BLOG ARCHIVE FOR: August, 2010


Monkey-ing around

Get a grip — on the monkey bars that is! Or, have some fun on the spiral slide and swings.

Thanks to the help of community volunteers, over 100 of them from Amway’s manufacturing and logistics teams alone, a new playground was built at York Creek Apartments. Now, more than 800 children can indulge in some serious play.

This is Amway’s ninth playground build with KaBOOM! — the seventh in West Michigan alone. And they all took less than eight hours to erect.


Keep innovating and improving

How will Amway China remain competitive in the future?  By being innovative.

Eva Cheng, head of Amway’s greater China region, tells Newsweek that constant innovation and improvement will keep Amway’s business strong in China.  She also fielded questions on how Amway has dealt with the challenges of doing business in China and what advice she has for women seeking advancement in business there.


Well read

This week  the Amway for Thai Society Foundation announced a 400,000-baht sponsorship for library development for the Border Patrol Police School of Na Yaw village, Chachoengsao province.  This school serves 530 students from kindergarten to grade 6.

This is the 23rd donation Amway has made to support Thai libraries, ensuring that students are well-read and well-equipped for their studies.


Seeing and hearing is believing

Business Today recently ranked Gurgaon, a prospering Tier II city in the Haryana state southwest of Delhi, one of the best places to live and work in India. For 122 visually-impaired students, Gurgaon is also one of the best places to attend school.

With the support of the Amway Opportunity Foundation (AOF), AICB (Capt. Chandan Lal) Special School For The Blind opened the AOF-AICB Centre of Excellence. The Centre features computers equipped with specialized speech software that helps school-aged students hear words as they type. This enables them to hone basic computing skills and surf the web.

This is the first school centre of its kind in Gurgaon, and the 11th the AOF has opened throughout India. As quoted in the 20 August print edition of The Hindustan Times, the secretary general of the school, J.K. Kaul says:

“It is important in today’s time to be technically strong. This effort by the AOF will surely help out visually impaired children to learn with technology and upgrade their skills.”

The AOF’s vision is to enable less privileged children to lead better lives. These children in Gurgaon are a very big part of that vision.


Mobes touring the country

Editor’s Note:  This post was originally published on the Interns Expose Amway blog.

You may be wondering, “What’s a MoBe?”

A Mobile Brand Experience (hence MoBe – pronounced “mow-bee”) is exactly as it reads. It’s an experience about an Amway brand, on wheels. Amway has 2 MoBes representing the Artistry and Nutrilite brands, and have been on the road touring the country for one and a half years.

The MoBes recently visited their hometown of Ada, Michigan. John, visitor services coordinator here at Amway World Headquarters, accompanied me on a visit to the Nutrilite MoBe. Chad, a MoBe crew member, gave us a brief tour, which was full of colorful displays and interactive activities.

From an intern’s perspective, touring the Nutrilite MoBe allowed me the opportunity to learn more about Nutrilite and how the MoBes fit into Amway’s overall business strategy.

Some interesting, surprising and fun facts about the Nutrilite and Artistry MoBes:

  • 60,000 people have toured them this year alone.
  • The MoBes have traveled over 45,000 miles this year.
  • The MoBe crew is on the road for about 360 days a year. (Let’s just say if you ever need a hotel recommendation, you’ll know who to ask.)
  • The MoBeS are between 45-53 feet long. When they’re expanded, the Nutrilite MoBe requires 100 feet of space.
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A few weeks ago I toured the Artistry MoBe. Below are some pictures of the inside, and one of me after taking a skin evaluation (of which I passed. A-thank you.)

A Mobile Brand Experience is a creative and innovative way to reach consumers by taking the product directly to them instead of waiting for them to find us.

Have you seen the MoBes around town near you? Can you provide an example of a crafty way a company is reaching potential consumers?


Brewing up a community

Amway Taiwan created the R&J “brand” as a moniker for their coffee shop and gathering place in their Taoyuan Experience Plaza in 2004. It’s a tribute to the Amway founders who, you could say, brewed up one of the original social networks, but it has also become the handle for Amway Taiwan’s online community.

