January 01, 2018
The Great New Year Rebooting
by Michael Oricchio
Whether you’re hitting the gym to burn off a few pounds, hitting the street to look for a new job or hitting those business goals you set for 2018, the start of a new year marks a time of renewal and resolutions—a great rebooting, so to speak.
As you will see, that’s what this month’s issue of Direct Selling News is all about.
In this month’s cover story, writer Heather Martin chronicles the efforts of a cross-section of direct selling companies to figure out the best ways to incorporate the latest technology tools into their businesses. The aim is to become more fully integrated into the economics of digital transformation, or the DX Economy. Big data, social media, artificial intelligence and cloud computing are just some of the technology trends that are helping to make shopping from direct selling companies what Walter Noot, the chief information officer at USANA Health Sciences Inc. in Salt Lake City, calls “stupid simple.”
And prescient segment leaders understand that anything that makes the customer experience stupid simple is simply smart.
Take social media, for example. Gone are the days when having a strong social media presence was considered optional for direct selling companies. Social media is where consumers go first to connect with other like-minded shoppers, as well as to learn about new products and companies.
“Every one of these companies in the direct selling space has to be focused on social media first and the company second,” says Paul Gravette, co-founder of Le-Vel, the fitness-and-nutrition products company based in Frisco, Texas. “It’s more powerful than ever in moving the deal.”
Also in this month’s issue, you’ll learn about New Avon’s Espira health-and-wellness line of products debuting this month. It’s meant to “boost and sustain your natural energy, restore your radiance, and support your overall health,” according to Elana Gold, the company’s chief marketing officer. Of course, company executives also are hoping Espira will be a big boost to the New York City-based beauty brand’s business.
“Avon historically has been an iconic leader in the beauty category,” New Avon CEO Scott White said as he introduced the Espira line to an enthusiastic audience of about 6,000 representatives at a three-day sales conference this past summer. “We absolutely have a commitment to that, but we also wanted to give our representatives a broader portfolio to capitalize in a way that leads to new customers.”
This month, we also help Princess House, the successful kitchenware company based in Taunton, Massachusetts, celebrate its 55-year anniversary with a story on its latest collection and its new—and healthier—direction. Without giving too much away, you may be surprised to learn just how much the introduction of its new Vida Sana line says about the company and where it’s headed.
“Our products have evolved. The company and brand have evolved from breakable to durable—from crystalware to cookware,” CEO Connie Tang tells us. “Marketplace changes, preference changes and even demographic changes—to meet the needs of customers, consultants and business owners, an evolution has occurred.”
Finally, as it has for the past nine years, January marks the official launch of Direct Selling News’ annual Global 100 ranking. Our publication’s signature project has become one of the channel’s most popular events. Join the celebration on April 25 at the Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West Hotel, when we’ll unveil the 100 largest direct selling companies in the world for 2018. Submission qualifications, ticket information and sponsorship opportunities can all be found at dsnglobal100.com. Naturally, any one of the magazine’s staff can answer questions about the research process or the program, so feel free to contact us.
In the meantime, we on the DSN team offer you our heartfelt thanks for joining us for our first issue of 2018 and our sincerest wishes for the happiest, healthiest and most successful of new years.
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief