“Amway China”


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.


How we did it

There’s no better way to learn than from someone who’s been there and done that.

That’s the thinking behind the Harvard Business Review’s (HBR) “How I Did It” column, which gives CEOs a platform to share how they tackled a challenge and what other companies can learn from their experience.

Last year Amway President Doug DeVos penned a piece for the column about how Amway reinvented itself in China to not just survive, but thrive.  Doug detailed four key lessons – understand the market, stay true to your mission, build strong, trusting relationships and take a long-term view – that helped Amway become the industry leader in China.

Doug’s contribution was recently selected as one of the best of these columns by the editors of HBR and included in a new book, “How I Did It: Lessons from the Front Lines of Business.”

The book also includes lessons by the leaders of General Electric, Google, Prada, Zappos and other admired companies.

“How I Did It” is available now at bookstores, online and through Harvard Business Publishing.


Visible Progress

Amway’s manufacturing expansion is well under way.  The seven-site, $375 million project is geared toward building an infrastructure that will continue to provide quality nutrition, beauty and home products to the world for decades to come.

Recent visitors to construction sites in the U.S. states of California, Washington and Michigan have seen great advancements, as have visitors to the Tamil Nadu, India site.  While there are several months left before these projects begin manufacturing products for consumers, the visible progress is exciting.

And, you don’t have to be on the ground to see the progress. Photo albums of some of the sites are updated regularly, allowing everyone to track the developments. New photos have recently been added to the albums for Buena Park, California, and our new tablet and soft gel facility down the street from our World Headquarters in Michigan.

As work progresses, we’ll soon add photos of our other projects, including China and Vietnam.

It is an exciting time at Amway, as we grow to meet growing demand worldwide.


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


Full circle

Nutrilite Founder Carl Rehnborg’s research is coming full circle.

It was the early 1920s, while Rehnborg lived in China, that he made the connection between overall health and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

He noticed it in people, and he noticed it in cows. That observation was key to developing what is now the world’s number one selling vitamins and supplements brand.

Last week Dr. Sam Rehnborg, Carl’s son and president of the Nutrilite Health Institute, went back to China to attend a groundbreaking for a new research and development facility in Wuxi, China.

The Amway China Botanical Research Center will focus on traditional Chinese medicine, conducting research on organic farming and the health and beauty benefits of the extracts from Chinese herbal medicine.

The center will be built on 115 acres and include a research lab, a high-end greenhouse and a section that will be open to the public to demonstrate our “Seed to Supplement” method and our organic farming practices.

Part of the ceremony included burying a timecapsule with the placement of the cornerstone. That time capsule is slated to be opened on the 100th anniversary of Nutrilite. So, check back in 2034! Check out a few more photos from the event at our Nutrilite Facebook page.


Potential in everyone

“It’s all about the potential of the people,” Amway President Doug DeVos told a regional audience as Amway was recognized this week as one of the best West Michigan companies providing leadership opportunities for women.

“We believe people are the greatest resource that any company or country will ever have. Seeing potential in everyone is the message we have to keep sharing.”

Since the company’s earliest days, values embracing inclusion and diversity of opportunity have been an essential part of the company’s growth, DeVos said. Hearing different voices and ideas has enabled stronger global expansion and helped manage change and opportunity.

For example, shortly after Amway China opened its doors, the Chinese government decided to ban direct selling. DeVos said the wisdom and experience of Amway China president Eva Cheng was instrumental in helping the company become part of the long-term solution and, as a result of her collaborative ideas, Amway has become a leader in China.

DeVos went on to say that his dad and fellow Amway founder Jay Van Andel progressively believed everyone could do everything. That’s how the business got its start – and continues to succeed.

“I always heard Dad tell people: You can do it. You have potential. You can achieve whatever you set your mind to doing,” he continued.

As it grows, the company continues to look for ways to diversify. Amway Chief Marketing Officer Candace Matthews is the executive sponsor of the Women’s Inclusion Network, one of three networks Amway has launched through its diversity and inclusion office. These inclusion groups help employees network with people of similar backgrounds and expose them to developmental and growth opportunities. DeVos cited the development of women as a positive outcome of robust talent development systems. Today more than 31% of global directors at Amway are female.

“The diversity of our team helps strengthen the development of our products, our business plan and our service,” DeVos said. “When helping develop talent, it’s both an art and a science to help people grow and to help them find new opportunities.”

