 25 percent of buildings were destroyed and another 65 percent suffered considerable damage. Flooding and downed trees have crippled many areas of the state, and millions of Floridians are without electricity as of today. Over 60 deaths have been reported in the Virgin Islands, Florida and Georgia.

On Sept. 7, an 8.1 magnitude earthquake rocked the southern coast of Mexico, just north of Juchitan. It was the most powerful earthquake to hit the country in a century, felt as far as Mexico City and Guatemala City by an estimated 50 million people. Nearly 100 fatalities have been confirmed.

In addition to these disasters, throughout 2017, wildfires have claimed almost 8 million acres of land, from Georgia to Washington. There are currently 2 million acres aflame—roughly the size of Rhode Island and Delaware combined—across the West and Northwest, including 100 active wildfires and 41 uncontained large blazes. The U.S. Forest Service has spent, to date, more than $1.75 billion fighting wildfires nationwide; in Canada, blazes in British Columbia have set new records, both in acres burned and in costs to contain them.

As the preeminent news source for the direct selling industry, we have been eager to share the powerful stories of direct selling companies coming to the aid of the global community. The generosity of this industry is one of its most admirable aspects—one that, sadly, often goes unnoticed in the business world. We have noted the contributions made by direct sellers through monetary and product donations as well as in fundraising efforts and on-the-ground support below. We acknowledge the efforts of these companies and their continuing support of such critical organizations as the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and United Way. 

AdvoCare
“Our thoughts are with those impacted by Hurricane Harvey this morning as they assess overnight damage and continue to battle flooding, fires and tornados throughout the weekend and into next week. Through our partnership with American Red Cross and Red Cross DFW disaster relief program, we are donating $50,000 and matching dollar for dollar raised through our AdvoCare Red Cross portal up to an additional $50,000. Help us help the Red Cross support all those impacted by this devastating storm.”
 
Ambit Energy 
To support relief efforts on the Texas Gulf Coast, Ambit Energy will contribute $25,000 to the American Red Cross.

Amway
As told to DSN, “Like many others, we have watched closely as Hurricane Harvey has wreaked havoc on the southern Gulf coast of the United States. Our thoughts go out to those impacted by the storm, including the approximately 13,000 Amway distributors who live in the affected region. To assist in the hurricane relief efforts, Amway has donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross. In addition, we are matching Amway employee and distributor donations, dollar for dollar, up to $100,000 and providing in-kind support to impacted Amway distributors and others benefiting from regional non-profit partner organizations. We hope this donation will help the great residents of the southern Gulf coast as they deal with the lingering effects of the storm and the recovery to follow. We also are closely monitoring Hurricane Irma for potential impacts, in order to determine support for impacted distributors and communities in that region, as well.”

Arbonne
“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the people of Texas and all affected in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Hearing about and seeing the posts on social media about how our community of Independent Consultants are aiding relief efforts and personally taking in those affected by the disaster reminds me again of what a special, unique and virtual community Arbonne represents. Arbonne is pulling together essential items we know would be the most helpful during this difficult time, including protein shakes and a variety of personal care products. We have coordinated with a local Houston area non-profit organization that is aiding in the relief efforts for immediate distribution to those in need.” — Arbonne CEO, Kay Zanotti

ARIIX
“The ARIIX Foundation for Human Potential is partnering with the American Red Cross to help bring much-needed relief to the area. The need is very real and we have made it easy to donate to those affected by Hurricane Harvey.”

Avon
“Share your love and support to Hurricane Harvey victims with our $10 Avon Hurricane Relief Package that will help fund an assortment of critical personal care products and housewares items that Avon will transport to area shelters on your behalf.”

Forever Living
“Over the last few days, we’ve received a great number of inquiries about how you can help the people of Houston and Southeast Texas following the devastating Hurricane Harvey. We are excited to announce that our friends over at Forever Giving are partnering with Rise Against Hunger, once again, and there are tens of thousands of meals and Forever Living Products personal care products heading to those in need in the coming few days.”

Herbalife
“On Sunday Hurricane Harvey, now a tropical storm, shook the Texas coast with torrential rains causing catastrophic floods, according to the National Hurricane Center. Entire communities are facing devastation. Thousands of children and families are in shelters because their homes, cars and personal belongings are completely submerged in the rapidly rising waters. The Herbalife Family Foundation is partnering with the American Red Cross to raise funds that will provide warm meals, shelter, clean water, clothes and hygiene kits to those affected by this disaster. The Red Cross emergency relief efforts have already mobilized volunteers and brought supplies and shelter to many victims. But we need your help! Donate today to help those affected by these devastating floods.”

Isagenix
“Isagenix extends our deepest sympathies and heartfelt prayers in this time of heartache and devastation. In the wake of so much damage and destruction, we want to do our part to help alleviate the hardship of those who have been impacted by this devastating storm. Already, thousands of our valued customers and team members have been impacted in some way by this disaster. As they begin the healing process, they need to focus on what matters most. To that end, we have taken steps to ensure that if they are actively building an Isagenix business, they are not negatively impacted by this disaster. To assist with relief efforts on a broader scale, we have partnered with local food banks to donate nearly 173,000 non-perishable IsaLean meal replacement bars for distribution throughout the greater Houston area. We are honored and humbled to provide much needed nutrition for those who are suffering from the impact of this devastation. We are also making a monetary donation to the American Red Cross and are asking the extended Isagenix family to consider providing support as well. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted.”

It Works!
“Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Houston and the Southeast as they continue to experience Hurricane Harvey. The It Works Gives Back Foundation works with non-profit partners to get boots on the ground in Texas and other cities around the US to offer natural disaster relief. Your It Works! Family is here to support you!”

Kyäni
Founder Carl Taylor, CMO Andrew Mangeris, and Vice President of North America Skyleur Steffensen traveled to Texas and gathered other distributors to help contribute and clean up. Kyäni’s founders also matched donations from all distributors. The Kyäni Caring Hands program sent to Texas a Convoy of Hope with more than 600,000 meals to be distributed to Hurricane victims.

Le-Vel
Le-Vel has partnered with AmeriCares.org, a foundation recognized for effectively getting relief and critical care to people in need in crisis situations. From August 30–September 6, 2017, the company took donations that will be furnished to AmeriCares.org. For every donation received, Le-Vel donated triple the amount to AmeriCares (for a donation $10, Le-Vel added $20, for a total donation of $30 to AmeriCares) up to a total matching contribution of $250,000.

Mannatach
“A MESSAGE FROM THE M5M FOUNDATION: We are proud to partner with Convoy of Hope to deliver nutrition around the world. Today, in the midst of the disaster of Hurricane Harvey we are thankful they are serving and bringing relief to our Texas families!”

Mary Kay
“To all who are impacted by the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey, our hearts are with you. We are working with our disaster relief partners to identify ways we can provide assistance to all those affected. If you are interested in making a personal donation, please consider the Red Cross and Salvation Army.”

Medifast/OPTAVIA
“Over the past few days, we have witnessed the very unfortunate events in the Houston area caused by Tropical Storm Harvey that has, and continues to, devastate many lives. Many of our OPTAVIA Coaches™ and Clients have also been impacted, and we appreciate all of you who have contacted us voicing your desire to help. We have come together as one OPTAVIA Community to help support those in need. A special fundraising effort was put together by our Field leadership through www.youcaring.com where you can contribute to the relief efforts. From our end, the company will also be donating a matching contribution up to $20,000. All the funds will be given to a very reputable charity, All Hands Volunteers. This organization has been vetted, and we are pleased to let you know that they are one of the highest rated among nonprofits when it comes to tangible impact and the percent of funds that are directly used for relief efforts in affected areas. One hundred percent of the funds raised here (and 100% of the corporate match) will go to All Hands Volunteers to support their relief efforts in the affected areas.”

Melaleuca
Melaleuca held a community food drive on August 31 with the intention of filling an entire semi-truck full of items. Two drivers left Idaho Falls last night to drive the 1,500 miles straight to the Houston area where donations will be dropped off at evacuation centers. The American Red Cross has already requested a large amount of snack bars and sunscreen from Melaleuca that will be delivered to 9,000 people waiting in the Houston Convention Center.

Nature’s Sunshine
“Nature’s Sunshine will donate 10% of NSP US profits on sales from now through September 10th to organizations working toward providing relief for the victims of this historic storm. In order to maximize the impact we can have, please share this information with 10 of your friends, family members, or associates. God bless the people of Texas and Louisiana as they work hard to recover and rebuild. Thank you very much for your support.”

Nu Skin
Nu Skin is accepting donations through its Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation, which Nu Skin will match dollar for dollar up to $100,000 to aid in the rebuilding process. In addition, the company has sent staff to the Houston area to help with cleanup efforts, and is working closely with relief agencies in the affected areas, offering a Relief Hygiene Kit (toothpaste, toothbrush, hand sanitizer and soap which Nu Skin will match 1 for 1) and VitaMeal donations (which Nu Skin will match 1 for 1). 

pawTree
pawTree has worked in connection with the American Pet Products Association, Pet Leadership Council, the City of Houston, the City of Dallas, and the Texas Retailers Association to provide assistance in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. They anticipate having about 3,000–5,000 pets in shelters due to Harvey. pawTree’s donation of pet food will be enough to feed approximately 5,000 dogs and cats for two weeks. Half will be distributed in Dallas, where rescued animals are being routed, and half in Houston. pawTree Founder & CEO, Roger Morgan, said, “We are honored to help and are very saddened for the loss and disruption this has caused so many families. Our company mission is to make a difference in the lives of pets and their people, and we know this will make a valuable difference in this time of need.” In addition, the company has an ongoing campaign where pawTree reps, petPros, and customers can help those in need. For every new petPro and every new customer who joins through October, pawTree is donating enough food to feed one pet for an entire month. Donations will be sent to help those in Montana, Texas and Florida.

Plexus Worldwide
Plexus WorldwideTM (Plexus), a direct-selling health and wellness company focused on health and happiness, recently donated $301,630 to The Salvation Army to help areas hurt from Hurricane Harvey. Immediately after Hurricane Harvey hit, Plexus pledged $100,000 to the Salvation Army and announced to its Ambassadors and employees that the company would match up to an additional $100,000 in donations made to The Salvation Army. Plexus is still accepting donations through its page on The Salvation Army’s website. “Many of our Ambassadors were hit hard by the recent hurricanes and while relief agencies and first responders have done an amazing job, it will take months and even years for the region to fully recover,” said Tarl Robinson, CEO of Plexus. “Organizations like the Salvation Army are there to help long-term, and we’re proud to do our small part to aid the region’s recovery.”

Primerica 
“Our hearts go out to the hundreds of thousands of people affected by Hurricane Harvey. To support the relief efforts in these areas, The Primerica Foundation is giving $25,000 to our long-time community partner, the American Red Cross. If you would like to join us in supporting the efforts of the trained disaster relief personnel and volunteers on the ground, you can make a donation using the link to the Red Cross for Hurricane Harvey. Please keep all of the folks affected by this disaster in your thoughts and prayers.” – Primerica CEO Glenn Williams

Princess House
“Our thoughts and prayers are with our many Organizers, Consultants, and friends whose lives have been disrupted by Hurricane Harvey and the subsequent flooding in Texas and Louisiana. And we’re committed to help. Today Princess House is donating $15,000 to the American Red Cross, specifically to go toward the Hurricane Harvey relief effort and our owners Ray and Michael Chambers, through their family foundation, are matching our donation for a total of $30,000.”

Stella & Dot
“Join us in helping Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. On your behalf Stella & Dot Family brands has donated $25,000 to the Red Cross. But there is more we can do together.”

Stream
Stream Cares is donating $25,000 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

Team Beachbody
“In an effort to support the communities affected by Hurricane Harvey, the Beachbody Foundation will donate $1 every time you stream A Week of Hard Labor. Press play on any AWOHL workout between Tuesday, September 5th and Sunday, September 10th to generate up to $100,000 for the American Red Cross Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Fund.”

Team National
“Praying for everyday heroes, people helping people with Harvey Relief Efforts. Kindness matters. The month of Sept all TN Hope monies collected will be donated to charitable organizations focused on Harvey Relief. Thanks for providing hope & contributing to the butterfly effect.”

Thirty-One Gifts
Thirty-One Gifts has been helping victims of Harvey and Irma Texas as well as providing relief efforts in the western U.S. and Canada for wildfire victims. The company has sent thousands of Hope Kits—travel accessory bags filled with hygiene products for women—to both regions. At its national conference in July, senior consultants assembled 2,500 bags and those have been sent, along with thousands more, to Texas and Florida. Thirty-One also supporting the Salvation Army through cash donations. On September 15 the company announced it had organized Round Up for Relief, in which Thirty-One will support the Salvation Army’s disaster relief efforts in both the U.S. and Canada from September 15 to September 30. 

Total Life Changes
The company is teaming with the American Red Cross. “The victims of Hurricane Harvey are in need of many essentials like infant formula, diapers, water and of course food. A small donation will have a great impact on helping these families through this catastrophe.”

Tupperware
Tupperware is donating 40 percent of the product purchase price to UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief). The fundraising effort began August 27 and will run for two weeks.  

USANA
In an effort to aid those affected by the wide-spread devastation of Hurricane Harvey, the USANA True Health Foundation (THF), has donated $130,000. This amount will be used for food, nutrition and other aid through THF’s long-time partners, the Children’s Hunger Fund and International Relief Teams, as well as Houston-based officials who will assist in distribution. “Through the generosity of our Associates and other donors, the True Health Foundation will be able to distribute 27 pallets of food equaling over 15,000 meals,” said USANA CEO Kevin Guest. “While disasters of this magnitude are sobering, we are grateful to have the ability and means available to assist and provide support where it is so desperately needed.”  

WorldVentures
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, 1.5 million children live in counties where disaster has been declared; 40 percent of people in shelters are children. WorldVentures has started a campaign to raise money for the children affected by Hurricane Harvey. Donations will be used to support Save the Children in their efforts to provide relief services focusing on children, including delivering relief supplies, setting up child-friendly play spaces and providing specially trained staff to help children cope with emotions.

Youngevity
“So that we may provide as much support as possible for the Relief Workers on the ground in both Texas and Louisiana – #Youngevity will now be offering ALL of its #BeTheChange Products for this entire week on Double QV! Profits from these proceeds will be used immediately for those who are on the ground saving lives.”

Young Living
Two days before Hurricane Harvey, Typhoon Hato hit southern China and swept through Hong Kong, Macau and parts of Taiwan. The Young Living Foundation will offer aid to victims of both disasters, matching the first $50,000 raised.

Zurvita
“Zurvita and Zurvita Ministries stands in support of our community, Consultants, and employees that have been affected by Hurricane/ Tropical Storm Harvey and the catastrophic damage and flooding in the Houston area and all along the Texas Gulf Coast. Your gift will be routed through Zurvita Ministries and be used to support the members of the Texas Gulf Coast community that have been impacted and are in need.”

