DSN Makes Its Global 100 Celebration an Event to Remember

by DSN Staff


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


IN THIS ISSUE:

2017 DSN Global 100 List
2017 Profiles
DSN Makes its Global 100 Celebration an Event to Remember
Frequently Asked Questions about the Global 100 Ranking
By The Numbers

DSN BRAVO AWARDS:

Leadership: It Works! CEO Mark Pentecost: On the Road to Legendary
Leadership: Isagenix’s Jim & Kathy Coover: Agents of Change
Growth: Jeunesse: Forging an Uncharted Path to Billion-Dollar Growth


In appreciation of those companies that lead the way in offering an unparalleled opportunity for individuals to start their own businesses through shared connections, Direct Selling News honored the group during its eighth annual DSN Global 100 Celebration. The awards ceremony and dinner, held April 19 at the InterContinental in Dallas, served as the backdrop for the unveiling of our exclusive ranking of the top revenue-generating companies in direct selling.

DSN’s Lauren Lawley Head and John Fleming hosted nearly 400 executives from around the world. In fact, the Global 100 list represents companies based in 17 countries this year and is a collective effort to show the impact and potential of the $183.7 billion direct selling industry.

“Each year, the DSN Global 100 gives us an opportunity to recognize the leading companies in direct selling today,” said Lauren Lawley Head, Publisher and Editor in Chief of Direct Selling News. “The companies on the list represent a wide range of products and services, but they share a passion for developing a community of independent business owners who share those products and services with customers in their personal networks. It is a unique and powerful distribution channel.”

Fleming added, “The announcement and reveal of the top 100 Direct Selling Companies in the world is a most exciting moment in our year! Congratulations are always extended to those companies who are listed.”  He continued, “The DSN Global 100 is not a competition, it is a listing. The privately held companies who voluntarily submitted their certified revenue for the previous year contribute to the transparency needed to constantly inform a global audience of the impact direct selling companies are making on economies and individual lives around the world.”

For the fifth consecutive year, Ada, Michigan-based Amway claimed the top spot as the No. 1 direct seller in the world, with $8.8 billion in revenue in 2016. The company is truly a global giant, with a large portfolio of brands—including the best-selling nutritional brand in the world, Nutrilite, skincare brand Artistry, as well as the XL Energy Drink business. Amway does business in over 100 markets through more than 3 million independent Amway business owners.

In attendance and accepting the award on behalf of Amway was Jackie Nickel, Chief Marketing Officer of the Americas.

“We’re truly honored to be recognized as a leader in this great industry,” Nickel said. “We credit such a privilege to our millions of Amway Business Owners worldwide, who are at the heart of our business.”

Special Guests

DSN welcomed very special guests to the dinner, esteemed members of Direct Selling Association’s Hall of Fame and the Direct Selling Education Foundation’s Circle of Honor: Charlie Orr, CEO of Canada’s Immunotec; Brian Connolly, CEO of AdvoCare; Stan Fredrick, Chairman of the Board, Mannatech Inc.; and our own John Fleming.

Also in the audience was President of the Direct Sellers Association of Canada James Smith and Chairman of the Direct Selling Education Foundation Dave Wentz.

DSN Global 100

In all, the Global 100 companies achieved more than $82 billion in net sales in 2016, up a fraction from 2015.

The Top 10 companies achieved $40.53 billion in revenue, with the total number of salespeople at about 24 million. It is also a testimony to the power and strength of the direct selling channel that a number of companies reached milestones in 2016. Ten companies grew $100 million or more last year, and 22 companies each reported annual revenue of $1 billion or more.

TextJackie Nickel, Chief Marketing Officer of the Americas at Amway, accepts the night’s top prize for the company, which placed No. 1 on the Global 100.

By region, there were 46 companies from North America in the Global 100; five from South America; nine from Europe/Africa; and 40 from Asia/ Asia-Pacific. A total of 17 countries were represented on the list—Brazil, China, Colombia, Cyprus, France, Germany, India, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Companies appearing in the ranking for the first time included Quanjian from China (No. 8); Marketing Personal from Colombia (No. 81); Global Ventures Partners from the U.S. (No. 92); and Shinsei from China (No. 99). Companies returning to the list were JoyMain from China (No. 13); SUN HOPE from China (No. 23); LegalShield from the U.S. (No. 43); Faberlic from Russia (No. 48); Merro International from China (No. 56); KK Assuran from Japan (No. 64); New Image Group from New Zealand (No. 86); Vestige Marketing from India (No. 91); Immunotec Research from Canada (No. 96); Nefful from Singapore (No. 97); and Captain Tortue Group from France (No. 98).

The Bravo Awards

Each year, the DSN Global 100 celebration endeavors to recognize an industry executive who embodies exceptional leadership qualities that have propelled his or her company to extraordinary new heights. Whether it is inspirational vision that has built solid corporate cultures, innovation that has strengthened the company infrastructure, or creativity that has created new opportunities for independent business owners, our Bravo Leadership Award aims to acknowledge such achievements of a direct selling leader.

This year, one recipient for the Bravo Leadership Award was simply not enough, for there were two remarkable stories that unfolded. The first Bravo Leadership Award was presented to Jim and Kathy Coover, co-founders of Isagenix and a leadership team that has grown their business 247 percent over the past five years, propelling the company into the Top 30 of the DSN Global 100 with $924.3 million in annual revenue. The team recently celebrated their 15th year in business

“As leaders, I think we have an incredible opportunity to step up and demonstrate to the world what a powerful distribution channel we are, and more importantly, what a powerful agent of change we can be,” Jim said. “We have always tried to stay true to our motto of ‘if it isn’t right for our associates and customers, it isn’t right for the company.’ ”

The second recipient of this year’s Bravo Leadership Award was Mark Pentecost, Founder and CEO of It Works! His wellness company did not enter the Global 100 ranking until 2012, when it debuted at $200 million, but over the past four years, the team at this company has grown its revenue 274 percent, reaching No. 33 with $686 million.

TextDebbie Coffey, who accepted Avon Products’ award for its No. 2 ranking on the Global 100, reinforced the importance of companies helping people change their lives.

