I had the chance to sit down with Melaleuca’s former Chief Marketing Officer Scott Hollander and ask him about the lessons he learned during his 12 years developing and marketing Melaleuca products.
If you haven’t heard of Melaleuca: The Wellness Company, they develop and manufacture over 400 health and wellness products. They sell these products direct-to-consumer via a highly trafficked online retail site at Melaleuca.com. Established in 1985, the company generates more than $2 billion in sales annually and operates in 20 countries.
Including his 15 years at Melaleuca, Scott’s marketing career spans four decades with major consumer packaged goods and media / entertainment companies. Though his career began in the ad agency world, Scott’s consumer packaged goods (CPG) experience grew deep roots once he made his way to Ralston Purina.
From there he was hired as the Vice President of International Marketing at Discovery Networks. From there, Scott was selected to lead the global disposable razor business at Gillette, which was acquired by Procter & Gamble during his tenure. It was at that point in his career that he crossed paths with Melaleuca, Inc.
Why did you join Melaleuca, and what did you think of Melaleuca products at that time?
I decided to accept the CMO position at this wellness company in 2007 because I saw great potential in the company’s unique business model and its impressive product portfolio. I was also deeply intrigued by the vision presented by Melaleuca founder Frank VanderSloot, who served as Melaleuca CEO for 37 years, and now serves as Executive Chairman.
Over the years he has been consistent in championing a mission of “enhancing lives”and “helping people reach their goals” by providing an opportunity for plain, ordinary people to achieve wellness and even get ahead financially. It is a mission that perfectly aligns with my personal values and has made it an absolute joy to contribute to the company’s success.
When I peeked under the hood, I saw that Melaleuca products were designed and manufactured to be superior to the competition, and these innovative health and wellness products were helping people live healthier, more vibrant lives. Additionally, the company’s stable of highly qualified scientists weren’t encumbered with all the red tape and bureaucracy normally found in CPG corporate culture.
Having the chance to lead Melaleuca marketing and R&D was thrilling. The path was clear for our team of scientists to aggressively develop new, impactful health and wellness products offering highly differentiated benefits. And I saw a company that placed priorityon doing what was right…choosing people over profits.
What drives Melaleuca product innovation?
When Frank started Melaleuca, he recognized that if he wanted to build a sizeable business, he would have to target consumers who were loyal to the large national brands. After all, that’s where most consumers were buying their products. In doing so, he set the bar high for Melaleuca. Our goal was to always develop products that were superior to what consumers were already using.
That drove the credo of never creating “me-too” products, and always developing products that were far superior to national brands. Not an easy task. But Melaleuca is resolute when it comes to product quality, following our founding axiom: Exceptionable products at reasonable prices. Melaleuca products are developed to be measurably superior and deliver more and better benefits than the competition—all at a better value.
With a crystal-clear mission, a laser-focused understanding of our consumer, and world-class marketing and R&D talent, we took on this formidable challenge and deliver a litany of wellness products that broke boundaries and reset expectations of what wellness products can deliver.
Maybe the most emblematic demonstration of Melaleuca’s commitment to product quality and differentiation is found in the fact that the company holds scores of patents around the world on its products. Again, I’m not aware of other companies that can say the same. I have always been inspired by the purity of the endeavor and the unwavering commitment to create superior products so we can truly enhance the lives of our customers.
Could you share a few examples about Melaleuca product quality and differentiation?
Melaleuca has developed numerous products that were first in the world. For example: patented ProvexCV, the first product to harvest the power of natural grape seed and skin extract, plus other natural ingredients to deliver unparalleled cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory benefits. There’s nothing else out there that comes close.
Melaleuca Peak Performance Pack
The patented Peak Performance Pack was developed by Melaleuca and has been proven in four clinical studies to improve 25 key health markers in test subjects. Melaleuca is different than other companies in that we put our products to the test: evaluating them in rigorous, demanding testing environments to ensure they do want we say they will. Clinical studies, University studies, and third-party peer review. I don’t know of any other company like Melaleuca that subjects their health and wellness products to this type of strenuous testing.