We continue to update our coverage and share the industry’s outpouring of love, support and aid to those affected by these natural disasters. If you do not see your company mentioned, please send your updates to editor@directsellingnews.com with Disaster Relief in the subject line.

October 02, 2017

Company Spotlight

Nu Skin Enterprises: Innovation in a Brave Nu World

by J.M. Emmert


Click here to order the October 2017 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


NU SKIN

Founded: 1984
Headquarters: Provo, Utah
Top Executive: CEO Ritch Wood
2016 Revenue: $2.208 billion
Global 100 Ranking: 11
Products: Beauty and Wellness


nameRitch Wood

Nu Skin Enterprises, the skincare and wellness company founded by Blake Roney, Sandie Tillotson and Steve Lund in 1984, has been able to consistently rank among the upper echelon of direct selling companies in the world because it has remained consistently focused on one tenet: innovation.

Today, in a time when worlds are colliding—in the marked differences between the wants and needs of generational cohorts and in the disruptive industries emerging—that focus on innovation has helped the Provo, Utah-based company move confidently into a new world inhabited by a millennial workforce that is driving sales and impacting how products are brought to market through social selling. The company has been able to gracefully pivot in a rapidly evolving world, embracing the newest trends without altering the integrity upon which the company was built. 

“We are finding that what we have advantaged in our industry are very evolutionary entrepreneurs, and that mandates that businesses be highly innovative and constantly forward-looking,” says recently appointed president, Ryan Napierski. 

The 3 P’s Strategy

The pivot in business strategy comes at a transformative time in the company’s history. Earlier this year, President and CEO Truman Hunt accepted a three-year leadership assignment with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The DSA Circle of Honor recipient had his successor in mind when he made the announcement. 

Ritch Wood, now CEO, has been with Nu Skin for 22 years, the past 14 years sitting in the office next to Hunt’s in his role as Chief Financial Officer. “I was involved in the important decisions of the business but was not necessarily responsible for the growth of the business,” says Wood, who was recognized in 2010 as CFO of the Year by Utah Business magazine. He says he was more focused on the financial security of the business.


In the second quarter of this year, social selling helped drive company revenue growth up in the Americas by 14 percent and 1 percent in the EMEA regions. 


Now with that responsibility to continue growing Nu Skin, Wood has been focused on simplifying the Nu Skin opportunity for sales leaders to help them be successful in a world that’s changing—one changing in the direct selling channel’s favor, in his view. “We’re moving to an area where social selling, or person-to-person selling, is so easy and so well accepted,” he says. “It’s a tremendous time for us as we see the enthusiasm coming into our salesforce.”

Based on that enthusiasm, Wood wasted no time in setting his vision for the company. He developed the “3 P’s” growth drivers that focus on the company’s platforms, products and programs. The strategy calls for a platform that simplifies the ability to communicate Nu Skin’s message and expand the channel through the social selling platform, product development that allows today’s entrepreneurs to easily demonstrate products, and programs that increase the velocity of how the company builds its leaders and enables them to be successful. 

“It’s a pretty simple strategy, but it requires alignment as a company and with our sales leaders,” says Wood. “We’re really excited about the direction we are going.”

Social Selling Platform

When Hunt stepped down, Ryan Napierski was named President of the company. Napierski, who had spent the prior eight years leading key international markets for Nu Skin, is now focused on aligning the organization around Wood’s growth strategy.

He says he and other company leaders refined the organization, providing independent business owners with a robust strategy to help them take advantage of current macro-trends related to millennials, the gig economy, and social media networks, as well as the impact those are having on consumer products companies. 

Millennials play a rather key role in Nu Skin’s growth strategy, and with good reason. Their ability to share product and company stories through social selling is already impacting the bottom line. In the second quarter of this year, social selling helped drive company revenue growth up in the Americas by 14 percent and 1 percent in the EMEA regions. 


“We believe that social selling is rapidly becoming the new direct selling.”
Ryan Napierski, President, Nu Skin


However, the millennial savviness with social selling, when combined with their desire to be independent contractors, form the greatest growth opportunity for the company. Recent studies have shown that the macro-trend occurring in the workforce today—in which independent contractors are making up a larger part of the workforce—suggests that by 2020 over 30 percent of the workforce will be independently contracted. 

Napierski says this trend toward the independent workforce is quite clear with the emergence of gig companies such as Uber, Airbnb, Etsy and Lyft. Their disruptive business model is driven by those who are looking for part-time income or want a more flexible schedule.

Of course this is not new for direct selling, he says, as he considers its opportunity the original gig. All direct selling companies, since the business model’s beginning, essentially provide what the gig economy is based on—freedom and flexibility. 

And as direct selling is ideally positioned to play in the gig economy, social selling is simply the integration of social media channels and traditional direct selling practices. “We believe that social selling is rapidly becoming the new direct selling,” Napierski says. “It is another way of describing the future of direct selling. We believe that the guiding principles, or the key success factors of direct selling, very much apply in the social selling world. It’s still a person-to-person direct interaction. There are obviously commercial aspects to that, but it is fostering personal relationships to share an opportunity and sell products. It is an evolution of the historic direct selling model.” 


Nu Skin employees, distributors and families assemble packages for those in need.

Demonstrable Products

Dr. Joseph Chang, Nu Skin’s Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, recently received a badge for 20 years of service. During those two decades, the co-founder of Pharmanex, which was purchased by Nu Skin in the 1990s, has seen much in the innovation and development of the company’s revolutionary products. What he is now witnessing is a transformative stage. That is, the history of innovation for which Nu Skin is known continues, but a social selling component to product development now enhances the sharing of company products.

Why is social selling now a part of product strategy? The fact is that millennials are not only driving product sales, but they are also impacting how products are being brought to market. At Nu Skin, ageLOC has been the brand the company has been using to demonstrate its innovation and to communicate how new anti-aging products are developed, both for skin care and the nutritional supplement categories. However, millennial needs and interests are very different from what the company has seen previously from its customer base and in the historic direct selling channel. 


Recent studies have shown that the macro-trend occurring in the workforce today suggests that by 2020 over 30 percent of the workforce will be independently contracted.


Case in point: Nu Skin’s AP24 Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste has been in the product catalog for many years. Last year, a millennial leader noticed the product, used it and then shared the benefits received from it on social media channels. The result? U.S. sales of the toothpaste not only just skyrocketed, they went off the charts. 

That unmistakable power of social selling made Nu Skin executives sit up and take notice. Now, to capture and ensure millennials remain in the Nu Skin business when they come through the entry door, the company is focusing a significant portion of innovation on developing products that are shareable on social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. And, as millennials are just beginning their careers, Nu Skin is focused on products that appeal to their needs.

At the upcoming Nu Skin Live event in October, many new products will be launched, including ageLOC LumiSpa, a dual-action cleansing and skin renewal device. All of the new products are a tribute to social selling, all easily demonstrable for distributors to share over social media channels. Typically, it takes Chang and his team 12 to 18 months to develop products from scratch. However, to meet the 3 P’s Strategy, they partnered with outside vendors who share the company’s commitment to product innovation.

“We are not relying on just our internal resources,” says Chang. “While innovation has always been a part of our DNA, we want to make this kind of innovation more accessible to millennials. By making these products more shareable and demonstrable, we think we can attract and keep them in the Nu Skin world much longer than before.”

Incentivized Programs

At the Nu Skin Live event, executives will also be unveiling the Program part of the 3 P’s Strategy that is geared for sales leaders and distributors. While details were not available, according to Wood the plan calls for increasing the frequency of payments and making it easier for salespeople to receive commissions more quickly, both of which will help accelerate the pace of the business.

TextNu Skin Enterprises headquarters in Provo, Utah.

“What’s driving the gig economy are millennials, Gen Ys who have been in the workforce for some time and are expecting something different than a traditional employment relationship offers,” says Napierski. “What they are seeking is that flexibility, that freedom, that quality of life.”

That realization caused Nu Skin executives to look at the company’s business model and how its distributors build the business, as well as what behaviors are necessary to reward or incentivize and in what time and sequence they should occur. 

Napierski says they have been working over the past two years on a global project to enhance the company’s business model, including compensation, recognition and incentives, to take advantage of Nu Skin’s historic strengths. While it has always been a leadership-driven opportunity company, he says, leveraging those strengths needs to be more effectively applied to the evolving workforce expectations of gig workers. 

Next Generation Nu Skin

Nu Skin achieved $2.2 billion in annual revenue in 2016. By leveraging the power of social selling, Napierski believes the company can move much more quickly than they previously thought possible toward a goal set during Hunt’s tenure to become a $10 billion business. It was only a question of time, Napierski says. Now, the plan is to get there a lot quicker than had been anticipated before social selling.


“These opportunities don’t come around very often, where the trends of the world seem to be aligned with the trends of your business.”
Ritch Wood, CEO, Nu Skin  


That may appear to be a lofty goal considering the current challenges direct sellers are facing in Mainland China, which accounts for approximately 30 percent of Nu Skin’s revenue. In 2016, China’s overall direct selling market growth was only 1.9 percent, well below the 18 percent it had achieved for the three previous years. In addition, government regulations and a tightening on licensures are sure to affect sales growth for the market. However, in 2016, Nu Skin sales grew in China by 8 percent, and its customer base by 23 percent. For the first six months of 2017, sales growth has increased 6 percent over the prior year. 

Despite decreases in its South Asia-Pacific markets for the first half of this year, growth in China, as well as the Americas (7 percent) and EMEA (3 percent), is providing Nu Skin with momentum for the remainder of 2017. Add in the new growth strategy, and the future does look promising.

“These opportunities don’t come around very often, where the trends of the world seem to be aligned with the trends of your business,” says Wood. “I think it puts us in a special place to have success.”

The $10 billion revenue goal would certainly make Nu Skin the largest direct seller in the world, but Wood is not limiting his sights on the direct selling channel alone. “All of us, as direct sellers, must have a bigger perspective of how we can play in a global economy that needs what we have,” he says. “People want to look and feel better. They want to have economic opportunities, feel confident in themselves, develop a skill set and work with a purpose-driven company that they really enjoy. This is what we offer to the world.” 


“While innovation has always been a part of our DNA, we want to make this kind of innovation more accessible to millennials… by making these products more shareable and demonstrable.”
Dr. Joseph Chang, Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, Nu Skin


And while reaching such goals would be tremendous achievements for the company, in today’s evolving and disruptive world, true success for Nu Skin remains in living up to its potential to impact the lives of millions around the world.

“As we look at our growth strategy in our platforms, products and programs, it’s all about transforming Nu Skin in a way that is more appealing for our independent entrepreneurs to enable them to go out and achieve their goals and their dreams,” says Napierski.

October 02, 2017

Company Focus

J. Hilburn: Powered by Possibility Modernizing Men’s Custom Clothing, One Measure at a Time

by Beth Douglass Silcox

Photo: Veeral Rathod (right) works at the table with Eric Frank, VP, Production Design and Merchandizing.


Click here to order the October 2017 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


J.HILBURN

Founded: 2007
Headquarters: Dallas, Texas
Executives: Veeral Rathod, CEO and Co-Founder
Products: Custom clothing and accessories


nameVeeral Rathod

J.Hilburn set out to build a better menswear brand and modernize made-to-measure men’s clothing a decade ago. The company and its founding team were powered by possibility and unhindered by the constraints of what they believed to be an antiquated apparel industry.

Executives balked at apparel traditions like simple sizing and bulk production—processes that cause long planning and production timelines, drive high product markups and kill innovation. Instead, they prioritized “fit” and high-touch personalized service, and then set about pioneering a scalable supply chain that made good on a brand promise to bring personal style, character and class back to men—one shirt, one suit, one man and one measure at a time.

“Our goal is to preserve the core elements of custom clothing, such as unique sizing patterns for each client, a wide array of personalization options and high-quality construction, while delivering industry-leading production times, quality and consistency,” says Veeral Rathod, CEO and Co-Founder.

“We do not fit the traditional mold for an apparel brand, a retailer or a direct selling company. We value innovative thinking above all else,” he says. 

One Shirt, One Suit, One Man, One Measure at a Time

At launch, J.Hilburn offered a solitary clothing staple for men: the custom dress shirt. Soon its product line expanded to include suits, sport coats, trousers, outerwear, neckwear and belts. All the while, the company beat back such typical apparel roadblocks as compressed margins, heavy inventory and even heavier working capital needs with its commitment to made-to-measure products. But it also faced and conquered production obstacles, including product inconsistency, long delivery times and high prices by tapping an unlikely source—the automotive industry.


“We do not fit the traditional mold for an apparel brand, a retailer or a direct selling company. We value innovative thinking above all else.”
Veeral Rathod, CEO and Co-Founder, J.Hilburn


The team’s lack of experience in the apparel industry drove them to think differently about problem solving. They adopted a “single-piece flow” philosophy, borrowed from car manufacturers, which reimagined material planning, production and shipping processes. In doing so, J.Hilburn benefited from the efficiencies of traditional batch or bulk garment production, while manufacturing custom units. Some 10 years later, intent focus on planning and daily execution is still key to making it work.

Larry Hagenbuch, COO/CFO, says each and every product requirement—each fabric, each option, each measurement—is mapped from J.Hilburn’s ordering platform to the factory’s production system, material handling system and various automated pattern makers and fabric cutters.

J.Hilburn employs weavers, designers, leathersmiths and tailors from Portugal, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and the U.S. The company sources raw wool fiber from New Zealand and Australia and raw cotton from the U.S and Egypt’s Nile River basin, and 96 percent of all of J.Hilburn’s fabrics are made in Italy. Every one of these manufacturing partners is part of the overall mapping system that allows a J.Hilburn Personal Stylist to enter an order that will be cut by an automated, pattern-matching, numerically controlled cutter within 24 hours.

By embracing the essential elements of single-piece flow, J.Hilburn also drives employee accountability and quality control. Employee training is extensive, and throughout production, scanners and RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology provide individual work instructions and garment inspection records. Hourly internal quality audits and a robust corrective action process reduce defects and improve existing processes. Good wages, respectful and dignified work environments, employee promotions and some subsidized housing programs contribute to employee satisfaction and high-quality products. 

All orders and forecasts arrive electronically each day at J.Hilburn’s manufacturing partner factories and fabric mills. Real-time sales information and monthly, 12-month forecasts allow the weekly flow of necessary fabrics from mill to factory and provide time for production to plan capacity and labor needs months in advance. Automatic links between inbound logistics suppliers, UPS and U.S. customs systems further streamline product delivery.

“The result is custom shirts delivered anywhere in the U.S. in less than two weeks—usually one week—while the industry average is four to six weeks; suits are delivered in the U.S. in three to four weeks, while the industry average is six to eight weeks,” Hagenbuch says.


J.Hilburn’s Personal Stylists—70 percent of whom are female—bring their own personal style, work with passion every day and build essential, long-term client relationships.

Personal Stylists: The Power of the Brand

J.Hilburn’s continued growth is powered by technology innovations, including those that empower its salesforce of Personal Stylists to better serve clients.

“Our first priority is to earn your trust by delivering the best-fitting clothing in your closet in a highly efficient way—an accomplishment built upon a personal relationship,” Rathod says. 

Personal Stylists—70 percent of whom are female—are the face of J.Hilburn and an asset that cannot be centralized or automated. They come from all backgrounds, bring their own personal style, work with passion every day and build essential, long-term client relationships. While a great deal is required of them—expertise in measuring, fit and styling, client acquisition and retention, as well as business operations—their businesses engage creativity and offer flexibility, professional development, and best-in-class compensation.

There can, however, be a steep learning curve, so it’s imperative J.Hilburn continues to strengthen and advance training programs and “fit” innovations. In 2017, the company launched T.A.P.E., a proprietary digital fit tool that uses an ever-learning algorithm to help Stylists define a client’s fit preference, which is often a daunting task.

Now Stylists have a simple technology to assist them at the point of sale to ensure they capture measurements and fit preferences correctly. 

“T.A.P.E. has quickly become a Stylist favorite recruiting tool too, as it showcases our company’s stand on technology and our vision of making fit personal and easy,” says Eric Frank, Vice President, Product Design and Merchandising.

In the coming year, J.Hilburn will turn its attention to Stylist training. The executive team is studying strong consumer companies such as Starbucks and Disney, to better understand how to train and onboard, in order to deliver memorable experiences. They will also train on all things fashion—fit, styling, menswear trends and wardrobe building.

A team of top J.Hilburn Stylists will guide all new training initiatives and content going forward. They expect to use more online/web-based technology to create training and user-friendly modules focused on content-driven material made ready, as Stylists need it. This should ease new Stylists into J.Hilburn’s complicated made-to-measure product offering, while simultaneously building their teams.

“This will be the evolution of our School of Style program that is focused on continued education, cultural immersion and community building—led and owned by Stylist Ambassadors and Stylist Mentors,” Frank says.


“J.Hilburn benefits from a healthy financial strength through virtually zero inventory and neutral working capital.”
Veeral Rathod


Tending to the Stylist/client relationship is already a highly digital experience and will continue in 2018. J.Hilburn’s corporate team creates easy, digital client encounters with new products and promotions. A few times each month, established clients receive email featuring a wardrobe staple, such as “The Perfect White Shirt.” With a simple click, they can connect to their Personal Stylist, who has stored their measurements, and place an order. Seasonal “Look Books” are also offered digitally. Corporate-driven communications let Stylists follow up with clients and deliver highly personalized shopping experiences through a combination of technology and face-to-face encounters.

“Our Stylist productivity has grown nearly 50 percent over the past two years, and our average Stylist productivity is more than $50,000 per year,” Rathod says.

The Evolving Business of Dressing Well

“J.Hilburn benefits from a healthy financial strength through virtually zero inventory and neutral working capital. We’ve solved the biggest financial constraints that apparel companies face,” Rathod says.

Ultimately, this translates to high value to clients, who are accustomed to J.Hilburn’s modern menswear point-of-view, its curated seasonal fashion collections, and service of Stylists, all of which help them navigate an ever-evolving men’s dress code.

As men travel more and lines between professional occasions, social events and family time blur, they want well-crafted, well-fitting clothes that are comfortable and versatile—no matter how formal or informal the dress code. This fall, J.Hilburn launches its first made-to-measure sportswear collection.


“Our business is very unique in that our Stylists are not consumers of the product and our consumers are rarely potential Stylists.”
Eric Frank, Vice President, Product Design and Merchandising, J.Hilburn


This new tailored-in-between sportswear intersects luxury and leisure and provides a slightly dressed-down version of highly tailored suiting merged with a less athletically inspired, dressed-up, easygoing sportswear. Polos, chinos, five-pockets and outerwear, in a variety of curated fabrics and a wide range of styling options to satisfy both traditional and modern tastes, will be available.

Performance tailoring—specifically engineered to withstand the impact that extensive travel has on clothing—is a new option, but the real story could be in the fabrics. Traditional sportswear and technical clothing required synthetic fabrics—think Spandex—for stretch and chemicals for performance. But no more. J.Hilburn’s new made-to-measure sportswear collection offers 100 percent Italian wool fabric that delivers stretch without synthetics and is specially finished to be waterproof using a 100 percent organic treatment.

“This means you can put the suit on in the morning, get on a plane, get rained on, run all over town, and still show up looking sharp,” Rathod says.

Rathod says made-to-measure sportswear is a game changer. It has strong appeal for men working in tech and marketing and helps J.Hilburn transition clients from suits to a new dress code.


J.Hilburn CEO and Co-Founder Veeral Rathod (left) walks the mill floor with Alessandro Barberis, CEO of Vitalie Barberis Canonico.

Innovation Above All Else

“Our business is very unique in that our Stylists are not consumers of the product and our consumers are rarely potential Stylists. We need to develop strong capabilities in new customer acquisition, retention and lifetime value,” Frank says.

Brand awareness and brand presence drive new customers to the brand, so J.Hilburn is combining direct selling with storefront retail to accomplish their goals. J.Hilburn Studio opened in Dallas in 2014, but was reimagined last fall as a brand studio, client destination and Stylist training site.


This fall, J.Hilburn aims to solve the male workplace-dressing conundrum—no matter how formal or informal the dress code—with the launch of its very first, made-to-measure sportswear collection.


New clients can walk into J.Hilburn Studio anytime during retail hours, see the brand, feel the fabrics, try on fit samples, work with the full-time corporate team to complete first fittings and get paired with local Stylists. Then they can begin to shop however they would like—in-store, online, or in their own offices.

“We are seeing higher order sizes and customer frequency,” Frank says.

Additionally, J.Hilburn is piloting Stylist Showrooms, a multiuse space in local markets for training, recruiting and sales. A partnership with co-working space company WeWork gives J.Hilburn access to excellent urban commercial buildings, like WeWork’s Tower 49 in midtown Manhattan where a Stylist Showroom opens in October. 

New York City is a vibrant market for J.Hilburn. In fact, it is the company’s fastest-growing city marketplace. Stylists from Long Island, New Jersey and Connecticut meet clients there, and the WeWork space provides retail brand awareness in a most competitive fashion market.

The company is beginning to host trainings and trunk shows at other WeWork spaces around the country, and Frank expects to set up permanent showrooms in these spaces over the next two years.

“Our vision is to build the most personal brand, and these retail locations give us a presence to further connect with our Stylists and clients,” Frank says. Thus far, performance of both strategies is positive. The Dallas Studio will generate $1,000 sales per foot within the first 12 months and New York is trending to double that.

Rathod sums up J.Hilburn’s ultimate goal: “Get the fit right, tell the client what to wear and offer him interaction through multiple channels—in person, digital and retail. When he looks good, he is more confident. When that confidence comes because his Personal Stylist makes it easy, he is a loyal client for life.”

October 02, 2017

Executive Announcements

Executive Announcements, October 2017



Click here to order the October 2017 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


Lauren Walker Promoted to Young Living Chief Supply Officer

Lehi, Utah-based Young Living Essential Oils, a leading supplier of essential oils, has promoted Lauren Walker to the role of Chief Supply Officer.
Since joining Young Living in 2016, Walker and her team have further implemented rigorous sourcing standards while also streamlining manufacturing, warehousing and fulfillment operations.

“Lauren embraces Young Living’s passion for being stewards of the earth,” said Jared Turner, Young Living Chief Operating Officer. “Her experience and expertise in project management, manufacturing, and supply chain gained throughout her career has been a great addition to our strong executive team.”

Walker leads the sourcing pillar of Young Living’s Seed to Seal program (Sourcing, Science and Standards), which governs how Young Living obtains its products and is a major part of how the company verifies its essential oils and premium ingredients were produced and manufactured according to industry best practices.

Throughout her three-decade career with high-profile international companies, Walker has established herself as a leader and an innovator in streamlining global systems. She has worked for Xerox, Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson in multiple capacities. Prior to joining Young Living, she was Vice President of Manufacturing at another top direct selling company.


Dr. Brannick Riggs Joins doTERRA’s Corporate Team

Pleasant Grove, Utah-based doTERRA, a leading global essential oils company, has appointment of Dr. Brannick Riggs to its corporate administration team as Vice President of Healthcare Initiatives and Chief Medical Director of doTERRA’s medical clinic.

Riggs, who has served on doTERRA’s medical advisory board for five years, will continue to practice medicine while advancing the work doTERRA has already begun in research and healthcare in this newly created position.

“Dr. Riggs will lead doTERRA’s new healthcare clinic that assimilates western medicine with integrative health practices,” said David Stirling, doTERRA Founder and CEO. “With over 15 years of medical experience, we can’t imagine someone more prepared or qualified to assist us than Dr. Riggs.”

While serving on the company’s medical advisory board, Riggs made major contributions to doTERRA’s research and education initiatives. Prior to joining doTERRA, he taught as an associate professor at the University of Utah College of Medicine, practiced as a physician and partner at Revere Health and served as Revere Health’s Medical Director of the Northern Utah Region. He graduated from the University of Arizona College of Medicine.


Gold Canyon Announces New President and CEO

Gold Canyon International, the Chandler, Arizona-based direct seller of specialty fragranced products and styled accessories, has appointed A.K. Khalil as its new President and CEO.

Khalil’s appointment marks a strategic move by Gold Canyon’s ownership to bring on an energetic change agent, a leader and a visionary who has 18 years of hands-on experience as a distributor, consultant and corporate executive.

“If I had one word to describe A.K., it would be pure energy,” said John Makoff, Gold Canyon’s Managing Board Member. “Within two minutes of being around him, you immediately begin to feel your energy and excitement being lifted. Couple that with his unique ability to create a clear vision for the future, and excellence in leadership, sales, training and marketing, and we believe Gold Canyon has literally struck gold.”

A University of Michigan graduate, Khalil spent the past five years serving as President of what was then an early-stage direct selling company. With his strategic and tactical leadership, the company soon became a leading direct selling company with annual revenue exceeding $100 million.

“With enhancements planned for all areas of the business, Gold Canyon will soon be considered the gold standard in everything that we touch,” said Khalil. “Our goal is to revolutionize the way direct selling sells.”

Gold Canyon was founded in 1997 and has a salesforce of thousands of Independent Consultants across North America.


Youngevity Appoints Taffuri As VP Of International Sales And Operations

Youngevity International Inc., a leading omni-direct lifestyle company, has appointed Luke Taffuri to its management team as VP of International Sales and Operations. Taffuri brings more than 22 years of direct selling experience in various positions including Chief Operating Officer at Sorvana International, his prior company, which recently was acquired by Youngevity. At Sorvana he developed and led a global expansion campaign that led to the successful opening of 26 international markets.
The VP of International Sales and Operations position was necessitated because of the growing list of countries in which Youngevity now operates. Recent acquisitions have increased geographic expansion and distribution into eight Asian markets while at the same time Youngevity continues to focus on growing its presence in Latin America and Eastern Europe.

Steve Wallach, Chairman and CEO of Youngevity, said, “Our entire management team is very excited to announce the creation of the VP of International Sales and Operations role, and believe we found the perfect candidate in Luke Taffuri.”

Dave Briskie, President and CFO of Youngevity, added, “Mr. Taffuri’s international and business development experience is timely and crucial for us as we continue to expand our global reach.”


Thirty-One Hires Jeff Dahl to Serve as President

Columbus, Ohio-based Thirty-One Gifts has hired Jeff Dahl, an industry leader who has worked extensively in more than 30 countries, as the company’s President. Cindy Monroe, Thirty-One’s founder, will continue in her role as CEO.

“We’ve worked hard over the past few years to set Thirty-One on a path of long-term growth,” Monroe said. “Jeff’s background, skill set and international experience will complement the strengths of others on our leadership team. With Jeff on board, I am confident we can take Thirty-One to the next level.”

Dahl has more than 35 years of experience working for internationally recognized companies such as The Coca-Cola Company and Lufthansa. He has spent the past 12 years in the direct selling industry. Throughout his career, he has driven growth and delivered bottom-line results across varied industries, channels and markets while balancing company culture and values.

“I’m looking forward to joining the company and getting to further know the team,” said Dahl. “It’s my goal to use my international and cross-functional business experience to lead continual growth for Thirty-One on both a national and a global scale.”

In his new role, Dahl will focus on driving innovation and the execution of Thirty-One’s major growth initiatives.


Douglas Robinson Joins Heka Corp. As CEO

Heka Corp., an early stage products and services company in the healthy living space, has hired Douglas Robinson as CEO. Through its partnership with World Global Network Corp., Heka’s technology-based health products will join World Global’s other offerings of media, mobile and wearable technologies, including Helo, its smartband and bio monitoring system. Future Heka products will include diagnostic and related analysis kits, smart bands approved for the healthcare sector and a range of apps such as a non-invasive, blood glucose monitoring app, which is soon to enter clinical trials.

Robinson brings more than 30 years of healthcare industry leadership expertise to this role, having held senior leadership positions with PricewaterHouseCoopers, Deloitte Consulting and United Health Group. Robinson also spent several years leading a successful health and wellness company in the direct selling channel.

“I am very excited and honored to take Heka Corporation forward. We have the opportunity to arm healthcare consumers with wearable devices that will forever change the relationship between patient and provider.”

Fabio Galdi, CEO of World Global Network Corp., added, “I am delighted that Doug has joined Heka. I am confident that with Doug’s experienced leadership, Heka will successfully navigate the regulatory environment and will build a successful partnership with us, so that World Global Network can supply the need for Helo in the healthcare sector.”

October 02, 2017

DSA News

H.R. 3409: A Bill to Protect All

by Joseph N. Mariano 



Click here to order the October 2017 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


I am proud of how direct selling truly is open to all, with its low risk and ease of entry, no requirement for formal qualifications or training or high capital investment, and with ease of exit should a participant decide it’s not for them. Direct selling can offer a route to entrepreneurialism to anyone who might otherwise lack another opportunity; as such, direct selling is thriving in all our communities and is increasingly representative of the rich diversity of the United States.

African-American and Hispanic-American entrepreneurs, particularly, recognize direct selling as an attractive, affordable way to start and build a business, in a manner of their choosing and conducive to their economic, family and social priorities. U.S. Direct Selling Association (DSA) figures show that a record 20.5 million people were involved in direct selling in the United States in 2016, a 1.5 percent increase from the previous year. Of those, approximately 9 percent are African-American and some 22 percent Hispanic-American.