Leading It Works! to exponential growth during the past few years was reason enough to recognize Pentecost; however, the way in which this former math teacher and basketball coach has taught his team to “live on the offensive” is truly inspirational. As he shares with the audience his personal—and victorious—battle with cancer, he tells a very compelling story of the individual courage to face life’s toughest challenges head on, while doing so with an abundance of integrity and grace

“My team had big plans for 2016, having to deal with cancer wasn’t one of them,” he said. “We can’t plan for every obstacle that is thrown our way, but we can put the team in place and surround ourselves with the best people. When something is thrown your way, you have the support to handle it.”

Pentecost still has big plans for It Works! and for how he and his team can impact the world by being positive change makers. “Good is having a strong company. Great is increasing profits or opening new markets. But legendary is changing the lives of people who need it the most,” he said.

Youth enhancement brand Jeunesse received the Bravo Growth Award for its increase in annual sales by $1 billion over a two-year period—from approximately $400 million in 2014 to $1.4 billion in 2016. It debuted on the Global 100 in 2012 with $65 million in sales, breaking into the top 20 of the Direct Selling News Global 100 list in 2015 and advancing to the No. 14 spot this year with $1.41 billion in net sales. Based in Lake Mary, Florida, the company sells its anti-aging products and nutritional supplements in 140 global markets.

Chief Visionary Officer Scott Lewis accepted the award and commented, “We are pleased to have been chosen by Direct Selling News as their 2017 Bravo Growth Award recipient and appreciate this meaningful recognition. In addition, it is truly an honor to be listed among the top 15 companies in our industry, and we are grateful for the hard work and dedication of our Jeunesse family from across the globe, who we congratulate for making this accomplishment possible.”


Direct Selling News’ Lauren Lawley Head and John Fleming toast the Global 100 honorees.

Impacting Lives for Better World

Debbie Coffey, Vice President, Corporate Communications, New Avon LLC, who accepted Avon Products’ award for its No. 2 ranking on the Global 100 with sales of $5.70 billion in 2016, reinforced the importance of companies helping people change their lives. She is also an Avon Foundation board member.

“Thank you Direct Selling News for this recognition of Avon Products, Inc. performance in 2016. We owe our success to our 6 million Avon Representatives around the world who are changing their lives and the lives of those around them through the Avon opportunity. They are our greatest motivation and inspiration,” said Coffey.

TextMarily Penttinen accepts Mary Kay’s award for placing No. 5 on the Global 100.

“2016 was an exciting year for us at Avon, It was our 130th anniversary, and, as an Avon Foundation Board Member, I am very proud to share that it was the year we reached $1 billion raised globally for women’s causes,” added Coffey, who is also an Avon Foundation board member. “We are so proud to give women living with breast cancer and domestic violence help for today and hope for tomorrow.”

Jackie Nickel, who accepted Amway’s award for No. 1 direct seller in the world, spoke too about purpose and the efforts the company takes to have a positive impact on people’s lives.

“This award is a testament to the work we do each and every day to help people live better lives, discover their potential and achieve their goals,” she said.

The following companies sponsored tables at the DSN Global 100 Celebration:

Platinum Table Sponsors – ACN, Amway, Isagenix, It Works!, Jeunesse, New Avon, Total Life Changes and World Global Network; Gold Table Sponsors – AdvoCare, Ambit Energy, Mannatech, Mary Kay, MONAT, Oriflame, Plexus Worldwide, SeneGence, Stream, WorldVentures, Young Living and Zurvita.

This year, six special suppliers also chose to support Direct Selling News in sponsorship of the banquet: SUCCESS Partners, Avalara, Exigo, Hyperwallet, InfoTrax and Multi Image Group.

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Direct Selling News Honors Oriflame Chief with 2016 Bravo Leadership Award

Photo: Magnus Brännström, CEO and President of Oriflame, addresses his direct selling peers at the 2016 DSN Global 100 Celebration. (Jason Kindig)


Direct Selling News on Thursday named Magnus Brännström, CEO and President of Oriflame, the recipient of the 2016 DSN Bravo Leadership Award.

Each year, the award goes to one direct selling executive who embodies exceptional leadership qualities—providing inspirational vision for their company, motivating their teams toward a common goal, serving others by equipping them to do the best job possible, and especially by empowering them to reach new heights.

Lauren Lawley Head, Publisher and Editor in Chief of Direct Selling News, and John Fleming, the publication’s Ambassador, presented the award to Brännström at the 2016 DSN Global 100 Celebration, held Thursday evening in Dallas. Brännström delivered the keynote address at the event, which marked the unveiling of the DSN Global 100, a list of the top revenue-generating direct selling companies in the world, as well as a regional subset of the list known as the North America 50.

This year’s Global 100, led by Ada, Michigan-based Amway, hail from 17 different countries and represent aggregate revenue of $82 billion. Under Brännström’s leadership, Oriflame has perennially ranked among the top companies on the list, and this year is no exception. The Swiss beauty company came in at No. 14 with annual revenue of $1.35 billion.

Brännström began his direct selling career in 1997, serving in executive posts in Russia, the Baltics and Asia as he worked his way up the corporate ladder. He became CEO of Oriflame, a legacy direct selling company, in 2005 and has continued to lead the business through a dynamic period of technological and geopolitical change. Oriflame now operates in 60 countries—Russia being its biggest market—through a network of more than 3 million consultants.

Like all Bravo Leadership honorees, among them Ambit Energy’s Jere Thompson and Amway’s Doug DeVos, Brännström has exhibited a vision for the future that extends beyond any one company. He is a fierce advocate for the direct selling channel as a whole, and former Chairman of the Board for Seldia, the European Direct Selling Association.

With 254% Revenue Surge, Le-Vel Takes Home 2016 Bravo Growth Award

Photo: Jason Camper and Paul Gravette, Co-Founders and Co-CEOs of Le-Vel, address their direct selling peers at the 2016 DSN Global 100 Celebration.


Direct Selling News on Thursday named Le-Vel the recipient of this year’s DSN Bravo Growth Award. The premium lifestyle brand led its direct selling peers with 254 percent year-over-year growth in 2015.

The award was presented to Jason Camper and Paul Gravette, Co-Founders and Co-CEOs of Le-Vel, at the 2016 DSN Global 100 Celebration, held Thursday evening in Dallas. The annual event marks the unveiling of the DSN Global 100, a list of the top revenue-generating direct selling companies in the world. Le-Vel ranked No. 48 on the Global 100 and No. 29 the North America 50, a subset of the list that recognizes the region’s leading companies.

