Amway Global, formerly Quixtar North America, kicked off a long-term marketing effort last March when it started promoting the Amway Global business opportunity and reintroducing Amway products in North America through print, television and online advertising.
The company’s Nutrilite brand is the leading global brand of nutritional supplements, and its Artistry brand is one of the top five global prestige brands of skin care and cosmetics. Amway’s Artistry and Nutrilite brands together make up the No. 1 online retailer in North America, and Nutrilite is the No. 1 selling vitamin brand in the world, yet most people have no idea that Amway Global is the company that produces Artistry and Nutrilite, said Steve Lieberman, managing director of Amway Global. That’s something the company intends to change.
“We’re now reintroducing our brands in North America, moving away from Quixtar and going back to the Amway name,” Lieberman explained. “We decided there were a number of roads we had to go down in order to recreate awareness for a brand that, quite frankly, a lot of people felt had gone away.”
The company will drop all reference to Quixtar as of May 1 to correspond with Amway’s 50th anniversary, Lieberman said.
The marketing campaign is unprecedented for Amway because it really hasn’t done much in the way of public advertising in the past: People typically discovered its products through Amway’s independent business owners, the company’s catalogues, and, later, its online store. There was a period of time when the corporation sponsored an Indy car and events such as the Chinese Ballet tour in America, Lieberman noted, but prior to this current advertising blitz, the company hadn’t been involved in endorsements for more than a decade.
It’s really a multi-pronged reintroduction of the Amway Global brand across lots of vehicles to get the message across, Lieberman added.
“We have Amway Global sponsorships that are business opportunity sponsorships and then we have brand-specific sponsorships for the Artistry and Nutrilite brands,” he explained.
In August the company made a significant contribution to support Activate America, a national health awareness campaign tied to major events at YMCAs across the country. Amway’s Artistry brand continues its multi-year sponsorship of Skate Canada events, and the Nutrilite brand continues its multi-year sponsorship of Nutrilite Canadian Championship soccer tournaments. Those sponsorships include title signage, signage posted around the event, and commercials for Artistry and Nutrilite that air during the broadcasts.
The marketing campaign picked up steam and really turned the spotlight on the Amway Global name in October when the company sponsored the Tina Turner Live 2008 North American Tour, which included 36 concerts in 17 U.S. and Canadian cities. The Amway Global name appeared on tickets, advertisements and signage at all North American concert venues, and the company advertised its brands during the performances.
At each of the concert venues, the company’s brands got additional exposure through what Lieberman calls “mobile experiences”: Artistry has a custom tour bus that’s basically a mobile spa, and Nutrilite has a 53-foot tractor trailer that expands to 1,000 square feet and serves as a mobile education center on both Nutrilite and natural farming. Both were parked outside each concert venue.
“We reached 500,000 concert viewers in the 36 shows,” Lieberman said. “In addition, those mobile units went all around the country. About 20,000 people went through those exhibits.”
In December Amway inked a multi-year contract with entertainer, author and radio host John Tesh to advertise on his “Intelligence for Your Life” program, which is carried on more than 300 radio stations in the United States and Canada. Lieberman said the show brings the Amway Global message to eight million people each week. As part of the deal, Amway Global became the exclusive distributor of the Sellecca Solution skin care line, a line created by Tesh’s wife, actress Connie Sellecca.
In late January, Amway Global sealed a jersey sponsorship deal with the San Jose Earthquakes soccer team: The Amway Global logo now appears across the front of the team’s jerseys. Up until a couple of years ago, corporate jersey sponsorship was nonexistent among major American sports leagues, with the exception of NASCAR. Depending on how many games they win, each professional team is on television 10 to 15 times a year, Lieberman said. If they make it to the playoffs or the championship, their games will be televised on ESPN or ABC, and he estimates Amway Global will reach about four million TV viewers per year through the sponsorship.
The company picked the team because the San Jose area is home to the fourth largest concentration of Amway Global independent business owners, Lieberman said.
“At the same time, it’s a very strong Hispanic community, and we’re very interested in expanding our Hispanic outreach program,” Lieberman noted. “The team is going to participate in school visits and discussions on health, nutrition and wellness. It’s really a very strong market for us.”
A major focus of the San Jose Earthquakes partnership is on community initiatives. Under terms of the deal, Amway Global became the official sponsor of the Kicks for Kids program that promotes fitness and healthy lifestyles and provides free tickets to Earthquakes games to underprivileged children. Amway Global and the Earthquakes are also sponsoring the Hispanic Youth Soccer Scholarship Program, which pays the expenses for one year of soccer for a deserving youth.
In February, Amway Global sponsored two Skate for the Heart events on NBC, which featured a cast of Olympic and world-class skaters. Nutrilite is also currently sponsoring five U.S. Track and Field events. On Feb. 13, Amway Global kicked off a year-long “Face of Artistry” model search in association with New York City modeling agency Next Model Management.
How will Amway Global gauge the success of its advertising and marketing campaign?
“We measure our brand image, we measure our brand awareness, we measure the number of new IBOs (independent business owners), and lastly we measure the sales rates of each of our IBOs, and we have been tracking positively on each of our key measures since the beginning of the program,” Lieberman said.