Building a Distinct, Emotionally Connected Brand


Since 2004, Direct Selling News has been privileged to work with hundreds of direct selling companies in the course of interviewing for our cover story and other feature articles. What we’ve learned is that companies with a great culture lead the way in terms of revenue, growth and retention. In our research, we’ve learned that culture is a blend of several elements. We have defined these elements as Core Principles. This set of eleven clearly defined Core Principles make the difference between direct selling companies that thrive and those that struggle.

Each month we will discuss one of these Core Principles, starting with building a distinct, emotionally connected brand. What makes a good brand great? A sound strategy—one with actionable steps. For this month’s cover story, we talked to some of our industry’s branding experts about their branding philosophies and best practices to remind you what makes a brand great and why you need to build one.

What matters most, the number of social media followers or customer engagement? This month we also are proud to announce our DSN Digital 100 to provide insights into how companies within the direct selling industry are executing their social media strategy. To create the ranking system, we used a mix of native site reporting, as well as third-party tools Sprout Social, Phlanx and SocialRank. For site insights, we used to estimate traffic and page views. See page 38 to read the feature story, and then on page 41 you will see the category rankings.

In this issue, we discuss the impact of China’s recently concluded 100-day review of the health market, which included several direct selling companies. Will it be back to business as usual for companies operating in China, or is it just the start of a new framework, one with new guardrails to be imposed on the business model?

And finally, our company spotlight this month is DotDotSmile, who started their children’s apparel business on social media in 2013 but changed to a direct selling model in 2017. Their core values encompass the path they want everyone to take toward living out the company’s ultimate purpose, which is to create smiles and build confidence. “We do that with the clothing. When the girls put them on, they are suddenly confident and twirl. It just happens naturally,” says CEO Jeff Thompson.

Let us know what you think about this month’s issue. Drop me an email at Your feedback is important in helping us stay relevant in what’s important to you and the channel.