Health, beauty, and home care products company Amway, an American company that relies on direct-selling to reach its customers, has reported a 4 percent increase in sales at a time when competitors have seen their sales slip.
Though the multinational direct marketer isn't a household name, Michigan-based Amway recorded sales of $11.3 billion in 2012, exceeding Avon, which saw sales slide despite a restructuring initiative of nearly $800 million through fiscal 2011.
Amway's 2012 growth is an extension of the company's thriving past few years. In 2011, executives reported a remarkable 17 percent sales jump from the prior year.
Only 10 percent of Amway's overall sales were made in the United States, where approximately 400,000 of 3 million representatives reside.
In the past Amway – short for the American way – was associated with Evangelical Christians, but the company has since diversified its appeal, said Chief Marketing Officer Candace Matthews.
Matthews, a Stanford MBA and veteran of Coca-Cola and L'Oreal who joined Amway in 2007, is the driving force behind the company's success.
"Marketing has become a far more strategic part of the company," Matthews told Ad Age
. "We needed to take our skin-care technology and leverage it with the other key elements of a prestige-beauty brand – such as a package that's very distinctive and recognizable. You need a global face."
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