2018 Top 50 Direct Selling Industry Trends
1. Mission Driven Companies
- The new mission driven companies begin from the heart and work outward. They focus on helping others to achieve success in all aspects of their lives. A well thought out mission statement speaks to the very meaning behind the company and if done correctly inspires people to join the cause.
2. Redefining Entrepreneurship
- As people get older they are looking for meaning in their lives. Maybe they need to replace a work identity, look for ways to remain relevant, connect with others and stay mentally and physically fit.
3. Retirement Lifestyles
- One of the most significant trends impacting retirement in the 21st century will be the concept of starting a business for retirement income. How do we help people turn a passion, hobby or personal desire into extra money?
4. Lifestyle Experience Marketing
- Brands need to create total experiences for their consumers and partners. It involves a story and in many cases sensory experiences that elicit responses like “WOW that tastes great and I feel great”
- Mobile is the new frontier in building brands and will remain at the forefront for years to come.
- Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics once said that the key to her success was to make everyone feel special. Personalization in all aspects of our business will be the big differentiator; from our products, different cultures to the way we answer the phone, personalization is now critical.
7. Data Driven
- Having access to data at your fingertips 24/7/365 in now possible and those companies that deliver anything less are behind the curve.
- New technology is everywhere, from online personalized interactive shopping, mobile training to Face Book live. Today’s companies must keep up with the latest technologies in order to attract and retain its brightest stars.
- DVD’s and videos are now considered a normal part of the on boarding and education process. While these tools are now only produced in 3-5 minute segments versus the old 30-minute versions they are still the key to high impact duplication systems.
10. Digital Tools
- Digital tools are the new wave of duplication processes, they include on boarding features like, text, group text, email, conference calling, DVD’s, Skype and a host of other easy to use platforms.
11. Remarkable Improvements
- A remarkable improvement philosophy is one that looks for ways to leverage a solution 10x’s. Technology is such a tool that can help reach thousands of people in a simple click of a button. These are big ideas to drive the enterprise and while we must block and tackle everyday it is often the break through ideas that bring us momentum.
12. Inspiring Messaging
- No longer can we give the same old story, the same old way. Todays messaging needs to be uplifting and inspire people to take action. As we look at the millennial generation and younger their attention spans are about 8.25 seconds so we have to become experts at delivering a positive message quickly.
- No longer can we sit back and expect the field to conduct all the recruiting and sponsoring activities. In todays fast paced technology driven direct selling companies we are seeing the lead generation activities multiplied by the company’s efforts.
14. On Boarding Journey
- The key to short and long term retention starts with the on boarding process. Today companies are developing systems to handle the process and mapping the journey so as to create the Perfect Welcome. This not only improves activity but also helps with retention.
15. Sales Training and Development
- Technology is driving the Sales Training and Development departments of the future. On line universities, full of rich content is now the new standard. Companies who fall behind in education will find themselves in a steep decline in the years to come as the younger generations expect the very latest methods delivered instantly.
- As companies look to reinvent the way they merchandise their products we are seeing the trend move into more personalized marketing. Technology needs to be more personalized. Teens are now spending up to 10 hours/day in front of a screen.
- While car programs work, the trend is towards programs that have more meaning in peoples lives. Kitchen Makeovers, Wellness Camps, Education Programs, Home Makeovers, Charity Funding and Matching Programs.
- Instant recognition is now the hot new wave with gamefication and advanced software; we are now able to recognize individual achievements much quicker.
19. Strong Earnings Opportunity
- Retail earnings opportunities are key drivers in the new compensation plan designs along with a stair step process of motivating new people to earn money quickly.
20. Strong Partner Development
- It is a well-known fact that helping new people attain the first level of leadership is the start of long-term retention. Today companies are designing and developing very strong personal development programs for those people wishing to advance their careers.
21. Strong Leadership Development
- Leadership development follows on the heals of Partner development in that is the natural extension in building strong and well-rounded leaders. By providing this type of skill development we are seeing longer retention rates and stronger field leaders.
22. New Approaches to the Fundamentals
- Taking a fresh new look at all the fundamentals of the business, as we know it should always be on the minds of senior management. Tupperware has made this a key strategy in 2018 as they look to bring incremental changes to their proven model.
23. Contemporize Everything
- As companies look at their customer facing sales materials, brochures, videos and branding efforts they are seeing “Old” and “Outdated” branding. The old saying that a company needs to reinvent itself every 7 years has now dropped to 3.
24. Experience Centers
- Herbalife and Tupperware have been providing experience centers for years. They are a fixed retail location where customers and distributors can come in and experience the product.
25. Micro Financing
- As companies look to expand in underdeveloped countries they are using Micro Finance as a means to help people get started. Tupperware has led this new model change and appears to have had very good success.
26. Personal and Professional Development
- This has been a trend in the US now for the past 8 years. Companies realized it was their responsibility to help educate and train their up and coming leaders not just on their products but also on general life skills.
27. Focus on Women Entrepreneurs
- Avon, Mary Kay, Tupperware are all leading the industry in their focus on women and women lead business. This trend has now expanded all over the world but we are still seeing many companies who talk about this but lack the basics of building a very high impact program around the initiative.
