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Amway's Ajay Khanna on taking a digital approach to wellness marketing

Ajay Khanna of Amway talks about their wellness marketing approach based on E.A.R.N. philosophy and how consumers today are going beyond just products and looking for holistic wellness solutions that can address their overall health and wellness goals.

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Pranali Tawte
New Update
Wellness marketing

Consumers are no longer satisfied with quick fixes or superficial solutions when it comes to their skincare and health. They yearn for more – a holistic approach that addresses the interconnected facets of their well-being. The World Health Organization’s emphasis on 'Health for All' in 2023 reflects the growing recognition and acceptance of holistic well-being in navigating challenges and managing emotions effectively.

Ajay Khanna, Chief Marketing Officer, Amway, talks about this profound shift in consumer consciousness, the future of the skincare industry, and how wellness transcends the confines of mere products. He also mentioned how taking a digital approach in marketing has helped the brand witness a shift in online sales, with an increase from over 33% in February 2020 to 70% at present.  

As the festive season begins, in an email interaction, Khanna shares the consumer patterns and how Amway is gearing up to extend its reach and elevate its narrative by amplifying its presence within the digital ecosystem and orchestrating brand activations, on-ground initiatives, and virtual events for its dedicated direct selling partners. 

Edited Excerpts:

Over the past 25 years, the marketing landscape has undergone significant changes. How has your approach to marketing evolved at Amway?

Amway's marketing strategy is primarily centered around health and wellness, with a sharp focus on the evolving needs of health-conscious consumers at large. We are driving innovation, venturing into new segments, presenting products in contemporary formats, and accelerating research through fruitful collaborations. 

Amway's core of marketing is delivering value with purpose, and our approach to marketing has also evolved over the years. Consumers today are going beyond just products and looking for holistic wellness solutions that can address their overall health and wellness goals.  With the shift in priorities and heightened awareness of health among consumers, Amway is looking at re-strategizing its approach from being product-led to providing holistic health and wellness need-based recommendations. 

Can you please break down Amway’s marketing strategy into a few buckets? What are some of the patterns that the brand follows? 

Our marketing strategy aims to empower individuals on their journey to holistic well-being by offering need-based recommendations. Broadly, our marketing strategy revolves around three buckets: 

  • Sharp focus on Preventive Health Care for Holistic well-being: Our holistic well-being concept, known as the E.A.R.N. philosophy, is built upon four essential pillars: Exercise, a positive Attitude, Rest, and Nutrition. As per a recent survey,  57% of consumers are now investing in their overall well-being by embracing a holistic approach to health and wellness, which clearly indicates that preventive healthcare has seeped into the national conversation. 

  • Harnessing the Power of Collective Wellbeing: A recent study indicated that 64% of consumers want brands to connect with them, and 49% expect brands to bring people together toward a common goal. Aligned with these trends, the brand Amway works in unison to serve the common goal of fulfilling consumers' personal wellness, health, and hygiene needs. 

  • Products closer to Indian consumers' needs: Our product portfolio is strongly aligned with Indian consumer's needs, backed by innovation and science. 

Amway has been able to establish awareness and recall value over the years. Where does your marketing focus lie? Is it on building repurchase value? Can you tell us a bit more about your marketing objectives?

Our marketing objectives revolve around four pillars: ‘delivering value with purpose', 'living up to our reputation', 'generating high trust', and achieving strong equity.

Amway's core philosophy of 'helping people live better healthier lives' serves as the common thread that binds the brand's purpose and reason for existence. At Amway, we maintain the highest level of transparency when it comes to the quality of our products. 

We believe in a science-based approach and have been at the forefront of researching and developing cutting-edge, next-generation health and wellness solutions. As part of this, we have set up R&D labs in Gurugram, Bengaluru, Chennai and Dindigul(Tamil Nadu). These labs are equipped with advanced technology and instrumentation, botanical-driven innovation, the latest packaging technology, and more to ensure Amway's benchmark quality and safety standards, as well as to enhance intellectual property and patent opportunities. Further, in India, our products undergo rigorous testing involving 46,000+ partners, from raw materials to the finished goods stage, setting benchmarks for trust and building a sterling reputation for the brand.

What is your media mix? Which medium takes the lion’s share?

Our media mix has a good blend of both traditional and new media that includes impact properties in TV like KBC, SEO, social media, PR, and events. Our mission is to connect with people where they spend most of their time, and thus, digital assumes the central role and continues to have the lion’s share of our media mix.

With the rise of e-commerce and digital marketing, how has Amway adapted its marketing efforts to stay competitive and relevant in the digital space?

Amway India has been focusing on a digital-first approach to enhance the competencies of our direct selling partners to aid business growth and enable better market penetration, improve reach to potential customers product accessibility, and enhance consumer experiences. Towards this, we have the Amway Business App and a comprehensive company-owned website, available in regional languages like Hindi, Tamil, and Bengali apart from English. The website is integrated with Chatbot Myra, Gurucool -an education platform for our Amway Direct Selling Partners and more to facilitate and provide them with a seamless user experience.

Through our Digital First approach, we have witnessed a significant shift in our online sales, with an increase from over 33% in February 2020 to 70% at present.  

In addition, with an aim to establish a strong brand presence amongst our potential consumers, we have taken a top-of-the-marketing funnel approach. To accomplish this, we have leveraged digital platforms like Meta and more for our brand campaigns with creatives to spotlight our products and their USPs to build awareness and sustain and enhance visibility for new products amongst health-conscious consumers, especially the youth. To effectively reach our potential customers and drive conversions, we have been extensively using Google properties like Search, Display, Discovery, and many others, alongside targeting affinity segments and in-market audiences. 

Does Amway also focus on regional and hyperlocal marketing? If yes, can you tell us a bit more about your strategy?

Our business model transcends geographical boundaries. With health and wellness as our guiding star, we craft regional events that resonate with each locality while keeping our brand's objectives at the core. This synergy between our nationwide network and region-specific initiatives allows us to connect with diverse audiences across the length and breadth of India. 

Where is the future of skincare headed?

As health-consciousness seeps into consumer preferences, a growing number of individuals seek beauty products that embrace the richness of nutrients. Going forward, the Indian Skincare market is growing at a CAGR of 6.25%,  and with 80% of Indian consumers preferring skincare solutions that combine chemical-free, vegan, and plant-based claims, indicating an expansive market for premium healthy beauty products in India. 

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