Solutions For Green We also publish California Green Solutions and a series of blogs about healthy living solutions.
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Multilevel marketing of natural and sustainable products
Multilevel marketing is a powerful distribution system for specialized products that need to reach consumers and small businesses. There is nothing like person-to-person contact to motivate behavior. We learned that at our mother's knee...and in nonprofit activism and fundraising. Now that power is applied to the business world through commercial MLM marketing strategies.
ShakleeShaklee, a leader in nutrition, personal care and household products. Started in 1956 by research chemist Dr. Forrest Shaklee, the company’s initial product line of natural nutritional supplements sold well, thanks to a network of eager distributors selling to their friends and neighbors. The founder’s personal motto, “Follow the laws of nature and you’ll never go wrong,” imbued a sense of environmental responsibility to the company. In 1960 Shaklee blazed a trail with Basic-H, the first mass-marketed biodegradable household cleaning product.
Amazon Herb CompanyAmazon Herb Company was founded in 1990 by John Easterling, when he found herbal remedies for his own health and decided to formulate and package some of these remedies for his friends. Amazon Herb Company now has thousands of distributors in the US and beyond.
MelaleucaMelaleuca has employed its own version of multi-level marketing to sell health, personal care and household products based on natural ingredients since 1985.
There will be more businesses entering the sustainable and natural health field. The way to separate the schemes from legitimate businesses is based on both strategic and legal processes. According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, legitimate MLM companies pay participants based on the volume of products individual distributors sell directly and through their network of sub-distributors. Illegal pyramid schemes compensate distributors merely for recruiting others into the company’s fold, and also tend to charge new recruits high fees just to join.
Not all direct marketing methods make money for the distributors. Saturation in a local area greatly affects receptivity and the number of prospects available as the web of distributors tend to have a lot of overlap.
According to Robert FitzPatrick, editor of the Pyramid Scheme Alert newsletter, the majority of MLM recruits lose money. FitzPatrick’s research shows that industry-wide, fewer than one in a thousand MLM distributors make any profit whatsoever, with most losing money while gaining closets full of products they had to buy but don’t need.
And that's not sustainable business or quality of life!