This has been an incredibly busy week inside the network marketing and party plan world of direct selling. From traveling to Miami to meet with the Lyoness America leadership and legal counsel to covering the sale of the Longberger Golf Couse, we have done our best to gather and report on the most important breaking news. Remember daily we are breaking and reporting on stories inside the direct selling world, so subscribe and don’t miss a beat!
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An interesting statistic that indicates an area for significant potential direct selling industry growth can be found in DSA’s 2012 Growth & Outlook report: U.S. online retail sales are projected to increase from $262 billion this year to $370 billion in 2017, according to Forrester Research. Consumers are increasingly using the Internet to make purchasing decisions. As the direct sales channel continues to adapt to the way people like to consume products and services, the digital space presents a huge opportunity for direct selling’s future. Most innovative direct selling companies are utilizing social media to market their products and connect with their sales reps.
Most direct selling companies are also complementing their existing direct selling business with a presence online to assist their salesforce in making sales and perhaps to even sell products directly to consumers. However, this activity in the online space so far demonstrates only the beginning of what is possible. It can be particularly useful to take a look at a company outside of the direct selling industry that has achieved much success and innovation operating strictly in the online space: Netflix. Netflix provides an interesting case study on how a company can use data to drive business growth. (Click Here For Full Perspective)
Herbalife Establishes New Terminology to Improve Understanding of the Company’s Participant Base
In efforts to simplify the understanding of the company’s participant base, Herbalife recently announced that it will rename a category of participants from “distributor” to “member.”
“We know a large percentage of our distributors or participants are simply discount customers who use our weight management, nutrition, sports and personal care products primarily for their own use,” said Herbalife Chairman & CEO Michael O. Johnson during the company’s second quarter 2013 earnings conference call. “Knowing that most of our participants are discount buyers, we have decided to change and simplify the terminology we use for participants in our network. We believe the changes we are making will better serve our customers and investors and help them better understand our business.”
The terminology change will begin this quarter and will require modifications to all participant agreements, rules and training materials. It is expected that the change will take several quarters to implement across all platforms around the world; however, in the U.S., the implementation should be completed within a few months.
“This is another example of our ‘Build it Better’ program, which has yielded numerous opportunities for our business and for our distributors as we focus on initiatives that make our company stronger, our products better, our customers better served, our direct selling model and business opportunity more successful and easier to understand, and our brand even stronger,” Michael said.
Market America brings magic to its hometown
Posted: Friday, August 9, 2013 5:15 am
By Jonnelle Davis firstname.lastname@example.org
GREENSBORO — It felt more like a concert than a convention.
Market America’s annual gathering Thursday had bright lights, deafening music and celebrity faces among the crowd of more than 20,000 people who filled the Greensboro Coliseum to learn how to become financially independent.
But behind the glitz is a family of young entrepreneurs who, 21 years ago, birthed the idea for an Internet retail business inside a home in Greensboro.
Today, that business still is headquartered here, and its convention — which runs through the weekend — pumps more than $21 million annually into the
local economy. (Read Full Report Here)
Blurred Lines: Generation C’s Power and Promise Beyond Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y
by Beth Douglass Silcox
Direct selling is a pliable industry. Network marketing or party plan, direct selling can be what distributors need it to be at any given life moment, equally meeting the needs of retiring baby boomers and 20-something moms.
Few industries can boast this flexibility. Yet to stay relevant and competitive, direct selling companies must expand their understanding of a customer and distributor base that’s morphing before their eyes.
Generational lines are blurring and a new era of the connected consumer—Generation C—is at hand. “The connected consumer is the stranger you must get to know, and in contrast to the customers of the past, this group is only growing and it’s traversing demographics,” says Brian Solis, new media thought leader and author ofWhat’s the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences.
It matters little to which traditional generational demographic these connected consumers were born. What’s more important is they behave differently than their traditional counterparts. There are now two very different sets of baby boomers fretting over dwindling retirement accounts, and while the majority of Gen X and Gen Y are connected, “pencil and paper” girls still exist outside the digital majority.
For direct selling, these connected consumers are not only customers but also distributors. To better understand the opportunities created by their arrival, it’s important to sample the industry’s current distributor demographics. (Click To Read Full Article)
Direct Sellers In The News
Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen, Co-Founder and Medical Director of Take Shape For Life, is on The New York Times Best Sellers List and ranks No. 4 in the “Advice and How To” category for his book, Discover Your Optimal Health.
Andrew Graham, CEO and President of Forum Corporation, has been elected as an Independent Board Member of Blyth.
Shirley Meredith has been appointed Vice President of iRep Experience by Jusuru.
David Toda has been appointed global Chief Marketing Officer of LifeVantage.
Network Marketing & Party Plan Companies In The News
Blessings Unlimited has changed its name to Mary & Martha.
Net sales for the three months ended June 30, 2013, decreased approximately 32 percent to $211.7 million from $309.5 million for the comparable prior-year period, primarily due to lower sales at ViSalus and, to a lesser extent, at PartyLite.
Blyth’s operating profit for the second quarter was $1.2 million this year versus $17.8 million last year, largely driven by the decline in sales. Net loss attributable to Blyth, Inc., was $1.4 million for the three months ended June 30, 2013, compared to earnings of $8 million in the comparable prior-year period.