This year’s Global 100 companies, led by Ada, Michigan-based Amway, hail from 17 different countries and represent aggregate revenue of $82 billion. A closer look at the numbers reveals several remarkable growth stories, none more so than Le-Vel’s. Last year, the maker of Thrive nutrition, weight management and fitness products netted sales of $349 million, an increase of 254 percent over 2014.

Though the Bravo Award recognizes Le-Vel’s achievements in 2015, the company has been one to watch since its launch in 2012. The place to watch this particular brand is on social media, where 90 percent of customer acquisition takes place. More than 500,000 independent sellers, known as Promoters, are online touting the benefits of the Thrive Experience, an eight-week program incorporating a daily regimen of Le-Vel products. Along with a practice of rewarding referrals with free products, the flagship program has boosted annual sales from about $10 million in 2013, to $100 million in 2014, to last year’s $350 million.

At Le-Vel, technology is not only key to customer acquisition—the company reports 2 million and counting—but also the foundation of the business, in a manner of speaking. From its inception the company has eschewed a brick-and-mortar headquarters, opting to make its home in the cloud. Le-Vel leadership credits cloud technology with enabling the business to stay nimble and hire the best talent in the world, while keeping overhead at an absolute minimum.

 

Direct Selling News Unveils Industry’s Top Companies in Seventh Annual DSN Global 100

In recognition of those companies that lead the way in offering an unparalleled opportunity for individuals to start their own businesses, Direct Selling News today unveiled its seventh annual DSN Global 100, an exclusive ranking of the top revenue-generating companies in direct selling.

The DSN Global 100 is a collective effort to show the impact and potential of the $182.8 billion direct selling channel. Unveiled online at DirectSellingNews.com and featured in the June issue of Direct Selling News magazine, this year’s Global 100 companies hail from 17 countries and represent aggregate revenue of more than $82 billion.

The DSN Global 100 tells a story of impressive growth in 2015, exhibited by the fact that 20 companies surpassed $1 billion in annual revenue,” said Lauren Lawley Head, Publisher and Editor in Chief of Direct Selling News. “These exceptional companies represent not only corporate staff, but millions of lives impacted by the products and opportunity they offer.”

Many direct selling companies had an incredible year of growth and success in 2015. For the first time, 20 companies each reported annual revenue of $1 billion or more. For the fourth consecutive year, Ada, Michigan-based Amway claimed the No. 1 rank, with $9.5 billion in revenue. Avon, Herbalife, Vorwerk and Infinitus rounded out the top five on this year’s list.Best Places To Work 2017

DSN also presented a regional subset of the Global 100: The North America 50, which was first introduced in 2015. As its name implies, the North America 50 ranks the most significant players in one of the world’s largest direct selling markets.

The annual event celebrating the Global 100 took place on April 7, 2015, at the Omni Hotel in downtown Dallas. During the dinner and awards ceremony, DSN also presented its Bravo Awards for excellence. Wellness and lifestyle brand Le-Vel received the Bravo Growth Award for its extraordinary 254 percent year-over-year growth, amounting to revenue of $349 million in 2015. Magnus Brännström, CEO and President of Switzerland-based Oriflame Cosmetics and keynote speaker for the evening, received the Bravo Leadership Award for leading his company to annual revenue of $1.35 billion amid a period of great economic and geopolitical turmoil in many of its top markets.

DSN created the Global 100 list to acknowledge the successes of individual direct selling companies and provide a clear picture of the magnitude of the industry. In its seventh year of undertaking this project, DSN continues its commitment to create a fair ranking that will showcase a transparent industry, thus providing credibility and consumer confidence as well as research support for those seeking information on direct selling companies.

Letter from John Fleming, June 2014

Click here to order the June 2014 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.

We are always proud to announce the DSN Global 100! Those companies that participate reveal not only a level of performance, but a very transparent look at who they are and what they do. The ranking allows for a compilation of stats, facts and profiles that serve to identify the impact these companies are having on lives and economies around the world. We now know that the ranking is often used by companies and observers as somewhat of a benchmark. Every company in every slot participated by sharing their basic information for the greater benefit of showing the impact the direct selling channel of distribution has on the lives of people. Behind the numbers are the many stories of people from all walks of life who are benefiting from the products and services sold by independent business owners. There are so many stories to tell, and in this issue we will tell a few about the companies and individuals who were recognized for special achievement due to performance and their individual work.

John FlemingOn April 23 at our annual celebration, we presented our 2013 Bravo Awards in three categories, Growth (both percentage increase over prior year and revenue increase over prior year), Leadership and Humanitarian effort. We think you will enjoy reading the highlights of everything that happened and more about the honorees who received those awards. Most importantly, we extend our appreciation and gratitude to all who joined us on the evening of April 23 and all of the companies who sponsored tables, which enabled a most enjoyable event.

For us, each year of hosting the DSN Global 100 Celebration has certainly resulted in a feeling of “this was truly the best ever or best to date.” Our keynote speakers have delivered messages that have served to inform and inspire, captivate and motivate the audience of attendees to realize the long-term effect of what the direct selling industry does in offering an opportunity for people to be primary players in the free enterprise system. Our performance as an industry is always based upon the combined efforts of all of the cast members; for the Global 100, it is the many different companies that comprise what we refer to as the direct selling industry.

Direct Selling may not be the two words every company uses to describe itself, but in all cases, the companies that are using this channel are about the people—about community—and we have been about these things since the formation of the direct selling business model. At the DSN Global 100 banquet, we celebrated all of the preceding. Truman Hunt, President and CEO of Nu Skin and keynote speaker for the evening, shared beyond expectations as did every keynote speaker we have ever invited.

Our first award was historic, going to Origami Owl. It was our Bravo Growth Award Based on Percentage. I mention this award in the limited space of this note because of the extraordinary accomplishment, but also because of the founding story. This company started as a result of a 14-year-old, a goal and a parent’s insistence upon the teenager earning the privilege of enjoying what she may have thought to be an ordinary request for a 16th birthday celebration. This particular teen’s request was denied and turned into a challenge that required her to earn the prize versus being gifted it. The result: An enterprising mind-set was formed that led the teen from one idea and experience to another and finally, the founding of a big idea—Origami Owl, the company that walked away from stage with the honor of being the company with the greatest percentage increase over the prior year (870 percent), also landing in the No. 50 slot of the DSN Global 100. Bella Weems and her mother, Chrissy, accepted the award with the grace and humility of seasoned entrepreneurs, and yet their story has just begun.

