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October 01, 2016

News in Brief

News in Brief, October 2016

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

Oriflame Partners with IBM to Take IT and Finance Services Digital

Beauty company Oriflame Holding AG recently inked a seven-year deal outsourcing its IT and finance operational services to IBM.

The partnership will enable Switzerland-based Oriflame to reduce costs and advance the digital transformation of its business, drawing upon IBM’s expertise in analytics, cognitive systems and cloud-based services. The resulting services and tools will help to drive customer focus, productivity and automation at the $1.3 billion company, which sells a wide portfolio of Swedish, nature-inspired beauty products.

“For Oriflame, being already advanced in the online area, this partnership will be another leap forward in our digital business transformation,” said Gabriel Bennet, Oriflame Chief Financial Officer. “IBM’s innovation in cognitive analysis for IT and financial transactional services will provide us with valuable business insights.”

For its part, IBM will roll out custom tools based on its proprietary technology platform, Watson, to provide spend analytics, payment terms optimization and cash forecasting. The technology firm also will introduce cloud-based enabling tools to boost accuracy and efficiency, while Oriflame continues to manage the IT portfolio and develop its core systems.

“We have implemented IBM Design Thinking techniques to help build solutions which deliver a better user experience,” said Anita Karlsson-Dion, Vice President of Client Services for IBM Global Business Process Services. “We’re very confident that this will bring a customer-oriented focus to the delivery of IT and financial services for Oriflame.”

Gold Canyon Moves beyond Home Fragrance with GC Lifestyle

Candle maker Gold Canyon is diversifying its offerings with the launch of GC Lifestyle, a new imprint introduced in September.

The Arizona company is known for its candles and other home fragrance offerings, although it also sells a limited range of home décor and cleaning products. As Gold Canyon moved into 2016 with a new CEO, Thomas Kelly, “he empowered us to look at the business differently,” said Elissa Shuck, Director of Product & Merchandising. One area the team began to reimagine was its strategic approach to product development. “We really hadn’t created a cohesive brand mantra, if you will, that helps people understand why we introduced various products or why we would introduce additional ones in the future,” Shuck told DSN.

The company aims to change that with its new lifestyle brand, which initially will feature scented jewelry and home décor collections that take their cue from Gold Canyon’s existing designs. Management describes GC Lifestyle as a “more contemporized brand” that opens new avenues for Consultants to build their businesses. The scented jewelry line features trendy necklaces and bracelets, with pendants and charms that double as fragrance diffusers. Customers initially have the choice of three fragrances exclusive to the line. The expanded home décor collection includes vases, trays and throw pillows that reflect Gold Canyon’s fresh, playful feel.

USANA’s New InCelligence Technology Speaks Language of the Cells

During its recent 2016 International Convention, USANA Health Sciences unveiled InCelligence technology, a scientific advance that harnesses the body’s natural ability to renew and protect itself.

Scientists at USANA have been developing the cell-signaling technology for about four years, according to Dr. Kevin Spelman, Executive Vice President of Research and Development. InCelligence is based upon the natural responses of human cells, as they carry out processes essential to health. The company’s U.S. patent-pending technology directly triggers these processes, rather than simply supporting them, as traditional multivitamin supplements do.

A handful of companies have brought cell-signaling technology to market, said Spelman, but existing products generally focus on activating cellular processes, without supplying micronutrients necessary for proper and healthy cell signaling. With InCelligence, USANA aims to do both: trigger cell processes and provide nourishment that allows the cell to function at optimal capacity.

“InCelligence nudges the natural processes of the cell to generate endogenous antioxidants and new mitochondria, which are more efficient. This reduces the free radical look of the cell, since as cells get older mitochondria tend to leak free radicals into the cell, which can do damage,” Spelman told DSN. “This technology protects and renews cells while stimulating more efficient energy production.”

The foundation of USANA’s new line is CellSentials, a baseline nutrition supplement that replaces the company’s Essentials product. Additional supplements, known as Optimizers, can be taken with CellSentials to target specific health needs. One of those is Proglucamune, an immune support product introduced during the company’s convention. Two existing Optimizers—Hepasil DTX to support natural liver detoxification processes and Procosa for joint support—also incorporate InCelligence technology.

