Tthe advertising model for direct selling is quite different than conventional advertising.

Tthe advertising model for direct selling is quite different than conventional advertising.

In the conventional advertising world, celebrity endorsement is very effective. Among the factors for effectiveness includes the fame of the celebrity, the connection with the product or service, whether or not the celebrity is a user, and whether or not the statements of the celebrity appear as truly authentic or merely a “pay for endorsement.”

The use of celebrity endorsement is far less successful in the direct selling industry. In fact, the advertising model for direct selling is quite different than conventional advertising. In conventional distribution, such as retail stores, internet or broadcast media, companies pay advertising dollars and endorsement fees to promote the brand. However, in direct selling, the commissions and rewards paid to distributors are effectively the advertising dollars that would be paid in other channels of distribution. Instead, the branding, in direct selling, is accomplished by the promotion of the sales network of the direct selling company. Looking at the success of major companies such as Avon, Mary Kay, Tupperware, Herbalife, etc., the branding task has been accomplished by the consultant force, and generally without the use of celebrity advertising.

Continue reading »

Direct Selling News reported in a May 2013 article that technology is changing

the way direct sellers communicate and relate with their downline distributors and customers. The article summarizes two companies that are embracing technologies that will help assist distributors in their success:

Custom clothier J.Hilburn offers its style consultants a Style Kit iPad App featuring a “full catalog, individual client profiles, the ability to create style boards, and access to up-to-date stock information.” ViSalus enables iPhone, Android or Blackberry users to “promote the Body by Vi™ Challenge, access and manage your business on-the-go, shop, and enroll others” through its Vi-Net Mobile App. These are just a couple of many direct selling companies integrating mobile strategies.

Continue reading »

This blog post is a companion post to the video: Debunking Direct Selling Industry Myths

Over the years some very interesting myths have occurred. Usually, they are generated by over-enthusiastic, well-meaning distributors and perpetuated by the same sorts of individuals. One such myth is that within the next ten years, 95% of all the products that will be moved and sold in the United States will be through MLM.

Another common myth is that MLM is such a powerful method of marketing that the business schools have chosen to feature it as the chief business model of the future. And yet another myth, schools such as Harvard and Wharton now teach MLM, which they don’t. However, direct selling has its place in the education system and there have been significant case studies that have been done and corporate America is clearly discovering the benefits of MLM.

Continue reading »