A few months ago I was in need of a tux for our Global 100 Celebration event. So like most people I went to one of the big anchor stores at a nearby mall. Not finding the selection satisfactory, I thought I’d venture through the mall to check another store. What I saw when I entered the heart of the mall was quite astonishing: vacant store after vacant store as far as I could see on the bottom and top levels.
Retail is the most visible example of how technology is disrupting brands big and small. But no industry is immune, direct selling included. Being an established industry leader today doesn’t ensure you will be one five years from now, even a year from now. Our writer Brittany Glenn takes a look into how direct selling companies can adapt to these changing market forces, and it starts with assessing how agile or nimble your organization is in adapting to change. As Nu Skin President Ryan Napierski said last month at the DSA Annual Meeting, “If we are not flexible as an organization we can’t move as quickly as we need to move to compete in today’s business climate.”
This leads us right into our cover story, where we highlight several direct selling companies who have bucked the traditional startup model with the help of cloud technology, great supplier partners and a lean business structure. You will hear from many of these CEOs on why they chose this route, as well as the cost savings and operational advantages of a virtual/lean run business.
We also have included a complete roundup of the U.S. Direct Selling Association’s Annual Meeting, including the topics that were covered, leadership changes, policy initiatives, and research that went into the 2018 Growth & Outlook report that was released at the meeting. Although sales in the U.S. were down 1.8 percent from 2016, overall global growth remains steady with a 1.6 percent increase from 2016.
To help initiate a conversation about how direct selling can get back to year over year growth in the U.S. market, DSA Market Research Manager Ben Gamse presents a few ideas for you to ponder in the News in Brief section starting on page 8. We would love to hear your comments, so be sure to look for the link in the sidebar that will take you to a survey to share your thoughts.
Finally, writer Beth Douglass Silcox takes a look at ASEA, who 10 years ago set out on a mission to take their ASEA Redox cellular health product to the masses worldwide. From day one they have approached the direct selling business model with a Fortune 50 mindset and adopted strategic planning principles that not only have benefited their field but have helped them grow as a result.
Since becoming the Publisher and Editor in Chief a few months ago, I have been able to get to meet so many great people from our industry, most recently at our Global 100 Celebration event and DSA Annual Meeting. Please feel free to drop me an email (email@example.com) and let me know how we are doing and how we can better serve you and this great channel.