Enjoy this issue and keep it for reference. Every story we tell is a reflection of the many stories you create each and every day as you lead the efforts of your companies to change lives for the better through an entrepreneurial opportunity.

The opportunity to engage in a growing and preferred channel of distribution allows the ordinary to become the extraordinary! It serves consumers the way they most enjoy—in a personal manner. The recent Harris Poll that DSN engaged tells us over two-thirds of Americans have purchased from a direct seller! The direct selling industry is leading the way in creating the New Main Street! The New Main Street is not where you find the bricks and mortar of traditional retail but where you find what you need through the personal and social interaction with another person who represents what you need, want, or want to know more about. On June 10, anotherDSN insert will be distributed in The Wall Street Journal, a subscriber-only edition, to define the New Main Street and what direct selling is really all about. We will offer reprints through our DSN Store—you won’t want to miss this!

Until next month… enjoy the issue!

John Fleming
Publisher and Editor in Chief

Nerium: Making People Better—Together

by Karyn Reagan and DSN Staff

Photo above: Nerium Brand Partners celebrate during a recent incentive trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, in 2013.

Nerium


Company Profile

  • Founded: 2011
  • Headquarters: Addison, Texas
  • Top Executives: Jeff Olson, Founder and CEO; Renee Olson, Co-Founder and Corporate Liaison; Dennis Windsor, Co-Founder and President; and Amber Olson Rourke, Co-Founder and Vice President of Marketing and Culture.
  • Products: Anti-aging skincare

Nerium’s rapid growth and success is also activating a commitment and responsibility to serve. The company is still young—two full years in business—and already becoming a significant force in mentoring and changing lives.

What nobler mission could there be than to better the life of another? When the founders of Nerium International were pouring the philosophical foundation of their new company they were influenced by their own life experiences. They had learned that lifting others up often results in one’s own life becoming richer, and they desired to transfer that concept to all aspects of their new company.

It is this philosophy and unwavering belief in the importance of people to the success of the entity that brought the founders together to form, not only a solid company, but also a community of entrepreneurs who would embrace such a culture.

Jeff OlsonJeff Olson

Jeff Olson, Founder and CEO, had written a very popular book—The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines Into Massive Success—that laid the groundwork for the principles and values upon which to build the company. Renee Olson, Co-Founder and Corporate Liaison, would take on the responsibility of ensuring that this philosophy would be communicated to the field where relationships could grow and the concept could be cultivated. Dennis Windsor, Co-Founder and President, would integrate these values into the sales plan designed to attract people from every walk of life possible. To complete the team, Amber Olson Rourke, Co-Founder and Vice President of Marketing and Culture, would take on the responsibilities associated with the marketing of the products, and most important, the Nerium Culture. The mission of the company became quite simple: Make People Better.

Renee OlsonRenee Olson

Nerium markets two products focused on anti-aging. The marketing philosophy is built upon simplicity and results. Rourke explained the two-prong strategy: “Simplicity is addressed by offering one product for night use and one product for day use instead of a regimen of products. We share results actually through the excitement of Nerium customers. We knew this product worked and decided that the best way to share its impact is by showing before and after photos.”

Instead of providing pictures from the corporate office produced by a professional photographer, Nerium’s leadership asked users to provide their own photos, taken on their phones. This bold marketing tactic, in conjunction with the company philosophy of Nerium Gives Back, has played a major role in the company’s extraordinary success.

Dennis WindsorDennis Windsor

Windsor does not speak in traditional sales language when he discusses how Nerium Brand Partners actually build their businesses. He emphasizes the importance of understanding the value of serving, giving of one’s self, and making a positive impact on someone else’s life, family, neighbors and community. The company becomes a role model for giving and serving by making it possible for all Brand Partners to qualify for free product through performance. This ignites company giving, which in turn allows Brand Partners to “give through sampling” via their interactions with potential customers and prospective Brand Partners. Active customers who are purchasing regularly also have the opportunity to earn free product when they refer other customers who become active users. Rarely do Brand Partners have to invest in product to build their businesses. Their performance can qualify them for free product, which is the foundation of the sampling strategy.

Amber Olson RourkeAmber Olson Rourke

The company consistently looks for more and more ways to give and demonstrate their commitment to their people. Olson personally created a unique way to communicate this commitment by starting what he believes will evolve into a worldwide movement. The purpose of a newly introduced “Live Happy” project is to share with others the importance of personal responsibility, especially in the area of purposefully living a happy life. Live Happy magazine is completely separate from Nerium marketing material. The magazine is approximately 80 pages and does not contain Nerium branding or advertisement. It is entirely devoted to editorial that supports turning positive psychology into applicable life steps and why happiness should be thought of as a choice rather than a result. Scientific research has proven that happiness is a precursor to success, great relationships, health and more. The magazine is on newsstands and is unique in that it contains nothing of a negative nature. Most unique is that it is given free to all active Brand Partners and all active Nerium customers of Brand Partners.

Olson speaks with enormous pride and unflappable enthusiasm when he speaks about Live Happy. He sponsored The Positive Education Summit recently held at 10 Downing Street in London, which attracted some of the most notable thought leaders, educators and scientists on the subject of happiness. International Day of Happiness, sponsored by the United Nations, is March 20, and Live Happy staff is a participant in the planning.


As part of its Nerium Ripple movement, the company recently donated $300,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters with the help of employees, Brand Partners and customers.As part of its Nerium Ripple movement, the company recently donated $300,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters with the help of employees, Brand Partners and customers. During the BBBS signature fundraising event, Bowl for Kids’ Sake, people rallied at local bowling centers across the nation raising awareness of the challenges some children face.During the BBBS signature fundraising event, Bowl for Kids’ Sake, people rallied at local bowling centers across the nation raising awareness of the challenges some children face. A Nerium workshop for young people based on the book SUCCESS for Teens.A Nerium workshop for young people based on the book SUCCESS for Teens.

Growing with a Heart

In 2012, Nerium closed its first full year with $100 million in revenues, achieving the Direct Selling News Bravo Award for Growth that year, and it is on track to have another record-breaking year when 2013 numbers are released. “We always knew we would be a great skincare company and a great financial opportunity, but our real goal has always been around making people better,” Olson says.