People from all walks of life have forged significant businesses with direct selling. But for many, particularly from minority, immigrant and other underserved communities, direct selling serves as a vital supplement to a meager family income or, indeed, the only income for a single mom. Direct selling is a lifeline for those struggling to put themselves through school, or needing to stay close to home to care for sick or elderly family members. All these entrepreneurs deserve the strongest protection possible from bad actors.

Pyramid schemes target vulnerable populations. Masquerading as legitimate direct selling operations, they take advantage of those striving to better themselves and improve the lives of their families. Pyramid schemes offer no protections or safeguards to those involved; rather, they often impose high startup costs and convince unsuspecting participants to buy large amounts of products or services that cannot be easily sold or returned. Pyramid schemes harm consumers and legitimate direct selling companies. Pyramid schemes must be stopped.

All 50 states have laws defining and prohibiting pyramid schemes. However, despite these important protections in the states, no such legislation exists at the federal level, exposing entrepreneurs and consumers to the threat posed by pyramid schemes. The Anti-Pyramid Promotion Scheme Act of 2017, H.R. 3409, introduced by Representatives Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Marc Veasey (D-TX), is bipartisan legislation that provides a clear definition of pyramid fraud, making it easier to identify and prosecute these pernicious schemes.

H.R. 3409 will strengthen the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) ability to prosecute bad actors by formally banning inventory loading and by requiring all direct selling companies to guarantee individual sellers the right to sell back unsold inventory at 90 percent of the original net cost (a provision already enforced by the DSA Code of Ethics Administrator). When enacted, the FTC will be empowered to prosecute any company that fails to institute such a policy.

H.R. 3409 is a critical safeguard that protects direct selling—a provider of opportunity for all Americans, including recent immigrants, minorities, and other vulnerable members of our society. Above all, H.R. 3409 strengthens protections for entrepreneurs and their customers from the harm posed by pyramid schemes.

Direct selling will continue to be one of the most available routes to business ownership for minorities and recent immigrants. DSA strongly supports H.R. 3409 and urges all direct selling companies, individual company executives, and independent salespeople to do the same. Please visit DSA’s Direct Selling Advocacy Center at www.dsa.org/advocacy/direct-selling-advocacy-center to urge your elected representative to co-sponsor the Anti-Pyramid Promotion Scheme Act of 2017, H.R. 3409.


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

October 02, 2017

Top Desk

Unifying an Industry

by Doug DeVos


Click here to order the October 2017 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


Never before has the industry seen a global environment filled with this much opportunity. More people than ever want a life that allows them to work when and where they want. Consumers are buying quality products that help them look and feel more confident. And people are increasingly seeking experiences that connect them to others with similar values and goals. During my tenure with the WFDSA, we’ve been focused on better positioning the industry to capture this opportunity and, today, the foundation has been laid to help the industry do just that.

Much of our work to create an even better environment for the industry boils down to one overarching issue: gaining clarity around who we are and what we do. Too often, misunderstanding around what we sell, how people earn money and what separates legitimate direct selling from illegal schemes has led to misperceptions and misrepresentations. As a result, the WFDSA has worked to unify the industry to address this. Together, we’re creating Message Guidelines that will provide guidance on how all of us can more clearly and consistently articulate who we are as an industry and what we’re about. The goal is to make sure the marketplace—including regulators and consumers—understands clearly all aspects of direct selling so that consumers can make intelligent choices about buying from direct sellers or deciding to join a company as a representative. 

We’ve also worked to make sure the standards by which we operate as an industry are the highest they can be. That’s why we revised our Code of Ethics that establishes industry standards to ensure an ethical marketplace. While not a law, in most cases, it exceeds local legal requirements, and all businesses that are members of a DSA must pledge to adopt, enforce and publicize the DSA Code of Ethics. 

Additionally, we’ve worked to stress the importance of setting appropriate expectations around direct selling’s income opportunity. Most people work direct selling part time and earn a part-time income. It’s important that people who join the industry understand this and have realistic expectations of how they can be rewarded for the results of their effort. 

We’ve also put more focus on ensuring strong consumer protections are front and center of what we say and do. The industry’s success is dependent on the confidence people have in direct selling’s products and business opportunity. Strong consumer protections go far in instilling this confidence when people sell, purchase and represent direct selling products. Many direct selling companies have strong consumer protections in place already. But more needs to be done to articulate these protections so people better understand products can be returned and people can exit the business opportunity without getting hurt. 


Much of our work to create an even better environment for the industry boils down to one overarching issue: gaining clarity around who we are and what we do.


Finally, the WFDSA and local DSAs have done a lot of work around helping regulators and consumer protection agencies to create an even playing field for everyone who wants to participate in direct selling. We’ve been working around the world on a local level to help them better understand the definition of legitimate direct selling and to ensure rules are fair, transparent and protect consumers from fraud. The clearer and more concise the legislation defining our industry, the more likely we are to have an environment where all legitimate direct selling participants have the opportunity to succeed.

None of these goals could have been achieved if not for the partnership, support and hard work of the WFDSA Operating Group and DSAs. Together, we’ve had a busy and fulfilling few years. The industry is growing and thriving around the world. Estimated retail sales for global direct selling is $183 billion. Three-year compound annual growth rate (2014-17) is 5.2 percent. Over this same time period, millions have continued to represent our member companies and so many new people have joined. These numbers illustrate the strength of the industry, its sustained growth over time and the value of what we provide. But we also know, tremendous potential remains. 

Magnus Brännström, CEO of Oriflame, is the incoming Chairman of the WFDSA, and I’m fully confident his leadership will continue to advance the many strategies and initiatives that are currently underway. 

It’s been a tremendous honor to serve the WFDSA. Never have I been more confident and optimistic about the industry’s future than now. The environment is ripe for direct selling businesses. People want an opportunity like ours as well as the products we sell. As long as we continue together on the course we’ve begun of clearly establishing what we do and why, there’s no limit to the success we can achieve.


 Doug DeVos is President of Amway and outgoing Chairman of WFDSA.

October 02, 2017

New Perspectives

Do the Right Thing

by John Addison


Click here to order the October 2017 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


John Addison spent 35 years in the corporate offices of one of the world’s largest direct selling companies, Primerica Inc., most recently serving as Co-CEO. Since his retirement, he wrote the best-selling book Real Leadership: 9 Simple Practices for Leading and Living with Purpose, and he now serves as Leadership Editor for SUCCESS magazine and President and CEO of Addison Leadership Group. He regularly offers his leadership insights to Direct Selling News readers and has answered some of your questions below. If you have a question you’d like John to answer in a future issue, email editor@directsellingnews.com.

More and more companies are taking a “customer-first” approach to growing their businesses. What is your recommendation when it comes to the best way to develop a robust customer base?

Tremendous customer service is what’s going to keep a customer loyal to your company. Be available when they need to get in touch with you. If a customer has to go through 89 call trees in order to actually talk to a human being, they are going to get frustrated and find their goods and services somewhere else. 

Most purchasing decisions, including in direct sales, are very emotionally based. Some people will change their minds, or want to discontinue an auto-shipment, or return a product. Serving all customers well is the way to keep them coming back. 

John Addison

How can our company better equip our salesforce to provide outstanding customer service?

First, training the salesforce with the appropriate level of knowledge to answer their customers’ questions is important, of course. But a growing company will be constantly attracting a large number of new people, and they aren’t going to be well-versed in all the aspects of your product line. So, it’s also very important to train the salesforce on how to get the customer in touch with corporate’s service area to answer any questions or concerns. 
This takes us back to your first question, because once the customer reaches the corporate customer service, the process should create a great experience for the customer, regardless of what their need is. 

Is it advantageous to offer customer loyalty programs, or is it better for the business to position loyalty rewards at the distributor level, to attract possible business builders?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question, when you are evaluating loyalty rewards or any other incentives. My definition of a good business in direct sales is whether you could sell the product to customers without the business opportunity. 

A direct selling company is only successful if there is a large base of customers who are not involved in the compensation plan. However, from the company’s perspective, their No. 1 customer is the independent representative. They are the cornerstone of your business, and because of that, it’s critical that you have great incentives and promotions for them. 

Selling is hard work. As the corporate team, you need to do everything possible to lift up and support your salesforce. At the same time, the salesforce must focus on their customers and building those relationships. Building in programs that support both relationships is actually necessary.

How can a small- to mid-sized company keep pace with customers’ delivery expectations today? We just can’t keep up with the Amazons of the world.

I think this is perhaps the most difficult challenge for our channel today. I call it the “Amazonation of America” and it truly affects all delivery expectations from every company. Of course, most companies don’t have billions or even millions of dollars to invest to compete at that level. 

If I were running a company today, I would focus on three things. First, having excellent customer service as we’ve already talked about. Great customer service can overcome nearly every obstacle. 

Second, building an infrastructure that can deliver consistent service. Don’t allow internal problems to interfere with the infrastructure’s objectives to hit delivery targets. 
Third, set appropriate expectations with customers up front, and then meet those expectations. People can be happy with a reasonable delivery time that is met consistently, as long as they know what to expect. 

How should our leadership team respond to increased scrutiny of the direct selling channel from regulators and critics?

Deal with regulators by taking an honest look at your business. It can be easy to convince yourself that certain practices are OK, just because you’ve always done them that way. You have to look at your business with the realistic eye of a critic, not through rose-colored glasses. Modify any practice that needs to be aligned with the regulators. One of the most important aspects of the culture we created at Primerica was to be very vigilant about our word. We said, “We’re going to deliver on our promises to people.” It’s important to create a culture where people know doing the right thing is critical.

Our industry is always going to have critics, because there are a lot of people who just don’t like sales. We need to focus instead on those things we can be proud of—that we tell the truth about our business, that we don’t over-exaggerate by telling everybody that they’re going to be a millionaire, and we don’t tell people that this is an easy path.

I don’t think we should spend time saying “I want to make all of my critics happy.” That will never happen. Regardless of what company you are with, it’s not easy to be a top seller and earner, but it is realistic and it happens for those who work hard.  

Our channel would cut down on some of the criticism if we were more honest up front with recruits and tell them, “Hey look, it takes work. It takes consistency and persistence to win here. But it’s definitely possible.” That motivates the people who are going to do it. 

What role should teaching about customer acquisition play in our events?

All events should be a careful combination of celebration and skill building—not just about customer acquisition, but all necessary skills. The event should not be all rah-rah-rah, sis-boom-bah. The way to combine those two elements is to make your events a showcase of success. You do this by having the people who are succeeding at a particular aspect of the business in front of the group, sharing their stories and techniques. For example, you have the people who are the best at recruiting talking about recruiting, and have the people who are great at building their business sharing their stories about how to develop a client base. Telling their stories will equip others to follow in their footsteps.

October 02, 2017

Working Smart

Start Here: 3 Strategies to Jumpstart Customer Acquisition

by David Isserman


Click here to order the October 2017 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


Imagine waking up tomorrow morning. As you roll out of bed and reach for your phone, a series of notifications flash on your screen that a multilevel marketing company has been targeted by the FTC for deceptive business practices. This is a reality that direct selling industry executives may face.

As a result of recent significant FTC settlements with Herbalife and Vemma, along with Amazon’s ongoing influence over global e-commerce markets, the direct selling industry has been forced to rapidly evolve.

Direct selling companies have been compelled to shift away from an independent consultant growth strategy to a broader approach that builds a balanced ratio of retail customers (commonly referred to as “preferred customers”) and independent consultants.

For many direct selling executives, this business model transformation has been uncomfortable. Historically, direct selling companies have provided the tools, training and sales compensation incentives for independent consultants to build their own independent businesses. Now these companies must also provide the expertise and guidance to help their consultants nurture and acquire customers interested in exclusively becoming product consumers. 

Fortunately, due to the complex nature of multilevel marketing structures, many companies have invested heavily in advanced e-commerce platforms. With this foundation in place, leveraging the following three strategies can help your company improve its customer acquisition process.

Strategy 1: Use Heat Maps and Scroll Maps for Easier Website Analysis and Optimization

Can visitors easily navigate your website? How do you know if you’re efficiently leading prospective customers toward a purchase?

Determining how visitors engage with your website typically begins with analyzing your website analytics. While sifting through rows of data can be mind-numbing, there is one software tool that can simplify this process through easy-to-read visual maps of your website traffic. 

Visual mapping can be broken into two categories—heat maps and scroll maps. Heat maps can help you to understand which links and images your visitors click on most often. Heat maps can even uncover hidden opportunities to create additional links if you find that visitors are commonly clicking on images or other content types that do not contain active links. 

Scroll maps can help you determine how far down a page your visitors move before they abandon the page. They can also help display where on the page content typically cuts off before scrolling is required.

With these visual maps in hand, we are able to better position, and reposition, key pieces of content such as lead generation forms, “Add to Cart” or “Buy Now” buttons, and featured product images. By optimizing the experience for website visitors, we are able to better nurture them toward a purchase. 

Quick Tip: Are you familiar with the advertising term, “above the fold”? This refers to the upper half of a newspaper or tabloid that is visible when folded. Editors prefer to place their most engaging content in this section to entice readers to purchase their papers from newsstands.  The same strategy can be applied to website content. Online visitors typically have shortened attention spans, so place your best-performing content and call-to-action buttons on the top half of your pages so prospective customers don’t have to scroll to take the next step in their customer journey.

There are several third-party software companies that offer this mapping technology.  

At Touchstone Essentials, we rely heavily on visualization mapping to optimize the placement of our content. As a result of this optimization strategy, we have increased the number of pages viewed by each visitor and increased overall conversion rates. 

Strategy 2: Use Social Media Retargeting to Help Win Over New Customers

Seasoned marketing executives know that customers need between six and eight interactions with a brand before they complete a purchase. By deploying an advertising strategy that retargets past website visitors, companies can effectively nurture prospects into customers. Considered one of the most cost-effective forms of online advertising, retargeting can achieve returns approaching 7x.  According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, almost three-quarters of online adults use Facebook. Even if you are not active on Facebook, your customers most likely are. With over 2 billion monthly users, Facebook is a cost-effective retargeting platform that can keep your message in front of prospective customers. 

By deploying an advertising strategy that retargets past website visitors, companies can effectively nurture prospects into customers.


In its simplest form, Facebook retargeting can be set up quickly. You will first need to install the Facebook pixel on your website to allow Facebook to start collecting data about your online visitors. Next, you will need to define your audiences to target. Typically, predefined audiences can include blog readers, product page viewers and cart (or checkout) abandoners. Finally, you’ll need to set up your ad creatives in Facebook to closely align to these predefined audiences. By matching the ad messaging to your predefined audiences, you can continue to nurture and guide your prospects through the buying process.