Le-Vel Donates $240k in Support of Hoyt Foundation

Le-Vel Jason Camper (left), Dick Hoyt and Paul Gravette at Le-Vel’s annual convention.

Health and wellness company Le-Vel Brands LLC recently announced a $240,000 donation to the Hoyt Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving quality of life for those living with disabilities.

The funds came from sales of Le-Vel’s limited-edition Hoyt Derma Fusion Technology (DFT), a patch worn on the skin to support the body’s metabolism process. In June, Le-Vel allocated $5 from every purchase to the Hoyt Foundation, which aims to build the individual character, self-confidence and self-esteem of America’s disabled young people through inclusion in all facets of daily life.

The foundation was formed in 1989 by Dick Hoyt, a retired lieutenant colonel, and his son, Rick, who was born with cerebral palsy and is unable to speak or use his hands and legs. Despite these challenges, the father-son team has gained recognition for competing in more than 1,100 athletic events in the last 37 years, including 32 Boston Marathons and six Ironman competitions, with Dick pushing his son in a custom-made wheelchair as they run.

The contribution is part of an ongoing partnership between Le-Vel and Team Hoyt. The virtual company, which uses cloud-based technology for its day-to-day operations, previously donated $50,000 to the Hoyt Foundation, and the senior Hoyt was a surprise headline speaker at Le-Vel’s annual salesforce convention in April.

Direct Sellers Help to Fuel Olympic Achievements

Monica Puig Puerto Rico’s first-ever Olympic Gold medalist, Monica Puig, is a USANA Brand Ambassador.

Many direct selling companies in the nutrition space have developed extensive sports marketing strategies, and no sporting event offers a bigger platform than the Olympics. A number of companies sponsored individual athletes, teams, and even entire delegations during this year’s Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, a 17-day contest that reached an audience of billions around the world.

One of the channel’s biggest sports marketers, Herbalife, was the official nutrition sponsor of four national delegations to Brazil. Athletes representing Costa Rica, Israel, Italy and Vietnam had access to Herbalife’s full suite of nutrition products, as well as its team of sports nutrition scientists. 

Promoting sports and an active lifestyle is a natural extension of the Herbalife mission, company Chairman and CEO Michael Johnson said in a statement. “The spirit behind the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympic Games is all about hard-working athletes pursuing their dreams of competitive excellence, and we are proud to help these athletes optimize their nutrition and post-performance recovery.”

Between them, Shaklee and USANA sponsored more than 100 Olympic athletes. The Shaklee Pure Performance Team was represented by 37 competitors, who took home 16 medals, including Gold for the U.S. Women’s Water Polo and U.S. Rowing, Women’s Eight teams. USANA backed more than 70 athletes, one of them being Monica Puig, a singles tennis player who won the first-ever Gold medal for U.S. territory Puerto Rico.

Team Nutrilite, the group of athletes sponsored by Amway, also made a strong—and international—showing in Rio. The company sponsored both individual athletes and teams from around the world, including the Silver-medaling Italian men’s soccer team and the Bronze-medaling Canadian women’s soccer team.

AdvoCare and 4Life also sponsored individual competitors, while AdvoCare and Mannatech each backed one athlete in the 2016 Paralympic Games in September. At the time of this publication, Mannatech-sponsored Paralympian Stephen Miller had won Bronze in the F32 Club Throw.

Nu Skin Supplies 500 Million Meals to Malnourished Children

Nu Skin Enterprises recently reached a milestone of 500 million meals donated through its Nourish the Children initiative.

The beauty and wellness company launched Nourish the Children in 2002 to combat poor nutrition, which causes nearly half the deaths of children under five, or about 3.1 million, each year, according to the World Food Programme. The cornerstone of the initiative is VitaMeal, a nutrient-dense rice and lentil meal formulated by Nu Skin nutrition scientists.

“I’ve seen firsthand the difference that VitaMeal has made in my country,” Malawi’s former first lady, Madam Callista Mutharika, said in the company’s announcement. “Its impact has been life-changing for thousands of kids. Children who were once hungry are now healthy, strong and able to go to school. Mothers who had no food can now provide their loved ones with a warm and nutritious meal.”

