What a Year It Has Been…


The year 2019 will go down as one of the biggest sea change years in the history of our channel. Our cover story this month will cover the events that impacted our channel the most: pressure from regulatory bodies, continued competition from alternative income opportunities, a hot new ingredient makes its debut, and finally, customer expectations continue to get more difficult to keep up with Amazon and eCommerce.

In this issue, we have a lot of great content that will touch on the pertinent topics of the day. Guest author Brent Kugler says the recent FTC actions against AdvoCare and Neora underscore how critically important it is for companies in our channel to avoid becoming ensnared in an FTC investigation. He gives some tips to avoiding a CID (Civil Investigative Demand), a request from the FTC for information (similar to a subpoena) about various aspects of a company’s business operations.

Next, the personalized service that makes our channel appealing to some consumers may, when translated for an eCommerce-based audience, actually be hindering representatives’ ability to close a sale. We discuss some tips for improving the front-end user experience—and other best practices from our gig economy competitors.

Companies seeking to reinvent themselves or their flagship product need to read our next feature Your Business in Focus that highlights the past few years of Medifast/OPTAVIA’s growth. They are a great example of how to clarify your message, focus on what sets you apart and shine the spotlight on your product hero.

I was honored to spend a little time with Amway CEO Milind Pant this past month, who will soon finish his first year at the helm of the direct selling giant. A lot of his time has been spent on what he calls his ‘Listen and Learn’ tour to all parts of the world. “I get immediately energized spending time with our young ABO entrepreneur leaders,” he says. “They are restless. They want to move fast. They want to take risks. We owe it to them to put our most creative, forward-thinking and bold ideas together to drive the future of Amway.” Go to page 72 to read more.

Although our channel is facing a headwind from multiple directions, we will weather this storm if we continue to innovate and stay customer-focused. In 2020, we will be talking more about how we can improve, innovate, and most importantly, have the courage to take action on making difficult decisions that will hopefully lead to a brighter future.