As an example, it can be assumed that your predefined audience of “visitors who only visit your company’s blog” may only be interested in accessing additional blog articles. With this particular audience, your retargeting strategy should be to promote additional blog articles. Then once one of these visitors views a specific product page, you can then begin promoting the benefits of that product to help convert them into paying customers.

Quick Tip: People are not on Facebook to shop. They are on Facebook to be entertained.  For better retargeting results, your advertisements shouldn’t focus on hard selling, but should instead share engaging content and customer stories to keep your prospects interested in returning to your website to complete their customer journey.

 

Since starting our social media retargeting strategy at Touchstone Essentials, we have seen a significant lift in customer acquisition rates along with an almost 20x increase in engagement on Facebook.

Strategy 3: Building Trust (and Customer Sales) Faster with Reviews

If Amazon has taught us one important lesson, it is the importance that product reviews play in increasing conversion rates. Reviews build trust with shoppers, and shoppers only buy once they trust the merchant they are buying from. 

Review software companies proactively help companies manage their online customer reviews. Investing in one of these third-party review systems will allow you to easily and seamlessly create campaigns to collect and showcase your reviews throughout your website and across the web on search engines and social media platforms.  

Quick Tip: Your independent consultants are your top advocates and brand ambassadors. Start building your reviews by proactively reaching out to your active consultants first. This will not only help you lay the groundwork for better trust-building campaigns, but you will also see a measureable increase in conversion and engagement rates on your website.

Reviews are just one of several types of trust-building strategies you can leverage to increase your conversion rates. Other forms of trust building include guest article contributions from industry experts, celebrity product endorsements and credible third-party certifications. 

Shifting from a traditional multilevel marketing model that rewards growing the independent consultant to a model that promotes a balanced ratio of independent consultants to retail customers can seem like a herculean task. Fortunately for most direct selling companies, e-commerce foundations have already been laid. By leveraging existing e-commerce platforms with the strategies outlined above, direct selling companies can immediately improve their customer acquisition processes to help remain compliant with regulatory agencies.


David serves as the Chief Operating Officer for Touchstone Essentials, a direct selling organization specializing in natural, plant-based nutrition.

 

October 02, 2017

Financial News

2017 2Q Review: Another Step Back 



Click here to order the October 2017 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


With several companies raising their respective outlooks following their first-quarter results, we had thought the operating environment for direct sellers was looking up; we were wrong.

Each of the five U.S.-based publicly traded direct sellers with more than $1 billion in equity market cap disappointed investors with their second-quarter results, either in the results themselves or in the corresponding outlook for the remainder of the year. On average, stocks for the group declined 7 percent on the next trading day after results were reported, with each individual stock showing declines. See Exhibit 1 below. This is not surprising, considering, as shown in Exhibit 2 on page 16, the sharp deceleration in organic sales growth experienced by the group in the second quarter.

Herbalife (HLF) and Nu Skin (NUS) had been keeping expectations low for the second quarter, so those stocks dropped the least on reporting day, down 2 percent and 1 percent respectively. Herbalife had issued a press release in early June warning of softness primarily due to the focus on FTC settlement implementation in the U.S. and a shift to new leadership in China, as well as unexpected softness in Mexico; its stock had drifted downward heading into the second-quarter release in early August in anticipation of tepid results. Nu Skin had been emphasizing all along how tough comparisons were in the second quarter following the success of its Limited Time Offer program in the year ago quarter of ageLOC Youth and ageLOC Me, so while results were soft, they were about in line with expectations.

Tupperware (TUP), Avon (AVP) and USANA (USNA) fared less well with their stocks declining on their reporting days by 8 percent, 11 percent and 11 percent respectively. 

Tupperware’s decline was a sharp reversal from the first quarter when it beat its forecast and raised its full year outlook. In the second quarter, recent challenges in Indonesia, a large market for them, seemed to worsen, offsetting continued strong performances in China and Brazil. Emerging markets (69 percent of total sales) continue to perform well overall, up 6 percent in local currency sales and accounting for more than all of the growth since developed markets declined 7 percent. Along with the second-quarter release, the company announced significant restructuring initiatives, most notably the shuttering of its flagging BeautiControl business in the U.S. and efforts to improve profitability in Europe, where margins have come under pressure over the past several years. Europe used to be the most profitable among its durables businesses but has fallen behind.

Once again Avon stock declined double digits following its second-quarter report. Organic growth decelerated to -4 percent from -1 percent in the first quarter and 0 percent in the fourth quarter. While management reiterated its fiscal year outlook for positive organic sales growth, 100-140 basis points of adjusted operating margin expansion and a return to slightly positive free cash flow, with the soft second-quarter results, management indicated full-year results would come in at the low end of expectations. Concurrently with the release, the company indicated that CEO Sheri McCoy would step down early next year and a search for a replacement is underway. With the company in the middle of executing a multi-year transformation plan following years of fundamental deterioration, an extended period of time at this point with a lame duck CEO does not inspire confidence, which is reflected in the stock price declining an additional 17 percent in the weeks following the 11 percent decline on reporting day.

USANA also reported results below expectations, which the company attributed to the maturing of its business in the Philippines, a slower than expected launch in Indonesia as well as continued challenges with My Smart foods, a recent entry into the food category for this company, which has been traditionally known for nutritional supplements. Management also noted that there have been numerous changes in leadership over the past year, including making a co-CEO the sole CEO, a new President, CFO and CIO and others in science and field development.

IT enhancements seem to be a common underlying theme among direct sellers these days. For example, USANA’s new CIO is working with expanded budgets for IT enhancements that the company believes will deliver a superior customer experience and allow for more flexibility on many business drivers including promotions and incentive offerings. Additionally, after spending a year developing the technology infrastructure needed for compliance with its FTC settlement, Herbalife has hired an outside customer relationship management vendor, Salesforce, to help manage the newly minted data gathering systems in order for the company and its distributors to understand its end customers better and create a more personalized experience for them.

We recently visited Salt Lake City and saw how technology is driving a change in business models to adapt to the new “social selling” concept of using social media to build businesses. Sales leaders act in much the same role as blogger influencers to get people in their networks to try products and then have the word spread from there. New products are being developed specifically with social selling in mind that come with a lower price point and are easily demonstrable. Companies are developing technology-based tools to help sales leaders manage their businesses using social media, and compensation plans are being modified for quicker payouts. 

More than once did we hear Uber mentioned as an alternative source of quick home-based income, so new business models such as that one also have entered the competitive set with regard to capturing entrepreneurial home-based business builders. 

To that end, we note that Stockholm-listed direct seller Oriflame had its stock increase by 11 percent when it reported earnings on good results and stated, “During the quarter, the utilization of mobile apps continued to increase together with the share of website visits from mobile devices. More than 10 percent of global orders are now being placed using the Oriflame app… in total, the Oriflame app suite generates more than 5,000 new users daily, making it the fastest-growing digital channel in the company.” 

This may help explain why Nu Skin went to Silicon Valley for its new CFO.

Disclosure: Douglas M. Lane and members of his household own equity and/or equity derivative securities in Herbalife Ltd., which had previously been publicly disclosed in a Direct Selling News article originally published in January 2013. Other than mentioned above, neither I, Douglas M. Lane, nor a member of my household, owns any security(ies) which is/are the subject of this article. Neither I, nor a member of my household is an officer, director, or advisory board member of the issuer(s) or has another significant affiliation with the issuer(s) that is/are the subject of this research report. I do not know or have reason to know at the time of this publication of any other material conflict of interest.

October 02, 2017

News in Brief

News in Brief, October 2017



Click here to order the October 2017 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


Total Life Changes and Nucerity Announce Industry First

Fair Haven, Michigan-based Total Life Changes (TLC) and Houston, Texas-based NuCerity International announced a joint venture partnership between companies in which they will capitalize on the strengths and synergies in product offerings and operating markets of both TLC and NuCerity.

The partnership is a first in network marketing: two international companies, with combined sales approaching $250 million, coming together to market each other’s branded products globally.

“Our core competency is skincare; TLC’s core competency is health and wellness,” said NuCerity Founders Lonnie McKinney and David Dillingham. “By combining efforts we’re able to offer ‘instant impact’ products that already enjoy a track record of sales success and a history of documented results to our respective distributors and customers.”

Both companies will maximize their synergies to benefit their independent business owners. “Our shared goal is to provide each company’s distributors an opportunity to expand their markets and create successful independent businesses built on product efficacy, synergy and expertise in the direct selling industry,” said TLC Founder Jack Fallon.


UN Publishes Amway Research on Benefit of Plant Food Consumption

More and more frequently, science is suggesting that people all over the world could live healthier longer if they would eat more vegetables and fruit. Yet, despite the evidence and interventions to increase consumption, three out of four adults worldwide still don’t get recommended amounts in their daily diets.

Now, a long-time researcher on the connections between human health benefits and plant foods is advocating for better methods to understand why consumption remains so low and how to address the problem more effectively.

Keith Randolph, Ph.D., Amway Global Research & Development, presented his views on the issue in an article published by the United Nations Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN) in a recent issue of its newsletter, UNSCN News. 

“Several key studies have identified dietary patterns featuring an abundance and variety of plant foods as a common characteristic in populations that experience low risk for chronic disease and exceptional healthy longevity,” said Randolph. 

Randolph went on to explain just how plants can help improve one’s nutrition. “Plants contain natural chemicals, called phytonutrients, that help to protect them against infectious microbes and environmental stresses,” Randolph said. “Research now shows that phytonutrients from plant foods perform similar beneficial and protective functions in the human body.”


Natural Disasters: Direct Selling Relief Efforts

In Recent months, three natural disasters have struck North America and the Caribbean, killing hundreds of people and causing billions of dollars in damage. Many people in the direct selling community, particularly those in Texas and Florida, were affected by these horrific events. 

In late August, Hurricane Harvey devastated the Houston area, causing catastrophic floods that claimed over 70 lives and displaced hundreds of thousands more. 

In early September, Hurricane Irma roared through the Caribbean, devastating Barbuda, St. Maarten and St. Thomas, before impacting Cuba and then coming ashore as a Category 3 storm in southwestern Florida.

On Sept. 7, an 8.1 magnitude earthquake rocked the southern coast of Mexico, just north of Juchitan. It was the most powerful earthquake to hit the country in a century and was felt by an estimated 50 million people. There were nearly 100 fatalities. 

In addition to these disasters, throughout 2017, wildfires have claimed almost 8 million acres of land, from Georgia to Washington. There are currently 2 million acres aflame across the West and Northwest, including 100 active wildfires and 41 uncontained large blazes. 

There are powerful stories of direct selling companies coming to the aid of this global community. Please go to www.directsellingnews.com to read more about this generous industry’s continuing support.


Inc. 5000: Which Direct Selling Companies Made the Fastest-Growing List?

Six direct selling companies made Inc. magazine’s newly released Inc. 5000, the annual list of the fastest-growing private companies in America. Texas-based WorldVentures, Florida-based Jeunesse Global, Arizona-based Isagenix, Ohio-based Pure Romance, and Utah-based ARIIX and Xyngular were all repeat honorees on the prestigious list.

The Inc. 5000 ranking represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses. To compile its ranking of U.S.-based, privately held companies, Inc. measures percentage revenue growth over the past three years, in this case 2013–2016. 

The 2017 ranking, unveiled online at Inc.com, is the most competitive crop in the list’s history. The average company on the list achieved a mind-boggling three-year average growth of 481 percent. To see the full Inc. 5000 list, go to www.inc.com/inc5000.

2017 RANK

COMPANY

3-YEAR GROWTH

2016 REVENUE

2016
RANKING

INDUSTRY

799

WorldVentures

565%

$880.4M

677

Travel & Hospitality

867

Jeunesse Global

518%

$1335.9 M

481

Consumer Products & Services

1581

ARIIX

249%

$150.3 M

1546

Consumer Products & Services

3098

Isagenix

106%

$924.3 M

2206

Health

3577

Pure Romance

86%

$203.2 M

4768

Consumer Products & Services

4948

Xyngular

42%

$56.1 M

4005

Health


DSEF Takes Bold Step Forward to Educate Direct Selling’s Future Leaders

The Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF) has supported the direct selling channel for decades with community events, academic programs, consumer awareness activities and other initiatives. In 2016, under the leadership of Chairman Dave Wentz and Executive Director Gary Huggins, DSEF took a bold step by committing to a singular focus on growing its academic programs by expanding both the scale and impact. 

The new strategy is fueled by the belief that creating deeper partnerships with the academic community—both with professors through the Fellows Program, and directly with students through resource materials—is the best way to influence the future of direct selling. The strategy is based on a new purpose statement, developed over a multi-day planning session with both leaders from direct selling companies and academics. It reads: The purpose of DSEF is to engage, equip and empower educators to provide students with an accurate understanding of the channel as a powerful go-to-market strategy, distribution model and entrepreneurial option, and to teach the correct principles of direct selling.

The strategy also includes ambitious goals over the next three years, such as establishing partnerships with 200 professors through the DSEF Fellows Program and reaching more than 60,000 students per year with classroom content, research and campus programs. The new focus has already generated much interest, with more than 89 professors from universities across the country participating as Fellows and reaching more than 10,000 students, a number expected to double in the coming academic year.

 “Our goal is to ensure that college students understand the direct selling path to market and micro-entrepreneurship opportunity,” Huggins says. “Equally important, we’re also partnering with influential academics to produce data-driven validation of direct selling as a viable channel through original research and publishing.”

The DSEF Fellows already have several research projects underway, including those on socio-economic impact, reasons why people join, stay or leave direct selling, student attitudes and knowledge about the business model, success drivers of high performers, and satisfaction rates of independent contractors compared to franchisers. 

DSEF Funds Award-Winning Paper

At the 2017 Global Sales Science Institute (GSSI) Conference held in June in Mauritius, Africa, Julian Allendorf (Ph.D. Candidate, Institute of Marketing, University of Muenster, Germany) received the GSSI 2017 Best Doctoral Student Paper Award for his paper on “Direct Selling Distributors – Why Do They Stay or Leave!” developed through a grant and data provided by DSEF. The prize-winning paper is based on Allendorf’s joint work with DSEF Fellows Dr. Anne T. Coughlan, Ph.D. (Northwestern University) and Dr. Manfred Krafft (University of Muenster, Germany), and demonstrates how DSEF’s academic partners are producing data-driven research that validates the channel. 

The authors analyzed a unique dataset of over 13,000 individual direct selling distributors from 68 firms. Coughlan and Krafft used regression analysis to determine which factors are most likely to have a positive or negative impact on the decision to stay versus the decision to leave. The drivers of income identified in the study, also called predictor variables, are consistent with those used in academic research and the long history of research on selling. 


