Sunless has been a leader in the premiere cosmetic tanning market in the United States for more than four decades, but the company will still continue to innovate and evolve, according to CEO Randy Zeno.
Randy Zeno is a firm believer in the power of all companies – irrespective of the industry – to change the world for the better.
“The way I think about business today is not just necessarily about profits but basically, how can I, as a leader, be a force for good?” he tells The CEO Magazine.
“How can we, as an organization, be a force for good? And a force for good at Sunless means how we help improve the lives of others and how that also helps our planet.”
The way Zeno sees Sunless contributing to a better world is twofold: by making people feel good about themselves, while providing a healthy way to tan without exposure to the sun.
“What I like about our business is there’s a wellness component that we have around what we do and giving someone that healthy glow, if you will,” he says. “My mission, as far as being a changemaker, is getting our organization recognized as a force for good by providing services to the marketplace that help people live healthy, productive lives, feel great about it and feel beautiful.”
As a leader, Zeno prioritizes communication above all else. He believes it’s impossible for employees to join in the journey without being able to properly articulate the goals of the company.
“I don’t like using the word vision a lot because it’s such a broad word,” he admits. “But I do think we have to be able to articulate a vision, specifically where we want to go and how we get there.
“I think from a leadership perspective, it’s about making sure you have the very best people in the industry. We do that. We’re constantly developing our current people and bringing on new talent where we have gaps.”
Suppliers are also an essential part of Sunless’ operations, without whom the company wouldn’t be able to operate in such a streamlined way. Indeed, Zeno views these partners as so integral to Sunless that often they are considered part of the “solution set”.
“In many instances, we actually co-create solutions to help us solve problems.”
“In many instances, we actually co-create solutions to help us solve problems,” he elaborates. “If you think about a business like ours, we’re sourcing parts from all over the world. We are working with our vendor partners and third-party partners to help us think through alternate ways of delivering our business systems that we have.
“Because of the technology and the products that we’re delivering, this business is highly specific. Those relationships have end-benefits which are around focus and prioritization, but also in terms of having a vendor partner who helps think ahead of potential issues.
“We can feel very confident that we’ll get a solution from them on a consistent basis.”
Zeno also references the positives that come from the establishment and ongoing nurturing of long-term partnerships.
“Most of the vendor partners that we work with are stable and have been in the business for a bit of time,” he says. “There’s a degree of trust and confidence that we have in them. Sometimes they challenge us to think about different alternatives, which is great.”
A Class of its Own
When it comes to what sets Sunless apart from its competitors, Zeno believes a primary factor is how well Sunless knows its market and demographic.
With the company comprising three brands – Norvell, Mystic Tan and Versaspa – and a range of options for customers, from advanced spray booth technology to hand-held devices, it’s no wonder that over 18 million Sunless-branded spray tans are sold annually.
And with over four decades under its belt, Sunless has had plenty of time to refine its products and grow a loyal and expansive customer base.
“We have three very different brands,” Zeno explains. “We know the Sunless market. We know we have great partnerships with all of our customers. We have best-in-class in terms of R&D and procurement, engineering, supply chain and marketing.
“And that would take you and me a lifetime to develop from scratch. I think the other thing is you won’t find a company like ours that offers everything we do. We have automated spray booths. We have handheld products. We have self-tanners, which are what I call retail products,” he says.
“There’s not a competitor in the marketplace that is able to offer a full-line solution for the sales market. We can, and we do that globally.”
“What we’re trying to achieve is to become an inspiration for consumers to feel beautiful and confident in their skin.”
“What we’re trying to achieve is to become an inspiration for consumers to feel beautiful and confident in their skin,” he concludes. “When I think about how we can help deliver that, innovation is a critical component.
“My whole notion is to really create ubiquity in the marketplace around what we do and what we can help the consumer achieve, which is to achieve the glow that they’re looking for, not the way we define it. We give them the tools to do that.”
Zeno says that through the continual utilization of emerging technologies, Sunless hopes to continue expanding and evolving its offerings and position itself as the clear industry leader.