The R&J blog platform is a community website where Amway Taiwan distributors and Amway Taiwan corporate employees share blog posts and photos related to the Amway business and their personal lives. It was launched in November 2007 to create an online space where distributors could dialog with fellow business owners and prospects, and receive company product information and details about the business opportunity and other initiatives.

Distributors who achieve a specific level in the Amway business are given the opportunity to participate in the space. It further establishes their credibility as business owners and helps them create their own niche within the distributor community.

The blog platform has grown to include 457 members with 137 who are very actively engaging on the site. The site averages 53,771 page views and 4,922 visitors per month. Last year a famous distributor, and active member of the site, received 491,010 page views in one month.

The direct sales environment in Taiwan is very competitive. 50 percent of Taiwanese households have direct sales businesses, so finding unique opportunities to differentiate from the competition is an important success factor. The R&J blog platform helps accomplish this by creating a vibrant community that offers shared experiences and a casual customer knowledge base for business prospects or new business owners who need best practice examples and support to grow their Amway businesses.

Because company employees can post blogs and updates into the platform they are on equal footing with the distributor sales force in a shared, egalitarian space. This creates more trust in the company and familiarity with employees on the inside. It also makes it easier to communicate to thought leaders and influencers within the business who will spread information within their business spheres.

Vote for the R&J blog platform in the Forrester Groundswell awards. Your rating counts as one vote.


Fresh air

After three years of preparation and much anticipation, the Atmosphere Air Treatment System has launched in China. 

This is the second Amway home tech product to launch there, following  Queen Cookware (also known as iCook in other markets).

Amway China  unveiled Atmosphere this month at the USA Pavilion at Shanghai Expo.  It was the perfect spot for the launch not only because Amway China is one of the sponsors of the pavilion,  but also  because this product fits the Expo’s theme of “better city, better future.”    Atmosphere spokesperson and actress Qinqin Jiang and Amway Greater China Region president Gan Chee Eng hosted the event.

It’s a breath of fresh air for  Amway’s biggest market.


School supplies

We’re still collecting school supplies and personal care items for the Stuff the Bus campaign.

Today, we hosted a live broadcast from Amway World Headquarters with radio station WLAV to spread the word about the campaign.   (At left are Amway’s Jim Payne, Tim Lyman of Fifth Third Bank and WLAV’s Kevin Matthews.) 

Amway,  Fifth Third Bank, the Student Advancement Foundation, Hand2Hand and our fabulous community are pitching in to make sure middle school students have the supplies they need to feel confident on their first day of school.

In addition to back-to-school supplies, personal care items like shampoo, deodorant, and soap are  needed.  There’s still time to donate, as drop off boxes will be at Grand Rapids-area Fifth Third banking centers through August 25.

But the real fun begins on August 31 when we drop the back packs off to each school – just in time for the school year to begin!


Quality assured

Editor’s Note:  This post was originally published on the Interns Expose Amway blog.

If you’ve ever been curious about what goes on in the Quality Assurance department at Amway, you’re not the only one. I’ve been curious too, which was why I paid a visit to Rebecca and Ryan, two interns in the department. (You may know Ryan pretty well – he writes for Interns Expose Amway.)

As Ryan would cleverly say, “Leah, it’s easy. Quality Assurance tests to assure quality.”  And as I would say, “Hm, thank you, Ryan. That really clears it up.”

So instead of taking Ryan’s word for it, I asked Rebecca and Ryan to explain their role in the department and what projects they worked on this summer.

Visiting the department helped me to understand its function. I documented my visit to help you understand, too.

If you can’t view the video, click here.

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Last year the first ArtPrize competition made news and drew crowds as hundreds of works of art vied for prizes and thousands of people cast votes for their favorite pieces.

Next month Amway will be part of ArtPrize as sponsor of the the Grand Rapids Public Museum ArtPrize exhibition center.

As one of seven event exhibition centers, the Public Museum will host the largest professionally curated display with more than 70 artists’ works showcased inside the building and on the grounds.

But that’s not all. We’re also sponsoring a community-wide street party on September 23 featuring music and family-friendly activities.  Look for more details on that party closer to the date.

And join us at the Public Museum  during ArtPrize  September 22 – October 10.  You’ll be able to view contenders and decide which art you think is worthy of  ArtPrize honors.