Epicure Marks 20-Year Milestone in Business

Epicure Selections, the Canadian food and cookware company, is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

To mark the milestone, the direct sales company recently staged its national conference in downtown Victoria, British Columbia. More than 800 people attended the event to recognize the family business that was founded by Sylvie Rochette in 1997.

Rochette, who is still active in the company, and her daughter, CEO Amelia Warren, are helping time-starved families to share good food, eat healthier and live better. Epicure, which is headquartered in North Saanich, has a salesforce of 10,000 spread across Canada and brings in more than $50 million in revenue annually.

“We are excited,” said Warren, who has held the CEO position for the past seven years. “We are growing. We are grateful to be doing business on Vancouver Island and Victoria.”

Rochette began the company by selling blends of spices at a country market. In 2007, she created the direct-sales operation. 


Oriflame Achieves Double-Digit Growth in Q2 2017

Switzerland-based Oriflame Cosmetics, the direct seller of cosmetics and beauty products, announced financial results for the second quarter of 2017. Local currency sales increased by 11 percent and Euro sales increased by 12 percent to €347.6 million (€309.6 million).

For the three months ended June 30, 2017:

  • EBITDA amounted to €47.9 million (€40.6 million).
  • Operating margin was 11.7 percent (9.9 percent), favorably impacted by 40 bps from currencies, and operating profit was €40.5 million (€30.8 million).
  • Net profit was €19.9 million (€18.1 million) and diluted EPS €0.35 (€0.32), negatively impacted by a one-off translation reserve loss on exchange rate of around €3 million. 
  • Cash flow from operating activities was €33.9 million (€35.8 million).

 “We are pleased to report double-digit growth in both Euro and local currency with healthy profitability improvements and a strong financial position,” said CEO Magnus Brännström. “During the quarter, our strategic priorities continued to serve as important drivers of growth.” 


Direct Selling Expansions in the Third Quarter

New Markets

  • Ambit Energy, Japan
  • LifeVantage, Germany
  • Mary Kay, Peru
  • Organo – The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Spain, France,
  • Italy, Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Ireland, Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, United Kingdom, Slovakia and Romania
  • WorldVentures – Guam, Jamaica, Latvia, New Zealand and Uganda

New Facilities

  • doTERRA, third phase of corporate campus expansion, Pleasant Grove, Utah
  • doTERRA, Fulfillment Center, Lindon, Utah
  • Vemma, European headquarters, Austria

October 02, 2017

Publisher's Note

Final Quarter Plans Are Under Way

by Lauren Lawley Head



Click here to order the October 2017 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


October feels like a milestone month. The frenzy of back-to-school is behind us, fall is in full swing and the holiday season is just around the corner. In business, October kicks off the final quarter of the year, giving executive teams just three more months to achieve—or perhaps exceed—the goals they set on Jan. 1.

Lauren Lawley Head

In this month’s edition, our cover story explores one of the biggest strategic shifts many companies put in motion this year: distinguishing customers from business-building distributors. Writer Heather Martin spoke with a number of experts on the subject, as well as executives in the trenches, to provide an update on this transition. Our Company Spotlight on Nu Skin Enterprises examines how the company is managing growth on a global scale, and the Company Focus on J.Hilburn shares insights on how the company is using technology to scale. You’ll also find updates on the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations from outgoing Chairman Doug DeVos and the status of H.R. 3409, a bipartisan legislative effort to provide a clear definition of a pyramid scheme in the U.S., from U.S. Direct Selling Association President Joseph N. Mariano.

For the Direct Selling News team, the last quarter of the year marks the start of our two signature research programs for 2018: Best Places to Work in Direct Selling and the Global 100.

Nominations for our Best Places to Work in Direct Selling program close on Oct. 27. If you’d like your company to participate in the program, visit directsellingnews.com/bestplacestowork and complete the nomination form. Our research partners at Quantum Workplace will conduct the employee engagement survey portion of the program from Oct. 30 through Dec. 15, and the honoree companies will be featured in our April 2018 edition. This will be our third year presenting the Best Places to Work in Direct Selling, and we’d love to have your organization represented. Several companies have been honored each of the two years we’ve held the program, providing them with a great opportunity to attract top talent in recruiting home office employees.

You’ll start seeing information about the 2018 Global 100 program in December, but you can get a jump on the process by making sure that your company contact information is up to date. Each year, we work to survey all direct selling companies with annual sales of $50 million or more for consideration on our list of the largest direct selling companies worldwide. Please reach out to editor@directsellingnews.com and let us know of any changes to your primary point of contact for this program. The DSN Global 100 list is respected worldwide, and we want you to be a part of it. 

So grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the issue! 

All the best,
Lauren

October 02, 2017

Cover Story

Defining Distributors versus Customers

by Heather Martin


Click here to order the October 2017 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


With more than 40 years of direct selling experience under his belt, John Fleming knows just about all there is to know about this channel. But there’s one thing that still puzzles him, says the Direct Selling News former Publisher and now Ambassador: “I’ve never understood why anyone associated with the direct selling business model didn’t understand that without customers you can’t build a lasting business.”

John Licari, Chief Operating Officer of Detroit-based Total Life Changes (TLC), doesn’t understand it, either. TLC has emphasized customer acquisition from its beginning in 1999, he says, and while the company wants to make it easy for customers to become distributors, it knows the only way that will happen is if retail is king. “If you lead with the product, you have a chance to make a business out of it. But if you lead with the business opportunity, you might not sell the product. Then you have no business.”

The belief that retail sales are fundamental to a direct seller’s success is not new. Most network marketing companies have always operated on the principle that they will not survive if people don’t buy, use and keep using their products. What is new is that direct sellers have begun to carefully track retail customers and talk more explicitly than ever about the importance of acquiring them.


“I’ve never understood why anyone associated with the direct selling business model didn’t understand that without customers you can’t build a lasting business.”
John Fleming, former Publisher, Direct Selling News


An Abrupt Shift

The conversation about retail ramped up suddenly five years ago. On a routine earnings call with investors in May 2012, an Herbalife executive made a routine comment that ended up costing the company $200 million in distributor refunds and led to a major corporate restructuring. Toward the end of the call an investor asked, “What is the percentage that is actually sold to consumers that are not distributors?” Herbalife President Des Walsh replied, “We don’t have exact percentage (sic)… because we don’t have visibility to that level of detail.” Those 15 words launched a regulatory firestorm that not only rocked Herbalife’s world, they forever altered the relationship between direct sellers and their end users.

The rub for Herbalife was that those words could have come from almost any direct selling executive. It had just never been standard practice for direct sellers to track retail customers because they weren’t selling straight to end consumers—that was a distributor’s domain. The companies themselves had always focused on helping their salespeople become successful business owners and develop opportunities to share product. “Even though companies weren’t tracking retail customers, they were supporting their independent contractors, who were doing their jobs by creating the direct relationships with consumers,” Fleming says. Besides, companies didn’t want to do anything that would make it look like they were intercepting distributors’ sales by dealing directly with the distributors’ customers. 

But the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) saw Walsh’s answer as an indication that Herbalife was motivated more to amass large groups of distributors and less to create legitimate consumer demand for its products. In 2014, the FTC started digging into Herbalife’s business practices. Two years later in its settlement with the company, the commission ruled that 80 percent of Herbalife’s net revenue must come from customers outside of the compensation plan, which must reward distributors for “retail sales to customers and not on the recruiting of a downline of people who will buy the product at wholesale.”

While these rules were specific to Herbalife—as were the requirements in a similar settlement with Vemma Nutrition Co.—the whole channel took serious note of the rulings’ implications, and as the smoke from the settlements continues to clear, direct selling is fundamentally changing the way it operates. 


“If you lead with the product, you have a chance to make a business out of it. But if you lead with the business opportunity, you might not sell the product. Then you have no business.”
John Licari, Chief Operating Officer, Total Life Changes


Direct sellers are reframing and becoming more transparent about their company-distributor-customer matrix. They are distinguishing between those who purchase starter kits to become distributors and those who purchase product but have no intention of becoming business owners. To make those consumer purchases as easy as possible, direct sellers also are creating new channels that invite customers to browse and buy with no talk of joining or of an obligation to join the compensation plan. 

“Direct sellers have always felt a special responsibility to their salespeople and customers,” says Direct Selling Association President Joseph Mariano. “So it only makes sense that the next step in the evolution of our business model is an even greater awareness of the ultimate consumers of our products.”

Industry leaders believe that the increased regulatory pressure is making direct selling a stronger, more viable business opportunity, Fleming says. “The whole direct selling community is going to be better for this new level of scrutiny that started with the question “How many ‘real’ customers do you have?”

The Real Deal

The bottom line is that direct sellers have always had plenty of real consumers who love their products. But “because of our primary relations with our salespeople, our relationship at times with our customers has been somewhat opaque,” Mariano wrote recently in DSN. The FTC settlements have prompted companies to lift this veil and define their buyers more clearly. 

A strategy many direct sellers are using to align their practices with the new regulatory reality is to create different categories of retail customers. Perhaps the most popular is the “preferred customer.” Preferred customers typically pay the same wholesale price that distributors pay, but they don’t have to purchase a distributor starter kit or do anything else that enrolls them in the compensation plan. Typically, they just have to sign up for automatic product shipments and/or pay an annual fee.


“It only makes sense that the next step in the evolution of our business model is an even greater awareness of the ultimate consumers of our products.”
Joseph Mariano, President, Direct Selling Association


Paul Adams, Senior Vice President of Strategic Marketing at SUCCESS Partners, says one of his clients has created a third buyer category, in which customers receive rewards, such as free product, for hosting home parties and referring new customers. Ed Jarrin, CEO of direct selling cloud platform Exigo, adds that more than 60 percent of those who use his company’s e-commerce technology have a preferred customer program—and many of them have a “referrer” classification, too.

It’s easy to put new customers and distributors into the right buckets under this evolving industry rubric. It’s a more involved task to categorize them retroactively. But direct sellers we talked to are not shrinking from this complex task. 

LifeVantage has used a behavioral metric to sort through its database, says CEO Darren Jensen. In its first step toward segmenting distributors from other buyers, the company looked through its database for anyone who had enrolled as a distributor but who had “no business activity ever,” he says. Six months before their renewal deadlines, these distributors received an email from LifeVantage asking them to reassign themselves to the preferred customer category. They got follow-up emails three months later and again in the weeks, and days before the renewal deadlines. All of them reclassified themselves, Jensen says. “We’ve seen no pushback.”

Jensen says that in the next sorting phase, the company will contact distributors who have had some business activity but not for a particular period of time. If they don’t re-categorize themselves, LifeVantage will do it for them but will let them know that they can become distributors again at any point for no additional investment. 


What is new is that direct sellers have begun to carefully track retail customers and talk more explicitly than ever about the importance of acquiring them.


LifeVantage’s commitment to retail sales is underscored by its decision to change its distributor incentive plan, which used to reward salespeople more for recruiting other salespeople than for bringing in new customers. Now, they receive the same benefit for recruiting both, Jenson says. At TLC, customer recruitment takes center stage in promotions like the one that awarded a trip to a Jamaican resort to new representatives who brought in 100 new customers in their first 100 days as salespeople. 

Even before customer acquisition became the No. 1 topic of conversation among direct sellers, AdvoCare was recognizing that a portion of its distributors were really just wholesale customers, says Allison Levy, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer. So that’s how AdvoCare categorized them. “We’ve been working on segmentation for a long time,” Levy says. In September 2016, the company launched its preferred customer program in part to more clearly classify these wholesale buyers. The reclassification is “still evolving,” Levy says. “We still have a lot of distributors who are distributors in name only,” she says. “It just takes time.”

Levy says AdvoCare’s next step is to help its distributors “better track and trace their customer sales,” so that the company has data on retail activity at every level. It seems Herbalife had plans to drill down to this same level. In an August 2016 investor presentation, it laid out its intention to “verify retail sales by requiring receipts, [which] will require administrative work for the company and its Members, but [which] technology options will simplify.” 

Cyber Segmentation

Technology is making this channel transition easier than it would have been a decade ago, executives say. Advancements in e-commerce allow direct sellers to market directly to and track customers who want just the products.

For example, Raleigh, North Carolina-based Touchstone Essentials has revised its online shopping portal so that buyers can make purchases without ever seeing a check box that could enroll them as a Member (distributor). “By separating the back office from the shopping experience we create an environment where our customers feel very comfortable, as though it’s a traditional e-commerce-style shopping experience,” says Chief Operating Officer David Isserman.


“I like higher standards. Segmentation gives us a better ability to help our sales team and reach our customers more easily, more efficiently and more directly.”
Allison Levy, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, AdvoCare


Selling directly to customers doesn’t cut Touchstone Members out of the transaction, though. If a shopper isn’t already connected to a Member, the company will choose a Member to get credit for that sale, based on geography, customer goals and other criteria, Isserman says. TLC operates the same way—although only about 1 percent of TLC’s retail buyers come unattached to an independent business owner. “We feel that could grow to 5, 8 or 10 percent in the next 24 months,” Licari says. “We’re definitely looking forward to that number going up.” When it does, it will only benefit existing distributors.

Mobile technology and social media are driving much of the channel’s ability to reach new customers. TLC will soon launch an app that captures a shopper’s profile—much like Amazon’s app does—as well as his or her distributor’s information. “You don’t have to remember your independent business owner’s name; the app knows who you are and who your IBO is,” Licari says. At Touchstone, a shopper who lands on a Member’s website is tagged as a lead for that Member. The shopper then gets targeted ads on his or her social news feeds and will be redirected to the Member’s site after clicking on an ad.

Back-end technology is changing in response to the new environment, too, Jarrin says. As direct sellers increasingly target retail customers, Exigo has been developing reporting tools that help clients define specific customer profiles and measure the effectiveness of promotions. For example, a report could tell a company if a certain age group is drawn more to one campaign than another or if a promotion gets more traction in the Southwest United States than in the Northeast. “Having the ability to create profiles, or member types that have certain benefits, that gives a client very simple and direct access to create a promotion and watch behavior,” Jarrin says.

What Does It Look Like to Do the Right Thing? 

Direct selling veteran and DSN Ambassador John Fleming says he never would have wished for the uncertainty and fear the channel has felt the past couple of years, as regulators, investors and skeptics scrutinized direct selling. But he is heartened by how resilient network marketers have been and how willing they are to evolve and become better versions of themselves. “The direct selling model is better positioned than maybe ever before,” he says. “I have so much respect for these companies that are doing the right thing.”

Here are four best practices to adopt based on the lessons the channel has been learning:

  • Separate distributors from consumers. If a shopper wants your biofuel but not your business opportunity, sell them only what they’re buying.

  • Put customers at the center. If everyone from the CEO to the consultant focuses on bringing in repeat end users, everybody wins.

  • Leverage technology. Invest in tools and resources that allow customers to purchase your products directly with a few clicks while filling your distributors’ lead pipelines.

