For Juara’s new social-selling model, the natural skin-care brand is looking to its foundation in Jamu, the herbal healing tradition of Indonesia.
“In Indonesia, the way that the Jamu tradition is passed on is through a local healer in your village, like a neighborhood doctor,” said Metta Murdaya, cofounder of Juara. “They become known in the community as someone you go to for help and someone who knows about wellness, so really our Juara guides are like that because she is our modern-day Jamu woman.”
Calling its representatives “Juara guides,” the company is recruiting customers as brand ambassadors to sell its skin-care products directly to other customers. The brand is scaling back its retail distribution, working with Birchbox, QVC and Credo Beauty, and focusing mainly on the social-selling model in order to give back to its loyal customers.
“What we find challenging post-recession is everyone wants to be big, but how do you be big but also feel small and connected to people?” Murdaya continued on why the brand adopted the new selling model. “This is our way to grow, but still maintain a personal feel.”
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While Juara guides earn a 35 percent commission on their sales, the brand sets no sales quotas or other requirements. Customers can sign up as Juara guides by purchasing one of three starter packs depending on how involved they’d like to be: the basic starter system of five sample-sized products for $75, the plus starter system of seven full-sized products and 25 sample-sized products for $300, or the pro starter system of 17 full-sized products and 50 sample-sized products for $620.
“Social selling by definition is very personal,” said cofounder Yoshiko Roth-Hidalgo. “It’s quite different than walking into a store that has hundreds of brands and asking a salesperson responsible for many brands for help, so contrast that to someone that is intimately familiar with a product and tells you that it works really well for them. It’s a much deeper understanding of the product.”
Soft-launching the model in October, the brand has recruited 55 Juara guides to serve as beta-testers and expects to bring on 2,900 guides by the end of 2018. Through the model, Murdaya and Roth-Hidalgo hope to empower entrepreneurs and build on the community that they’ve created through their brand.
“We realized that this is a great platform to really focus on empowerment, so we’re bringing ordinary people into the fold, people that love the products and feel connected to the brand,” Roth-Hidalgo continued. “We empower [the Juara guides] to spread the word and make Juara their own, not just as a consumer but almost as part of the brand mission.”
Industry sources estimate that the social-selling model will earn $3.5 million in its first year and will reach $11 million in its second year.