Marketing to the middle

It seems plenty of people are eager to learn about Amway’s success in China.

A few weeks ago we shared that Amway President Doug DeVos’ essay about how Amway had reinvented itself in China was included in a new Harvard Business Review Press book.

And last month Amway Chief Marketing Officer Candace Matthews joined the CMOs of General Motors and Anheuser-Busch to share insights on marketing to China’s expanding middle class during The Economist Big Rethink event in New York.

The growth of China’s middle class is being driven by rapid urbanization there. Roughly 25 million people per year are moving to cities, and by 2030, 1 billion people will live in China’s booming urban areas.

As a result, companies are eager to learn from brands that have learned to successfully “market to the middle.”

During the panel and a number of interviews with Chinese and U.S. media, Candace shared the strategies that have made Amway and its brands leaders in China.  Among them are to understand the digital and social media landscape,  take steps to protect the brand and create strong partnerships with the government to understand the market and how to operate effectively.


Our belief

Have you ever wondered: What does Amway believe in?

We recently sent a team on a world tour armed with a film crew to answer that question. They went to Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Guangzhou, Bangalore, New York and our own World Headquarters, meeting with Amway Business Owners along the way.

The resulting video is a powerful answer to that question: Amway believes in people – people and their potential.

As the video states, “This potential is a postive force within all of us, and, when it’s inspired, it can’t be contained by race or class or creed or anything else. This is why we started Amway: to help people live better lives by helping them realize their potential.”

So, what is our most precious resource? An energy so big it can transform the world? Just watch…

YouTube Direkt


Global potential

Since being named chairman of the United States Chamber of Commerce in June, Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel has shared lunch with the new president of South Korea and addressed the leaders of the top 100 U.S. chambers.

On a recent trip to China, he met with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang, several other government officials, top media and distributor leaders.

The theme has been similar in all of these meetings: Our potential is great if we remain true to our values, show leadership and embrace innovation.

“Dad and Rich believed people have an innate desire to make their lives better,” Van Andel said. “And they believed that by empowering others, people would work to reach their greatest potential. At Amway, we offer people the opportunity to own their own business … to pursue a level of success they desire.

“And with commitment and hard work, they can change their lives. Improving people’s lives has been our vision since the beginning. And we believe that ultimately, it’s why Amway’s been so successful.”

It’s a message Van Andel will continue share all over the world as he travels this next year as chairman of both Amway and the U.S. Chamber. We think it has potential – do you agree?

Written by Andrea Clark


Meeting of minds

After years of meeting at the Nutrilite Center for Optimal Health in California, last week Nutrilite’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) held their annual meeting, for the first time, in Ada, Michigan, home of Amway’s World Headquarters.

“Each year we look for new ways to interact with our SAB, and this year hosting the board in Ada allowed them to see the full range of our scientific capabilities and research on the campus of our World Headquarters,” said Dr. Keith Randolph, technology strategist for the Nutrilite Health Institute. “It also provided a forum to discuss ways to bridge the science behind our nutrition and beauty products.”

While in Ada, the nine esteemed international scientists toured onsite research labs, engaging with our scientists.  Our researchers presented current and future work, while the board offered insight to the latest trends in nutrition science. The work of our scientists, along with the SAB’s guidance, results in the creation of effective and innovative products to meet the needs of our Amway Business Owners and consumers across the world. One could say it’s a meeting of the minds.

For Nutrilite, the science behind our products started nearly 80 years ago when our founder, Carl Rehnborg, discovered how the compounds that occur naturally in fruits and vegetables — called phytonutrients — help us achieve our optimal health. Today at Nutrilite, opportunities are fostered by actively bringing our scientists and our advisors together to forge the future of product innovation.

See more photos from their visit at our Nutrilite Facebook page.


Diversity champion

Because Amway operates in more than 100 countries around the world, our 21,000 employees and millions of Amway business owners are seemingly everywhere.

But unlike real estate, location isn’t everything. It takes a major commitment at the foundation of an organization to ensure diversity and inclusion to engage employees and distributors globally and strengthen our business.

Those efforts at Amway are led by Cheryl Kern, who guides us through best practices that leverage and integrate diversity to help our company grow.

Others are noticing Amway’s momentum, including Corp! Magazine, which recently recognized Cheryl for her efforts to highlight  Amway as a great place for diverse talent,  increase the number of women in leadership positions and partner with leaders to champion and sponsor diversity and inclusion initiatives.

The first step, Cheryl says, is to understand that each of us has a role to advance diversity.

Her advice: Start by simply seeking out someone with different life experiences. See what they think about an idea you’re considering. It might open your eyes to new possibilities and lead to even greater changes in your life and work.


Flash mobs go green

Do you want to protect the environment? A group of young Amway business owners in China does.

To celebrate World Environment Day last month, more than 200 members of AYAC (Amway Young Achievers’ Club) joined in flash mobs in over 10 cities in Guangdong Province to advocate for environmental protection.

