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.



Le-Vel Raises $250,000 in Support of National Breast Cancer Foundation

In Le-Vel’s largest charitable initiative yet, company distributors and customers raised more than $250,000 in support of the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF). Jason Camper and Paul Gravette, Founders and Co-CEOs of Le-Vel, presented the donation at a special event held Thursday in Grapevine, Texas.

The funds resulted from a promotion Le-Vel ran during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. The company’s Thrive line of nutrition and weight-management products includes a patent-pending DFT (Derma Fusion Technology) patch worn on the skin to support the body’s metabolism process. In October, Le-Vel offered a limited-edition DFT Pink patch, with $5 from each purchase benefitting NBCF.

“Breast cancer is important to our distributors, and so it quickly became important to us,” Camper told DSN. “We picked NBCF because we looked for organizations that had 100 percent transparency in their funding and were devoting at least 80 percent of their actual donations to the cause and research. We believe NBCF is a good match for us.”

To support the October initiative, Le-Vel set up a back-office tracking tool enabling distributors to monitor their personal contributions, as well as those made by their teams. “It brought a lot of internal, fun team competition,” said Gravette. “There were a lot of people behind this movement—cause marketing at its best.”

The executives also disclosed that Le-Vel is planning a December initiative in support of Toys for Tots. Though details have not yet been announced, the company expects to surpass October fundraising levels. Previously, Le-Vel made a $50,000 donation to The Hoyt Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting America’s disabled young people.

“We’re exploring what other foundations and causes we can get behind during different parts of the year,” said Camper. “The response to this from the field was very emotional, very meaningful, and we want to find ways to continue giving back.”

North American Power Terminates Direct Selling Enterprise

North American Power brought its direct selling operations to an unexpected halt last week. In a statement posted to its representative site, the U.S. energy supplier announced the termination of its North American Power and Thrive customer referral programs, although it will continue to operate through its other business channels.

“Effective immediately, Independent Representatives will be unable to refer new customers or representatives to Thrive or North American Power. All referral sites have been disabled,” the notice reads.

Veteran energy executives Kerry Breitbart and Carey Turnbull founded the Connecticut-based company in 2009. Breitbart, a member of the National Energy Marketers Association Executive Committee, has been a key voice behind energy deregulation in New England, where North American Power has signed on a large percentage of its customers.

In 2011, Forbes magazine named the growing company No. 57 on its list of America’s “100 Most Promising Companies.” Last year North American Power reported $256 million in revenue, earning it the No. 47 spot on the DSN Global 100.

North American Power will continue to grow its direct-to-consumer channels, enroll new customers, and serve its existing customer base, a company spokesperson told DSN in an email.

“Although we are no longer accepting new enrollments through our referral network, our Independent Representatives will continue to receive residual commissions on customers that have been referred to date,” the company stated. “We are truly grateful for all of our Representatives’ efforts throughout this memorable journey, and wish them the very best of luck in the future.”