“We always knew we would be a great skincare company and a great financial opportunity, but our real goal has always been around making people better.” —Jeff Olson, Founder and CEO


He reveals that a vast majority of Nerium Brand Partners have never been involved in direct selling. For Nerium’s leadership team this fact presents an opportunity to provide training to individuals hungry to learn the best way to build a Nerium business. “Our training is comprehensive, with resources for every level of knowledge,” Olson says.

As part of the training program there is a Fast Start Kit, online training for both new and experienced Brand Partners, monthly regional training meetings, corporate seasonal events, weekly corporate and field leadership conference calls, and an entire Nerium University in the form of topic-specific webinars. Most unique is the fact that 50 percent of all content is focused on personal development of the individual—and now on Live Happy. In support of this, Renee Olson ensures that the field sales organization experiences a feeling of having joined a family—one that believes in each other and believes a spirit of sharing is critical and essential to mutual success. She is admired by the sales organization and, along with the Brand Partner Relationship Team, devotes a lot of her time to interaction with Nerium Brand Partners and customers.

NeriumNerium also retained an esteemed leadership coach for its leaders. The coaching is not just about business building but most importantly about how to achieve life goals and work-life balance.

Jeff Olson says, “The focus on the importance personal happiness has on one’s life is simply smart business, and there is a predicted impact on both recruitment and retention. The concept of personal development is usually understood, but it often takes time to experience the personal benefit. However, when one understands that they can take control of their personal level of happiness, benefits can be derived in less than 30 days.”

Matching Missions

In the midst of record-breaking growth, the leadership of Nerium implemented its plan to give back to the community—a concept dear to the hearts of those at the helm. Olson says: “We know we have a responsibility as a successful company to give back, so we searched for an organization with the same core values and mission as ours. A few key considerations rose to the top of our list, such as a focus on mentorship, dreaming big, the power of relationships and the importance of focusing on one person at a time. All of these concepts are at the core of the relationship-building philosophy we encourage while training Brand Partners. These principles and values that we teach and stress are very important to us.”

The organization that rose to the top was Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS). For more than a century BBBS has been partnering children and teens (Littles), ages 6 through 18, with adult volunteers (Bigs) for the purpose of offering positive relationships that have a direct effect on these young lives. According to BBBS’s website, the Big Brothers Association was formed in 1904, and many years later it partnered with Big Sisters International, an organization of Catholic Sisters following the same plan as Big Brothers. Eventually, the partnership formed what is now BBBS. “Their philosophy of helping make people’s lives better perfectly matches what we strive to achieve at Nerium,” Olson says. “Their mission statement is essentially the same as ours.” At BBBS the mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.

Nerium’s commitment to the national Big Brothers Big Sisters movement earned them the prestigious Big Brothers Big Sisters Community Impact Award in June 2013 for the great energy and generosity the company demonstrated. The award is given annually to a company whose generosity greatly impacts the community of the mentoring organization. Every day Nerium Brand Partners reach out through Big Brothers Big Sisters to offer their support in hometowns across the United States. Olson explains that most of the children in the BBBS program come from single-parent or low-income households or from families where a parent is incarcerated or serving in the military. Once they are paired with an adult mentor, or Big, that relationship is for their entire childhood. The results have been proven to be extremely positive. A national research study of BBBS conducted by Public/Private Ventures, an independent Philadelphia-based national research organization, found that after spending 18 months with Bigs, children were:

  • 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs
  • 27% less likely to begin using alcohol
  • 52% less likely to skip school
  • 37% less likely to skip a class
  • 33% less likely to hit someone

“[Big Brothers Big Sisters’] philosophy of helping make people’s lives better perfectly matches what we strive to achieve at Nerium. Their mission statement is essentially the same as ours.”
—Jeff Olson


The Nerium Effect

Hundreds of Brand Partners have become Bigs, according to Nerium. Big candidates are vetted by BBBS and then selected based on completion of the application process. “Brand Partners are excited to be involved with an organization that makes such a positive impact on individuals and communities. It’s what we call the Nerium Ripple in action,” Rourke says. The Nerium Ripple was introduced at the 2013 annual conference as Brand Partners were encouraged to individually take responsibility and collectively change the world. At its core, the movement strives to create positive ripples in everyday life. She continues, “Partnering with BBBS is a very real way that we encourage Brand Partners and Nerium employees to create ripples in their communities. If one positive act can create a ripple effect that can change a life, imagine the impact that hundreds and thousands of positive actions can make on future generations.”


“If one positive act can create a ripple effect that can change a life, imagine the impact that hundreds and thousands of positive actions can make on future generations.”
—Amber Olson Rourke, Co-Founder and VP of Marketing and Culture


In addition to becoming Bigs to the BBBS Littles, Nerium employees and Brand Partners raise funds throughout the year to donate to the organization. Fundraisers are held at local, regional and national events. “Our partners have raised over $400,000 in just one year,” Rourke says. “Over $100,000 of that amount was raised at the BBBS signature fundraising event, Bowl for Kids’ Sake.” Half a million people rally at local bowling centers across the nation raising awareness of the challenges some children face.

“From the very first day that we announced Nerium’s support of BBBS, the Brand Partners have embraced the cause,” Rourke says. “They easily recognize the value of changing lives for the better.” In addition to becoming Bigs and participating in corporately sponsored fundraisers, the Brand Partners have creatively raised funds on their own and truly taken ownership of the cause. “Giving to this cause is part of our corporate culture. That’s very exciting because every $1,000 raised basically supports another Big and Little match,” she says.

Each Nerium starter kit contains information about BBBS and prepares new Brand Partners for fundraisers included at regional and corporate training events under the direction of BBBS Vice President of Corporate Sponsorship Lowell Perry. “It is very exciting when two organizations committed to personal enrichment lock arms around a common cause,” Perry says. BBBS provides a vehicle for Nerium Brand Partners to make a huge “ripple” that will support the mentorship children need regardless of current socioeconomic status or family situation. BBBS’s CEO Charles Pierson also took the opportunity to comment on Nerium’s impact. He says, “Nerium’s support and creativity are transforming how we carry out the service to our youth in communities around this country.”


