Rodan + Fields Chief Lori Bush Set to Retire

President and CEO Lori Bush is set to retire from Rodan + Fields in early 2016, according to a recent statement from the skincare company.

“It has been an honor and privilege to be entrusted with the founders’ brand and mission over the past eight years, and I couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve built together,” said Bush. “Our brand and business model is so much about choice, deciding today how tomorrow looks, and I am more than grateful that I am in a position to choose the timing of the start of my next chapter. I look forward to continued involvement with Rodan + Fields while enjoying more time with my family in my retirement.”

The San Francisco-based company expects to name a successor early next year. Bush has led Rodan + Fields since 2007, when management decided to pull out of high-end department stores and implement a social commerce model. Under her leadership, the seller of dermatology-inspired products has grown to $330 million in annual revenue, making it the No. 28 direct selling company in North America. After handing over the reins, Bush will retain her seat on the company’s board and serve as an advisor to the incoming CEO.

“Lori’s leadership and dedication to Rodan + Fields has been a driving force behind our remarkable success as one of the fastest-growing premium skincare brands in the U.S.,” said Amnon Rodan, Chairman of the Board. “Her guidance as a member of our board will be invaluable as we continue to grow the brand domestically and globally. We thank Lori for the innumerable contributions she has made to Rodan + Fields during her tenure as CEO and wish her all the best in her retirement.”

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The Future of Direct Selling in the U.S.

by Andrea Tortora

Click here to order the October 2015 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


Direct selling in the United States is undergoing a transformation fueled by innovative approaches rooted in classic business practices. The power generators leading the way for direct selling as a channel of distribution can be found in what Direct Selling News has identified as the upper middle market: those companies with annual sales roughly between $300 million and $1 billion.

Because most direct selling companies are privately held and many decline to disclose their financial results, it is difficult to create a definitive list. Our research honed in on a group of more than 30 U.S.-based companies, most of which are experiencing significant growth. Some of them are on the cusp of reaching $300 million, and some likely have recently passed the $1 billion mark. But together they are critical to direct selling’s competitiveness and future. They tend to be among the fastest growing when it comes to revenue, and they account for a large slice of the job creation pie.

An in-depth analysis of this group reveals a high level of consistency when it comes to executing on key common strengths. The ability of these companies to focus in on products, customers, serving their salesforce and creating a culture that reinforces a sense of family put them on track to shape the future of direct selling in the U.S.

Companies emphasize each area in different ways, but in general these leaders:

  • Harness data. The upper middle market knows how to mine the data it has to gain insights that lead to more and better sales. Executives train leaders and consultants to use data to open doors that might otherwise remain closed.
  • Stay true to classic business practices. Technology and social media do not replace person-to-person interactions, they complement them. Upper mid-market firms build relationships with customers that maintain the consultant-client affiliation but also allow the customer to have a connection with the company itself.
  • Use compensation plans that span all levels of engagement. To cultivate trust and long-term relationships, comp plans are created to appeal to new customers, product enthusiasts, fierce advocates and influencers—all the way up to the entrepreneur who is all in. Payments also follow a more modern schedule.
  • Foster an entrepreneurial spirit. Consultants are allowed and encouraged to go far with personal marketing (think YouTube videos) while maintaining brand identity. Companies deliver superior and frequent training and messaging to make this happen.
  • Maintain a laser-focus on selling. The sale of a product, a group experience or an opportunity all lead to more sales, which generate positive results.

No matter the specific approach, one thing all upper middle market companies excel at is …

Click here to read the full article at Direct Selling News.

 

 

Rodan + Fields, Tupperware Announce Board Appointments

Kitchenware seller Tupperware Brands and skincare company Rodan + Fields have both made recent board appointments with an eye toward future growth.

Corporate finance consultant Louis J. Lavigne Jr. is the newest member of the board at Rodan + Fields. Lavigne, currently Managing Director of consulting firm Lavrite LLC, spent 23 years as Executive Vice President and CFO at Genentech Inc., a leading biotech company. In addition to overseeing the company’s financial, corporate relations and information technology groups, Lavigne sat on the executive committee and chaired the company’s 401(k) plan committee.

“Lou’s demonstrated financial expertise and broad leadership experience will prove critical to Rodan + Fields as we continue to globalize our business,” said Amnon Rodan, Chairman of the Board.

Tupperware has tapped corporate executive Richard T. Riley as its 12th board member. Riley’s leadership experience spans several industries, but he is currently independent Chairman of the Board of Cimpress, N.V., an international market leader in personalized products and services for small businesses. He previously held senior executive positions at Lojack Corp., New England Business Service Inc., and Rapidforms Inc., after beginning his career at Arthur Andersen & Co.