Nu Skin distributors, customers and employees support the cause by purchasing VitaMeal, and then opting to donate the product to Nourish the Children. In partnership with third-party, nonprofit distribution partners, Nourish the Children has helped to feed children in 50 countries.

Annual Rankings Recognize Fast-Growing Direct Sellers

A number of direct selling companies made Inc. magazine’s newly released Inc. 5000, an annual list of the fastest-growing private companies in America.

To compile its ranking of U.S.-based, privately held companies, Inc. measures percentage revenue growth over the past three years, in this case 2012–2015. Florida-based Jeunesse Global is the sole direct selling company on this year’s Inc. 500, a special ranking of companies in the top 10 percent. The maker of cosmetics and personal-care products recorded a 791 percent revenue increase in the period, which was capped by 2015 sales of $1.09 billion.

In all, the 2016 Inc. 5000 features eight direct selling companies, whose offerings span the categories of consumer products and services, travel and hospitality, health, and retail. With the exception of Jeunesse, three-year growth ranged from 48 percent at Pure Romance to 581 percent at WorldVentures. Arizona-based Isagenix has spent 10 consecutive years on the list, and is one of just 74 companies to make the list 10 times.

Honing in on Utah companies, four direct sellers made this year’s Fast 50, an annual ranking from Utah Business magazine based on five-year compound growth, with a revenue component. The list featured health firms LifeVantage (No. 6), USANA (No. 38) and Xyngular (No. 49), as well as beauty and wellness firm Nu Skin (No. 42).

Ambit Energy Named a Leader in Customer Satisfaction

Ambit Energy once again has been named a leading retail electric provider, based on an annual customer satisfaction study by J.D. Power.

The 2016 Retail Electric Provider Residential Customer Satisfaction Study evaluates the 91 providers in nine competitive markets across the U.S. In all, 20,000 customers were queried to determine satisfaction in five key areas: price, communications, corporate citizenship, enrollment/renewal and customer service.

Overall, the study found that switching and renewal rates are falling as customers find fewer incentives to shop around. “Historically, the key differentiator between retail electric providers and regulated providers has been price, but that price gap has shrunk,” said Andrew Heath, Senior Director of J.D. Power’s utility and infrastructure practice.

Breaking down the responses by state, J.D. Power reports that Ambit ranked highest among retail electric providers in Connecticut for the second consecutive year. The Dallas-based company scored 735 on a 1,000-point scale, with particularly high marks for communications and enrollment/renewal. In New Jersey, Ambit ranked second with a score of 687, and in Illinois the company was third with 644.

Total Life Changes Announces First Acquisition

Total Life Changes (TLC) recently announced the acquisition of Ryte Inc., a Utah-based benefit corporation with a portfolio of wellness products. The acquisition, a first for Total Life Changes, signals a new approach for the Michigan company, as it actively seeks to acquire “smaller companies in need who share our ideals,” in the words of Founder and CEO Jack Fallon. In the case of Ryte, Fallon and his team saw an opportunity to expand TLC’s customer and distributor base—Ryte has just under 1,000 sellers—and introduce them to a wider portfolio of health, wellness and beauty products. In conjunction with the announcement, TLC has opened a new corporate division in Salt Lake City that will support its merger and acquisition strategy.

Direct Selling Expansions in the Third Quarter

New Markets

  • ACN, Japan
  • Buyezee, Vietnam
  • Cabi, UK
  • Modere, Italy
  • Nerium, Japan
  • WOR(l)D Global Network, Vietnam
  • Youlab, South Korea
  • Younique, Hong Kong
  • Zinzino, European Union

New facilities

  • Mannatech, Hong Kong Office
  • Natural Health Trends, China Offices, Suzhou and Hangzhou
  • Rodan + Fields, Additional Offices, California
  • Stella & Dot, Headquarters Expansion, California
  • Total Life Changes, Merger and Acquisition Division, Utah
  • WOR(l)D Global Network, Thailand Office
  • Young Living, Northern Lights Farm, British Columbia