Nerium’s workshops, based on the book SUCCESS for Teens, teach children how to get where they want to go in life, how to bolster their own self-esteem and how to develop the kind of leadership skills that will help them recognize opportunities and meet their goals.


Success Workshops

 

Kids learn about self-esteem, life goals and leadership during a Nerium workshop.

Kids learn about self-esteem, life goals and leadership during a Nerium workshop.


Nerium International also brings personal development to young people. Based on the book SUCCESS for Teens, workshops are conducted in conjunction with all major events. Brand Partners bring their children along with their friends. “It’s a very special workshop because it shows kids that every day you can get 1 percent better,” says Victor Palomares, a high school literature teacher who leads the workshops. The workshops teach children how to get where they want to go in life, how to bolster their own self-esteem and how to develop the kind of leadership skills that will help them recognize opportunities and meet their goals.

Return on Giving

Nerium International falls into the new company category when looking at years in business. However, the company’s impact on lives appears to measure beyond its chronological age. The company commitment to give goes beyond dollars and cents and represents another example of why the culture of a direct selling company can have such a positive impact on lives.

So where does a company that has made such an impact go from here? Nerium’s plans for the future include creating a global presence, continuing to be a major corporate sponsor and provider of Bigs in support of BBBS, and growing their business by adhering to the three words of the mission statement: Make People Better.

Momentum Award: Momentum through Focus

by Barbara Seale

It Works! Global accepts the Bravo Momentum Award at the DSN Global 100 Celebration held in April.


IN THIS ISSUE:

• Cover Story • 10 Things to Know • The List 
• Topping the Charts • Profiles • Celebration

BRAVO AWARDS: 
• Leadership • Growth • Momentum


It Works! Global


For 11 years Mark Pentecost and his team have had dream jobs. They’ve built It Works! Global™ into a $200 million company on the principle of being debt-free in combination with instant-result products.

It Works! Global built its success on a product line that revolves around the It Works! Wrap—a contouring wrap that can tighten, tone and firm any area of the body in as little as 45 minutes.

For its first nine years the company grew at a respectable rate, picking up the pace month after month. But Pentecost, Founder and CEO, believed it could do better. As he watched the Direct Selling News 2011 Global 100 companies being announced, he set a personal goal: Next year It Works! Global would be in front of the room speaking at the event. Pentecost achieved that goal in 2012 and also set a goal for the 2013 event: accepting an award for a spot in the Global 100. Since the It Works! team stayed committed, accomplishing the goals came naturally. It refined its approach, charged up its corporate employees and distributors, and shot solidly into the middle of the rarified air of this year’s Direct Selling News Global 100.

It Works! Global not only secured the No. 56 position, but it also became the first recipient of the Bravo Momentum Award, created to recognize a company not previously ranked that has demonstrated not only significant growth, but the most significant first-time ranking on the DSN Global 100.

What did that momentum look like? In 2011 the company’s revenue was $45 million. In 2012 revenue jumped to $200 million. The It Works! Global secret? It identified a single, strong mission, put a plan together to execute its objective, and stayed laser-focused.

It set an aggressive goal: Double the company’s revenues in 2012. Its theme was One Team. One Mission. $100 Million. The response was so strong that as One Team, It Works! Global reached its goal in just seven months. Then in the next five months, it doubled its revenues again.

Pentecost says that the biggest challenge was to keep the message simple.

“Anyone can complicate things,” he says. “It takes genius to simplify it. We had one message from the top down, and we worked hard to stay focused. We said no to anything else that came up.”

Debt-Free: The New Sexy

In every conference call, every meeting, every event, and even through their branded T-shirts, they drove the message home.

“We’re going to stay debt-free and sexy,” says Director of Sales Mike Potillo. “That message is unique to who we are as a company. It’s what we practice personally and as a company, and it’s what the field responds to.”

To give becoming debt-free a sexy sizzle, It Works! Global transformed the concept into a G.O.O.D. performance bonus. The G.O.O.D. emphasis: Get Out Of Debt, and it includes bonuses that increase as distributors achieve a higher leadership rank within the company. It Works! encourages distributors to use the bonus, which can be as much as $50,000, to pay off debts. Distributors embraced the debt-free challenge, earning $15 million in G.O.O.D. bonuses last year.


The Bravo Momentum Award was created to recognize a company not previously ranked that has demonstrated not only significant growth, but the most significant first-time ranking on the DSN Global 100.


“People are putting their pictures on Facebook paying off credit cards, student loans, and other debts,” Pentecost reports. “In this economy it’s a message that’s helping people.”

He notes that the message also resonates throughout the distributor force, from millennials who are carrying huge student loans but having trouble finding professional positions that let them repay their debts, to baby boomers who have done what they always were taught they should do: invest in their homes, stocks and bonds. But the slumping economy of the last few years has left them with underwater mortgages, credit-card debts and no money for retirement.

Mark Pentecost (left), Founder and CEO of It Works! Global, accepts the Bravo Momentum Award from DSN Publisher and Editor in Chief John Fleming.Mark Pentecost (left), Founder and CEO of It Works! Global, accepts the Bravo Momentum Award from DSN Publisher and Editor in Chief John Fleming.


“This is the right time for us to say that there’s freedom in being debt-free and there’s freedom in owning your own time,” Pentecost says. “When people are helped to get out of debt, it relieves stress in their lives.”

Potillo adds, “The debt crisis is everywhere, so our message resonates. At a time when whole countries can’t get their debt under control, we just infused $15 million into the U.S. economy for people to pay down personal debt.”

The phrase, “debt-free” has always been a hallmark at It Works!. Pentecost and a group of close colleagues and friends started the company on a shoestring in 2001.

It all began when Pam Sowder, one of the company’s founders and now its Director of Marketing, learned about the Ultimate Body Applicator, now known as the It Works! Wrap, which tightens unwanted skin in less than an hour and then provides progressive results for 72 hours. She called Pentecost to tell him about it. Pentecost was skeptical, but his wife, Cindy, immediately recognized the possibilities. They agreed to go to Mexico to meet with the product’s inventor, Luis Mijares, now the company’s Product Development Specialist.