28. Millennial’s 1977-2000
- Millennial’s now make up 25% of the population and they all are looking for ways to be their own boss and become known as a successful entrepreneur. They are looking for a backup plan as they watched their parents struggle into retirement. Thus they are driven by fear of financial failure.
29. Philanthropic Commitments
- Giving back is also a big trend amongst Millennials, as they look to bring more meaning into their lives they want to help others.
- With the introduction of the “App” it has now become the new rage of incentivizing people to do the simplest of tasks and rewarding them with a badge, sticker or certificate. Again it is a fresh new approach to recognition.
31. Culture Diversity
- No longer does one size fit all, we have to look very carefully at our customers and personalize our approach.
32. Generation Z (under 18)
- Have you identified this new group, they are your up and coming new business partners. Companies are now profiling this group to make sure they are updating all their processes to meet their needs.
33. Omni Channel
- On Line, Mobile, In Home, Events, Pop Up Boutiques all are playing a role in the Omni Channel approach of the new direct sales models.
34. Next Day Delivery
- Amazon is leading the way in this very disruptive delivery system. Direct selling companies have used the 2-week delivery system for years and now must find ways to be more responsive to an ever-changing set of expectations.
35. You Economy
- The new You Economy transforms the “Work From Home” to “Work From Anywhere”. People are now taking control of their work life balance by venturing out into their own small ventures. No longer are we seeing the “Gold Watch” syndrome, today people are freelancing and finding new ways to take back control of their time and finances.
36. Health and Wellness Growth
- One of the hottest segments of growth in the Direct Selling Industry is Health and Wellness. This growth is fueled and driven by the obesity epidemic and weight loss. With nearly one third of the world’s population obese or overweight.
37. Instant Economy
- In order to stay relevant in direct selling we must follow the mind set that “instant” is the new expectation. People expect answers immediately, they want to make one phone call, one click and find the answers to their questions. If we are not delivering this type of experience we are falling behind.
- While not a new term it has surely been the trend over the past several years that direct selling companies are focusing on. Getting ranked high in Google can mean millions of dollars to the corporation. Creating blogs, developing rich content, participating in on line forums are all ways to enhance your visibility.
- In the world of direct selling we are now seeing communications systems that allow the company to touch everyone in the organizations in a matter of minutes. These touch points are now helping to redefine the system that is having a dramatic impact on retention.
- Direct selling today is all about making systems and processes simple and easy to use and understand. It’s also about making the process convenient for both the partner and the customer. As we look at our internal systems and processes are we a company that is easy to do business with? How would we know? What measurement tools have we designed to get the feedback in this area of our business?
- Retention now begins from the very first day a new person joins the company. The on boarding process is all about retention. The career path and compensation plans are all about retention. Now more than ever before we are seeing this major trend towards retention. Companies like LuLaRoe, Melaleuca and many others are seeing rates of 60-85% retention. Compare this to the traditional 40% and you see a dramatic difference in bottom line profits.
42. Corporate Involvement
- What is the new role of the corporation? From our perspective the corporation can no longer sit back and play the hands off game of just collecting and shipping. In todays environments we are seeing the company providing all types of tools to help business builders grow their organizations. Replicated web sites, robust backend dash boards, digital lead generation systems, social selling platforms are just a few of the ways they are stepping to the plate as a partner in the relationship with the field.
43. Compensation Plans
- Compensation plans continue to transition away from Binary, Stair Step Breakaways and many others and into more unilevel hybrid plans utilizing the best of many types of plans developed over the years. Plans that hurt people for advancement are no longer acceptable.
44. On Line Everything
- Direct selling companies today have gone on line, from delivering Starter Kits, education and sales materials, to management reporting of daily sales and sponsoring. If you are not on top of this transition you are behind the curve and soon will become obsolete in your ability to attract the younger generation.
- Over the past several years we have seen regulations that are threatening to shut down many direct selling companies due to illegal claims about their products and business opportunities. The new trend here is to get on top of these issues early with some type of compliance training and certification.
46. Social Selling
- Social selling primarily through Face Book Live is the latest trend sweeping direct selling companies. It is a process that allows a woman to put her kids to bed at night, open her computer and start selling products to friends that have been invited to the event. No longer does she need to clean her house, get dressed up, open her home and then clean up the mess afterwards. It’s simple, easy and fun for everyone.
47. Customer Focus
- Over the last 12 months in the US we have seen the FTC level big fines and actually close down direct selling companies because they had not developed any customers outside of those people already participating in the business opportunity. Now the new standard will become 51% of all your volume will need to be generated from people not participating in the business opportunity.
48. Systems Approach
- Recent fast growth direct selling companies like Nerium, Younique, Do Terra have all taken a very systemized approach to their on boarding and advancement programs. By doing so they have built a system that is easy to duplicate, one that new people can follow and have confidence in.
- Cross boarder sponsoring, payment cards, merchant service providers, mobile and software applications are all now globalized. Here is a big opportunity to set your self apart from all the rest in the industry.
50. Customer Care
- What could possibly be new in customer care? The truth is everything. Fast growing companies are now doubling down on new systems, processes, help desk automation, CRM systems all in an effort to make the customer experience seamless and enjoyable.