Dr. Tei-Fu Chen Interviewed by Direct Selling Century Magazine
Dr. Tei-Fu Chen, founder and chairman of Sunrider International, was recently interviewed by Direct Selling Century, a monthly magazine published in Taiwan. The article was released in print in August 2019.
The following translated content is based on the original article. appearing in Direct Selling Century.
Innovation and being open to new trends
Dr. Tei-Fu Chen: “Just like winemakers whose wine tastes better as it ages, we expect to build a century-old brand that will get better and better.”
After 37 years, Sunrider still remains strong in the global direct-selling market. And Dr. Tei-Fu Chen, founder and chairman of Sunrider International, has this to say about the secret for maintaining vitality in a highly competitive, innovation-driven market: “For Sunrider, the hard part isn’t R&D, but continually coming up with new ideas.”
With their own R&D team to develop products and self-manufacturing to produce them, combined with support from Sunrider’s direct sales and physical sales channels, over the past 37 years, Sunrider has created more than 400 products that are sold in nearly 50 countries and regions around the world. Sunrider has won countless loyal customers with their high-quality products and built a solid foundation for his business to last a century. Dr. Chen said emphatically: “The business landscape is constantly changing and evolving over time. If we want to achieve sustainable goals, we must keep adapting and trying new approaches.”
Innovative business model and understanding the emerging trends of the young generation
A good movie can be recognized anywhere as a good movie. But why do some movies earn good reviews but don’t do well at the box office? The key is marketing. Dr. Chen said sales and marketing are particularly important in the direct-selling market. Product quality is the foundation, but the marketing team also needs to control product positioning and branding and ensure the product packaging is in line with trends and market localization. The business system must also fulfill the needs of its business partners. “There are so many factors to consider, and in the direct-selling industry, we need to comprehend all of them.”
In the ‘90s, the direct-selling industry emphasized “big money” when recruiting people. Dr. Chen explained: “Now, the new generation prefers freedom [e.g., flexible work schedule, work-life balance]. Offering a work environment they like is more valuable to them than telling them they can make money.” He added, “If you are willing to stay with the team, keep learning, and be persistent, you don’t have to worry about making money.”
When it comes to the decision-making in the company, Dr. Chen was modest: “An old dog needs an open mind to learn new tricks; listening to young people can help.” He believes innovation is not limited to products, but it also applies to systems and consumption patterns. For example, unlike some other companies, a monthly consumption quota is not required, which means the consumers and business owners will only purchase and use products that they actually want.
Positioned in Taiwan, leading the world
Dr. Chen talked about the direct-selling market in Taiwan, and he believes it serves as a great test market. “A lot of people have direct-selling experience and there are many direct-selling brands. If the products can survive in the Taiwan market, they should be able to survive elsewhere.” In tune with this, Sunrider has set up a new business model that combines both physical stores and direct selling.
Store owners can provide consumers with better product knowledge and nutritional information. This extra layer of customer service can in turn increase customer loyalty. Now the franchise business owners can also join the direct-selling system, integrate both offline and online advantages, and use the existing venue to build their teams and increase passive income. The business owner in the direct-selling system can meet customer needs through “warm communication” [personalized, face-to-face interaction].
“Over the past 37 years, our products have spoken for themselves. Now I’m hoping the senior Sunrider business owners can adjust their mindsets.” Dr. Chen smiled and said the company’s product packaging, marketing materials, and even the official website are being updated with a new look. It’s Dr. Chen’s hope that all Sunrider leaders will embrace the new business mentality and recruit the new generation of young people.
Launching a new product pack and reaching new heights at the annual U.S. Grand Convention.
Sunrider has also launched a new product pack that includes SunTrim® Shake and Action Caps® Fit to support a healthy metabolism, along with the popular products SunFit® Protein Plus and Fortune Delight®. The products in this “beauty and energy set” feature expert blends of nutrient-dense ingredients such as lycium fruit, mangosteen, lingonberry, garcinia fruit, pea protein, rice protein, and fu-ling to support overall health, as well as energy, weight-management, and fitness. This new product pack fulfills the needs of the current market and has become a great pack for Sunriders to promote.
Dr. Chen also encouraged all Sunriders to work together to achieve goals and attend the annual Grand Convention, held this year in Las Vegas, Nevada, in September. “Our partners from around the world will participate in the Grand Convention, which will help all the attendees to broaden their vision and gain a fresh global perspective.”