This assumption is based on the company's domain of work and the high quality and complexity of the web site. In order to develop and maintain such a complex Internet site, a company would have to posses its own Information Technology Department. Only specialized IT programmers and developers have the necessary training required to combine so perfectly and link to each other this large amount of data and information.
Secondly, given the main area of interest in Herbalife's activities, that of wellness industry, it would be quite improbable (although not impossible) for the company to posses their own IT department. Therefore the assumption that the health company requested the services of an external ISP to develop and continually upgrade their online relationship with the customers.
5. Advertisements on the page
It is a common practice for commercial companies to advertise for each other through their web pages. Herbalife's practice of such promotional strategy is at this point unilateral in the meaning that they do advertise their products throughout the official web sites of other companies, but their own web page does not promote the products of other companies.
The advertisements presented on the site of Herbalife only promote the products, services and programs belonging to the wellness company. All the advertisements are sensitive to interaction with the site, in the meaning that clicking on them automatically opens up a new page containing information on the product selected. Moreover, most of the translated versions of the front page present different advertisements, promoting all Herbalife products.
In an attempt to explain this situation, one might believe that the company does not promote products belonging to other companies because they do not need financial rewordings from publicity related activities. Most companies place advertisements on their web pages in order to gain financial benefits from the advertising company. But Herbalife registers sells of over 2 billion dollars and does not need to promote other products, only focusing on enlarging the circle of their own products and customers.
On the other hand, since Herbalife is such a strong competitor on the wellness market and their main priority is to expand even further, they are interested in buying space on the web pages of other companies. In doing so, they widen their range of influence towards several social categories. For instance, by posting an advertisement on the web site www.fitness.com (a virtual feminine magazine on beauty), Herbalife targeted a specific type of customers: elegant and modern women, constantly interested in consolidating and maintaining their beauty.
6. External Promotion of the site
As mentioned before, Herbalife advertises their products on several web pages being on a continuous search for new customers and new target audiences.
On the official web site of Fitness, a women's virtual magazine, one can find a short but clear sentence that sends a very powerful message to all women in search for a lighter figure. "Herbalife are great products...I lost 30 lbs. In two months... " says customer Anne Jonathan. After having posted this comment on the web page, an impressive number of Fitness consumers decided to try the Herbalife products. 93% of them declared highly satisfied with the results.
But this is by far the only situation external publicity aided to the growing number of Herbalife clients. In September 2005, a Canadian customers wrote to the Electronic Health Forum: "I had some problems loosing weight. Then, I tried Herbalife products and methods and it has been very good, I lost all my extra pounds and was coached very closely by my distributor. On top of that, I felt with a lot more energies. It feels so good I never expected it could happen like this."
Another web site that promotes the Herbalife products is www.decidehealth.com.Here, not only that the products are being advertised, but interested customers can also place orders under the assistance and guidance of an independent distributor.
Business Opportunity Advertisements
The list of Internet pages that promote the Herbalife products is endless. But the company does not only advertise their products and services, but also the business opportunity offered through their multi-level marketing system.
The web site www.herbalvitality.infodescribes the wellness company as "best company in the industry! Herbalife is the world's leading Health & Nutrition company. At present they have about 30 million customers in 62 countries and 1.5 million thank you letters on file from people they have helped. Herbalife is the fastest growing company in the Wellness Industry."
Another convincing argument meant to attract new Herbalife direct distributors was posted on the www.trimbody.com.au.They promised 25% discounts to all products, extra earnings and free trainings. Moreover, those interested in the program were assured that they would become their own bosses, they would be able to work from home, "have great freedom and unlimited incomes, learn some amazing skills and live a better quality of life."
6. The technology employed by the company
In order to promote their products, Herbalife uses several technologies available such as multimedia advertising or electronic payment systems. The health products are being promoted throughout most existing media channels: television, radio, Internet, indoors and outdoors presentations, free demonstration and samples and the spreading of fliers.
Payment of the ordered products can be realized through direct payment to the distributor, in both cash or cheque, or though bank transfers directly in the company's bank account.
Given the great complexity of their Internet page, as well the renowned quality of their products combined with Herbalife's reputation, it is only natural that the company shows a great interest towards protecting their products, consumers and the originality of their services.
In this order of ideas, an Internet user browsing through the Herbalife official web page will quite often be able to read copy rights statements such as: "No reproduction in whole or in part without written permission. All Rights Reserved."
Collection of information
Under this headline, the company informs customers that there may be times when they will be asked to type in certain characteristics regarding their personal data. There is no obligations for customers to submit the required information, but in some situations, refusal to do so might incapacitate the company from successfully performing the customers' tasks.
Usage of the collected information
Herbalife points out that in general, the usage of the information will be made known to customers when they are asked to submit the personal data. Even so, the company has identified three major situations that require usage of customers information: website visitors, customers and distributors. The information would be used to improve the quality of the web site or that of the relationships between customers, company and distributors.
Onward transfers imply that certain personal information regarding customers could be transferred to specialized intermediaries that would perform several tasks, such as delivering orders. These intermediaries would be obliged by contract with Herbalife to handle the customers' personal data with the maximum security and confidence and only use it in those tasks required by the wellness company.
Security and data integrity
Herbalife promises their customers that the data submitted will "remain accurate, timely and secure." Even more, they promise that the information "will be kept in active files or systems as long as needed to meet the purposes for which it was collected or as required to perform the contractual relationship with the distributor the customer. "
Access, complaints and correction of the information
It is quite difficult to summarize in just a couple of sentences a 26 years period of successful activity in the wellness industry. Still, fact remains that Herbalife has yet to meet a strong competitor on the beauty market that would challenge their leading position. Ever since 1980, when they came to being, the personnel at Herbalife proved nothing less than high professionalism, ethics and the most interest in their customers' well being.
Herbalife, the number one producer and seller on the wellness market all around the globe…