In the Health & Wellness segment, consisting of ViSalus, second-quarter net sales decreased 47 percent to $101.5 million versus $190.4 million for the same period last year, largely reflecting the effects of reductions in promoter counts in North America. At the end of the second quarter, qualified independent North American promoters totaled more than 57,000, versus more than 114,000 promoters at the end of the prior year’s second quarter. International promoters totaled nearly 4,000, reflecting the entry into the U.K. in April.
Candles & Home Decor, consisting of PartyLite, sales were $77.8 million in the second quarter versus $87.9 million for the same period last year, a decline of 12 percent. This decline reflects the lower levels of sales consultants in many of the larger, more mature markets, partially offset by double-digit growth in Australia. PartyLite’s European sales during the quarter declined 12 percent in local currency, or 10 percent in U.S. dollars. PartyLite’s European active independent sales consultants totaled more than 24,500 at the end of the second quarter versus more than 26,000 last year. PartyLite’s North American sales, comprised of the U.S. and Canada, declined 21 percent versus the prior-year period. Active North American independent sales consultants totaled more than 15,500 at the end of the second quarter versus more than 17,000 last year.
Net sales for the six months ended June 30, 2013, declined 23 percent to $444.8 million versus $579.7 million for the comparable prior-year period.View the full press release online.
Herbalife is the Official Nutrition Sponsor of the 2013 YMCA Stair Climb for Los Angeles. This is the 20th year of the event, which will see thousands of people climb the 1,679 stairs to the top of the U.S. Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles, to raise vital funds in support of critical programs for children and families in the community. Herbalife will be providing nutrition products throughout the day.
In additional company news, Herbalife recently announced that China’s Ministry of Commerce has granted the company a license to operate in the province of Yunnan. The licensed area covers 12 cities as well as 16 districts and counties. Yunnan marks the 25th direct selling license Herbalife has received in China.
Mary Kay set the Guinness World Record title for the world’s largest makeup painting during its 50th anniversary celebration. The finished artwork measured 56.5 square meters, or 608 square feet, besting the minimum of 51 square meters.
Medifast, parent company of Take Shape for Life, posted its quarterly earnings report for the second quarter of 2013. The company’s revenue increased four percent to $97.1 million for the quarter, from net revenue of $93.6 million in the second quarter of 2012. Revenue in the direct sales channel, Take Shape for Life, increased 10 percent to $61.4 million in the second quarter of 2013 compared to $55.7 million in the same period last year. Growth in revenue for Take Shape for Life was driven by increased customer product sales and improvements in the company’s pricing and discounting structure.
The company ended the second quarter with approximately 11,800 active health coaches, an increase of 17 percent as compared to the same period last year. The average revenue per health coach per month for the quarter increased to $1,690 compared to $1,683 in the second of 2012. Gross profit for the second quarter of 2013 increased four percent to $72.9 million, compared to $70.1 million in the second quarter of the prior year. View the full press release online.
Primerica recently reported its second-quarter 2013 financial results. Total revenue was $312.3 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $316.78 million. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 3.9 percent on a year-over-year basis. In the second quarter, recruiting of new representatives increased three percent to 50,358 compared with the year-ago period and was nine percent higher than the first quarter of 2013. The size of its life-licensed salesforce grew to 92,227 at June 30, 2013, from 90,868 at June 30, 2012, and 90,917 at March 31, 2013. View the full press release online.
RBC Life Sciences reported consolidated net sales of $6.7 million for the second quarter of 2013, a two percent increase over the second quarter of 2012. For the second quarter of 2013, the company reported a net loss of $147,000, or $0.01 per share, compared to net earnings of $320,000, or $0.01 per share, for the same quarter last year. Net sales were $12.4 million for the six months ended June 30, 2013, a two percent decrease over the same period in 2012. For the six months ended June 30, 2013, RBC Life Sciences reported a net loss of $155,000, or $0.01 per share, compared to net earnings of $247,000, or $0.01 per share for the comparable period in 2012. View the full press release online.
SimpleXity Health is undergoing a rebranding effort and will launch on Sept. 1, 2013, under the name New Earth Company.
Traveling Vineyard will release a new line of wine in partnership with Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC), a nonprofit that empowers all women affected by breast cancer to live as long as possible with the best quality of life. One dollar from the sale of each bottle of the Rayado, a Cabernet Sauvignon, will be donated to LBBC.
WorldVentures recently opened operations in Poland, expanding its presence to 24 countries.
Youngevity International has entered a definitive agreement to acquire certain assets and assume certain liabilities of non-member Heritage Makers, a personal publishing company. Youngevity distributors and customers will now have access to Heritage Makers’ web-based publishing software, which allows consumers to design photo books, cards, calendars, posters and other printed keepsakes.
Your Inspiration At Home received 62 medals at the Royal Hobart Fine Foods Awards in Australia. This was the annual competition’s 17th year and it attracted nearly 1,400 entries. Your Inspiration At Home captured 14 gold, 31 silver and 17 bronze medals, as well as two category champions and one reserve champion. The awards are given by gourmet food experts.