Scott Hollander joined Melaleuca: The Wellness Company as chief marketing officer in 2007 as an established marketing leader in North America. Hollander guided major brands in the packaged goods and entertainment industries, serving as director of marketing for Nestlé Purina, vice president of marketing for Discovery Communications, and global business director for The Gillette Company.
In his time with Melaleuca, a health products manufacturer based out of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Hollander spearheaded new innovations and launched product lines that became customer staples. Today, Melaleuca generates $2 billion in annual revenues while serving approximately 2 million households each month in 20 countries.
Hollander retired last month and, in this interview, reflects on his career in marketing, specifically the last 15 years spent with Melaleuca.
Q: What were your first impressions of Melaleuca when you initially learned about the company?
A: Coming from a traditional, big-brand marketing background, I wasn’t familiar with direct-selling companies, and I certainly didn’t know much about Melaleuca. So, like people do, I mistakenly assumed Melaleuca was a multilevel marketing (MLM) company. But once I learned about the Consumer Direct Marketing® business model, I immediately recognized that Melaleuca was in its own category. It was clearly a different kind of company.
I was especially intrigued by the idea of selling directly to the end user and all the accompanying benefits that could come from direct selling: the ability to sit with the customer and walk them through the product line, the company and its values, and the business opportunity.
Other companies only dream about this kind of customer connectivity. As a marketer, I recognized the power of the intimate, personal connection Melaleuca was able to develop with customers every month. I was intrigued by the unique insights and understanding of the customer that could be gathered based on their purchases and how that information could be used to bring the Melaleuca mission to life with superior products.
Beyond that, the time I was able to spend with Melaleuca founder Frank VanderSloot and other management team members left a deep, positive impression. I could feel the passion Frank had for the mission, for wellness, and for all the families that could benefit from Melaleuca’s product solutions. I was taken by the company’s past success but mostly by its potential for future explosive growth. After my first conversation with Frank, I knew my future would be spent contributing to the noble mission of this intriguing company based out of little Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Q: What cemented your decision to join Melaleuca in 2007?
A: That was an easy decision. The more I learned about the Melaleuca business model and the wellness message, the more persuaded I became to join the company. Given my background, it just made sense. The timing was right. And I could see the ways I could make meaningful contributions to help Melaleuca grow. On top of that, spending time with Frank and learning about his expansive vision for Melaleuca was very compelling. Frank is very persuasive! Once you land in his orbit, you start to see things the way he does!
Q: Now 15 years later, how do you view that decision to join Melaleuca?
A: It was the best decision of my life. I often tell people I wish I had discovered Melaleuca a decade earlier. My experience at Melaleuca has been life changing. It has also been extremely fulfilling and satisfying to be part of an organization that does so much good in the world. I’m honored to have played a small part in the success of the company.
Q: During your tenure at Melaleuca, what was your greatest contribution?
A: Without a doubt, the development and launch of the Peak Performance Nutrition Pack, which brought together six life-changing daily supplements that have been clinically tested to deliver essential vitamins and nutrients, lower free radicals, and improve blood flow. The long-term impact of this product is remarkable. Back in 2014, we knew we had the world’s best collection of individual dietary supplements. Each formula was impressive on its own.
Combining them together and creating the Peak Performance Nutrition Pack would prove to be a historic move. When the first results from the Freiburg Study came back with more than 25 health markers positively affected, it just confirmed the profound nature of the power of these supplements. There truly is nothing else in the world like it.
Beyond that, I’m extremely proud of the myriad of superior Melaleuca products we developed and launched over the past 15 years—and the messages we created to support them. There isn’t another company out there with a wellness product lineup that comes close to what Melaleuca offers. And our trajectory into the future is so promising. The Melaleuca product commitment to quality and innovation ensures that any updates or new products will meet the very highest levels of excellence.
I’m eternally grateful for the opportunity to have been associated with this organization and to have been a contributor to the team during some of Melaleuca’s most important and formative years. My Melaleuca experience has been both professionally and personally rewarding in ways that I’m only now starting to recognize.
Q: What are the key lessons you learned from your time leading Melaleuca marketing?
A: When I came to Melaleuca 15 years ago, I had racked up over 30 years of experience in traditional consumer packaged goods companies. I thought I had a solid core of business expertise. I very quickly learned there are many ways to skin a cat. On so many fronts, Melaleuca did not comply with the habits and practices of traditional consumer packaged goods companies. Initially, I sought to change those practices so Melaleuca would look and act more like the companies I had previously worked for. But it didn’t take long before I realized that Melaleuca’s different platform, go-to market strategy, and highly differentiated product line demanded a different, more innovative approach.
Once I embraced the model and lined up behind the strategy, I could see clearly why the Melaleuca approach was so superior to those of other companies. After that, I had a field day working with and optimizing the model. I had the good fortune of leading an amazing team of scientists, marketers, and web developers who are dedicated to the Melaleuca mission and are some of the smartest, hardest-working professionals I’ve ever been around.
Q: What do you hope your legacy will be?
A: Without question, the portfolio of superior, one-of-a-kind wellness products. The benefits and positive impact that Melaleuca products have on our customers’ lives bring to life our mission of enhancing lives. I’m proud of the work we did while I was leading the Marketing team.
In the moment, we were running hard, pushing toward the next innovation, researching nature, implementing new science, and communicating our latest advances. There are so many aspects to wellness, and our intent has always been to improve health wherever we can in our customers’ lives.
Maybe it’s only now that I can look back and see the progress we’ve made in the last decade and a half. Our ability to significantly improve lives through our products has never been more tenable. And I truly believe that Melaleuca is just getting started.
Q: What do you plan to do now?
A: Between now and the end of the year, my plan is to decompress and spend time with my family. My wife and I have two grandchildren and a third on the way. We love the idea of chasing grandchildren. I firmly believe that after the first of the year I’ll need to find something to engage and challenge my gray matter. You don’t spend more than 40 years working at a feverish pace and simply stop. I like the idea of consulting and helping others solve problems and think differently about their businesses. I still feel like I have a lot to give, and I have a lot of energy and passion for business. Frank and I are talking about what I can continue to do for Melaleuca.
Whatever I do, I know this: my time at Melaleuca, the friendships I developed, and the lessons I learned will be with me forever. I’ll cherish my time at Melaleuca and will always be thankful for my association with this company and all the fine people I crossed paths with.