Amber Olson Rourke: CMO, Nerium International™

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Amber Olson Rourke leads a team that is responsible for all branding, creative services, communications, public relations, events, digital marketing and social media at Nerium International™. As a member of the core executive team, Amber helped set and execute the strategy that led Nerium to be the youngest company ever to earn a place on the Direct Selling News Global 100 List in 2013, as well as receive the prestigious Bravo Growth Award from Direct Selling News for hitting $100 million in sales during its first full year of business. In 2014, Amber received multiple industry recognitions including the Direct Marketing News 40 Under 40 list, the Best in Biz Marketing Executive of the Year Silver award, and several Stevie awards including the Women Helping Women Gold award. Most recently, Amber was named the 2015 Top Female Executive by ADDISON Magazine. She has also been profiled alongside other Nerium International top executives in both Direct Selling News and SUCCESS from Home magazine.

Amber also plays a key role in the culture at Nerium International and helps drive the company’s vision of “Making People Better.” She assisted in developing Nerium’s core values and leads a corporate culture committee, which ensures that the core values are represented throughout the company. Additionally, Amber launched a partnership between Nerium and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America for North America, spearheading a fundraising effort that has yielded over $2 million since the partnership began in 2012, making Nerium the largest corporate workplace donor. In 2015, Nerium International was awarded the Big Brothers Big Sisters President Award, the highest corporate award, for its commitment to strengthening existing campaigns, leading new initiatives, expanding brand reach and elevating fundraising efforts.

How did you get into the industry?

I grew up around direct sales. My parents were top sales reps, owners and executives of direct sales companies. So at a young age, I got to see how this industry could really help people in so many facets of their life. I graduated with a Marketing Degree and went to work at advertising agencies and in-house marketing agencies. From there I owned and operated a medical spa while providing anti-aging treatments and products.

Nerium is the combination of the two things I am passionate about, creating products that help people be the best versions of themselves in a business model that really impacts people’s lives.

Any emerging industry trends?

Social media has changed the landscape for direct sales. It is human nature to share a great movie, restaurant or new favorite product with your friends. Now people can tap through their social media and recommend a great product, and get paid to do so.

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

I think the things that are opportunities can also be your challenges. Social media and digital marketing is a great opportunity for direct sales companies to tap into. It is a new way for people to connect to each and recommend great products.  At the same time, you have to balance that this is a relationship-driven business so there has to be a personal touch mixed with the high-tech. Finding that right balance is key.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?

Nerium International’s vision is to make people better. We do that through providing innovative skincare solutions that help people look their best, cutting-edge wellness products that help people feel better and a business and personal growth opportunity that helps them live better.

What's next for the Business in the near future?

Nerium’s goal is to be the leader of holistic wellness. That means taking great care of your skin, taking great care of your body, and taking great care of yourself as an individual. To live your best life you have to take a comprehensive approach to your overall wellness.

So we will continue to expand our skincare and wellness solutions with exclusive products. And we will continue to invest in leading the happiness movement, helping people live their most fulfilled lives.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?

New product launches are a great source of growth for us. Having the right marketing strategy around the launch of a new product is key. You have to create the right product that does not cannibalize your current products, and create a big buzz around the product with PR efforts, celebrity tie-ins, digital marketing efforts, social media, and live events.

Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)

Transitioning from a US company into a truly international company is a challenge. You have to change the way you think, change processes, and properly account for cultural differences. It has been an iterative process to really get that right balance of maintaining your brand standards while still being flexible enough to adapt to the international country’s needs.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?

Our focus is to give our customer results. It is that simple. We know that the anti-aging market is very crowded, and with a lot of products that have a lot of promises and little results. We always want to under promise and over deliver in terms of the results people will see with our skincare products and feel with our wellness products. We even support that with a 30-day money back guarantee. We want our customers to try our products for 30 days, and if they are not “wowed”, we will give them their money back!

How do you motivate others?

The key to motivating others is to have a clear and compelling vision of where you are going. People can’t follow a leader who is unsure or unpassionate about where they are going. Continuing to reinforce the company’s vision and how they can be a part of that vision is key.

Career advice to those in your industry?

Always be open. There are so many twists in the road and sometimes we are so set on our path, we miss big opportunities. Never stop learning. Things are changing so rapidly that if you don’t keep learning you will quickly fall behind.