“We’re delighted to add Richard to our board,” said Tupperware Chairman and CEO Rick Goings. “His breadth of knowledge in global and emerging markets will contribute valuable expertise to our leadership team.”

DSA Unveils ETHOS Winners at Annual Meeting

Seven companies received industry-wide recognition Tuesday evening at the Awards Gala capping the Direct Selling Association’s Annual Meeting. Held in San Antonio, the event revealed the winners of this year’s ETHOS Awards, as well as a new inductee into the DSA Hall of Fame.

Last month the DSA announced the ETHOS sub-category winners across seven categories. From those finalists, a panel of industry leaders and outside experts narrowed the selections on the criteria of excellence, creativity and innovation.

In addition to taking home the ETHOS Award for its Project Runway marketing campaign, cosmetics giant Mary Kay saw Senior Vice President Michael Lunceford join other direct selling luminaries in the DSA Hall of Fame. The award honors Lunceford’s longstanding support and leadership of the DSA, where he serves as Chairman of the Government Relations Committee, and the entire industry.

2015 ETHOS Awards

Marketing & Sales Campaigns: Mary Kay Inc., Project Runway/Lifetime TV sponsorship
Product Innovation: LifeWave Inc., Theta One and Theta Active
Excellence in Salesforce Development: Scentsy Inc., Idea Share
Technology Innovation: Rodan + Fields, self-checkout point-of-sale
Vision for Tomorrow: Nu Skin Enterprises, Creating Smiles
Rising Star: All’asta
Partnership Award: Step Into Success

Forbes: Rodan and Fields among America’s Richest Self-Made Women

Two direct selling entrepreneurs are among the top women in the country blazing their own—very lucrative—trails, according to a new list by Forbes.

A feature on America’s Richest Self-Made Women, appearing in the June issue of Forbes magazine, includes Rodan + Fields Founders Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields. The dermatologist duo tied at No. 42, with respective net worths of $320 million, trailed by the likes of pop mogul Beyoncé Knowles and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki. Before launching their eponymous skincare brand, the business partners created acne treatment Proactiv, currently licensed to direct marketer Guthy-Renker. They have also co-authored two lifestyle books focused on skincare solutions.

Topping the list of successful, self-made women is Elizabeth Holmes, Founder and CEO of blood testing firm Theranos and the world’s youngest female billionaire, with a net worth of $4.5 billion. Twenty-two of the top 50 hail from the Technology or Fashion & Retail sectors.

An accompanying feature highlights eight businesswomen to watch, including Thirty-One Gifts Founder and CEO Cindy Monroe. Monroe’s net worth is a reported $200 million, matching that of Hollywood leading lady Sandra Bullock and genre-defying music artist Taylor Swift.

“When she was 28 and a young working mother, Monroe had an idea to help women earn extra money by hosting parties selling gifts and accessories,” the piece states. “She held the first in 2003. Since then over 300,000 consultants have held more than 4.5 million parties for her company, Thirty-One Gifts.”

2015 DSN North America 50 List


The DSN North America 50DSN Announces the 2015 North America 50!

This marks the sixth year for the Global 100 list of top direct selling companies in the world, and we would not be Direct Selling News if we did not continually strive to raise the bar.

That is why we are pleased to share with you a new component of the project this year: The North America 50. As a subset of the Global 100, this list draws attention to the most significant players in one of the world’s largest direct selling markets.

As DSN embarks on the annual research for the Global 100, we continue to refine the process as we identify the largest companies and acknowledge their achievements while bringing attention to the magnitude of the direct selling industry as a whole. Within that context, the impact that North American companies have on the global marketplace as well as on those that buy and sell through this channel cannot be overstated.

The following contains the North America 50 ranking for the 2015 DSN Global 100 (based on 2014 revenues). Both lists will be published in the June issue of Direct Selling News.


2015 Rank

Company Name

2014 Revenue

1 Amway $10.80B
2 Avon $8.9B
3 Herbalife $5.0B
4 Mary Kay $4.0B
5 Tupperware $2.60B
6 Nu Skin $2.57B
7 Ambit Energy $1.50B
8 Primerica $1.34B
9 Stream Energy $918M
10 Shaklee $844M

Click here to see the rest of the DSN North America 50 List.

Rodan + Fields: A Prescription for Change

by Karyn Reagan

Left: Student participants in buildOn, an inner-city education and service program, speak during a “Jobstacle Course” led by employees at Rodan + Fields’ headquarters.

