Field Reports1 Oct, 2008 By: Thomas Haire, Jacqueline Renfrow Response
What's been the biggest surprise you've seen in the growth of the direct response business? Where do you see the business heading in the next five to 10 years?
KHUBANI: I've seen the business mature, and several major players that have been in for the long haul have focused on one particular area. TELEBrands has focused on $10-20 gadgets and getting most of its revenue through retail distribution. We were all over the board in the early days — half-hour shows, all kinds of things — before we found our space. A company like Guthy-Renker also tried a number of things — including retail — before focusing on what they do best: personal care, continuity, half-hour shows. They have little interest in retail anymore, and, by the same token, we have no interest in the model Guthy-Renker uses.
It's sort of like a medical practice. Years ago, doctors were general practitioners and would take care of everything from allergies to delivering your baby. Now, it's about specialists. And that's what's happened in our industry as it has matured — people have focused on their specialties.
The other things we've seen over the years are companies that once dominated the industry have gone by the wayside. There are always new and emerging companies coming in to take their place.
Are there any companies that have stepped to the fore in recent years that have impressed you?
KHUBANI: BeachBody has done a tremendous job. Allstar Marketing has done well in our particular space of developing gadgets and bringing them to retail.