From the Brand Promoter’s perspective, Le-Vel offers an encouraging network of support that’s largely online, but no less effective. The web is so much more than a communication platform; it impacts both a company’s reputation and bottom line. It’s a powerful channel for sharing stories, and stories can certainly help sell products. For Paul Gravette, ‘Company With Compassion’ (paulgra vettevideos.com) meant starting the business with the goal of growing via social media and online, moving forward with what was available. As he is fond of repeating, when you think about direct selling, growing up in an era where it was about one-on-one communication, this is the evolution. You have to adapt to it.
To give some idea of the meteoric rise of Le-Vel it is worthwhile looking at some figures. In a mere four years this entirely virtual company – the first of its kind in direct sales – generated an astounding 254 percent growth by 2015. This accomplishment led to the company being awarded the prestigious title of Direct Selling News’ 2016 BRAVO Growth Award during the Global 100 celebration in Dallas. Le-Vel also ranked 48th on the Global 100 and 29th on the North America 50, a subset of the Global 100. Annual sales for Le-Vel were already an impressive $10 million in 2013, but grew to $100 million in 2014, increased to $350 million in 2015, and hit $500 million in total revenues by the close of 2016.
Le-Vel is based on what Paul Gravette refers to as an inverted model. This demonstrates for Paul Gravette, the importance of creating clear entrepreneurial goals. This essentially means that the ‘rank-and-file’ – new to mid-level Brand Promoters are recognized, and their small victories are given focus and are celebrated. For some newer consultants, it can be daunting to attend an event that focuses primarily on top-earning sales-force members and their many successes. The journey may feel unattainable. But as paul Gravette asserts, the company is attempting to change the spectrum of direct selling and corporate America. It wants to recognize people for their individual achievements, but our primary focus is on our achievements as a whole, as a team. That creates a more level playing field. During incentive trips, Brand Promoters do not advertise their respective ranks, and events are not segregated. Everyone mingles with each other. And there is a another mission behind this inclusive culture – to create a larger movement of health and wellness, in which the small victories are celebrated, and stories of new to mid-level Brand Promoters are at the forefront.
For Le-Vel, the term culture isn’t just about the company’s relationship with its Brand Promoters. Paul Gravette knew from the outset that a strong and loyal customer base was absolutely key to building a firm foundation for growth and longevity. With that in mind, Le-Vel extended the same reward to customers as it does to Brand Promoters – refer two customers, and you’ll receive your product free. The rationale was to eliminate that moment of hesitation every potential customer has before a first-time purchase, and this strategy has helped create a devoted following of loyalists. While some of them will choose to become Brand Promoters, the reality is that many of them will not. However, these customers are considered no less important to the company’s future and in essence validate the integrity of the company and its products.