WASHINGTON, January 31, 2013 – Numbers never lie: ViSalus’ new Body by Vi Challenge is one of the fastest growing social movements in North America. Individual marketing opportunities will always have their skeptics, and they are not for everyone. Yet, people are always looking to lose wight and more importantly have a support system.
Jimmy Le, a very successful social marketer, quit his business two years ago to become a Challenge Ambassador. Le said, “The Challenge has been effective for me because it saves me money and I get more nutrition in one shake than most people get in a week and it tastes like cake!! The freedom of being an entrepreneur and having a solution for the obesity epidemic is why I love promoting The Challenge.”
Blake Mallen, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of ViSalus, has been intelligent enough to make the approach more about personal transformation rather than just the transformation of a wallet. Social media is then leveraged by people to share their stories, their progress, their transformation. It has been key to the widespread distribution of the The Challenge.
Mallen answers questions below about ViSalus’ new challenge and plans for the future.
Jeff Barrett: Explain the new Body by Vi Challenge.
Blake Mallen: In the last couple of years, ViSalus Body by Vi Challenge has become the fastest growing weight-loss and fitness Challenge platform in North America. What we decided to do is take something that is already good and make it better. Our goal will always be to support people on their weight-loss and fitness journeys, so we’ve put the Body by Vi Challenge under a pretty significant transformation and made it better and bolder than ever. Now there are more winners, more prizes and more support – and we’re guaranteeing all of it.
The Body by Vi Challenge has helped millions of people transform their lives and lose millions of pounds, so we’re confident that if people join the Challenge, they will be happy with the results. In fact, the New Body by Vi Challenge now has a 90-day Money-Back Results Guarantee so you’ve got absolutely nothing to lose but weight. We introduced the New Challenge on January 5 of this year, at over 400 Resolution Rally events all across North America. At these events, we launched the New Body by Vi Challenge to all our Promoters and customers, and celebrated more than 43,000 people who sent us their New Year’s health resolutions for 2013.
We also introduced a new program called PROJECT 10
that motivates and rewards anyone who loses their first ten pounds. The first ten pounds are so important to boosting a person’s confidence and belief system, so we’re awarding a total of $10,000 to ten people who lose ten pounds every week starting Feb 4, 2013. We’ll still have our awesome Challenge Champions but now we are recognizing monthly Finalists as well, plus offering even more online support and better prize packages. For more information, please visit Vi.com.
Barrett: What did you recognize in the market that lead to these changes?
Mallen: After looking at the millions of physical transformations that took place by people who have taken the Body by Vi Challenge, we found that those who were able to lose those first ten pounds felt better about themselves and this boost in confidence helped them achieve their ultimate weight-loss and fitness goals. Losing ten pounds not only can make someone look and feel better, but it can also have significant additional health benefits.
We’ve learned that those who lost the first ten pounds within the first 30 days of their Challenge experienced a higher overall success rate, so we’re encouraging our community more than ever through the rewards of PROJECT 10.
Barrett: What is your focus for 2013?
Mallen: Our focus for 2013 is to help eradicate the huge obesity epidemic. With 232 million people in the US and Canada being overweight, and projections that more than three fourths of us will be obese in 2020, we have made this our focus for 2013. We believe we are in the best position to fight the war against obesity and our goal is to show that real results are possible for real people if they are on a program that fits their lifestyle.
Barrett: How has your social media strategy evolved in the past six months? What trend/tools are you watching closely?
Mallen: In 2012, ViSalus had the number-one Facebook engagement in our industry, but we wanted to add fuel to the fire for 2013. We’ve really amped up our social media strategy with the launch of our new Challenge.com Timeline App and Recipe Book App. The success of the 90-Day Body by Vi Challenge was founded on the power of being social. That’s why, with the Challenge.com Timeline App, we’ve made it even easier for people to document and share every moment of their Challenge with others. They can post things like journal entries, photos and videos right on their Timeline and share them on their favorite social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. We’ve also helped keep the Challenge fun, fresh and interesting by allowing people to upload and share their favorite Vi-Shape Shake recipes with the Recipe Book App. Learn more at Challenge.com and Recipes.vi.com
Mallen: Other programs in the diet world are complex, expensive and don’t taste very good. Some diet programs aren’t very convenient because they require you to keep track of calories or attend meetings. The Body by Vi Challenge is the opposite – it’s simple, affordable, tastes amazing, saves money by replacing meals and even offers the potential to receive free products by referring others to the Challenge. Nearly 1.5 million people joined the Challenge last year and we’ve served over 500 million shakes since the launch of the Challenge. We wouldn’t have seen these outcomes if the Body by Vi Challenge didn’t work.
We understand that everyone has different health goals. A lot of people want to lose weight but others want to add some lean muscle. The Body by Vi Challenge is built around five unique Challenge Kits to support any health goal and lifestyle. It’s very important to us that our platform does not cater to just one specific lifestyle. We don’t want anyone turning their life upside down to accommodate The Challenge. We want it to be an easy transition, fitting us into their lifestyle. It should feel simple and encouraging.
I’d say there are six new reasons to take on the Body by Vi Challenge this year.
First, we’re offering a 90-day Money-Back Results Guarantee so you’ve got absolutely nothing to lose but weight.
Second, we gave away over $47 million in products, prizes and vacations in 2012. It’s exciting to think how much we’ll give away this year, with an even bigger Challenge.
Third, we’re awarding a total of $10,000 every week this year to ten people who lose ten pounds. Aside from the opportunity to win $1,000, we send a free “i LOST it” t-shirt to everyone who loses ten pounds.
Fourth, we’re now rewarding monthly Challenge finalists with a free professional photo shoot and Vi gear.
Fifth is the Ultimate Transformation Vacation for our Champions. Three times a year we announce new Champions and they’re rewarded with an incredible travel experience, prizes, and $5,000 Beverly Hills wardrobe shopping spree.
The sixth reason that sets us apart is our new Challenge Trainer. It’s an online support system with tools, tips, apps, Community support and every resource we could think of to help someone reach their goal.
Jeff Barrett is a recognized leader in public relations, experiential marketing and social media. CEO of Status Creative, 2012 PRNewswire Award Winner for “Best Use of Video In Social Media” and once stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.
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