DSA Honors Four Companies with Industry Awards

June 15, 2010
(June 15, 2010) - The Direct Selling Association recently presented its 2010 annual industry awards for outstanding achievement in the areas of salesforce development, technology innovation, partnership, excellence in business operations and excellence in programming. The five companies honored during the association’s recent annual meeting were Rodan + Fields, Amway, Grimes & Reese and Scentsy.

Rodan + Fields received the Excellence in Salesforce Development Award, recognizing companies that have implemented an innovative salesforce development program with demonstrated results. In October 2009 Rodan + Fields® unveiled the Pulse Business Management Suite, the company’s state-of-the-art Customer Relationship Management System. As they developed Pulse, a key goal was increasing consultant retention. Rodan + Fields believes a key contributor to retention is what happens in the first 48 hours after a person enrolls as a consultant. To leverage the enthusiasm of a new recruit, they created the Pulse Wizard, a series of eight simple steps designed to quickly integrate consultants into the Rodan + Fields business system and get their businesses off to a fast start.

Amway received the Technology Innovation Award, recognizing companies that have developed an innovative use of technology that has had a demonstrable impact on the business and/or the field sellers. Amway received this year’s award for a robust application they created that is transforming the way Amway Global independent business owners (IBOs) recruit, sell and manage their businesses. The project team worked in phases to launch the first true business management application in the direct selling sector. During the first phase, Discover, market research revealed two opportunities. Inundated with business information, IBOs were seeking simplicity and convenience. Business professionals were adopting mobile devices rapidly. During Create, the second phase, the mobile business team worked with Apple’s lead application developers to put the power of the Amway Global business information, resources and connectivity onto the iPhone/iPod Touch. As they moved into the Educate phase, a stellar campaign integrating comprehensive training, videos, user guides and presentations was capped off by a launch event with 2,400 IBO leaders. Finally, during the Success phase and amid huge excitement, the application reached number four on the iTunes “top 25 business apps” list in December. With IBOs’ adoption and usage growing each month, it already accounts for seven percent of online business productivity inquiries.

Grimes & Reese received DSA’s Partnership Award for its work with a number of DSA member companies. Grimes & Reese is a boutique law firm dedicated to providing legal services to direct sellers. Because the firm only represents direct sellers, it is uniquely able to assist clients to achieve their business objectives while remaining in compliance with the law and adhering to industry best practices. The firm regularly represents and mentors clients ranging from small start-up operations to some of the largest in the industry. Grimes & Reese’s expertise in the industry is highlighted by the fact that in all of the major FTC pyramid scheme actions brought against direct sellers in the past decade the defendants have sought out their firm for representation. They have a truly unique understanding of legal expertise, marketing practices, compensation plan operation and industry ethics that enables them to provide legal services to direct sellers that other law firms simply cannot match.

Rodan + Fields also received DSA’s Rising Star Award, which honors up-and-coming direct selling companies that have dedicated themselves to achieving a high standard of excellence in business operations. Rodan + Fields represents a paradigm shift in direct selling. Launched in 2002 by Stanford University-trained dermatologists Katie Rodan, M.D., and Kathy Fields, M.D., Rodan + Fields Dermatologists first established its equity as a leading clinical skincare brand in top-tier department stores. Despite its early success, the founders had a vision for changing lives beyond the benefits of the products. They recognized the unprecedented direct selling potential derived from the brand’s equity coupled with a huge market need. Pursuing this vision, the company embarked on a bold business transformation, withdrawing from department stores and launching a direct selling business model that enables passionate entrepreneurs to effectively compete with skincare industry giants. With integrity beyond reproach, products that exceed customers’ expectations and a commitment to community and marketplace values, Rodan + Fields Dermatologists strives to create an enduring legacy for its independent consultants, employees and the direct selling industry.

Scentsy, the winner of the 2010 Success Award, received this honor for its use of social media and emerging technologies. After a problematic software transition in October 2009, Scentsy’s relationship with its field was badly strained. The holiday sales crush strained it further. What do you do when online conversations about your brand are in a negative spiral? You give them something more fun to talk about! Scentsy took a gamble, using its existing social media platforms proactively to rebuild trust, fun and engagement with its consultants and their customers. The Scentsy communications team ran three online contests that leveraged the power of Facebook and the contagious excitement around new products and collegiate sports. The results? Dramatic spikes in Web site traffic, plenty of positive “buzz” about Scentsy and record sales for new product offerings.

About the Direct Selling Association

DSA is the national trade association of the leading firms that manufacture and distribute goods and services sold directly to consumers. Among its more than 220 active and pending members are companies selling both via a party-plan method and in the traditional person-to-person style. In 2007, U.S. direct sales were more than $30.8 billion with more than 15 million direct sellers nationwide. The vast majority are independent business people – micro-entrepreneurs – whose purpose is to sell the product/service of the company they voluntarily choose to represent. Approximately 90 percent of direct sellers operate their business part-time.

For more information on direct selling, DSA and its Code of Ethics, please visit the DSA website at www.dsa.org.
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