“Direct Selling Industry”


More than a number

When Amway releases its annual sales, people focus on the big number,  sales of USD$11.8 billion for 2013, another record for the company.

But we measure our accomplishments in smaller terms – the individual successes of a lot of ones, twos and threes.

Ones, such as Patrice Deibert of the U.S., who has built a thriving Amway business in Japan.

Twos, including Vladimir and Elena Sidorov of Russia, who found an outlet for their entrepreneurial spirit in Amway.

And threes, like Minnie Wen, Li Man Bong and Roy Li of Hong Kong, each of whom started a promising career but wanted more control over their future.

Millions of people like Patrice, Vladimir and Roy are achieving their potential through their Amway businesses.

That’s why our annual sales are more than a number.  They represent the collective achievements of our business owners all over the world, supported by our more than 21,000 employees.

To them, we say thank you, and congratulations on another amazing year.


Earned recognition

Sri Soekarmoen McCarthy, a member of our global public relations team, recently spent some time with our friends at Amway Thailand. This week she shares her stories with us at The Amway Insider

On November 10, I attended a gala dinner as formal as the Oscars!

Men in suits and women adorned with formal evening dresses filled a large room in one of Bangkok’s largest convention centers. More than 1,500 people attended the event organized by the Thai Direct Selling Association to honor top distributors from 30 local and foreign direct selling companies in the country, including Avon, Giffarine and Amway.

Amway Business Owners Pongsak and Porntip Ajjimarangsee, Samran Unyuang and Niramol Werojnakul, and Worapop and Titiporn Thawong were among those who received recognition.

Amway selected the winners based on more than just the bottom line. They were also selected based on their compliance to the Rules and Code of Ethics set but the company and the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations.

Kittawat Ritteerawee, general manager of Amway Thailand and president of the TDSA, presented the awards along with other executives from each direct selling company. Government officials from the agency that oversees the direct selling industry and members of the media were also invited.

I was privileged to sit at the same table with the Amway Business Owners who won the award. Prior to joining Amway they were educators, engineers or health care professionals.

Worapop grew up with parents who were Amway Business Owners, while his wife, Thawong, worked as medical doctor in a clinic. The Ajjimarangsees both have doctorate degrees from prestigious universities.  And Unyuang was on the staff at a local health clinic while his wife, Werojnakul, was a nurse before they joined Amway.

Regardless of their background, they all found success with Amway. Congratulations to our ABOs!


Thinking differently

It makes sense that Amway, a company that has been engaged in social selling for more than 50 years, is focusing on how its business owners use social media.

“We’ve had people refer to Amway as the original social network. Given that, we’ve certainly been doing some interesting work around understanding how consumers want to engage with us through social,” Amway Chief Sales Officer John Parker recently told The Economist Lean Back Blog.  ”Likewise, understanding how we can ensure that social media is an appropriately used tool for building a social business.”

Personalizing and customizing experiences for customers and business owners, whenever and wherever they are doing business, is part of that focus.

“The opportunity for us in direct selling is to make that much more personable,” Parker said. “It’s a more compelling story when it’s a story about an individual, when it’s an individual talking about how a product has helped them solve an issue or problem.  In a way, social media allows us to personalize the way in which we market, and it forces us to think about things differently.”

Read more at The Economist blog.


Imagine more

When you own your own Amway business, you enjoy flexibility, personal growth and a limitless potential for added income. How? Watch this video to learn more…

YouTube Direkt


Direct selling in a digital world

We already told you about one opportunity Amway has to shine at SXSW 2014, now here is another.

Members of our digital marketing team have assembled a panel of experts from direct selling companies to talk about how each one uses digital marketing to empower the 92 million people worldwide currently in the direct selling industry. That’s more than 92 million entrepreneurs looking for tools, resources and support for their independent businesses.

During this exciting panel discussion you’ll have the chance to hear how direct selling industry leaders, including Amway, Avon, MaryKay and Visalus, keep up with the heavy demands of powering a truly engaged and driven distributor force in an ever-changing digital world.

Want to learn more? Go to the SXSW PanelPicker and cast your vote! And while you’re there, click on over to this link and vote for our session exploring entrepreneurship in Ghana. Voting ends Sept. 6.


Help share our story of innovation

In a corner of West Africa, where people make a few dollars per day, staff from Amway Business Innovations set out to see if direct selling could help. The results were simply amazing.

Local women secured jobs, residents gained access to products they needed, and we confirmed the advantages of leveraging a process called Human Centered Design to determine how to meet the unique needs of a market.

Now, the Amway leaders who guided that work are being considered for a coveted spot at SXSW 2014, an international meeting of top thinkers. The work of Amway is part of the event’s Panel Picker process that allows people to vote for presentations they would like to see. We welcome your votes so we can share this amazing story with more people. You’ll need to register for a free account  and then go here to vote. (Scroll all the way to the bottom!)


5 minutes with How Kam Chiong

It’s been an exciting year for Amway Vietnam. Our newest affiliate is marking its five-year anniversary. Today we spend 5 minutes with Country Manager How Kam Chiong.

Congratulations on Amway Vietnam’s 5th Anniversary! You have pretty much grown with the company. Can you describe your history with Amway?

I started with Amway Malaysia as technical and regulatory affairs manager, ensuring on time product registration and liaising with key government departments.

Coming to Vietnam was a great opportunity and an easy choice. Since the official operation started in 2008, we have made significant achievements in both brand awareness and business performance. I’m so happy to see the fast growth of Amway in Vietnam and globally, as well.

