By: Claire Wilson
We are coming to learn that the
in-person aspect isn’t as important as we thought it was.
—Sean Eggert, CEO, Hanna Shea Executive Search
COVID-19 forced many changes to commerce over the past 12 months. With the rollout of vaccines and a gradual return to normal social interactions, business practices will begin to shift back as well.
In order to improve inter-team communication among our global offices during the pandemic, we have implemented Google Meet, Google Chat, and Zoom meetings. The pandemic has stepped up our timeline to redesign many of our global websites to keep up with the demand of online shopping and internet searches, and we have made online meetups and social selling a focus that has and will continue to aid us in future growth. We believe these changes will only help us build a stronger foundation in our offices and to our IBOs and customers.
— Sunny C. Beutler, CEO, Sunrider
“We, as the direct selling community, are stepping up and should continue to be present compliantly with unbridled optimism.”
—Meredith Berkich, chief growth officer, Jenkon
Reputation is everything, and in direct selling that is especially true. So when the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, it not only spurred double—and in some cases, triple—digit year-over-year growth for the channel this year, it also provided an opening for reputation improvement that many have been looking for during the past decade.
The greatest challenge within this channel will be determining how we will effectively compete within increasingly competitive market conditions. Competition from novel direct-to-consumer brands has provided greater consumer access to products and services. This has not only stolen market share from direct selling companies, but has also made it more challenging and expensive for companies to compete for brand awareness. To survive these challenges, we must evolve to support distributors by leveraging new technology platforms, marketing channels and communication strategies in 2020 and beyond.
-—David Isserman, COO, Touchstone Essentials
To stay focused on the strategic imperatives in the midst of the potential distractions. One of our three imperatives is customer focus. We don’t want to be a good customer program for a direct selling company. We want to be a good customer program in general. People are used to buying online from Amazon Prime or Sephora or any other brand. We want our actual customer experience to be world-class in respect to the channel. The other two imperatives we’ll be focusing on market partner engagement/activity and product excellence.
—Stuart A. MacMillan, president, MONAT Global
Executive: Co-CEOs Deborah Heisz and Jeff Olson
Location: Farmer’s Branch, TX
This month, SSN interviewed co-CEO of Neora, Deborah Heisz. On Friday, Nov. 1, Neora took the unprecedented action of filing against the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), essentially alleging the agency is overreaching its authority and attempting to create law without going through Congress. Only hours later, the FTC filed suit against Neora, alleging the company to be a pyramid scheme. SSN spoke at length with Heisz about both suits and the ultimate impact they may have on the entire direct selling channel.
Executive: Stuart MacMillan
Location: Miami, FL
2018 Revenue: $435 million
2018 Salespeople: 200,000
This month, SSN interviewed Stuart MacMillan, president of personal-care company MONAT Global. MacMillan began his career in telecommunications and entered the direct selling arena in 1998 as president of Excel Canada after its acquisition by Teleglobe. MacMillan went on to serve as president of Arbonne International Canada and president of Immunotec. MacMillan helped co-found MONAT Global in September 2014 and has served as president of the company as it entered the multibillion-dollar haircare market with proprietary anti-aging products.