  • Know your numbers. If someone asks you “How many real customers do you have?” be ready to answer.

A Bright Future

Experts say this operational shift probably feels seismic, especially to legacy companies, but early indications are that the channel is accepting segmentation.

“Our Members are thrilled that they’re being rewarded with business that they wouldn’t otherwise have gotten,” Isserman says of the automatic link the company makes between new retail customers and existing distributors. And Touchstone’s retail customer base is expanding steadily, says owner Eddie Stone, who prefers not to publicize hard numbers but says the company has “five times as many retail buyers as Members.”

AdvoCare distributors also are supporting the new normal, Levy says. “Over the last 12 months, it has been really enthusiastically received, and they’re excited about it because it helps them clearly present what we offer. But this was a very big shift for us, structurally. It does take time to absorb and embrace it.”

At LifeVantage some distributors were leery at first, Jensen says. Because LifeVantage used to be a strictly retail company, some of the field representatives were wondering if the company was going to swing back in that direction. “Once it was fully explained and we got our distributor leadership on board, we haven’t had any major pushback.”

Adams says this new regulatory environment will create other new standards, as well. For example, direct sellers will have to get used to more measured revenue increases. “This industry is known for ‘hockey stick’ growth,” he says. “Organic growth
may not be as exciting at first, but it’s more sustainable.” 

It seems that regardless of how long companies have been doing business the old way, the new way is gaining momentum. “What I’ve seen happen since these FTC rulings is a concerted effort to put in place true blue customer programs,” Adams continues. “I’m thrilled. Because frankly it has to be about selling a product and creating
a customer.”

Levy is excited about this new era. “I like higher standards,” she says. “Segmentation gives us a better ability to help our sales team and reach our customers more easily, more efficiently and more directly.”

Perhaps Jensen sums up the channel’s optimism the best when he says, “Not only will we comply with this new reality, we will thrive under it.”

September 29, 2017

U.S. News

LifeVantage to Present Real Monarchs on October 14

Sandy, Utah-based LifeVantage Corporation recently announced that it will become the title sponsor for the United Soccer League’s Real Monarchs as the team takes on the LA Galaxy II at Rio Tinto Stadium on October 14.

The Real Monarchs, who sit atop the league standings, will look to close out the regular season in their final home game before entering the playoffs.

LifeVantage, the jersey-front sponsor for Real Salt Lake, plans to offer much more than a name as the event’s sponsor. The company will be handing out free T-shirts and 1,000 promotional bags to the first 1,000 fans to arrive at its concourse tent before the game. Each bag will be filled with product samples, with one lucky fan receiving a “golden ticket” for a chance to win a cash prize during halftime—if they can score against Leo the Lion, Real Salt Lake’s mascot.

“The Real Salt Lake family has become part of our company family,” said Jared Haddock, LifeVantage’s Creative Director. “These events mean much more to us than a game. That’s why we’re turning our sponsorship into something that gives back to fans. Coming to Rio Tinto Stadium for a game should be memorable, and we want to be part of that experience.”

September 28, 2017

U.S. News

Talk Fusion Builds Global Momentum with Two New Promotional Websites

Brandon, Florida-based video marketing and direct selling company Talk Fusion recently launched two new recruiting websites, JoinTalkFusion.com and TalkFusionInstantPay.com, to further aid Talk Fusion Independent Associates in promoting and sharing its business opportunity with people and businesses in over 140 countries.

Founder & CEO Bob Reina demonstrated the features, concept and benefits of the new promotional sites before thousands of global viewers on Facebook Live. Reina, a 25-year direct selling industry veteran, said, “This is the most concise marketing site I have seen in this industry. It is all here—a ‘one-stop shop.’”

On JoinTalkFusion.com, visitors can learn about the company in four simple steps. They are first encouraged to watch a one-minute product video that features Talk Fusion Video Email. Next, they can view a five-minute lifestyle video hosted by Bob Reina. Should they need more information before getting started, visitors are invited to take the third step, visiting TalkFusionInstantPay.com, where they can attend the next live Opportunity Presentation and also read the success stories of Talk Fusion’s top leaders. JoinTalkFusion.com concludes with a call-to-action to sign up.

“This business is all about duplication,” Reina said. “It has to be simple, it has to be easy and it has to be done by everyone in the exact same method. Everyone is given the same opportunity to succeed here, no matter where they live, what language they speak or how much they know about technology or networking. If you can follow four simple steps, bring people to your very own Talk Fusion website and show people how to do the same, you can do this business.”

Both JoinTalkFusion.com and TalkFusionInstantPay.com are translated in multiple languages and display international presentation times. The join site is also self-replicated, meaning each Talk Fusion Associate has their very own version connected to their account—a big plus in the direct selling industry.

Talk Fusion celebrated its 10th anniversary in July.

September 28, 2017

U.S. News

Mary Kay Funds 150 Shelters Nationwide in Advance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month

In advance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, The Mary Kay Foundation℠ is awarding $3 million in critical, unrestricted grants to 150 domestic violence shelters across the United States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. This year’s highly sought-after grant slate brings the total investment in The Foundation’s annual shelter grant program to nearly $42 million.

According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, lack of resources at domestic violence shelters across the country is often the reason survivors don’t get the help they so desperately need.  To narrow the gap between funding and the demand for services, The Mary Kay Foundation is awarding $20,000 in unrestricted grants to help combat domestic violence, educate local communities and provide rehabilitation services. The Foundation’s grant cycle also includes relief funds for several shelters impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

“More than 700 domestic violence shelters nationwide applied for The Mary Kay Foundation shelter grants this year, which demonstrates the overwhelming need to maintain critical services and provide a safe haven for the survivors of an epidemic that impacts one in every four women,” said Anne Crews, Board Member of The Mary Kay Foundation and Vice President of Public Affairs for Mary Kay Inc.  “Working to prevent and end domestic violence is a cornerstone of The Foundation, Mary Kay Inc. and for countless members of our independent sales force.  Since 2000, The Foundation has invested tens of millions of dollars in our shelter grant program and without a doubt, we know these funds continue to make a difference in homes and communities across the country.”

While more than half of the grant recipients use the unrestricted funds for basic operating expenses, others hire much needed personnel, complete repairs and facility renovations or add programs and resources based on the unique needs of their shelter and the clients they serve.  The Haven House in McDonough, Georgia, plans to use the funds to purchase six new sets of washers and dryers for its laundry facility.  In Marion, Ohio, at the Turning Point shelter, funds will go towards building a new playground for children staying at the shelter, giving them a safe place to play.  At the Merryman House Domestic Crisis Center in Paducah, Kentucky, the grant will be used to purchase and install an advanced security system to ensure safety at a new 26-acre campus.

“While offering emergency housing for the vulnerable clients we serve, that also means providing meals, laundry facilities, counseling, childcare and an untold number of other resources to help survivors get back on their feet after experiencing unspeakable abuse,” said Tosha Connors, Executive Director at My Sister’s House, Inc.  “Every dollar counts and a grant from The Mary Kay Foundation is often the lifeline we need to keep the doors open and continue to provide life-saving support services.”

Mary Kay Inc.’s global cause-related program, Beauty that Counts®, helps support The Foundation’s annual shelter grant program.  Applications for the 2018 shelter grant program will be available January 15 through April 30.  For the full list of 2017 shelter grant recipients, click here.

The Mary Kay Foundation was created in 1996, and its mission is two-fold: to fund research of cancers affecting women and to help prevent domestic violence while raising awareness of the issue. The Mary Kay Foundation has awarded $70.7 million to shelters and programs addressing domestic violence prevention and cancer researchers and related causes throughout the United States.

September 27, 2017

World News

Peekaboo Beans Officially Launches in U.S.

Peekaboo Beans, the British Columbia-based retailer of ethically sourced children’s apparel, recently announced it has officially launched the first phase of its business in the United States.

“We are very excited to report that our customer website is fully integrated for U.S. shopping, along with a fully functional US Stylist portal,” said Traci Costa, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Peekaboo Beans. “This is a huge milestone achieved by the company. In addition, our first successful launch tradeshow in Salt Lake City resulted in more than 60 potential Stylist sign-ups and hundreds of leads.”

Peekaboo Beans has also partnered with NapTime Creative to launch a targeted digital media strategy and will be attending the following three tradeshows next month: Baby Show Expo in Clifton, NJ; Ultimate Women’s Expo in Chicago, IL; and the Ultimate Women’s Expo in Edison, NJ.

Along with continued strategic growth in Canada, the company has been focused on expansion into the United States through the development of a U.S. independent sales network of Stylists to increase revenue and improve margins.

“The direct sales industry in the United States is a 36-billion-dollar industry, and 1 in 7 households operates a direct sales business in the United States, which provides us with an exciting opportunity,” said Costa. “With these initial efforts, we are poised for hypergrowth.”

Earlier this month, Peekaboo Beans engaged the services of ServiceQuest, a direct selling business incubator, to help strategically execute its planned expansion into the United States. ServiceQuest, which has a roster of clients that includes Avon, Scentsy, Amway, Origami Owl and PartyLite Gifts, helps direct-selling companies create global strategies to drive overall company growth and success.

September 27, 2017

U.S. News

QNET Expands into Tanzania: Celebrates 19th Anniversary

Hong-Kong-based QNET, the Asian direct seller of lifestyle and wellness products, recently expanded its operations into East Africa with the opening of an office in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The company, which currently has three accessible local agents in West Africa—Mali, Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso—held an official opening of the office on September 21. Attendees included the Hon. Dr. Adelhelm Meru from the Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment; the Hon. Dr. Hamisi from the Ministry of Health of Tanzania; V Partner David Sharma; and QNET Agent Benjamin Mariki.

“QNET is proud to be in Tanzania and is committed to working closely with the local government officials and authorities to create more entrepreneurial opportunities for the local community,” said David K. Sharma, an advisor to the QNET Board of Directors.

QNET also recently held a convention in Dubai in which it celebrated 19 years of business in the direct selling industry. The event featured Bollywood legend Anil Kapoor, National Ambassador for UN Women Pakistan Muniba Mazari and Bollywood star Vivek Oberoi as special guests.

The company used the event to introduce Olympic gold medalist Cheick Sallah Cissé as their new Ambassador, and to announce the launch of four new products: H2GO, a molecular hydrogen tablet that boosts energy with hydrogen-infused water; ELIXA, an aromatherapy-infused skincare range for women; HomePure Nova, an enhanced water filtration system; and Smazing, a free app that includes live video and interactive chat options among many other features.

September 26, 2017

U.S. News

Josh Paine Named CEO of WorldVentures Holdings

WorldVentures™ Holdings LLC, parent company of the global vacation and lifestyle club WorldVentures, recently announced the appointment of Josh Paine as Chief Executive Officer. Paine will oversee day-to-day strategic and operational decisions, elevate the brand, strengthen the leadership team and enhance the overall growth of WorldVentures Holdings.

“Josh has a passion for instilling organizations with a strong sense of purpose while building an award-winning culture, making him a great asset to the team,” said WorldVentures Founder and Chief Visionary Officer Wayne Nugent. “We’re excited to add his strong leadership to our Holdings level c-suite.”

Josh replaces Dan Stammen, who was the company’s first CEO in 2005 for three and a half years, and again assumed that role in February 2015, leading the company from 2014 sales of $355 million to $926 million in 2016.

“I’m excited and optimistic about Josh taking over the leading role in running the day-to-day operations at WorldVentures Holdings as CEO,” said Stammen. “Josh’s amazing talent, combined with his financial and organizational experience, makes him the ideal choice to lead our company into the next decade. In addition to his exceptional business acumen, Josh knows the leisure travel and hospitality industry inside and out. As part owner of WorldVentures, I look forward to my new role as business development consultant/owner operator, where I’ll be working with our partners/vendors to bring about new opportunities for our members and field representatives. The future is very bright, and the best is yet to come for WorldVentures!”

Prior to accepting his position with WorldVentures Holdings, Paine served as CEO of one of the entities of WorldVentures Holdings, Rovia, LLC, a travel and lifestyle service provider offering turnkey solutions for business partners and membership-based travel companies. Additionally, he led the strategic direction of his team as Managing Partner for Providence Interactive Capital, LLC. He also served as CEO and Chief Financial Officer of CheapCaribbean.com, Inc., the No. 1 U.S. provider of beach vacations in the Caribbean and Mexico. Early in his career, Paine worked with Fortune 500 companies, and served as Vice President of Operations for JetPay Merchant Services, LLC.

Paine, a CPA, graduated summa cum laude from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in finance. He is also a graduate of the Stagen Leadership Academy.

“I look forward to the opportunities and challenges this new role will bring,” said Paine. “It is a privilege to accept this new role within the Holdings organization, and I am excited to help our talented team further develop and execute strategies to drive WorldVentures Holdings into its next stage of growth.”

September 26, 2017

U.S. News

LifeVantage Inspires Confidence at Utah’s What a Woman Wants Event

Sandy, Utah-based LifeVantage Corporation joined What a Woman Wants, Utah’s fastest-growing shopping show, as a title sponsor. Held September 8–9, the event gave women the chance to explore hundreds of local and out-of-state boutiques at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy. For LifeVantage, it represented an opportunity to communicate a message that hits home for the company as it launches its #TrueConfidence Campaign.

According to Michelle Oborn, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, the heart of LifeVantage’s sponsorship efforts was all about empowerment. “We’re always looking for ways to support entrepreneurs, especially those who are often overlooked. We believe in doing business a different way, and that starts with turning typical corporate America on its head. It’s part of who we are as a company. And sponsoring an event that was created by and for women was the perfect opportunity to give women a leg up and help them start their own businesses.”

Additionally, LifeVantage has developed a #TrueConfidence campaign that aims to reevaluate conventional beauty standards, inviting women to share what makes them truly confident.

“Our goal is to start an honest conversation,” said Akiko Larkins, Senior Brand Manager. “TrueConfidence is about ignoring the way most beauty brands tell us we should feel about ourselves. Instead of trying to mask our natural beauty, we’re creating products that help your skin become the best version of itself, so it can shine. The conversation we want people to have isn’t about flaws—it’s about how we can become confident for the right reasons.”

Along with distributing free T-shirts and product samples at the event, $1 of every ticket purchased was donated to Women of Worth Utah. The local organization empowers women to achieve lifelong success after they have overcome abuse, addiction, alcoholism, catastrophic illness, disability or economic hardship by giving them life skills, confidence tools and finishing touches with total makeovers.

September 26, 2017

U.S. News

ForeverGreen Introduces CareWear Wearable Technology

ForeverGreen™ Worldwide Corporation, a global direct marketing company and provider of health and wellness products, recently announced its new wearable technology called CareWear™. The presale of the device, with continuous monitoring from the health application GoHeart, is a limited time offer with an unprecedented association of use with the company’s nutrition products.