Melaleuca EcoSense Cleaning Products
The EcoSense cleaning line is a one-of-a-kind line of dish care, laundry, and home cleaners that don’t rely on caustic, toxic chemicals to clean. Instead, EcoSense uses natural, biodegradable ingredients, including thyme oil, citric acid, essential oils and natural enzymes, that are highly effective, concentrated, environmentally friendly, and affordable.
A 2018 independent, global study of national brand household cleaners found that using them as little as once per week was as damaging to lung capacity as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years! As you can imagine, we’ve had the national brands—who rely on chlorine bleach and other toxic, lung-damagingchemicals—on the ropes as they attempt to reformulate.
As CMO, how did you enhance the website Melaleuca.comas a shopping site?
Melaleuca has developed one of the most robust, easy-to-use, engaging websites around. We’ve made constant improvements to the Melaleuca.com online customer experience. So much so, that the vast majority of all Melaleuca’s enterprise commerce is now transacted online.
Melaleuca.com offers a wealth of valuable information to customers about our products including: key ingredients, sourcing, features and benefits, product videos, summaries of testing and research, comparison to the competition, label decks, and so much more. Melaleuca.com is one of the most comprehensive, in-depth compendia of product information anywhere. Customers can enjoy an abbreviated visit to the website, or they can take a deep dive and immerse themselves in product knowledge.
In addition to the product section, a dedicated area on the site helps Melaleuca Marketing Executives—those who share the Melaleuca shopping club with others—to learn about the business of sharing and improve their skills Melaleuca.com really is a treasure trove of information about all things Melaleuca.
What is the Melaleuca business opportunity?
The Melaleuca business opportunity is, of course, truly unique to Melaleuca as well. Consumer packaged goods companies don’t offer their customers the opportunity to build a business around the products they love.
Yet, at Melaleuca, our customers have the opportunity to build a business and create an income stream for themselves by introducing other people to Melaleuca. The stories abound about how this new income has helped so many of them do things like pay for their kids’ college, pay off their home mortgage, or simply help them make ends meet every month.
As the world’s leader in referral marketing, Melaleuca has been providing residual income for tens of thousands of families for more than 30 years. To date, Melaleuca has paid over $6.5 billion to everyday families who have referred customers to Melaleuca.
Notably, 81% of Melaleuca’s customers do not refer customers, but they open a Melaleuca shopping account andpurchase product on Melaleuca.com each month. They’ve found that Melaleuca health and wellness products are superior to the national brands lining the shelves at grocery, drug, anddepartment stores.
How is the Melaleuca culture different from other companies you’ve worked for?
It’s different in many ways. To begin with, as a privately held company, Melaleuca doesn’t answer to the Street. We answer to the owner, but more importantly, we answer to our customers. Making quarterly numbers and trashing the business in order to hit a profit goal isn’t part of the game plan at Melaleuca. We’re all about doing what’s right for the long-term benefit of the customer and the business.
Melaleuca has one of the most unique company cultures I’ve experienced. The fact that we’re mission-based attracts a certain type of individual…people who are motivated by doing good and making a difference in the world. As such, there’s a common bond that unites our organization and galvanizes everyone. Everyone “gets it” and works in unison to bring the mission to life. For me, I’ve found it to be remarkably fulfilling professionally and personally to experience the joy of seeing someone’s life truly enhanced.
Anything else you want to share about your experience leading Melaleuca’s Marketing team?
Thirty–seven years ago, Frank created a solid foundation of principles to guide the business. Those principles are as relevant and valid today as they were on day one. It’s not by happenstance or luck that we’ve built a $2 billion business by developing innovative Melaleuca products; it’s by design. These principles will continue to guide the business and direct our actions.
They ensure that the business will continue to flourish for decades to come. The company is solid, its products are outstanding, and the people who make it happen are some of the finest folks I’ve had the privilege to work alongside. I made the right decision 15 years ago when I said “yes” to Melaleuca.
Learn more about Melaleuca products at melaleucafacts.com.
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