Right: BuildOn students from an Oakland, California, high school were treated to a day of learning with workshops on resume writing as well as mock interviews to help them prep for job opportunities.


Click here to order the March 2015 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


At Rodan + Fields, transformation is not just skin deep as they support programs helping educate underprivileged youth.


Company Profile

Founded: 2008
Headquarters: San Francisco
Executives: President and CEO Lori Bush; Co-Founder and Chairman Amnon Rodan
Products: Cosmetics and personal care


Amnon RodanAmnon Rodan
Lori BushLori Bush

While at Stanford University Medical Center in the early 1980s, Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields forged a friendship for the same reasons most girls do, but they were also drawn to each other for a practical reason—there just weren’t too many women in the program. After graduation, they each started their own thriving dermatology practices, but the friendship proved lasting and together they have become recognized experts in their field, co-authored two books, and created products and companies that are now household names. “Their goal is to create products that bring the dermatological experience out of medical practice and into the hands of consumers,” says Amnon Rodan, Co-Founder and Chairman of Rodan + Fields as well as Katie’s husband.

The women’s first experience with selling products was the creation of the highly successful acne treatment product, Proactiv Solution™. Since that time, the anti-aging skincare market has grown exponentially, and Katie and Kathy researched and developed a line of products they now market through their company, Rodan + Fields. “In 2002, we created the brand and started selling the skincare line through high-end department stores,” says Rodan. “Within six months, our products caught the eye of Estée Lauder, who offered to purchase our company, so we sold it to them. But in 2007 we felt it was time to buy it back and offer the products through a different channel. Our vision was so much bigger than what traditional retail could offer.”

After studying the various marketing methods available that best served the skincare industry, the distribution channel that rose to the top was direct selling. “We bought the company back in 2007, reopened it in 2008 as a direct selling company, and it has been the best decision we’ve ever made,” says Rodan. “In our first year we did $3 million in business, and now, just six years later, we finished 2014 with $329 million in sales and 75,000 Consultants.” Rodan + Fields also has accumulated five DSA awards since 2008, including the ETHOS award for product innovation in 2014.



Seventy-five high school students from Oakland, California, affiliated with buildOn, took part in Rodan + Fields’ Jobstacle Course, a day of learning their way through the obstacle of job hunting.


A Better Way

Rodan explains that the main reason they chose direct selling was because it was, in their opinion, the best … Click to see the full story at Direct Selling News.

 

 

 

90 Days of Direct Selling – Day 72

DSN_90Days_Email_Signature

Rodan + Fields Dermatologists

2013 Net Sales: $196 million

Country: USA

Founded by renowned dermatologists Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields, Rodan + Fields®’ patent-pending MACRO Exfoliator and AMP MD System, combined with clinically proven Multi-Med® Therapy regimens, make at-home results possible without injections or invasive procedures. From being named the 2010 Rising Star by the Direct Selling Association (DSA) to being recognized as the 2013 Company of the Year, Consumer Products, by the American Business Awards, Rodan + Fields is redefining anti-aging skin care and entrepreneurship.

 

2012 Rank: 83
2012 Net Sales: $108 million
Sales Method: Person-to-person
Compensation Structure: Multi-level
Products: Cosmetics, personal care
Markets: 1
Salespeople: 46,683
Employees: 200
Headquarters: San Francisco, California
Executive: Lori Bush
Year Founded: 2007
Website: www.rodanandfields.com

Controlling the Conversation: Balancing Product and Opportunity

by Lori Bush

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


At Rodan + Fields, when we made the decision to pivot from our department store marketing channel to direct sales, a great deal of consideration was given to protecting the brand equity that derived from our founders’ legacy in the skincare segment of the beauty industry. As we looked to transform our go-to-market strategy, we wanted an independent business ownership model with low cost of entry that afforded our Independent Consultants the opportunity to compete with other industry players. The key here is what we define as our “industry.” While there are many definitions for the word industry, the most relevant ones read something like this: noun \ˈin-(ˌ)dəs-trē\: a group of businesses that provide a particular product or service. By this definition, Rodan + Fields is in the beauty industry. The business opportunity derives from product leadership coupled with our sales and marketing strategy: The opportunity itself is not our principle product.

Sounds simple enough, right? But gaining buy-in and protecting and advancing this aspect of our brand equity is a challenge that requires rigor in monitoring and compliance, especially when it comes to engaging direct selling veterans as employees or as Independent Consultants. Our investment in product and brand development is materially eroded when a successful business-building Consultant is dismissive or even disparaging to those who want to engage as product ambassadors rather than promoting the business model. The worse-case scenario of this is the proclamation that “it doesn’t matter what you’re selling as long as the compensation plan works.” Not only does this fly in the face of who we are, but it generates ill will and validates the position of those who challenge the legitimacy of our business model.