“At a time when whole countries can’t get their debt under control, we just infused $15 million into the U.S. economy for people to pay down personal debt.”
—Mike Potillo, Director of Sales


They applied their first wrap in their hotel room and waited. Sure enough, Cindy saw results right away. From the hotel, she called her best friend Krista to tell her about the product. Krista’s response: “Don’t come home without one for me!” Then 30 seconds later she called Cindy back and asked for one for her daughter.

Pentecost recognized that they had just witnessed the power of network marketing. So he made another big decision. He would create a network marketing company to sell the wrap.

With his background in both coaching and network marketing, Pentecost knew how to put together a team. He had been a top-10 distributor for a major direct selling company, so when he stopped thinking of the It Works! Wrap as a product and began viewing it as a business opportunity, he naturally thought of direct selling.


“I knew that when I started my company, I wanted it to be in this industry. It’s been life-changing for me, and I want to pass that on.”
—Mark Pentecost, Founder and CEO


“Network marketing had such an impact on my life,” he recalls. “I knew that when I started my company, I wanted it to be in this industry. It’s been life-changing for me, and I want to pass that on.”

With Sowder as his Director of Marketing, Pentecost started slowly, investing his own money in the business, building a strong team, and laying a solid foundation. For a while, the new company didn’t even have a name. But soon customers named it through their reactions to the wrap.

“You can almost count on it,” Pentecost reports. “In the company’s first weeks, we were on the road to another name, but it kept happening. People would put on the product, and 45 minutes later they would say, ‘It works!’ So finally we named the company It Works! because that’s what we kept hearing.”

Little by little, the company grew, slowly at first, then a little faster. Even when the economy weakened, It Works! grew consistently. Pentecost controlled expenses and invested time in building the company’s culture and leaders. And in 2009, at the beginning of one of the toughest economic slumps in recent history, It Works! Global became totally debt-free, establishing one of the company’s core principles.

The Magic of Momentum

 2013 Bravo Momentum Award: It Works! Global2013 Bravo Momentum Award: It Works! Global


Early in the company’s life, they also developed a second core principle—simplicity. They kept their marketing message simple: Give us 45 minutes and you’ll see results. They kept products simple: Every one must be complementary to the It Works! Wrap. They kept training simple: Three Steps to Success. And they kept it all fun. The It Works! Global team likes to say that It Works! isn’t a party plan company, but they love to party.

In fact, Join the Party—throwing a Wrap Party at home or on Facebook to share the instant results of the It Works! Wrap—is the first Step to Success. Just imagine the fun and laughter as friends apply “that crazy wrap thing,” as the company nicknames it, to practically any part of their body they want to tone. Many also try the deep hydration Facial Applicators, botanically infused cloth masks that give a visible lift and soften signs of aging. All that’s left is to wait for the results. During that short 45 minutes, the distributor-host explains the opportunity that is literally stuck to their bodies. The “big sell” comes in just 45 minutes when the wraps come off and people see measurable results. How many people could say no?

Hosts at that Wrap Party are probably wearing something simple: It Works! branded gear—shirts, hats, bags and buttons in It Works! signature colors of black, green and bling. But as colorful as the gear is, it goes beyond simply flashing the company logo. Worn at a Wrap Party or a coffee shop, the gear is a conversation starter that helps distributors build their businesses. The gear displays phrases such as Living the DreamWhole Notha Level, and It Will Change Your Life. To introduce prospects outside their warm markets to It Works!, distributors can use marketing materials such as blitz cards, oversized business cards that invite prospects to try “that crazy wrap thing.” The card includes a $25 discount coupon and the offer to host a party and try the wrap for the best price of all: Free! And with so many millennials among the distributors, It Works! teaches both face-to-face and online marketing techniques.


It Works! Global can boast that new distributors are unusually youthful. Their average age falls into the coveted 25- to 35-year-old demographic.


Sticking to those basics laid the foundation that would keep the company humming when exponential growth kicked in. And did it ever kick in! Inc. magazine ranked It Works! Global on its 500/5000 list this year and reported that the company has produced 543 percent growth over the past three years. It simplified the original It Works! Wrap and added new products that complemented it. Executives made a decision to establish operations in Australia and parts of Europe. Today the company pays commissions to more than 50,000 distributors.

With recruit numbers growing so fast, It Works! Global can also boast that those new distributors are unusually youthful. Their average age falls into the coveted 25- to 35-year-old demographic.

That hockey-stick growth let Pentecost do something else he always wanted to do. He bought a golf course. In early 2011 he moved the It Works! headquarters from Grand Rapids, Mich., to Bradenton, Fla., just a mile from the golf course he now owns. In a nod to its black, green and bling brand colors, the company hosts monthly “Green Carpet Days” to recognize top producers and provide them with information, training, testimonials, and a little social time on the golf course and the nearby beach. It’s a perfect reflection of the Wrap Party fun that helped the distributors grow their businesses so successfully.

Those distributors have a high ratio of customers to distributors, who keep on ordering products and telling their friends about “that crazy wrap thing.” It Works! keeps them coming back by offering special deep-discount pricing to repeat customers, as well as a customer loyalty program. And of course that creates a perfect storm for distributor retention.


The Inc. 500/5000 List reported that It Works! Global has produced 543 percent growth over the past three years.


It Works! has already outgrown the building it moved into in early 2011. With plans to add many more jobs—a boost to the local economy—by 2015, this fall It Works! will move into its new headquarters building in nearby Palmetto, Fla. The remodeled waterfront space will be an architectural demonstration of the magnetic It Works! culture, complete with slides in place of staircases.

“We are going to create an innovative office space that will allow employees, distributors and guests alike to enjoy our youthful and energetic corporate culture,” Pentecost says. “With sunsets over the Manatee River and a marina right next door, we can drive our boats to work and truly live our motto that ‘We’re more Jimmy Buffett than Warren Buffett!’ ”


The next It Works! goal: Double the company again this year.


The next It Works! goal: Double the company again this year. Pentecost has every confidence that they’ll do it. The former math teacher says the numbers are on track.

“Once you have a winning formula, the key is to stay the course,” he emphasizes. “We have a simple system and a product that everybody wants. We have a new goal this year but the same simple system to get there. With our growth and what’s going on in the company, we could do anything. But we can’t do everything. We’re focused on what we do well.”

July 2012 Top Desk: Nu Skin’s Ability to Create Smiles around the World

Direct Selling News – July 2012

Top Desk

Nu Skin’s Ability to Create Smiles around the World

by Steve Lund, Vice Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of Nourish the Children, Nu Skin

Students at the Community Based Childcare Center in Malawi, Africa, become healthy, well-fed, and better learners at school after receiving nutrition such as VitaMeal each day for lunch.