The members all wore t-shirts with the words “I DO” printed on them, and they held mini chalk boards or white boards with their own “environmental protection manifestos” written on them.

The groups surprised passers-by with their powerful songs and dances. And when it stopped, they followed it up with chants, “Say ‘I do!’ to environmental protection!”

The dancers also invited the watching crowd to write down their own manifestos and post pictures on social media, such as Weibo (a miniblog) or Wechat, to share the moment with more friends and amplify the influence of the event.

Many manifestos spoke out against using plastic forks, spoons and knives, what is known as ”white pollution.” Others claimed that “Environmental protection is latest fashion.”

The flash mob was co-organized by Environment Protection Bureau of Guangdong and Amway’s Guangdong branch. The event was covered by local media, resulting in 28 news stories.

The creative, trendy event lead by Gen-Yers is a good example of the passion and enthusiasm among Amway’s young business owners.

It’s also an example of Amway’s youth strategy, which attracts young people, builds up Amway’s reputation and promotes environmental consciousness. See more pictures from the events at our Amway Facebook page.

What’s your environmental manifesto?

—Written by Trista Xie, Senior Sales Communication Coordinator, Amway China


Notable Numbers

Each year when Forbes, Fortune and others rank the most successful companies, it’s an opportunity to reflect not only on the numbers, but also the hard-working people who drive that success.

We’re proud of our Amway business owners. Thanks to their perseverance and leadership, our company has grown to what it is today — an incredible $11.3 billion global enterprise ranked #1 in the Direct Selling News Global 100. Also, Amway parent company Alticor ranks #25 on the most recent Forbes list of America’s Largest Private Companies. That’s ahead of outstanding businesses as Levi Strauss & Co., Edward Jones, Hallmark Cards and the Neiman Marcus Group.

And based on some fun summer math, here’s another number to ponder:

If our parent company, Alticor, participated in the  Fortune Magazine Fortune 500 listing — an annual ranking of sales revenues for those companies that are incorporated and operating in the U.S. — the numbers show we potentially would come in at #238. That would put us ahead of impressive brands such as Visa,  Estée Lauder and Campbell’s Soup.

Notable numbers?  Absolutely.  And it’s only the beginning.


Leader in Workplace Wellness

As a health and beauty company, Amway employees get to be brand ambassadors of wellness, something that was recognized recently when Amway was honored at Michigan’s Governor’s Fitness Awards with the Outstanding Healthy Workplace award.

Amway was one of four finalists selected in the category among many nominees throughout the state of Michigan. Nominees were judged on criteria that included wellness programs and resources, policies and benefits, measurements of success, leadership support, community involvement and accolades.

Spend some time on Amway and Nutrilite campuses and you’ll notice the commitment to wellness. Employees are encouraged to stay active and achieve their physical and nutritional best through the Optimal You health and wellness program. This program offers nearly 40 physical, nutritional and emotional wellbeing resources, including a financial incentive for maintaining good health.

It’s those qualities that the Governor’s Council recognized. And it’s one more way that we are committed to Optimal Health.

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Composting – Then and Now

At our Nutrilite farms we take our soil health very seriously. It’s a crucial component of organic farming. One way we do this is through composting. We test our compost for nutrient analysis and apply it at specific times during the season to get maximum benefit. At our Trout Lake Farm, that happens twice a year.

When we drop compost on the fields, it must be worked into the soil within a couple hours, otherwise the nutrients will evaporate and the compost will lose its strength.  We use a synchronized process with two GPS-controlled tractors – one dropping the compost, the other following behind tilling it in.

Organic has been a way of life for us long before the term existed, including using compost in our soil.

We were composting in the fifties, as you can see in the top photo taken from our archives. We are composting today: The second photo was taken recently at Trout Lake.

And, we will continue our organic farming and composting practices long into the future – it’s part of our legacy.

Feeding the soil natural materials to yield the healthiest plants is just one way that Nutrilite maintains control of the process — from seed to supplement.


It Started with a Conversation


When Amway and Microsoft recently hosted an event celebrating and promoting women leaders in business, people took notice – including contributor Anne Doyle, who wrote:

“When two global corporations with the economic impact and cultural  influence of Amway and Microsoft – both reach and employ millions of consumers and change agents all over the world —  recognize that the women’s leadership engine is revving up and they’d better get on board, the possibilities for paradigm shifting change are enormous.”

More than 200 women attended the event, which started with a conversation between Amway managers and their Microsoft account executive about the need to better support women seeking leadership roles.

It resulted in a daylong gathering that included keynote speeches from Amway Chief Marketing Officer Candace Matthews and Microsoft Americas Premier Support Vice President Kelly Rogan, who explained why being a “street fighter” is just as important as being a great collaborator.

We can’t wait to see where this conversation leads.

(Guest post by Nick Wasmiller)