The purpose of the Direct Selling News Global 100 recognition has always been to tell a story of an often misunderstood and maligned channel. We do it each year to share inspiring stories of growth and evolution—stories the channel, its participants and the greater community need to hear.
The DSN Global 100 has become a favorite reference for those who seek to better understand the relevancy of the direct selling channel of distribution, as well as the economic and social impact direct selling companies have on people from all walks of life throughout the world. It is an amazing story. And those of you reading it are truly the authors of one of the most inspiring stories of adaptability and growth in global commerce.
We rank direct selling companies in accordance with the numbers, but the stories behind the numbers mean so much more. The numbers enable us to share a perspective on the economic impact individual companies are making in terms of products and services sold and customers served. The numbers also enable us to determine both the growth status of a company and the magnitude of the company in terms of sales-related revenue.
Companies recognized for their growth are admired because growth is what all businesses seek. In addition to growth, we measure magnitude. Those reviewing the numbers can make their own comparisons as to whether a company is growing, stable and sustainable as this is our 13th year for publishing the DSN Global 100.
But numbers only tell part of the story. We also recognize a company that is “doing good,” and we recognize the “leadership” of a company that is admired and respected for its longevity and innovation. We also honor two companies who are making an “impact” across multiple categories.
Publicly held companies make their results available to the public, making it much easier for our staff to identify performance during the prior year. Many direct selling companies are privately held. Therefore, they have a choice as to whether they elect to reveal performance or keep the information private.
Here at DSN, we adopted a slogan, created by a previous editor, that privately held should not necessarily mean “do not tell.” The rationale is quite simple: the DSN Global 100 also serves to support a spirit of transparency, whereas all companies, executives, regulators, public policymakers and academics can gain a better understanding of the economic and social impact of direct selling as a channel of distribution.
While some privately held companies choose not to participate, we recognize them separately when we know that they accomplished in excess of $100 million in revenue during the past year.
We are also proud to report that Amway, the #1 direct selling company in the world, shares its numbers and participates in the DSN Global 100 ranking each and every year.
The DSN Global 100 is not a horse race of attempting to provide the best numbers, nor is there a finish line. Sustainable success is the goal of every viable business. Therefore, the DSN Global 100 reveals those companies who demonstrate both success and sustainability.
Most importantly, the DSN Global 100 activates pride! Pride in who direct selling companies are and how they are impacting the lives of direct sellers and the customers they facilitate serving. The world needs to know of these stories. That is why we recognize them and tell them each year. We are proud to be able to do so.
Steady, sustainable and ready for the future.
As we all know, 2020 was a year of hockey stick growth for the channel. The pandemic ushered in a brief and intense period of hypergrowth for drect selling as millions of people around the globe looked to supplement their income and millions more shifted to shopping, working and connecting almost exclusively in a virtual environment.
But as this new reality set in, the channel saw that growth slow, stagnate and then, for many companies, decline in 2021. New people that joined the businesses didn’t stay. Established, successful distributors struggled to pivot and remain productive. Supply chain and shipping issues presented an entirely new set of challenges to overcome. And a tough global economic climate marked by COVID variants, war, shutdowns, inflation and overwhelming uncertainty created a set of circumstances that were very hard to overcome.
But overcome we did. Although many companies had sales that didn’t keep pace with 2020, some still found ways to thrive. And direct selling’s nimble willingness to pivot to an omnichannel approach and digital technology meant that the channel was up slightly in 2021. Slower growth is still growth—and it is growth that can and will sustain.
The future is coming at us faster than we think—and it is a future packed with changes.
In 2022, the world looks very different than it did just two years ago. The way we shop, connect, interact and consume information have been transformed. The way we do business, the way we stay in touch—the changes are endless, sweeping and permanent.
But these changes have created a new, exciting moment in time—one filled with both opportunity and concern. New rules and new regulations are on the horizon and can help us create a new future that can be bigger, brighter, more successful, more enjoyable and—most importantly—more sustainable for the entire channel.
Each year our honorees tell many new stories. While the growth in 2021 did not keep pace with the anomaly that was 2020, the overall news is positive. And our outlook remains optimistic. The fact that the channel grew, in spite of the turbulence, confusion and shifting goalposts that we faced in 2021, is a powerful testament to the viability and versatility of the channel. We are better equipped to deal with constant change because we are a channel that connects people: to products, to opportunity, to each other. We are better positioned to continue to grow because we are embracing a greater, global digital transformation and applying it to our selling systems.
As a channel, direct selling is poised for a brighter future and even more inspiring stories. At DSN, we are excited to continue to share them with you.
From the June 2022 issue of Direct Selling News magazine.