Written by Dalin Clark.


Amway. Everywhere.

“My dad pretty much had ideas about Amway everywhere.”

Those were the words of Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel as he spoke with China Daily recently about the company, his role as chairman of the United States Chamber of Commerce, and his father — Amway Co-Founder and former U.S. Chamber Chairman Jay Van Andel.

“It was mostly because he just looked at people, and he said: ‘You know a lot of people want the opportunity to do something for themselves.’ And that’s what the Amway business has to offer,” Van Andel said.

Today, Amway is virtually everywhere.  The company operates in more than 100 countries and territories, and 90 percent of the business is outside of the United States.

It seems Jay Van Andel was right — people want to do something for themselves all around the world.

To read the full China Daily article, including insights from Steve Van Andel’s first visit to China, click here.


Helping the ‘left behind’

Last week we told you about our Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action, which will expand Amway Charity Foundation’s Spring Sprouts Kitchens program by 2,000 additional kitchens to serve a total of 1 million hungry children in rural China.

Audie Wong, president of Amway China and executive vice chairman of the Amway Charity Foundation, spoke about that project at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting last week.  Now he does the same in a blog published on the Clinton Foundation website.

“I’ve lived and worked in China most of my life, and have witnessed firsthand the country’s economic rise,” Wong says. “But when I travel to village schools across rural provinces, quite another story is revealed. There I meet the children who have been ‘left behind.’”

To much of the world, China is a symbol of prosperity. Yet beyond the industrialized cities, in China’s rural provinces,  children are suffering from malnutrition.

“We can help solve the malnutrition problem in a systemic and sustainable way,” Wong wrote. “The Spring Sprouts Kitchen program works to do this by equipping village schools with kitchens so that children can enjoy warm meals with fresh foods such as vegetables, meat, and eggs, providing much better and more balanced nutrition.

“But the children can’t wait, so we work with urgency. With more support we can impact millions of the world’s malnourished children. As the great statesman Abraham Lincoln said, ‘No person stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child.’”

To read Wong’s entire blog, visit the Clinton Foundation’s website.


A commitment to 1 million children

Over the past two years, Amway China, through its Amway Charity Foundation (ACF), has built 754 “Spring Sprouts Kitchens” to provide nutritious meals to 377,000 rural Chinese schoolchildren.

Many of these children walk miles to school, sleeping overnight in buildings with no kitchens and no access to nutritious foods that help them learn and grow.

Through a unique public-private partnership, the Spring Sprouts Project brought fresh, locally sourced meats, dairy and fruits and vegetables and trained kitchen staff to these schools to improve the nutrition of children who had little access to healthy foods.

But there are tens of millions of children who need help.

Today at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting in New York, Amway President and ACF Executive Vice Chairman Audie Wong announced a Commitment to Action that will bring 2,000 additional Spring Sprouts Kitchens to rural schools in the next two years, ensuring 1 million Chinese children have access to nutritious school lunches.

With additional partners brought together through CGI, Spring Sprouts Kitchens hopes to reach even more of the children not receiving adequate nutrition today.


Training games

When new Business Owners join Amway China, instead of getting to work, they start playing a game.

It’s called Amway Life: The First 90 Days. In short, it’s a gamification of learning. The 3-D online learning tool is tailor made to help newcomers get started.

It was released to senior sales supervisors earlier this year as part of a promotional campaign and was recently made available to new Amway Business Owners in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

The game allows players to experience the Amway life in a virtual space before they get started in the real world. They meet potential customers with different personalities, backgrounds and careers, such as Sun Liang, a 35-year-old high school math teacher who loves to talk about reading or students, or Wang Rong, 32, an office worker whose daughter is a picky eater and a little too thin.

By learning the best approach for each customer and finishing the tasks in the game, new ABOs learn about products, acquire selling skills and gain confidence.

Amway China launched the game with a comprehensive social media campaign that included the national Amway Young Achievers Club and the Amway China Training Institute.

Senior sales supervisors were invited to play the game, interact online by posting results on Weibo while tagging their followers and participate in a competition for a championship. By engaging senior business owners early, Amway China expects a powerful recommendation from the market.

Weibo is the main channel for the promotional campaign, with Wechat being used to  update the progress. The official websites of Amway China & AYAC also covered the championship on their pages.

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