Will you ever see Vemma or Verve in a Costco?
Check out BK's answer to this question posed by the Scottsdale Airpark News in "Driving Success" featuring BK and several other local CEOs.
BK Boreyko, Founder and CEO
Vemma Nutrition Co.
8322 E. Hartford Drive, Scottsdale
Vemma is a wellness company utilizing a business model that partners with people to promote its clinically studied line of products including Verve, the official energy drink of the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury. The company generated $92 million in sales last year, and garnered the ACE Award for 33rd–largest private company in Arizona. Vemma has about 100,000 active “Brand Partners” in 50 countries. With dynamic founder and sales guru BK Boreyko behind the wheel, there’s no telling what heights Vemma will reach next.
Why the 2011 Cadillac Escalade?
I always enjoy buying an American product when they meet my expectations. The other plus was it’s a hybrid. I don’t know how much gas I save, but I feel better about reducing my carbon footprint.
What was the first car you ever owned?
1972 Chevy Impala, needed paint and a rebuilt engine. I did both at Coronado High School.
You founded Vemma in 2004, and this year it improved its revenue ranking among private companies, moving up four places to 33. What’s driving the growth?
This past year has been unusually tough since we’re in the supplement business, and when household incomes get tight, you’d think vitamins would be the first to go. What we’ve found is that a tremendous amount of people have come to realize they can’t afford to get sick in this economy and so our business enjoyed double-digit growth. At the same time, we’ve had to become more aggressive with our brands and business model. It’s not usually one key that helps keep you relevant—success is kind of like a combination lock; you need several things falling into place to unlock that growth.
How would you describe your marketing approach and its role in the Vemma business model?
I spent six years of my career selling advertising to businesses of all sizes throughout Arizona. What I learned is that the most sought-after type of advertising was word of mouth, yet it’s the least compensated. I thought, what if we took almost our whole advertising budget, which this year is approaching $50 million, and paid it to people that try our products, get excited about them and want to create a part-time, second income from home. We call them Brand Partners and we have about 10,000 new ones join us each month.
What’s the best thing about coming to work?
I really love what I do so it’s not hard to want to do it. I lost my parents to cancer and heart disease, so I’ve made it my passion to help educate others on the benefits of supplementing, and one thing we put on every bottle is email@example.com. The stories that come in how these products helps parents, kids, grandparents, that’s what I love most about my work.
What’s new with Vemma?
We reinvested and completely repackaged our second-most popular brand, Verve, with a new look and new product offering with the Verve healthy energy shot. We’ve also begun pre-marketing a new weight–loss line called Vemma Bod-e that will debut Jan 3. Bod-e is a “first of its kind” line of carbonated protein along with wellness ingredients that target weight issues. We’re thinking this could be big since what people have been trying for years hasn’t made a long-term dent in the overall health of the nation and this line is unlike anything people have seen before. On the business-model side, we added new Brand Partner bonuses and incentive trips along with a new BMW bonus for those who really develop their business. We can have the best products in the world, but if people don’t talk about them, the model doesn’t fly.
Will we ever see Vemma or Verve in stores like Costco or Circle K?
你曾經看到 Vemma 或 Verve 在一家大型連鎖販賣店像是Costco 或 Circle K 嗎?
I once received a call a couple years back from a regional buyer at Costco about Verve.
Now I’m a huge Costco fan, I’m a two-cart guy almost every time I go,
but I told the buyer I’d probably be the first time they’ve heard that I have no interest in having my products at Costco.
You see, the relationship I have with my Brand Partners would be really strained if someone could get Verve cheaper at a big box store.
People tell me I’m crazy, but we’re a lot like Amazon.com meets nutrition.
You don’t see Amazon popping up in stores all over the place,
and these Brand Partners have gotten this Verve brand up to 1 million cans a month,
and we’re looking to double that in 2012.
As my dad would say, “You gotta dance with the girl you brought.”