Click here to order the Direct Selling News issue in which this article appeared.


Xiao Bai He, an orphan in Hengshui region, China, who suffered from severe malnutrition, is happy and healthy after receiving VitaMeal for several months.
Xiao Bai He, an orphan in Hengshui region, China, who suffered from severe malnutrition, is happy and healthy after receiving VitaMeal for several months.


According to UNICEF (State of the World’s Children, 2008), “Every day, on average, more than 26,000 children under the age of five die around the world, mostly from preventable causes. … In up to half of under-five deaths an underlying cause is under-nutrition, which deprives a young child’s body and mind of the nutrients needed for growth and development.” If only a small percentage of the population was willing to contribute two meals per day, millions of lives could be saved.

Ten years ago Nu Skin took action to address the tragedy of childhood hunger with our Nourish the Children (NTC) initiative. This innovative social enterprise applies the rigor of successful business practices to provide a consistent and growing supply of nourishing food to the children in the world with the greatest need. Since it was established, the Nu Skin family has donated more than 250 million meals to malnourished children in more than 50 countries.

Direct Selling News recently honored Nu Skin and our NTC initiative with the Bravo Award for humanitarian leadership at its Global 100 awards gala. We were deeply honored they selected us and noted our innovative approach to world hunger.

Nu Skin’s Mission: Be a Force for Good

Our success at Nu Skin can be attributed to many things—great products, great leaders and great markets. But there is an additional critical element—the giving, nurturing, generous culture that we have built with our distributors. This unique culture is so central to our success that it is built into our guiding company mission statement:

“Our mission is to be a force for good throughout the world by empowering people to improve lives with rewarding business opportunities, innovative products, and an enriching, uplifting culture.”

Nu Skin’s force for good culture is not just a slogan we can point to when telling others about the business. Our commitment to improving lives is an integral part of who we are and what we do at Nu Skin. That is why we launched our Nourish the Children initiative—it made sense because being a force for good was in our DNA.

Why the Nourish the Children Initiative


Consider the fact that every day more than 15,000 children die from malnutrition.


Consider the fact that every day more than 15,000 children die from malnutrition. That is 105,000 children a week and 450,000 children each month, which means every year, 5.5 million children die because they do not have enough food to eat. One child starving would be too many—hundreds of thousands is an untenable blight on civilization.

Through NTC we are helping children in a very innovative way. It is an entirely new approach to helping children. Nourish the Children is a free enterprise approach to alleviating starvation among the world’s most vulnerable people—its children. NTC combines the rigors and efficiencies of successful business with the inherent goodness of Nu Skin’s employees, distributors and customers to address the epidemic of hunger and malnutrition.


In 2011 alone, the Nu Skin family purchased and donated more than 20 million meals for malnourished children in nearly 20 countries.


Nu Skin makes a special food for malnourished children called VitaMeal®. It is developed by Nu Skin nutritional scientists and collaborators. Specially formulated for malnourished children, VitaMeal features 25 vitamins and minerals, as well as a careful balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat and electrolytes. Our employees, distributors and customers purchase bags of VitaMeal the same way they purchase any other Nu Skin products. The product is then donated to one of our nonprofit charity partners, who distribute the meals at no cost to the children with the greatest need. Regular VitaMeal shipments are sent to feed hundreds of thousands of children in places such as Africa, China, the Philippines, Thailand and South America. In 2011 alone, the Nu Skin family purchased and donated more than 20 million meals for malnourished children in nearly 20 countries.

Making a Difference in Malawi

Malawi is one of the many places that Nu Skin is making a difference in the lives of children. A couple of years ago, I accompanied a group of Nu Skin distributors on a trip to Malawi. The African country has a population of about 12 million people, 2 million of whom are AIDS orphans. One morning we drove a couple of hours out of Lilongwe to a village, which houses about 100 of these AIDS orphans in a little one-room, red-brick schoolhouse where we would help serve VitaMeal. As we arrived and entered the school, the kids were wall to wall, sitting cross-legged on the floor singing songs. There was no furniture. They sang with such enthusiasm that you almost wanted to protect your ears.

Outside there was a wood fire, built of branches broken off of nearby trees. Soon there was a large pot of water on the fire being mixed with VitaMeal.

A line formed as bowls were filled and passed with spoons to the front children, and then deeper into the room. I was in the back of the room surrounded by 100 little bodies vibrating with excitement. The sweet smells of VitaMeal filled the air, just like in your mother’s kitchen.

I stepped outside for a minute to catch my breath and gather myself, and I leaned against the back wall. I looked out and saw in the distance women in every direction running and pushing their children ahead of them. Word had gotten out that there was food in the village, and they came running for miles. I went back inside and word trickled to us in the back of the room that we were running out of food. There were still a dozen kids without a bowl. Our hearts sank as the last portions passed through our hands.

The children saw that the food was running out, and then this amazing thing happened. As the last four or five bowls were handed out, the children who received those bowls walked through the crowd, spread themselves out in the back of the room, dropped to the floor, and instead of eating, pushed their bowls out in front of them and invited others to sit down, then passed spoons around and shared. Everyone got some spoonfuls. Soon the children were back to singing and laughing.

As I looked around the room, I realized we were the only ones crying. The children were fine. They were used to this—were used to making the best of things. It occurred to me that even in this difficult place there were more smiles than tears. Lots more.


I have looked into children’s faces and seen their gratitude because of the support of the Nu Skin family.


Later that day we took a truck full of VitaMeal and distributed that to the parents in this village, and those mothers who I had seen running through the countryside were now celebrating and returning home with enough food to keep their families healthy for a while.

Through the years I have had the immense privilege of witnessing the difference Nu Skin is making in people’s lives, particularly through our distributors’ kindness and generosity. I have seen our distributors’ goodness, offering a hand of hope to children who stood helpless with disease, hunger and poverty. I have looked into the children’s faces and seen their gratitude because of the support of the Nu Skin family. At its heart, this is what this business is all about—lifting people, helping them to become more than they thought was possible, and then inspiring others to do the same.


Steve LundSteve Lund is Nu Skin Vice Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of Nourish the Children.