Thinking Outside the Bubble

April 4, 2019

By Joseph Mariano

We’ve all heard the expression “thinking outside the box.” As direct sellers, innovation drives us, and we must always embrace this thinking. But another type of thinking–“thinking outside the bubble”–is different, and it poses an idea worth considering.


Our own corporate cultures breathe life into our brands and shape how our brand ambassadors compete. These are the individuals who carry our brands’ message to market, not massive advertising campaigns or an extravagant retail presence. Culture is King for direct sellers. But the bubble of corporate culture that drives us can also present limits. Executives often explain that as they focus on their fields, team members, products, investors and regulatory issues, they can lose sight of broader industry developments.

True: each of our businesses is unique. But also, true: none is as unique as we may believe.

From cosmetic sellers to energy resellers, we each experience marketplace differently. But the dynamics that define the channel–for big-ticket, party plan and network marketing companies, as well as social selling and information/data companies–we share. This “bubbleized-thinking” threatens to separate us more than ever before.

The direct selling channel is how we all go to market. DSA creates opportunities for companies to emerge from their cultural bubbles so that we may explore the channel we have in common in ways that honor our individual corporate cultures.

DSA convenes direct selling’s top legal minds annually with an event for which participants set the agenda. These experts–who are otherwise laser focus on their work, office and even an occasional courtroom–emerge from this summit with new insights on topics including unemployment compensation issues, proselyting, trademark protection, online sales, data protection, among many others.

CEOs, CIOs, big-ticket executives and party plan personnel enjoy similar events, and DSA’s new Regional Council events give leaders the opportunity to explore topics ranging from handling online retailers, product delivery expectations, virtual parties and more in an informal environment.

Piercing the cultural bubble is critical for executives joining our companies, especially those from outside direct selling. The uninitiated Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) executive may be overwhelmed by a company culture. Exposing this individual to the channel’s shared experience creates a stronger, smarter and more strategic thinker.

DSA events are opportunities to exit our individual bubbles and learn from one another. Since DSA is a not-for-profit, any information shared is done so in an environment free of commercial interests except those that concern our channel’s success.

When we pop the bubble of our own corporate culture, we have so much to gain. Give it a try at one of DSA’s upcoming get-togethers.

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I have additional questions, who can I contact?

You may contact Adolfo Franco, Executive Vice President.