“ForeverGreen is in a unique position where the CareWear device becomes the catalyst for people to monitor and manage their lives with a health dashboard, and see the results from use of ForeverGreen nutrition products,” said ForeverGreen CEO Rick Redford. “Global sales for the wearable technology market is expected to exceed $34 billion in 2020, according to CCS Insight. The strength of our message is that the device is a piece of a much bigger strategy we are calling the, ‘Total Health Experience.’”

CareWear, in combination with daily use of ForeverGreen nutritional products, is what the company is positioning as the Total Health Experience that completes the periphery of nature, science, products, education and technology formulated in research and development of all the company’s product offerings. CareWear is available in North America, select countries in Latin America, Europe, Caribbean and Israel. Members who participate in the presale also may opt-into a case study with the company’s new cardiovascular product to be launched in early 2018.

ForeverGreen Worldwide Corporation was founded in 2004, and develops, manufactures and distributes an expansive line of all-natural whole foods and products to North America, Australia, Europe, Asia, and South America, including its new global Xpress offering Prodigy-5™, featuring the exclusive TransArmor™ Nutrient Technology. The company also offers its North American market its weight-management line called Ketopia™, as well as additional weight management products, and its Pulse-8™ powered L-arginine formula for cardiovascular health.

September 25, 2017

U.S. News

The Latino Coalition Summit Delivers Economic Growth Agenda

The Latino Coalition (TLC), the leading, national non-partisan advocacy organization representing Hispanic businesses and consumers, recently hosted the Capturing the Momentum Summit: The Hispanic Economic Agenda at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.

The summit brought together leading executives, small business owners and government officials to discuss economic policies that can boost entrepreneurial opportunities. The one-day event provided entrepreneurs with a series of informative panels, key breakout sessions, procurement meetings and an opportunity to expand personal and professional networks. Attendees and speakers delved into topics ranging from the current federal regulatory conditions to international trade, and from immigration to the unfolding tax reform debate on Capitol Hill.

“The Capturing the Momentum Summit provided an opportunity to speak plainly about what helps and hurts Hispanic business development,” said Hector Barreto, TLC Chairman and former Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. “We also, for the first time ever, facilitated a town hall meeting of Hispanic leaders who discussed the state of Latino economic and political power. This provocative conversation touched on topics that should be top-of-mind for the political leaders of today.” 

Speakers at the event included U.S. Treasurer Jovita Carranza; U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross; Gerónimo Gutiérrez, Ambassador of Mexico to the United States; Melissa Lavinson, Vice President of Federal Affairs and Policy, PG&E Corporation; Bernie McKay, Chief Public Policy Officer, Vice President of Global Corporate Affairs at Intuit; Jackie Puente, Executive Director for External Affairs at Comcast; Thomas M. Sullivan, Vice President of Small Business Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; U.S. Rep. Lou Correa (CA-46), U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (WI-07), U.S. Rep. Peter J. Roskam (IL-06) and U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus (PA-12).

During the event, Chairman Barreto announced new partnerships through a Memorandum of Understanding with BAU International University, the U.S. Guatemala Chamber of Commerce and The 60 Plus Association. These organizations join TLC’s network of 100+ partners working to enhance the overall business, economic and social objectives of the Hispanic community.

“The entrepreneurial spirit of this nation is something to be celebrated, especially when America’s 28 million small businesses account for half of the nation’s economic output,” said Barreto. “Our event showcased that entrepreneurial strength, and pushed for business initiatives that leverage partnerships, create more jobs and grow this nation’s economy. We look forward to building on this message on October 12 at our Upward Mobility Summit in Kansas City, Missouri.”

Title sponsors for the event were Wal-Mart and Google. Event partners included 1800 Contacts, Act Wireless, AltaMed Health Services Corporation, Altria Client Services, Alvarado Smith, American Express Open, AT&T, Bank of America, California Resource Corporation, Centene Corporation, Coca-Cola, Comcast/Universal, CTIA, Direct Selling Association, Dun & Bradstreet, East West Bank, Edison Electric Institute, Herbalife, Hispanic Business Roundtable Institute, Honda, International Franchise Association, Intuit, JP Morgan, KOCH, Master Your Card, MasterCard, National Association of Broadcasters, National Cable & Telecommunications Association, NV Energy, Paychex, PG&E, PhRMA, Quicken Loans, Reset Public Affairs, Ronald Reagan Trade Center, Southern California Edison, The Latino Coalition Foundation, The Libre Initiative, T-Mobile, Tributo Tequila, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, Univision and Verizon. Media Partners were Conexión, Finding Productions and Tico Sports Productions, LLC.

The Latino Coalition (TLC) was founded in 1995 by a group of Hispanic business owners from across the country to research and develop policies and solutions relevant to Latinos. TLC is a non-profit nationwide organization with offices in California, Washington, DC and Guadalajara, Mexico. Established to address and engage on key issues that directly affect the well-being of Hispanics in the United States, TLC’s agenda is to create and promote initiatives and partnerships that will foster economic equivalency and enhance and empower overall business, economic and social development for Latinos.

September 22, 2017

U.S. News

Youngevity Subsidiary CLR Achieves 419% Increase in August Unit Sales

Chula Vista, California-based Youngevity’s coffee manufacturing division, CLR Roasters, recently announced a 419 percent increase in unit sales for the month of August.

CLR Roasters executives believe this unit sale increase was primarily driven by ad specials that took place during the month of August with retail partners Presidente, Sedanos, Freso Y Mas, Bravo Supermarkets and WalMart Stores.

“We are saddened for all people that are suffering from the aftermath of Hurricane Irma,” said Ernesto Aguila, President of CLR and Founder of the Café La Rica Brand. “CLR Roasters is fortunate that our facilities did not sustain any damage and we were able to resume production and shipping to many of our accounts after only a few days of business interruption.”

The company is now fully operational and is working closely with its retail and food service partners in Florida to assist theire vendors in returning to their operating capacity which existed prior to Hurricane Irma striking Florida.

Although the company added 60 new accounts and saw a 46 percent increase in unit sales at Wal-Mart Stores in August, it has experienced a slower start in September due to Hurricane Irma within its Florida accounts. “In spite of this slow down we expect the third quarter will experience overall stable sales, and we anticipate that we will regain our sales momentum as we enter the 4th Quarter,” said Aguila.

CLR Roasters, the makers of Café La Rica espresso—the Offical Cafecito of the Miami Marlins—was established in 2001 and is a full-sized coffee roaster that produces gourmet coffees under its own boutique brands—Café La Rica®, Josie’s Java House®, and Javalution®. The company manufactures a variety of private labels for major national chains as well as for the direct selling channel under Youngevity International.

September 22, 2017

World News

Avon UK Partners with Coppafeel! to Encourage Early Detection of Breast Cancer

Avon UK recently announced a significant new partnership with charity CoppaFeel! to support in its mission to educate young women on the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and to raise awareness of the need for regular important boob checks.

Research from CoppaFeel! discovered that just over three quarters of women aged 18–29 will ever check their breasts for signs and symptoms of breast cancer, with only 30 percent checking on a monthly basis and half of young women lacking the confidence and knowledge of how to check themselves.

To help with education and awareness, Avon will support CoppaFeel!’s team of Boobettes, who are a group of young women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 35, have had a breast cancer scare at a young age or a strong connection to the disease. Using their stories, they inspire other people to think differently about their lives and bodies, educating about the importance of getting to know your boobs now and making it a life-long habit.

The partnership with Avon will support the recruitment of future Boobettes, create vital awareness materials and enable digital tools to encourage checking on a more regular basis.

2017 marks 25 years of Avon’s Breast Cancer Crusade, with the cosmetics company raising £19.5 million for breast cancer charities through its Representative base, Associates and cause-related products and communications to fund vital research and education.

The partnership with CoppaFeel! aims to not only encourage regular checking behaviour amongst young women throughout the UK—so that every woman is educated with the signs and is empowered to take action—but to strengthen this behaviour amongst Avon’s Representative base.

Findings from a standalone question posed to UK Avon Representatives showed that over three quarters (77 percent) checked their breasts for signs of breast cancer at least once per month with almost half of these Representatives checking at least once per week (37.6 percent).

Too many people die each year due to unnecessary late detection, with almost 10 percent of all diagnosed cases already at stage IV. CoppaFeel!’s founder Kris Hallenga was diagnosed with incurable breast cancer at just 23. Kris realised her situation could have been very different if she had been better informed, but discovered there is very little information available targeting young people.

Speaking about the new partnership, Andrea Slater, Avon General Manager, said, “Supporting compelling causes is at the heart of Avon; we work hard to improve the lives of women all around the world by supporting breast cancer charities and encouraging women to speak out against domestic violence.

“We are proud to partner with CoppaFeel!, as well as raising vital funds for the inspirational charity. Our main aim with this partnership is to drive real behaviour change among women to encourage them to start regularly checking. We’re pleased to see so many of our Representatives are doing so and want to encourage them to pass on the message to their customers, and ultimately help CoppaFeel! in their efforts to educate young people.”

Natalie Kelly, CEO at CoppaFeel! said, “Early detection is the best form of defence against breast cancer. We want to educate every young woman on the signs and symptoms, to know what their boobs look and feel like normally, and encourage them to check their boobs throughout their lifetime. Most importantly, we want them to feel empowered to see their GP if any changes.

“We’re really excited to partner with Avon on our Boobette programme and admire their commitment to fighting for causes that mean so much to women, and are really looking forward to coming up with innovative ways to raise both money and awareness for our important cause.”

September 22, 2017

U.S. News

Naveen Anand Joins Oriflame as Senior Director of Regional Marketing

Switzerland-based Oriflame recently announced that it has appointed Naveen Anand as Senior Director of Regional Marketing in South Asia. In his new role, Anand will spearhead operations in India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, and will be responsible for accelerating growth and enhancing the brand equity for the Oriflame business.

Anand is a marketing veteran with two decades of experience in the direct selling business. He spent 20 years with another global direct selling company in the area and was highly successful in rolling out mass media campaigns for various brands. In his role as Global Marketing Director for the previous company, he worked closely with numerous Asia-Pacific markets, including China, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, as well as markets in Europe and Latin America. During his tenure, he significantly contributed towards strengthening of global marketing brands in India and across the globe.

“We are delighted to welcome Naveen on board and, will be looking forward to leveraging his extensive knowledge to drive more engagement and give vision and direction to Oriflame’s business for its next level of growth in the region,” said Sergei Kanashin, Senior Vice President and Head of South Asia & MD India at Oriflame. “We are certain that his vast experience and expertise will help the company in scaling new heights.”

“Oriflame has established its position as a natural and progressive brand that believes in sustainability,” said Anand. “Much of the brand’s vital philosophies are reflected in its business success. I am looking forward to working with the team for driving growth and further strengthening the brand.”

September 21, 2017

U.S. News

World’s First Direct Seller of Camel Milk Products Launches

Camel Life, America’s newest entry into the direct sales space, is launching.

The Wellington, Florida-based company has been strategically planning its direct selling debut for more than a year. Camel Life will launch with 14 products and has more than a dozen products in development. Product offerings at launch include shower gels, foaming soaps, baby wash, exfoliating bars, body butter, lip balms, pet shampoo, bath bombs, and a line of Tattoo aftercare products. Several of the company’s products are patent pending.

“We’ve been working hard and smart researching ingredients, developing and testing products, and working with the direct sales industry’s best ancillary services vendors,” said Camel Life President Stephanie Heering. “Although we’re a direct sales startup, we’ve already partnered with the best technology and payment platform vendors in the business.”

A pending member of the Direct Sales Association, Camel Life was created after the founder, Robb Heering, rescued a 2-month-old dromedary camel from an abusive petting zoo in 2015. After traveling to the Middle East to learn how to best care for a baby camel, company founders were introduced to the medicinal, healing and energizing properties of camel milk.

“Camel Life is a product-centric company,” said Heering. “We create, manufacture and sell amazing breakthrough products made with the finest organic ingredients and pure, all natural, cruelty-free, sustainably sourced camel milk. Rather than play the typical brick and mortar or e-commerce game, we decided to build out a direct sales platform as our chosen method of distribution. Camel Life Consultants benefit from direct sales commissions as well as a robust, FTC compliant compensation plan to earn an income from sales resulting from those they introduce to the company.”

September 20, 2017

World News

Cosway’s New Store Targets Younger Crowd

Cosway, the Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia-based network marketing company, is hoping to attract younger consumers with the launch of its first Experience Centre in the capital city’s Berjaya Times Square.

The centre, officiated by Deputy Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Henry Sum Agong and Berjaya Group Founder Tan Sri Vincent Tan, is part of Cosway’s ongoing business re-engineering and rebranding strategy.

Cosway Group Executive Director Dr. Alice Lee described the design and concept of the store as “youthful.”

“Our customer demographic mainly comprises middle-aged people but we want to make our brand appealing to everyone,” Lee said, adding that the services at the centre would be tailored to the needs of each individual customer. “We believe in giving the personal touch in our services and want to make our customers feel special. For example, a nutritionist will sit down with each client to assess which supplement product best suits them. Everything, from skincare to body care products, will be customized for customers.”

Cosway Group CEO Liang Sook Sook said the cost of the centre was more than RM1.5 million, excluding the machinery that was brought in for in-store services. “We plan to set up experience centres in Sabah, Sarawak, Johor and Penang over the next two years,” she added.

The store showcases Cosway’s extensive range of health and wellness, home care and living, beauty, food and beverage, and kitchen products in eight lifestyle-themed zones. The zones are equipped with interactive guides, demonstration units and diagnosis machines to provide information on the benefits of Cosway’s products.

September 20, 2017

U.S. News

Mary Kay Expands Latin America Presence with Unveiling of Peru Headquarters

Dallas, Texas-based Mary Kay Inc. has opened in Peru. The cosmetics giant celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 15 in Lima. With a 54-year history, and operations in nearly 40 countries, this expansion strengthens Mary Kay’s already solid foundation in Latin America.

The globally recognized company, with millions of Independent Beauty Consultants around the world, made an initial investment of $9 million USD in the Peruvian subsidiary. It is based in Lima, covering operations for the entire country. The company enters its newest market, following its recent and successful launch in neighboring Colombia in 2015.

“We are proud to further expand our operations in Latin America with the opening of Mary Kay Peru,” says David Holl, President and CEO for Mary Kay Inc. “As the demand for high-quality products increases and the entrepreneurial spirit strengthens with the country’s economic growth, we anticipate a successful launch in Peru.”

The concept of direct selling has been growing in Peru for the past 40 years. In 2016, World Bank ranked Peru 50th (out of 189 countries) for ease of doing business. Direct foreign investment in the country totaled $7.7 billion USD in 2015.