Out of a deliberate exercise to define the soul of our company, a clear set of business values emerged, which we call our “True Colors,” and we constantly assess our people and programs for demonstration of these values.


So what is direct selling to Rodan + Fields if it’s not an industry? We see direct selling as crowdsourcing our marketing and sales initiatives. And with the advantages of social, mobile and web-based tools for customer acquisition, engagement and monetization, it is a highly effective, modern business model that provides individual micro-enterprises the opportunity to participate and capture market share in an important, lucrative and growing consumer products category.

Soul Searching

When we launched our current business program in 2008, we believed we had the opportunity to help shift public perception of direct selling and went as far as to bake this notion into our mission statement: “Our mission is to redefine independent business ownership with brand presence and transformational products and programs that change skin and change lives.” It didn’t take us long to learn that walking the talk requires constant commitment to education and compliance because, when it comes to salesforce behavior and performance, the simple fact that something works doesn’t necessarily make it right.

Another part of our mission statement, the creation of “an enduring legacy for our Consultants and our employees,” led us to take a deep dive into the soul of our company. To truly have a company soul requires a shared understanding by everyone who is involved as to purpose and values. Out of a deliberate exercise to define the soul of our company, a clear set of business values emerged, which we call our “True Colors,” and we constantly assess our people and programs for demonstration of these values. One of these key values is Assurance.

Assurance is about brand and business integrity; it’s the commitment to our Consultants and their customers that what they signed up for is what they get. If we promise a unique brand and uplifting culture one day and they show up to find a generic, hardcore moneymaking scheme the next day, our soul is eroded. “Assuring” that the Rodan + Fields brand and business models continually meet or exceed expectations requires surveillance of how our programs manifest into and through our sales organization.


We have a responsibility to our sales organization, their customers and the direct selling community at large to control the conversation so that it doesn’t become controlled for us.


Responsibility

I recently attended a training conducted by members of our field development team and discovered that some important aspects of our program had drifted away from our original intent in response to preferences of some of our Independent Consultants. Even though these preferences could, arguably, accelerate the rate of growth of a Consultant’s income, they could put the long-term value of the brand and business opportunity at risk. In a nutshell, there was an overemphasis on recruiting and building an organization without a balanced focus on engaging and servicing customers. Both aspects of the business model are important, but the training was heavily biased toward the former without first firmly establishing the brand, product experience and our overall approach to social commerce. We recognized the need to make an adjustment to our approach in order to reinforce key aspects of our value proposition.

Instilling an understanding of the rationale for our vigilance helps our internal team and our Consultant leaders appreciate the importance of governing the execution of our business programs in the marketplace. No matter how carefully we craft our compensation program and articulate our Policies and Procedures, if we promote or turn a blind eye to practices that undermine our brand value proposition, a handful of rogue players can wreak havoc and lead to significant net detractors for our products, our programs and even direct selling in general. We have a responsibility to our sales organization, their customers and the direct selling community at large to control the conversation so that it doesn’t become controlled for us.

A direct selling business model enables us to collaborate with passionate micro-entrepreneurs to market compelling, innovative products and services that might never see the light of day in risk-averse brick-and-mortar retailing models. Our future is dependent on continuous introspection as to how we guide our Independent Consultants to appropriately communicate our brand and business values. The meaningful marketplace value of our opportunity is part and parcel of our compelling product proposition. If we present this the right way, the word pyramid should never enter anybody’s mind, much less the conversation.


Lori Bush

Lori Bush is President and CEO of Rodan + Fields.

SFGate: A Tech Take on Direct Sales

Many up-and-coming companies are successfully blurring the line between direct selling and e-commerce, and a number of those businesses call the San Francisco Bay Area home. From the region that boasts tech industry hotbed Silicon Valley, women-run brands like Stella & Dot and Ruby Ribbon are bringing innovative technologies to traditional direct sales.

To learn more about the “social commerce” powering their businesses, SFGate spoke to Anna Zornosa of shapewear and clothing seller Ruby Ribbon; Jessica Herrin of fashion and accessories brand Stella & Dot; Elenor Mak of personal styling service Keaton Row; and Lori Bush of skincare company Rodan + Fields.

“In the land of startups, where social networks have made many people a lot of money, and women are known for breaking the mold, a reimagined approach to direct sales makes perfect sense,” the piece states.

Read the full feature at SFGate.com.