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February 01, 2010

Company Focus

Rain Nutrition: Elemental Nutrition

by Lauri Dodd

Toby Norton Chad Christofferson
Toby Norton, President, Rain Nutrition
Chad Christofferson, CEO, Rain Nutrition

It’s something unforgettable: the sound—the smell—and the way a gentle rainstorm makes you feel. It is at once peaceful and comforting, yet invigorating and refreshing. No matter where in the world people are, it is one of those rare things on which we can all agree. It just seems to be one of those shared experiences that bind us together.

And that is exactly why one direct selling company chose its name—Rain Nutrition. “Water is the second-most important element in our life; rain is cleansing and wholesome, and plays such a vital role in our environment,” says Toby Norton, President of Rain Nutrition. “I grew up in southeastern Arizona, and I used to love the smell after it rained. I’ll never forget that. We were working on a name for our company, and it just seemed like a natural fit, especially when you look at the Earth’s ecosystem and the essential role that rain plays in that ecosystem. Our vision is that Rain Nutrition is going to provide that same important element to people’s own personal ecosystems.”

Is it a lofty goal? Maybe. But the leadership team at Rain Nutrition is enthusiastically up to the challenge. They officially launched their wellness startup last August, and have never looked back. By all appearances, there is definitely something that makes Rain Nutrition different, that sets them apart from the competition. What that is—the certain something that has this young company poised for growth—starts with challenging the powers that be.

Generation Next

Simply put, this is not your grandfather’s health-and-nutrition company. And that’s not to say there’s anything wrong with the traditional way of doing business, but Rain Nutrition is taking wellness to a whole-new level of cool. The entire vibe is different with Rain Nutrition.

Indeed, a youthful exuberance permeates the entire experience, from the team to the products to the leaders in the field. To get an idea of what that means, you needn’t look any further than the company’s Web site. The crisp, open spaces invite creativity, and the flashy visuals ooze innovation. It’s a fun, energetic feel, but in an understated, laid-back way—much like a rain storm, if you will.
“Everybody wants to belong to something that they can feel worth in, and we want to provide that for people,” Norton says. “At the same time, we’re not a big suit-and-tie company.” Proof of that comes when you look at the management team’s photos on the Web site. It’s no accident that these high-powered executives are dressed down in untucked white shirts and rolled-up jeans, standing in fresh, clean (rain?) water.

“I think our brand portrays that we are serious about business. It portrays an element of education. It portrays class, but there’s something more to it as well,” Norton says. “It also includes this fun side of things—the ability to be serious, while not taking ourselves too seriously.”

SoulThe Seeds of Greatness

The science behind Rain Nutrition’s unique line of products sounds simple, and yet, here again it is a break from the traditional way of doing things. It all starts with the seeds. “We get asked, ‘Are you a juice company or are you an energy drink company?’ Really, we’re a nutritional company with a systematic approach to nutrition,” Norton says. “And the differentiating factor between our products and others is that we use seeds, which science and research show contain the most potent antioxidants, and the nutrition that Mother Nature intended for our bodies.”

The challenge comes in extracting the antioxidants in a form that is usable and palatable, and Rain Nutrition has succeeded on both fronts. “The seed is low in calories, but very high and very diverse in antioxidants, and in some there are essential fatty acids as well,” says Chad Christofferson, CEO of Rain Nutrition. “So there are a lot of benefits.”

Consumers hear much discussion about free radicals in the body and how to best combat those. Rain now offers a method of measurement for the levels of free-radical stress on your body—the Free Radical Urine Test Kit. According to Rain, elevated free-radical levels have been linked to countless ailments and are known to be associated with aging and stress. By better understanding the free-radical levels, consumers can determine their own personal antioxidant needs, adjusting their diet and supplementation accordingly.

The list of product names reads like a mix between a weather report and a yoga class description: Soul, Rush, Storm and Pure. The ultimate goal with each one is to help your body achieve maximum health—no matter your age or activity level.

The driving force behind this new approach to nutrition is fueled by passion on a very personal level. “At the age of 20, I decided to swear off caffeine because I watched my dad, who is a professed caffeine addict,” Christofferson says. “My dad would drink several cans of soft drinks a day. It’s just not healthy, and I decided I didn’t want to be like that. So when we came up with Rush, for instance, it had to be something that I would feel comfortable taking, and giving to my family, as well.”

Rain products

The Perfect Fit

When it came time to decide on a channel of distribution for their unique product line, there was no question—direct selling was the way to go. “In the retail world, it’s all about brand awareness,” Norton says. “If you pay enough for advertising, people will ask for your product. But how do consumers know they’re actually getting what’s best for them? With network marketing, you can really begin to educate people on the specific ingredients, on the delivery system, building the story. By far, the best form of advertising is word-of-mouth.”

“The differentiating factor is that we use seeds, which research shows contain the nutrition that Mother Nature intended for our bodies.”     
    —Toby Norton

Education, in large part, is a factor we are sorely missing in the way we consume health products today. But the folks at Rain Nutrition have taken up the cause to turn things around. “I wish kids understood what energy drinks are doing to their bodies, for example,” Christofferson says. “We have an energy drink, but ours is healthy energy. It’s a big distinction. I wish kids knew how harmful those other highly caffeinated drinks can be. People need education.”

Training and growing their business is the primary way Rain Nutrition doesn’t stray from the norm. “Our training system is basic. Not only do we do the in-home meetings, but we do regional meetings. We host conference calls and webinars multiple times throughout the week,” Norton says. “We know that our company’s not going to come in and rewrite how this industry is grown. If anyone does, I think they’re fooling themselves.”

In truth, it all comes down to the personal relationships that will make or break a company, and leveraging those into success that mushrooms from a grass-roots level. “This business is belly-to-belly, face to face,” Christofferson says. “If I can sit in front of a big group of people and explain to them how their body reacts to our products and why it’s vital for them to have them, those people are going to, first of all, want to be healthy. And then I’ll teach them about the business, and they’re going to want to generate wealth for themselves as well.”

When I saw the research and learned about what wasn’t being offered, but could be, it was an easy decision to put this company together.”
    —Toby Norton

A Better Tomorrow

So many people today are looking for something new. Maybe they’ve been laid off, or are living paycheck to paycheck for a myriad of reasons. What it translates to, for many, is a loss of hope, something Rain Nutrition aims to restore. “We want to offer people a different way of doing things,” Norton says. “Albert Einstein defined insanity as ‘doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.’ With Rain Nutrition, we give people an alternative to get them out of that old way of thinking.”

Both Christofferson and Norton have experience launching successful companies, but they were both adamant that this venture would be different. “This was an opportunity to take all the things I had learned over the years—right and wrong—and mold that experience into a good company,” Christofferson says. “It was a fun challenge.”

Right from the start, as if by fate, all the pieces were falling into just the right place. “When I saw the research and the science and learned about what wasn’t being offered, but could be, it was an easy decision to put this company together,” Norton says.

The bottom line is that people are experiencing positive results, and they’re learning to dream again, which is an invaluable gift the team at Rain Nutrition is happy to provide. “You know, the financial stress our society is going through today is affecting our health, too,” Norton says. “And this gives people the tools to address both of those angles. I really feel that’s what Rain Nutrition was put here to do.”