After five years, business momentum is still strong with all signs pointing to sustainable growth: We announced plans for the second manufacturing facility and to contribute VND 6 billion (USD $300,000) for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities nationwide from 2013-2015.

What has been the biggest challenge in the first five years?

To start doing business in Vietnam, we had to surmount many difficulties because some people had extreme views about multi-level marketing. We consistently pursued a long-term strategic commitment based on consumer protection to help people understand the differences between ethical businesses and those that are not. As a result, people trust our business and our industry. That’s why Amway Vietnam is now in blossom.

Vietnamese consumers recognize Amway as the market-leader, while government and media treat us a legitimate MLM enterprise making meaningful contributions to community development as proved by our active efforts in helping the underprivileged children through the Amway One by One program and other events.

All these activities and efforts differentiate us from our competitors. As a matter of fact, we were recognized as the most trusted brand by a well-known publication, Vietnam Economic Times, in 2012. This strong foundation we have built will help foster our future success.

What was the highlight of your celebration when Amway President Doug DeVos visited earlier this year?

We were proud to welcome Amway President Doug Devos to celebrate with us. We held remarkable rallies with nearly 30,000 distributors participating in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City – the two biggest cities in Vietnam. We also had expos in which 70,000 distributors and customers experienced Amway products and found great opportunities with Amway.

Last but not least, we had a press conference that created a connection between Doug Devos and the Amway Vietnam Management Board with high-ranking governors and senior reporters. All of our activities made a buzz, which enhanced our reputation and image.

Do you have any other celebrations planned this year?

We are celebrating the anniversary with internal activities, like outings for employees to Thailand where they will be able to experience the great achievements of Amway Thailand, enjoy the summer together like a family and energize themselves for upcoming opportunities.

Also, the ground-breaking of our second factory promises to be a great moment to cheer!

Where do you see the company in the next five years?

We continually focus on sustainable development with more advances in education and training – the most important part of the MLM business — and firming up relationships with government and media.

We are now the #1 player, with 33% of the market share in Vietnam. Vietnam remains a potential market for Amway in Asia, and we have a positive outlook for the upcoming five years.


Just the facts, ma’am

The direct selling business — just like most sizeable industries — is no stranger to tough questions posed by critics and the media. But when those questions hit home, and are posed instead by friends, relatives or neighbors, it’s helpful to have a place to go for answers.

That’s why the U.S. Direct Selling Association launched its new site, It briefly explains how and why direct selling works, who is involved and the ethics and values the industry lives by.

A quick trip to the site recently garnered the following “a-ha” moments:

  • 74% of U.S. adults have purchased from a direct seller.
  • In 2012 in the U.K., there was a 29% increase in people aged 25 and younger joining direct selling companies.
  • The direct selling business model is vocally supported by the likes of University of New Mexico Professor Linda Farrell, Senior Vice President of the Council of Better Business Bureaus Beverly Baskin and former Federal Trade Commissioner Thomas Leary.

The site also contains helpful links to published academic research on the economic impact and history of direct selling, along with growth and outlook figures for the future.

All in all, it’s a great place to go when — just like Dragnet’s crime solver Sgt. Joe Friday — all you want are the facts.


Up and coming

A recent YourMoney article reports a sizable boom in the number of young professionals under the age of 25 becoming direct selling representatives in the United Kingdom.

How did they define sizable? A 29% increase from 2011 to 2012. In fact, the UK Direct Selling Association says that under-25s now make up 19% of its direct sales force. That’s 75,000 new entrepreneurs — a figure that might surprise those who think direct selling has lost some of its consumer influence to online shopping. But it does not surprise us here at Amway.

Last year, a study on 2012 Amway applications by generation showed that globally, more than one-third of our new Amway Business Owners (ABOs) were born after 1981. Leading the charge and recruiting the highest percentage of next-generation business owners is Amway Vietnam, followed closely by Australia, Malaysia and Japan.

Lynda Mills, director of the UK DSA, said it well: “For many young people, the jobs market is incredibly difficult to break into and there is a real desire to work for themselves and get up and running quickly. Direct selling offers just that and a chance for people, whatever their age, to be their own boss and make a very successful career.”

recent study in Canada supports her assertion. It revealed that 30% of young Canadians believe they will be self-employed in the future, and one in four expects to be their own boss within the next five years.

Call it optimism. Call it an economic necessity. We call it reality — and we embrace it!


The world over

Last month, 7.26 million people in the United States alone relied on two paychecks to cover their financial desires. For some, it was to help pay off credit card debt. For others, it was to save for vacations and holidays. And still for others, it was because they started their own business before leaving their full-time current jobs.

We can’t — or don’t — directly correlate those trends to the growth of the direct selling industry. But what we can report is that we’re seeing growth in our retail sales and in the size of our sales force — in all regions of the world.

Maybe it’s because direct selling is borderless. The top five markets in 2012 were the United States, Japan, China, Brazil and Korea; and overall global direct sales increased 5.4 percent from $158.3 billion in 2011 to $166.9 billion in 2012.

Maybe it’s because we remain relevant even after being around as long as we have. After all, many growth industries can’t say the same.

No matter the reason, the data proves what Amway and our Amway business owners have always said: Our business model is as relevant today as it was in the 1950s. We’re proud of that. And next year, we have a feeling we’ll be reporting global growth along the very same lines.